My brother (aged 21) came home just now and had this conversation with my dad:
Adam: Is there any meat in the fridge?
Adam: You mean there isn’t any at all?
Dad: No, there isn’t any. I’ve decided to stop eating meat.
Adam: What?? You’re not eating meat?
Dad: That’s right.
Dad: I’m only eating fish from now on.
Adam: Why didn’t you tell me this sooner? I would have bought some meat on the way home if I knew there wasn’t going to be any here.
Dad: I buy for myself and what I need.
Adam: So you’re saying there’s no meat in the fridge?
Dad: I don’t know! Go and look!
Adam: Jesus! All I wanted to know was if there’s meat in the fridge!
Dad: Just go and look!
Adam: You don’t have to shout at me about it! I just asked a simple question!
Dad: There’s some beef in the there. Have that.
Adam: I don’t want it! I don’t want your meat! I just asked one question, whether there was meat in the fridge, and all you had to do was answer it! You didn’t have to shout at me!
At this point I left the room. As I left, my dad said, “Do you see, Paul, what I have to put up with?” I do see, Dad. I do see. I empathise with you. Essentially, someone has entered your home and demanded food. Then, on hearing there is no food, the person ranted at you. It’s evidently unfair.
Near the end of the argument, Adam claimed he simply wanted an answer to his original question – “Is there any meat in the fridge?” Ironically, my dad gave an answer (“no”) the first time my brother asked, as well as on several other times. My brother didn’t like being shouted at, so he defended himself by making himself the victim. He said that all he ever wanted was a simple yes or no answer, but my dad gave such answers, repeatedly, throughout the conversation. I think Adam makes himself the victim in every argument.
At the end, my brother became sulky, and refused my dad’s offer of beef, which I suppose my dad was planning to eat tomorrow.
Not to mention that my brother was only a few steps away from the fridge, and could have easily looked inside it, as my dad suggested.
I find it sad when my dad is abused like this. My brother also receives unfair abuse from my dad, though. Recently, he cooked my brother a dinner. He repeatedly told my brother to eat it, even though he hadn’t asked for it. It ended with my brother refusing to eat it at all.
Adam is unwinnable in an argument because he simply exhausts his opponent. He becomes increasingly angry and self-righteous until all you want to do is leave the room. And he will always, always manage to make himself out to be the victim. Thankfully I have learned to stay out of all of this. I have a policy now that I will not join an argument.