Tag Archives: Rebecca Solnit

Bratman & Snobbin

“Don’t let the fact that we wear our underwear on the outside mislead you; we know more than you about everything.

Dear Captain Awkward:

This should be a quickie, at least to ask. I have two friends (they’re dating) who constantly argue with me about the field I’m studying in graduate school. They challenge my knowledge about it, and honestly about most everything, up to and including outright telling me I’m wrong about something I just took a class on. They don’t, however, argue with my boyfriend. It’s driving me crazy – I can’t be around them without wanting to pull my hair out and scream because of their constant arguing, getting frustrated with me as if I’m being stupid for disagreeing, and even just plain yelling.

These two are great friends of mine, or at least their friendship is very valuable to me, and while one has never been the easiest to get along with (just one of those people), the other hasn’t really been that bad. They’re also partners, and both male. 

The arguing is actively interfering with every aspect of our friendship, because (1) I hate arguing – which they know, and (2) they do it EVERY TIME I see them. Every single time, and if by some miracle they don’t argue with me about my field of study, they find something else, something innocuous, to ask me about and then vehemently disagree with me. So far, I just leave the room/take a walk/play games in the bathroom when it gets too bad, but then I wind up being tense and out of sorts for hours from the argument, so it’s just not working for me anymore.

Basically, I want them to stop arguing with me. It’s one thing to ask a question about something I know (like the color of the sky), say “Oh, I thought it was fuschia today” and then drop it, and another entirely to say “No, you’re wrong, it’s not blue, it’s fuschia, I know because of my extensive knowledge in knowing and your study of this subject is clearly wrong because I say so,” and then continue asserting said position in the face of any and all evidence (including referring them to the clearly blue sky). Sorry, but I’m just so tired and angry from all the arguing. I just want a way to be reasonable, calm, and tell them that they’re driving me crazy and they need to stop this moment. Except . . . I don’t think just saying that will cut it.

Thanks for whatever help you can offer,
Argued Out

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