This occasionally happens when I’m debating someone. I never disagree just to disagree, unless the person is acting particularly high and mighty, and I feel like point out that, yes, there are other opinions out there. However, there are occasions where I simply disagree with everything the other person is saying. I’m not trying to play devil’s advocate, but that’s how I can come off. It’s at times like these where I’m often accused of “being argumentative.”
And I think “Well, yeah. We’re arguing.”
What it really is is code for “I don’t want to argue anymore.” This happens most often when I’m debating political issues with my girlfriend. I make no secret about loving to discuss politics, and I tend to have very strong opinions – but Lisa doesn’t have anywhere near the same political stamina as me. And even though we agree on most things, she’s also more likely to see a common ground (or I’ll see a common ground and disagree!). As you can imagine, this leads to many frustrating exchanges where I feel I’m not communicating my point, and Lisa feels I’m being too close-minded.
In a way the “being argumentative” argument is brilliant because you feel like you should disagree, but at the same time there’s no way to really deny it. It’s different from ad hominem (a.g. “You’re being mean!”) in that it is pointing out a truth rather than being insulting; I want to continue arguing when the other person doesn’t, point of fact. Lisa has used it to successfully end debates on several occasions, and for that I must commend her. Sometimes I need a reminder that I have an abnormal amount of zeal when it comes to political topics.
It’s saved a few of our evenings, I’ll tell you that!