Read this list like one of those psychological diagnostic tests. If more than some number of symptoms are present, the diagnosis fits.
Or like a bingo card. If you’re dealing with someone who relies on at least some of the items on this list in response to your challenges, bingo! You’re probably dealing with a know-it-all, someone who doesn’t care about what’s right as much as they care about being able to pretend that they’re right.
The items on this list are all-purpose fake reasons used to support a belief. They’re fake in that they are evidence-free and content-free ways of saying, “I’m not the problem; you are.” They’re all-purpose in that one can use them to support really any belief. For the person who uses these fake reasons, claiming to be right matters more than the belief.
To engage in reasoned debate with someone who relies heavily and automatically on these fake reasons is a waste of your time and energy. They’re not receptive to challenges and rational argument. Engaging with them by supplying real reasons is likely to be enabling. It gives the impression that they’re being reasonable when they’re not.
You’re best off either exiting or focusing on their use of these tricks. If you accuse them of using them, they’ll use them more in their defense which only proves your point that they’re using them. Accusing them of using them may be the best strategy for disarming them.
And to be evenhanded, if you’re using these tricks then bingo!, you too deserve the diagnosis. You too might care less about what’s right than you care about pretending that you’re right.
All of these tricks boil down to “I know you are, but what am I?” declared without real evidence or reasons. As such, they are what little bullies do, expanded to an adult repertoire. These tricks are not rare. They’re easy to use. We learn them young. Some of us never stop using them. Some of us return to them in the stress of adult life. Some of us know better to use them since by using them one risks losing touch with reality, a dangerous prospect because reality wins in the end.