Talking To A Contrarian

The first rule of conversing with a contrarian is learning why they are the way they are.

For most of us, being countered in an opposing way leads to us getting our hackles up or even shutting down. But often, the contrarian person might just want to harmlessly engage in conversation or better understand you.


How To Talk To A Contrarian (Without Getting Into A Fight)

  • The competitor contrarian may just be naturally competitive. Others might be working out past hurts in their interactions with you or they might actually be invested in one-upping you.
  • Gadfly contrarians. At their best, this person will bring up interesting counterpoints, forcing you to go just a little deeper than you otherwise would.
  • The left brain contrarian operates primarily from their logical brain. They don't mean to turn a casual chat in a debate, but their observant nature does.


Some effiecient ways to talk to a contrarian without losing your cool:

  • In the moment, tell the person how it makes you feel when they try to override your opinion or feelings on an issue;
  • If you’ve already stated how the behavior makes you feel and your contrarian has acknowledged and sympathized with that and still plays devil’s advocate, call them out on it;
  • Change the subject, state you don’t wish to play the devil’s advocate game, or state how you prefer the conversation to go.


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