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Middle-aged man still thinks about argument he lost eight years ago

if only the argument had lasted 8 years, with a year between ripostesJulian Wordsworth, a middle aged man currently residing in Surrey, has recently admitted to friends that he has become ‘consumed’ by the process of going over arguments he had a long time ago in his head, often obsessively imagining clever and pithy retorts he should have said at the time.

‘It’s beginning to get unbearable. Sometimes I can’t sleep for all the witty things I’ve missed the opportunity to say.  Now I sometimes find myself fabricating whole conversational strands just to manufacture the chance to make one of these smart remarks. I say ‘speaking of…’ when the conversation’s had nothing to do with whatever I want to make a quip on. In fact, when rehearsing these past feuds, I sometimes even imagine stupid things other people might have said, and argue against them rather smugly. It’s hard to keep up with what I’ve actually disagreed with people over! If I’ve been recalling a particularly irksome incident with a friend in the run up to seeing them again, I often find I’m unintentionally rude or unpleasant to them without knowing why, which often results in another argument, and, well, you see how the cycle perpetuates itself…’

‘The main problem though’ he concluded, ‘is that I always end these arguments in some great animated diatribe, saying something like “Well I don’t even care, anyway!!!” which feels suitably snarky and superior, until I realise I had this argument eight years ago, and several of it’s participants are now dead.’

This is perhaps not so rare and unique a case as some might like to think. Mr.Wordsworth says that he believes himself to be ‘past the point of no return’ and has settled down to the idea of being plagued with this pathological-pettiness for the remained of his life. However, he hopes that by coming forward and discussing his issue, he might help others realise the dangers such seemingly innocuous habits can have in the long run, and give them the courage to come out and talk about it too.


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Posted: Sep 20th, 2013 by Guest

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