Assay: I’m always looking for patterns in people’s actions and temperament. You know that old joke? “The world is divided into two groups: people who divide the world into two groups, and people who don’t.” I’m definitely in the first category.
I love learning about patterns, such as the “service heart,” and I get a tremendous thrill whenever I manage to identify some new pattern myself. Abstainers and moderators. Over-buyers and under-buyers. Alchemists and leopards.
Here’s a new phenomenon I’ve tentatively identified: oppositional conversational style.
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.
But I do recognize that to be on the receiving end of the oppositional conversational style—to have someone keep telling you that you’re wrong, over and over—is not pleasant.
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