If someone uses these 10 phrases in conversation, they have a confrontational personality

Interacting with someone who’s confrontational can be stressful, especially if you’re non-confrontational yourself. It’s probably why you’re reading this in the first place, right?

I get it, though! And even if it’s necessary at times, confrontations can still be so exhausting. So many of us are just unprepared for that kind of high-stress situation. 

So while you don’t need to participate in every confrontation you are invited to, don’t let yourself be caught off guard just the same! 

Lean in and listen. If someone uses these 10 phrases in conversation, they have a confrontational personality. 

1) “You’re wrong.”

Remember how I said that confrontations can sometimes be necessary? This is one of those instances. We need people who can tell us when we’re wrong. We need people who can hold us accountable. 

However, there’s a thin line between people who are direct with you and people who just want to fight it out. 

Are they presenting valid points on where you got it wrong? Are they staying objective and non-aggressive? Good. They’re being direct and genuine. 

Meanwhile, are they saying you’re wrong without basis? Are they heckling you? Calling you names and just being mean? Are they being unkind? 

Then they just want to rile you up. 

2) “Look who’s talking!”

If someone tells you “Look who’s talking”, they aren’t afraid to point out your hypocrisy and audacity. Like, “This? Coming from you?” 

Once again, there’s still a distinction between people who are direct with you and people who are hostile. Understand which one and proceed accordingly. 

3) “You think that’s a good idea?”

The tone is important here. “You think that’s a good idea?” said in an inquisitive way is a genuine question.

“You think that’s a good idea?” with a huff and a scoff is probably a preamble to a ridicule. 

Both can be difficult to answer. Both can turn into a confrontation and anyone who says it (especially the second one) is ready for one.

4) “Are you for real?”

If you’re doing or saying something dumb, an “Are you for real?” is warranted. And if it’s coming from someone who has your best interest at heart, then it’s probably something you need to hear. 

And whoever can be truthful about you like this, even at the risk of offending you, is no stranger to confrontations. They are ready for how you may react. 

5) “What is wrong with you?”

Like the one above, anyone who can ask this to you straight to your face fears no confrontation. 

Sometimes, we all need someone who will tell us if we’re being difficult. We need people who will tell us what we need to hear, even if it is difficult to hear.

(Of course, this isn’t to say that we need to accept snark and blatantly being put down.)

6) “So what you’re saying is…”

Honestly, if someone says this to me, I might shake in my boots. After all, it takes guts to demand clarification from anyone. 

And if someone tells me this, I would assume that they already found a loophole in whatever I said and they’re just asking me to dig my own grave.

That or they’re giving me a chance to backpedal. 

7) “You think that’s funny?”

Say it with me: Not all jokes are funny. What is funny is when someone who made an offensive joke finds offense in being called out. 

And it takes someone unafraid of confrontation to call out a person like this. “You think that’s funny?” 

“You think you’re being clever?”

“Explain to me what the joke is. I’ll wait.”

This is a conversation that not everyone is willing to open. 

8) “Don’t talk to me like that.”

Talks of boundaries can be testy, it’s a touchy subject for a lot of people and there are difficult people who take offense at being told that they’re crossing these lines.

It’s a guaranteed confrontation when this happens. Still, it takes courage to assert your boundaries. 

Anyone who can tell you to your face that you’re crossing a line they’ve set is not afraid of said confrontations. 

9) “Not to be the devil’s advocate, but…”

“Not to be the devil’s advocate, but…” is such a cop-out. 

I guarantee you that they just want to be the devil’s advocate. They just want to piss people off, they just want to stir some sh*t. They acknowledge that what they’re going to say will create a big reaction.

And they want that. They love that. 

It’s like when people say “no offense” right before they offend someone. It speaks of their character and it reeks of aggressiveness. 

10) “That’s dumb.”

And for the last one on this list: That’s dumb. 

Anyone who can tell you that you’re being dumb is not afraid of a confrontation. Even people who have your best interests at heart can find it difficult to do this. 

Will a confrontation happen after being called out? Maybe, maybe not, and whoever said the line can’t ever be too sure. 

Though I keep saying this throughout this article, sometimes you just need to hear it. Sometimes you just need someone to put you in your place and wake you up from a potential bad decision.

Dealing with confrontational people

So… they’re confrontational, now what? 

Well, a few things. 

In this article on Psychology Today, professor and author Preston Ni listed ways to handle hostile and confrontational people.

The first, and I think the most important, tip he listed is to Keep Safe. Always choose your safety, even if that would mean not engaging in the confrontation.

Keeping calm is also sound advice, avoid escalation as best you can but learn to stand your ground. 

He also advises to set consequences, saying “When a confrontational and hostile individual insists on violating your boundaries, and won’t take “no” for an answer, deploy consequence.

The ability to identify and assert consequence(s) is one of the most important skills you can use to “stand down” a difficult person. Effectively articulated, consequence gives pause to the offending individual, and compels him or her to shift from violation to respect.”

Final thoughts

What can we take away from this? 

One, confrontations are difficult, but sometimes necessary. Two, keeping yourself safe is paramount when interacting with a confrontational person, especially if they’re hostile. “To win a confrontation” is never a worthy reason to put yourself in jeopardy. 

And finally, if you’re not ready, disengaging from hostile and confrontational people won’t make you any less of a person. 

Not everyone is equipped to handle confrontations, especially if it’s volatile. 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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