Conversation overheard:

Her : ........ Thus, you can have X in exchange of Y. Do we have a deal?

Him : no ma'am , that doesn't sound fair. I do not wish to walk in it.

Her : Life is not fair, get used to it.

Notice, that she's trying to force a deal on him, which he does not want, and she is justifying it as "life is unfair".

But certainly he does not need to accept additional unfairness.

Word search : how would you encompass the entire attempt of trying to force a deal and justify it using overall nature of life?

A single word is sought. If that is impossible, a phrase is okay too. Thank you.

My attempt : I considered gaslighting, but it is too broad in scope, and does not quite capture the sneaky attempt to hide behind life's unfairness.

So it should be noted that I am searching a word to highlight the sneaky attempt to hide behind something unavoidable ( like life's unfairness) and the force additional unfairness on people ( like the seller here trying to enforce her proposition to the buyer who finds it unfair. She thinks because the buyer accepts life in general, he must accept additional ballast like her too)

I hope I managed to explain what I am seeking. Thank you.

  • Not a very good negotiating strategy!
    – Xanne
    Jul 13, 2022 at 8:58
  • Her argument might be called a "false analogy" or "false equivalence". I'm not sure that this is a matter of English language, though. Jul 13, 2022 at 9:05
  • Do you mean specifically a word for justifying a bad deal on the basis that life is unfair, or a more general word for trying to force someone into accepting a deal (possibly using an invalid argument)? Also do you want noun, verb, adjective, or something else?
    – Stuart F
    Jul 13, 2022 at 13:09
  • Not the best use of the phrase. 'Life isn't fair, get used to it' is more for situations where there is no real choice other than the unfair one. In a deal, presumably the other party can walk away. If what you really mean is 'you don't have the option of declining', maybe say something like that.. ?
    – Kinglish
    Jul 13, 2022 at 15:51
  • @StuartF I have not made a distinction. I'd prefer a word or phrase that can be used generally. If not, then on the basis of unfair life only is ok. A noun or a verb is ok. I don't want adjectives
    – Sean
    Jul 13, 2022 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


There are a few single words for forcing a deal on someone: railroad, coerce and steamroller come to mind. The person in your example isn't only being sneaky, she's blatantly diregarding the other person's objection and basically bullying him, so any of these would be quite applicable.

  • Agreed, but it would be helpful if you give references and examples of use for the words. Someone downvoted the question, which seems uncalled for and unhelpful, given the clarity of its expression from a newcomer to the site. I have compensated.
    – Anton
    Jul 13, 2022 at 10:06
  • Presumably it was downvoted for not fulfillng the basic requirements of a single-word request, i.e. a sample sentence. I also didn't find it particularly clear, which would be another attempt to vote it down (it's unclear what is part of the definition and what is only used as an example).
    – Stuart F
    Jul 13, 2022 at 13:08
  • Bullying is on target. Jul 13, 2022 at 13:59
  • I like coerce best in general, but the specific example seems to fit bullying best. Jul 15, 2022 at 2:13

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