This question doesn't fit because the excuses/rebuttals may be valid, the point is the responder will immediately set about looking for them and doesn't really care if they're fixable obstacles or not. The purpose of the responder is to either defend their current fatalism or to use the statement as grounds to attack the speaker.

People who play the psychological game "Why don't you... Yes but..."

Possible examples include:

  • the famous "Can miners learn to code?" article taken as a sign of flippancy towards the miners and working class in general - the difficulties/rightness of a training program took a backseat to discussions of the journalist's attitude.
  • Any statement a politician makes on social media.

Example would be:

person-1: "X is so hard"

person-2: "Hey if you're struggling with X I found it useful to do A, B and C :)"

person-1: "Wow thanks a lot(!) We can't all get given A, B and C by our rich parents, out here in the real world (which you're obviously not a part of) there's one A per 10000 people, all the Bs are broken, and C hates me. Not to mention I'm already struggling to do D, E and F but sure yeah let me just go and magic A, B and C out of thin air."

person-2: (disengaging) "This is < missing phrase >"

  • 3
    Please add an example sentence showing how the expression would be used. As the question stands, many terms could be suggested: "It's like hitting your head against a brick wall" ... 'dismiss out of hand' ... 'shut down the debate ... 'Ad hominem' ...? // Also, requests for foreign expressions that are not assimilated into the English lexicon are strictly verboten. Feb 8, 2020 at 12:56
  • 1
    – GoodDeeds
    Feb 8, 2020 at 14:39
  • 1
    As Wittgenstein put it, "wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen." Feb 8, 2020 at 17:37
  • Fall on deaf ears.
    – RegDwigнt
    Feb 14, 2020 at 23:01
  • "Like talking to a (brick) wall" is sometimes used.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 16, 2020 at 2:18

2 Answers 2


person-2: (disengaging) "This is < missing phrase >"

This is futile ?

Futile - adjective - having no purpose because there is no chance of success

Source - Oxford Learner's Dictionaries

The phenomenon I believe you're describing is referred to as being obstinate:

Obstinate - adjective - 1: stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion

Source - Merriam-Webster


Jaded resignation

As in, "I used to explain the outcomes of alternative potential policies in the context of attempting to persuade others' toward my political views, but now I bite my lip in jaded resignation."

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