Contrary Conversationalists: High Frequency COIF

I originally coined the term COIF (contrary opinion indifferent to fact) because I worked with a couple traders whose life mission centered around “fading” others.  Every time they were presented with an idea they would quickly produce a counterargument.  Bullish and bearish ideas were panned with equal veracity.  I always thought they were just dicks, turns out they were simply contrarian to everything.  In a casual conversation, even one which they agreed with the central premise, they’d point out a flaw or a raise a contradictory argument.  Come to think of it, maybe they were dicks.

Turns out there are others like this.  I stumbled on an article by Gretchen Rubin who not only wrote about the phenomenon, but also gave it a name: oppositional conversational style.  People with oppositional conversational style just disagree with absolutely everything you say.  They’re like high frequency COIFs:

A person with oppositional conversational style is a person who, in conversation, disagrees with and corrects whatever you say. He or she may do this in a friendly way, or a belligerent way, but this person frames remarks in opposition to whatever you venture.

I noticed this for the first time in a conversation with a guy a few months ago. We were talking about social media, and before long, I realized that whatever I’d say, he’d disagree with me. If I said, “X is important,” he’d say, “No, actually, Y is important.” For two hours. And I could tell that if I’d said, “Y is important,” he would’ve argued for X. I saw this style again, in a chat with friend’s wife who, no matter what casual remark I made, would disagree. “That sounds fun,” I observed. “No, not at all,” she answered. “That must have been really difficult,” I said. “No, for someone like me, it’s no problem,” she answered. Etc.

Since those conversations, I’ve noticed this phenomenon several times.

Read the rest here: Ever Been Stuck in an “I’m Right; You’re Wrong” Conversation?

via Boing Boing

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