10 ways to deal with someone who challenges everything you say (complete guide)

There are few things more frustrating than a person who just seems out to get you on every single thing you say.

No matter how clearly you make your point, this person wants to challenge, interrupt, and contradict everything.

And the most annoying part? You have no idea why they’re doing it at all.

So what are you supposed to do in situations like this?

How do you stop someone from challenging every point you make, when it’s clear that your words mean nothing to them to begin with?

While it may be difficult, it’s certainly not impossible.

Here are 10 ways to deal with a person who won’t stop challenging everything you say:

1) Figure Out the Heart of Their Issue

They disagreed with you on that point, on this point, on a dozen other points.

It almost feels impossible how, no matter what you say, they just have something to say against it.

But here’s the thing – it’s not about what you’re saying. It’s about the fact that you’re the one saying it.

So figure out what their real problem is because they’re obviously doing everything in their power to show you that they have a problem with you without explicitly saying it.

Try to think back about all your previous interactions with this person.

Could you have ever rubbed them the wrong way?

The sooner you figure out why this person is challenging you, the sooner you can resolve this problem.

2) Ask Why

Sometimes the easiest answer is the simplest one you can think of.

If you can’t understand why a person is challenging you on every single thing that you say, then just get in their face and ask them – “Why?”

People aren’t always used to this kind of sudden confrontation, especially those who tend to bully others.

If you approach them and acknowledge their behavior and ask them to explain themselves, you’ll either get one of two things:

They’ll give you their legitimate explanation as to why they disagree with every point you make, or they’ll become sheepish for being called out on their behavior for once and stop doing it.

Whatever happens, all that’s important is that this comes to a conclusion.

3) Try To Start By Understanding

When a person is being purposefully argumentative, they’re not going to expect you to be kind and understanding when you finally sit down with them to talk about it.

If you ask to speak with them face-to-face, they’ll be ready for an argument, a shouting match, and they’ll have all their verbal pistols loaded.

But subvert their expectations and start the conversation with kindness and a willingness to understand, instead.

Show them that you’re genuinely willing to hear them out, whatever their reasons may be and whatever they have to say.

Oftentimes, the surprise of being confronted with kindness will knock them out of their flight-ready mindset, and you’ll experience a very different version of this person instead.

4) Let the Other Person Feel Like They Can Respond

In addition to the previous point, when a person feels like they’re finally being confronted for their negative behavior, they’re going to walk into the room feeling like they’ll have to shout just to be heard.

So on top of showing them kindness and understanding, you will also want to make them feel that this is actually going to be a legitimate, back-and-forth conversation, where both parties will get a chance to speak and explain their side of the story.

So let them feel like they can respond.

Don’t talk over them when they start talking, don’t cut them off in the middle of their point.

Let them finish their sentences and points at the moments they choose, not when you choose to interrupt them.

5) Talk About Something Else

When a person just won’t stop hitting back at everything you say, then one of the best things you can do is just drop the topic all together and start talking about something else entirely.

This does two things:

Firstly, it shows them that you’re not going to let them get under your skin because you’re more than happy to move on from the argument they keep trying to make, and secondly, it makes them realize how transparent they’ll be if they continue challenging you on vastly different topics.

Doing this is an easy way to corner them into either revealing the malice behind what they’re doing or forcing them to put an end to it because they’re not affecting you the way they want.

6) Don’t Stoop To Their Level

When someone starts obviously disrespecting us, it’s easy to consider resorting to doing the exact same thing back at them.

But when a person won’t stop interrupting and challenging you, they’re not doing it out of any reason other than to bother you, to troll you, to upset you, and this means one thing:

If you stoop to their level and start acting the way they’re acting, you’re doing nothing but giving them the satisfaction of upsetting you.

Don’t give them this satisfaction.

Your personality and your values aren’t dependent on their actions, no matter how annoying or upsetting those actions may be.

If you can stay you despite their best efforts to get under your skin, they’ll feel like they lost.

Because at the end of the day, the only thing they’ll prove is that they’re willing to stoop that low, and you’re not.

7) Erase the Idea of Scoring Points

When a discussion devolves into a senseless argument between two people who’ve strayed away from logical points, it stops feeling like an actual discussion and starts feeling more like a competition.

And like any competition, the goal isn’t to come to a sensible conclusion; the goal is to score as many points as possible.

This is why heated discussions and arguments often include phrases like, “Yeah, but” or “Okay but”.

Phrases like these don’t really build off of your partner’s response; it’s more about interrupting them midway through their point and finding a way to get back to what you’re talking about.

Stop thinking about winning points over your partner.

Start thinking about the real purpose of a discussion – to hear each other out.

8) Find Points They Can’t Disagree With

It feels like a nightmare just won’t agree with what you’re trying to say, even if you’re doing your best to explain it as clearly as you can.

This can be frustrating and irritating, leading to a snowball effect where eventually you’re no longer in the right mindset to continue a rational conversation at all.

So it helps to step back and pull the conversation backward.

If a person won’t stop disagreeing with you, then one surefire way to get them on your side is to reorient the conversation and make it about a point that they simply can’t disagree with.

Essentially, you have to work your way back until you find common ground with each other, and then start rebuilding from there.

This person needs to realize that they can relate with you on something before you ever have a chance of convincing them of anything else.

9) Stay Neutral

When a person is trying to aggravate you, you lose and they win the moment you show that you’re aggravated.

In this day and age of trolling – both online and in the real world – some people just exist to pester everyone else.

It doesn’t matter what they have to do to do it; all they want to see is that they’ve ruined someone else’s day.

So why give them the satisfaction?

Stay neutral, stay rational, stay logical.

Don’t let your emotions flare up and take over the conversation because that’s exactly what they’re trying to trigger you to do.

Don’t forget your points and your values, and they’ll feel like they’re just wasting their time sooner or later.

10) Decide If This Is Even Worth It

You’ve done everything you can to convince them of your arguments.

You know that what you’re saying is objectively correct, and continuing to disagree or counter at this point is simply just to defy you, nothing else.

You could continue going on all day, trying to find different ways to convince this person of your point, sure.

Or you could just say to hell with it and go on with your day.

Ask yourself – is this a fight I even want to have?

Is this person worth my time, and is this discussion worth my time?

Too often we get wrapped up in hours-long debates with people who mean nothing to us.

Don’t let this person sap your energy for their own amusement, and don’t convince yourself that they’re doing this for any reason other than just to amuse themselves; amusing themselves at your growing distress and annoyance.

You don’t always have to deal with people who are standing in your way. Sometimes the easiest and healthiest thing you can do is simply walk around them and move on.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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