published Jan 29, 2011, last modified Jun 26, 2013

What your interlocutor really means when he deflects, attacks or becomes irrational in a conversation with you.

My beliefs are mostly false and, if you bring true and rational and empirical arguments to my belief, they're all going to fall down. So you overwhelm me, and I experience this as extremely intrusive -- it's like a bull on a china shop, or like a strong wind to a house of cards. I am very fragile, and I don't want to look at the irrationality of my beliefs, but if you bring rationality I am going to have to do that, and therefore I experience you as intrusive.

Think about that every time you are presenting difficult arguments to someone, and that person turns around and attacks you, starts fogging, deflects or tries to change the subject.