Do you like a bit of argie bargie?

Hey, here’s Sunday’s column, hope you enjoy.

Hands up if you like a good fight? Or rather, fists up if you like a good fight. Arguments happen, right? But as all great philosophers/defending attorneys say, it’s how you deal with them that counts. So, what kind of arguer are you?

Are you a Sulker, a Huffer, a Sigher, a Door Slammer, an Arm-crosser, a Foot-stomper or a Crier? There are also The Shouters, The Peacemakers and The Subject Changers. And let’s not forget The Throwers. This particular brand of arguer fascinates me. I’m not really a Thrower myself, anymore. Back in the nineties I remember a fight I had with a boyfriend. We were mid-argument and I was busy taking off my boots, so I threw one at my bedroom wall out of pure drunken anger and frustration. It was back when those enormous clodhoppers with thick, solid wooden heels were in fashion, and it took a huge chunk of plaster out of the wall and sent a long crack seeping around the rest of the room. It was particularly devastating a year later, when I moved out and lost my entire deposit over it. I’ve never thrown anything since.

The guy who sits behind me at work is a Thrower. A while back he and his wife were having a bit of a screaming match when, trying to punctuate a particularly angry point, he threw his coffee mug against the wall. The handle snapped off, but it must have been pretty sturdy otherwise, because the mug simply bounced right off the wall and flew back at him and hit him hard, right in the face. The argument ended immediately. Show me one person on this planet who can maintain an angry face when the person they’re arguing with gets hit in the mug with their own mug.

Then there are The Grudge Holders, The Hissy Fitters and The Revenge Seekers. You really don’t want to get involved with any of these, particularly a Revenge Seeker. Unless you have the rare ability to sleep with one eye open, and you always remember to check under the hood.

The problem comes in a relationship when your arguing styles aren’t compatible. Like when two Throwers get together. First of all, your insurance premiums are going to be huge, and at some point you’ll have to stop buying breakables. And nobody wants to spend the rest of their lives eating off paper and plastic, there’s nothing glamorous about that.

You need one Thrower and one Peacemaker in a relationship for things to really work out. Or a Thrower and a Sulker, that can work too. But get two Sulkers together and they can go years, even decades, without talking to each other. It’s a delicate balance that you must get right if you want a peaceful household. Unless you both like to argue. But that’s another story. We all know those couples. The ones who seem to get off on bickering.

Then there are those people who are impossible to argue with. You can try pick a fight with them all you want, but you won’t get anywhere, it’s not very satisfying at all. Stoners for one. They’ll just stare up at you vacantly from the couch with a dumb smile on their face, and carry on eating chips. Or they’ll tell you to chill out, dude. Which is possibly one of the worst things you can say to someone in the middle of an argument. There is nothing about the comment ‘chill out’ or ‘relax, man!’ that makes the person on the other side of it feel even vaguely chilled out or relaxed, ever. Quite the opposite really.

Shruggers and Avoiders aren’t great to argue with either, and neither are Hoarders. They’re the ones who remember things you did wrong as far back as the ark. They store up all your past transgressions and pull them out of some kind of bionic mental filing cabinet decades later during an argument, and beat you over the head with them. You can rarely win an argument with a Hoarder.

Ultimately, no matter what your fighting style is, unless you’re winning, arguing really isn’t all that much fun. So why the hell do we do it? For the make-up sex, maybe?


One response to “Do you like a bit of argie bargie?”

  1. I once dated a Into-Stone-Turner, which irritated me (Shouter/Foot-Stomper/Crier) so much at times that it almost turned me into a thrower. Luckily the only thing always handy were my champagne glasses. They are so beautiful that I could always stop myself mid-throw. Ever since I have only bought beautiful glasses and tableware – they are good peacemakers!

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