How To Argue With A Psychopath

I was watching a video the other day and it mentioned how psychopaths are so common in our world.

And I thought about how much I would hate for someone to be taken for a ride by these types of people. Especially someone who has no experience with them.

So I decided to write up on how to handle a confrontations with psychopaths. Specifically, if you’re in a rough situation where you already find yourself engaging with them.

And I’m using the term psychopath loosely in this post. It can be replaced with sociopath, abusive relative, disgruntled feminist, whomever the shoe fits.

But before I get started, I want to point out the greatest tactic there is-

Don’t Engage

This will be the only point that is obvious. But I know that not everyone will follow through with this tip.

The best thing to do is walk away and figure out how to never see this person again. Because these people are the most toxic of people.

(Things are always uglier behind closed doors.)

Not to mention arguing with anyone, much less the crazies, is a fruitless endeavor. Save yourself the trouble and never assume that this person is your problem to handle.

That being said, I’ve found myself in arguments with these types of people more than I should. Intentionally and unintentionally.

And here’s my advice:

Stand Your Ground

These engagements are hardly ever pleasant, and for good reason. They always try to control the conversation.

From my experience, let them talk. Really listen to what comes out of their mouth. But in no way should you let any of their words affect you.

I’ll get to why in a moment.

Eventually you’ll say something and question them. But know this – Although they hear you, they will not listen. Your words will not be acknowledged, unless you apply pressure.

What this means is that you will firmly repeat your statement until they give you a proper response.

Here’s an example:

(You) Why did you steal all the lollipops?

(Them) Well you know that the lollipops are also-

(You) -No. Why did you steal all the lollipops?

(Them) Sometimes don’t you thin-

(You) WHY did YOU STEAL?

(Them) Steal what?

(You) WHY did YOU STEAL the lollipops?

You have to firmly repeat yourself because they will try to change the subject, play dumb, and even pretend not to hear you.

You might think it’s crazy anyone would behave this way, but you’d be surprised. There are a lot of psychos out there.

But you have to stand your ground and interrupt them whenever they try to throw you off course. Repeat yourself without any feelings of frustration. Be calm and let them manifest frustration. Because –

They Don’t Give Straight Answers

Their goal is to make you submit to them. This means that they will completely disregard your words to control the frame of the conversation.

No. You must be hard-headed. Keep calm, repeat yourself, and interrupt them until you get your answer.

But won’t that anger them?

You’re damn right it will. And you’re going to use that against them.

But remember what I said earlier, always listen to what they’re really saying. And if they refuse to answer your question, say this:

“Fine. Don’t talk to me.”

Immediately after you say that, they’ll jump back to their point in the conversation. No. That’s when you interrupt and stand your ground:

“No!” and resume your control “WHY …?”.

Not only will they eventually give you a proper, bullshit answer, but they will also-

Start A Tantrum

At this point you’ve proven yourself to be formidable.

Yes, seriously. People are very unlikely to get this far when dealing with any type of psycho. Because by forcing them to answer your question. They’ve submitted.

And they don’t like that. So in response, they will start yelling at you.

Always listen to what they say. But don’t take it seriously. Instead, while they’re yelling at you say this:

“Why are you yelling at me?”


Likely, they’ll say “Because you’re not listening”. Which is a stupid thing to say, because you only have to remind them that you repeated yourself several times before they finally answered your question.

Whatever their excuse is, respond: “That’s no reason to yell at me”.

Regardless, hold your ground and repeat whatever you have to repeat. Sooner or later they’ll try to appeal to your softer side. To which I say-

Give It Back To Them

At this point, this person is trying to use your emotions against you. Specifically guilt and shame via sob stories, guilt trips, etc.

But here’s a thing about guilt and shame. They are tools used by others to control you and your actions.

Does this person own you? No.

Do they respect you? Clearly not. They’re trying to control you and what you do.

So whatever sob story they give you, turn it all around and give it back to them. They won’t know what hit them.

How could I?! How could you! How could you …!

Not because they have zero sense of guilt or shame in the first place. But because, if you’ve been listening to them this entire time, then you know everything they say is contradictory. You can use their entire dialogue against them. Let out your inner actor (bullshit them too). Speaking of their dialogue-

Believe Nothing They Say

Every single word that comes out of this person’s mouth has been a lie. A bluff. Outright deception.

One of the craziest things you’ll experience is standing in front of one of these people unshaken. With an expressionless demeanor. Ignoring all of the empty noise that comes out of a person’s mouth, because you know all of it is lies. Feeling nothing because they want you to feel everything.

These high-functioning psychos have built their way with words their entire lives. You wouldn’t be wrong to think that if they spoke the truth it would rot out their teeth.

Because whatever they say – intentions, desires, explanations, their emotions – is simply not true. Listen to each and every word they say. But take none of it to heart.

And so you don’t go on some truth hunt:

The only thing you find underneath lies, are more lies. The truth is lost.

But you aren’t.

Get Away

It takes a special kind of person to push this far into immorality or amorality. This person has no truths surrounding them.

If you’ve ever seen the show Breaking Bad, then Walter White is a great example of this type of person. But at least Walter White still had humanity left in him at the very end.

Or maybe you’ve seen House of Cards. Although Frank Underwood’s mindset and ability to keep calm under pressure is admirable. It’s obvious that he’s missing huge chunks of what makes him human.

They’re what I call psychos. And if you ever come across them, my tips will help you endure their more aggressive interactions.

But if you’re surrounded by people like this already. Get out.

Because life will only improve. You just have to leave. And it’s okay to be afraid. But I guarantee you that in this scenario – it’s better to choose the devil you don’t know.

And if you come across a person who’s been around these types of people for too long. Do them a favor and tell them this:

You are a good person.

Because who knows how long someone else has wrongfully told them otherwise.

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