Think back to when you have had a baseless, futile argument with someone. Who wins a baseless argument? The person who doesn’t listen to the other side. The person who does listen to the other gets so caught up in the other person’s arguments that he believes some of it, tries to argue with some of it and gets lost in intellectualizing rather than winning. Crude as it sounds, it is true. A baseless argument is won more by sticking to your stand no matter what the contention of the opposite person, rather than actively trying to win it with logic.

Your ROCD only likes to argue with you. And it wins because of precisely this reason. The internal dialogue that you have with your ROCD or Kay is something like this. 

Kay: What if you don’t love your partner anymore? 

You: No, I do. 

Kay: Why do you feel bored when you talk to her then? 

You: Uhm…does it mean I don’t love her? 

Kay: Also, isn’t that girl in your office prettier? 

You: Err…that is true. You have a point.

The more you intellectualize, the lesser you believe in the relationship because Kay can present an endless number of reasons. As the German proverb goes, one fool may ask more questions than seven wise men can answer. So, you cannot answer all of Kay’s questions anyway. This rumination may lead to further compulsions like checking, lashing out, self-reassurance, etc. Kay wins. 

Now consider a different conversation with your ROCD or Kay:

Kay: What if you don’t love your partner anymore? 

You: Umm…maybe. I don’t care, I’m not leaving her. 

Kay: But you feel bored when you talk to her. 

You Yes, I do. I don’t care. I’m not leaving her. 

Kay: Also, don’t you find the other girl in office prettier?

You: Yes, I do. But so what? I’m not leaving my girlfriend.

In this conversation, you refuse to take the bait. Whatever Kay is throwing at you, you are deftly evading by merely agreeing with Kay’s words without agreeing with the meaning of the words. You are in effect de-fanging your ROCD by not letting the catastrophic scenarios painted by Kay get to you. You are choosing not to engage, no matter how real the fears seem. You are thus not only winning the argument but if you handle every attack by your ROCD in this manner, you will eventually even win your war with ROCD. This is how you can use bullheadedness to win arguments with your ROCD. 

In the next chapter, we shall look at another way to respond to your ROCD.