Saturday, January 4, 2020

Disagreeable people and communication styles

There are a couple of people in my life who react negatively, almost to the point of violence, to everything I say.

The oddity is that other people can express the same opinion and does not elicit the same response from them.

One of the people is an attorney. The other is in the field of Psychology.

I spent a little bit of time in the company of the psychologist yesterday as I went about my daily business.

Interactions went according to script. She told me that I was wrong, wrong, wrong.


I had always attributed her reactions to me as her being a virulent feminist but that did not explain her reactions when other MEN did not get their heads cut off and handed to them.

I was mulling the interaction over in my mind as I drove back to Eaton Rapids. It occurred to me that both the attorney and the psychologist seemed incapable of speaking in short, declarative sentences. It also occurred to me that both people were fixated on status.

I, on the other hand, speak primarily in short, declarative sentences or in short questions where the answer should be obvious. It is a trait I picked up from fifteen years of working in loud factories and supervising employees in a chaotic environment. I am in the bottom 5 percentile for concern about status but am very results oriented.

Status-oriented people craft long, elaborate sentences to make sure you know how smart they are and to justify their billing rate.

Results-oriented people say "Press the red button" or "Shoot the snake."

Hearing the sentence "Press the red button" the status-oriented person cannot resist saying "No, the button is not red, it is scarlet and you need to ensure that all Americans and associated allies are out of the blast zone and you must inform the target three days in advance so they have a chance to rectify, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam.

The status-oriented person would rather see you bitten by a snake than to lose one iota of status or a penny's worth of billing rate.


  1. I had such a person (spouse) in my life for more years than I care to admit. She was a textbook Cluster B. (The main Cluster B disorders are Narcissistic, Borderline, and Histrionic Personality disorders.)

    I would bet money that both of these individuals in your life check off half or more of the 12 or 16 traits that identify people with any of the main Cluster B disorders.

  2. What Joe and George say are characteristic of university faculty as well. One of the reasons that I don't miss working at a university-all talk, no action.

  3. You didn't mention whether they are family or not, which, if they are, changes the nature of all interactions - because the motivations are normally rooted in some kind of history. I'm sure this deference is probably in consideration of protecting the innocent (you). If they're not family, then you deserve kudos for not punching them in the face. The short, declarative sentences punctuated by the silent treatment is the next best socially acceptable thing. The hole will still get dug, but now they do all the work.

    1. One was. One was not.

      Mostly I avoid them.

      Based on my new insight, I may try to communicate with three word sentences since simple sentences bother them so much.

  4. Capable and confident meets self doubt. Crash! The status think is an indicator.


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