Sometimes when you are fighting with a friend, family member, significant other, or a just a bad run in with your boss; you may feel compelled to make a comment under your breath regarding what has just transpired. This comment is most frequently used while walking away from the other party, or perhaps if you have no exit plan you may look down and mumble something. The latter is a much more risky approach, and is almost guaranteed to prolong the fight or possibly lose your job. We do this little tactic because we all want to have the last word in an argument. I think this is either learned or hardwired in us. The last one standing is victor, or the final word rules supreme.

It is hard to be in a fight and feel satisfied with the time you have just committed to this madness; just to let the other person get the final say. This will simply not do, if you allow such shenanigans surly the order of the universe will collapse upon itself. We need to ensure we get the final say in the argument; our weapon is making some sort of statement or comment under our breath. The goal is to say it just loud enough, so you can hear it, but not loud enough for your opponent to hear. If you misjudge your volume you may have just made the situation worse; usually the things we say under our breath we would never say to their face. In the example of your job, I would avoid this all together because you will lose your job if your boss hears you say “yea, well I just donkey punched your mom.” You will lose your job, so do yourself a favor and put pride aside on this one.

There are tactics being used today where someone will make an under the breath comment, but purposely say it loud enough for the other person to hear; then vanish like a ninja. This is a dirty trick and should be illegal during arguments. This is not the worst form of mental jiu-jitsu; sometimes the real demented perpetrators will stick around long enough to hear you say “what did you just say?” This is a rhetorical question because you know what they said you just need to hear it again. The comment to follow is “nothing.” Now you know perfectly well it was not nothing, and they know it to. They will stick with their stance of having said nothing, until you begin to question whether you heard them correctly. It is at this point you have just been mind raped and left out in the cold.

  1. I used to be one of those people who ALWAYS had to have the last word. I often prolonged arguments and debates into near infinity because I would always one-up other people’s “last word” on the issue.

    I’ve let go of this insatiable need, for the most part.

    On my blog, for example, I no longer respond to the majority of comments. I realize that I had my say in the body of the blog post. The comments section is for others to have their say without me trying to one-up each one.

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