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I have found "Whistling into the wind" online but I do not think it fits because it seems to mean that your words are not heard, whereas the opposite should mean that you're being informed by someone of a 'fact' with which you strongly disagree.

I generally respond, "you're preaching to the choir", when somebody 'vents' to me about something that I too take some issue with, which may be an evolution of the idiom used when you tell someone something they already know, rather than something they agree with.

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Banging your head against a wall is one opposite. –  John Lawler Dec 6 '13 at 21:08
My first thought is "Preaching to the wrong choir". I feel like I've heard that before, at least. –  Stephen Schrauger Dec 6 '13 at 21:15
If you're preaching to the choir, it means that you simply expressing what everyone already agrees upon. Whereas the opposite, IMO, would be if you were preaching to people who were completely apathetic and indifferent, so whistling or spitting in the wind fits quite well. –  Mari-Lou A Dec 6 '13 at 21:59
But the opposite of agreeing upon something is not being indifferent, it's disagreeing, and that's why I don't think that suggestion works well. –  JuJoDi Dec 7 '13 at 6:11

7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think casting pearls before swine is a good opposite. It means giving advice, guidance or direction to those incapable of appreciating or acting upon it.

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................Preaching to the deaf!

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You might say “You’re talking to a fence post” (ie, talking to someone who might as well not have ears), if you want to add a slight bit of humor via self-deprecation. More bluntly, you can say “Talk to the hand”. Wikipedia mentions “Talk to the hand, the ears ain’t listening” and “Talk to the hand because the face don’t understand” as variants, but it also call the phrase “quickly dated slang”.

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I think "preaching to the choir" is like selling eggs to a chicken; fitting a square peg in a round hole; raking leaves on a windy day.

The OP could say something like "selling Chinese products in Nigeria" - every average Nigerian home boasts of not less than 10 made-in-China products, including phones, radios, TVs, fans, DVDs, fancy lights, kids' toys, clothes, drinks, and films.

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I have edited your answer, but I didn't know what "gen" meant so deleted it. You can always click the "edit" button and make changes yourself :) –  nxx Apr 12 at 2:15

Almost all of the suggestions given above are pretty good.

You could also tell the person they were barking up the wrong tree or that they had {got hold of / grabbed} the wrong end of the stick if you were primarily trying to indicate that they had misunderstood your position (as opposed to directly disagreeing with it).

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I say "You're banging your head against a brick wall" or "You're wasting your breath".

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Another option might be: Leading a horse to water.

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