Social Question

digitalimpression's avatar

Why do people antagonize?

Asked by digitalimpression (9915points) September 9th, 2011
26 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

In general, as stated.

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filmfann's avatar

What’s it to you, wanker?

King_Pariah's avatar

Some of us are sadistic bastards

HungryGuy's avatar


Berserker's avatar

The cromagnons clubbed the neanderthals to death and then ate them raw. We’re of that stock.

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s much easier than protagonizing. Frankly, I wouldn’t even know how to protagonize. Or if it’s even possible.

jrpowell's avatar

I had a grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight.

digitalimpression's avatar

Everyone is welcome to actually answer as well, rather than just antagonizing. I’m not curious as to what it is. God knows I have plenty of examples on this site already. =)

Berserker's avatar

I wasn’t antagonizing. Trying to say that, it seems to be in our nature. I was just trying to be funny about it, because otherwise it’s depressing to think about.

King_Pariah's avatar

Well, some of us are sadistic bastards.

gailcalled's avatar

As G*d is my witness, antagonize demands a direct object. Unlike the cheese, it can’t stand alone.

digitalimpression's avatar

@Symbeline Why is it depressing? It’s just human psychology. I’m just curious about the psychology of it I suppose. It’s just an odd human behavior, one that I’d like to understand better.

dreamwolf's avatar

They hate themselves and how happy other people are and assume everyone is naive and they are correct they know why they are unhappy.

Cruiser's avatar

You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the flick do you think you’re talking to?

Berserker's avatar

Well in my opinion, people function on their survival instinct, and what drives that is fear, or at least, fear is the motivation. Although fear is really simple, it seems to web off in so many directions that no longer include tigers eating us, not in these modern societies. But it’s still there in the form of social status and all, and it seems that people mostly act out of fear, no matter how long winded it draws itself out. Maybe a bully fucks people up, to make sure nobody fucks him up. Stuff like that.

Although perhaps desire and greed are responsible for what I think drive people, I’m not entirely sure, nor will I ever probably know, but that’s what I think about it, anyways. Either way it’s related to our will to live.

Then again, most people just wanna lead happy lives and be normal. So I denno what I’m talking about. My answer was rooted in something way too universal to properly approach the subject, but I still think it’s man’s nature to fuck up his fellow man. Why, well as I say, got my thoughts, but I ain’t making any kinda statement out of em.

boxer3's avatar


gailcalled's avatar

This question, as written, makes no linguistic sense.

“Why are people antagonistic?” works.

“Why do people antagonize?” does not.

“Why do some people enjoy antagonizing other people?” also works.

digitalimpression's avatar

@gailcalled Thanks. I’ll put that in my notes.

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: When I was younger, I was friends with a family of seven kids. They would fight and refer to it as “instigating” as in, “Mom, Eileen is instigating.”

I think some people are antagonistic because they have not much going on in their lives, and so by starting arguments with others, it gets a rise out of them, gives them a little excitement in their sad lives.

jca (36059points)“Great Answer” (1points)
woodcutter's avatar

Because it’s fun, that’s why.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@boxer3 I think gave you a good answer.

It can be validating to a person who lacks control over large portions of their life to get an emotional response out of someone else. It proves they exist somehow. They matter.

Now I am going to wait awhile and say something to antagonize you because everybody else made it look fun.

gailcalled's avatar

@jca: I like that. It is a family meme and, as such, funny and clear.

digitalimpression's avatar

Perhaps I should have just posted in the general section. I’m a slow learner. Thank you, those couple that gave an answer. =)

Oh, and to the grammar police out there. English is my second language, so I apologize if I say “ain’t” and use nouns for verbs, and plethora of other things that don’t really matter. sch as mst vwls, wht gd r thy?

Earthgirl's avatar

Some people just have really easy buttons to push and they have lots of them. These people are easy to antagonize. You don’t even have to try to antagonize them and they are all over you.

Some people enjoy a good verbal spar. Aggression has been shown to stimulate the reward centers of the brain, similar to sex. It has to do with dopamine response.

Others just have a driving need to always be right. They just can’t let it go when they don’t get someone to agree with them and say that they are right. I guess we’ve all been guilty of this at one time or another. It depends how invested you are in the issue, how strongly you feel about it. If you think it matters to change someone’s mind you will try harder to push your point of view, perhaps thinking you will “enlighten” them. So they may not be trying to antagonize but, by continually driving their point home, they can create an antagonistic response.

Some people take it personally when you disagree with them even if you are respectful in your disagreement. They fight back. In this case they feel they are aggressive in order to defend themselves and their point of view, or to address what they see as a personal insult. I find that I can understand this when someone was unreasonably rude or insulting in the way they disagreed or stated their viewpoint. But hey, it’s a free world and people don’t always have to be nice about it when they disagree. Angry words step up the antagonistic nature of people’s responses.

Also, thumbing your nose at someone contemptuously will get them instantly antagonistic. Probably has to do with dominance behaviors. It signals derision. I believe there is a verbal equivalent to nose-thumbing. We all know it when we see it and respond accordingly.

gailcalled's avatar

@digitalimpression: First, second or third language, your English is essentially elegant and idiomatic. Why not continue to refine your use of it?

Remember this? My mind was closed. It is now open.

It matters only if you want to polish your use of written English. I certainly do and love to learn new things about my language. However, if you are offended, I apologize.

digitalimpression's avatar

@gailcalled I simply wasn’t interested in a grammar correction at the moment. I, too, agree that improving and learning more about a language is a good thing. However, your answer had nothing to do with the topic and it felt like I had posed this question in a 3rd grade classroom rather than an open forum of intelligent adults.

mazingerz88's avatar

Depends. If they are antagonistic for no reason, pick between just plain meanness and mental imbalances. If there is a calculated reason, method to their madness cliche, be more wary because that’s manipulation.

As an example of the latter ( or maybe both ) if you saw Newt Gingrich in the GOP debates, you will notice he was antagonistic towards the questioner, accusing them of making the Republican candidates fight themselves when they shouldn’t be. ( It’s a debate for God’s sake! )

But see, he’s manipulating the audience into thinking any of them is worthy of being President, therefore He could be President. They’re all equals. He is as credible as Romney and Perry were. Which of course isn’t. There’s smart antagonizing for yah.

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