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Routinely, people who don't like what they hear will trivialize it by saying things like, "Well, that's one opinion," or, "I understand that's how you feel," or, "That's OK, you'll understand someday."

Trivialization by idiosyncrasy.

I need a verb. I'm tempted to coin "idiosync" or the more cumbersome "idiosyncratize" as a neologism, but if there's already a word or very short term in use, I'd rather use that.

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    This has been prematurely closed. The so-called duplicates, although thorough, do not cover all relevant possibilities. I can think of at least three simple alternatives worth discussing.
    – Anton
    Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 18:17
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    It is much more common for this response to be a de-escalation than a trivialization. Someone who says this to you almost certainly simply doesn't want to argue with you, and rather than present you with a countering view that they can tell will probably irrationally enrage you, they choose to fall back on categorizing the dispute as a matter of opinion.
    – tbrookside
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 12:11
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    What is a good word to describe someone who is talking down to you and thinks your decisions are wrong? gives 'patronising' and 'condescending'; verbs are related. There are many questions looking at belittling the person speaking rather than the statement. Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 15:13
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    I disagree with putting all three examples in the same basket. The first two are a polite way of saying "I disagree, but I do not want to discuss this issue with you, nor do I want to have a meta-discussion about why I don't want to discuss this with you", whereas the final one is just rude and condescending and basically means "You're too young/inexperienced to understand my explanation, so I won't bother".
    – Heinzi
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 11:52

10 Answers 10

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The perfect adjective here is "dismissive". But you asked for a verb, so I would have to offer "dismiss", although it is not nearly as precise as "dismissive".

to dismiss, verb: to decide that something or someone is not important and not worth considering (Cambridge)

According, to Collins, "If you dismiss something, you decide or say that it is not important enough for you to think about or consider."

dismissive, adj.: serving to dismiss or reject someone or something : having or showing a disdainful attitude toward someone or something regarded as unworthy of serious attention (Merriam-Webster)

According to Cambridge, if you're being dismissive, you are "showing that you do not think something is worth considering"

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I can only add to the debate (either here or in previously closely related questions) rather than providing any definitive answer.

One candidate is belittle

Cambridge
belittle:
to make a person or an action seem as if he, she or it is not important

Another is downplay

Cambridge
downplay:
to make something seem less important or less bad than it really is

And lastly we have patronizing

Cambridge
patronizing:
to speak to or behave towards someone as if they are stupid or not important

Any of these alternatives suggests trivialising the person or their opinion. However, it is the manner and context of doing so that may be idiosyncratic (tone of voice, facial expression, body language), rather the words used.

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  • Good ones. Thanks! Those are more general than what I'd like, but they hit the same nail on the head. Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 16:07
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This is a bit more general than what you requested, but you could say that you wrote it off as an idiosyncrasy. Collins defines "write off" as:

If you write someone or something off, you decide that they are unimportant or useless and that they are not worth further serious attention.

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  • That's actually a good one. "Don't write it off as idiosyncrasy." Nice! Best suggestion so far! Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 16:05
15

Perhaps you mean patronize.

patronize, v.
6. a. transitive. To assume an air of superiority towards; to treat or speak about (a person, etc.) condescendingly, esp. with apparent indulgence or kindness.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary (login required)

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    Certainly patronizing is what the speaker is doing, but there are many ways the speaker might do that. I don't think either of these convey what OP wants - patronizing the other's POV by specifically calling attention to the fact that it is idiosyncratic to them.
    – Kirt
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 3:34
  • @Kirt — I think indulgence is the key word there... There, there; you do you. [I’ll accommodate your idiosyncrasies.] Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 3:52
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I should point out that idiosyncratize isn't really an English word - but it's a trivially-derived1 coinage that has been used (also with BrE spelling) a few times in print. Having said that, I don't think it really matches OP's context very well.

Better alternatives include belittle and trivialise, but an airy dismissal (of someone airily dismissed) might be a useful expression here.


1 Someone is supposed to comment "I see what you did there! Airily dismissing his coinage as trivially-derived belittles the OP and/or his question!"


EDIT: So far as I can see, all answers here are simply concerned with the act of according no weight to someone's views.

None of them seem to address OP's request to somehow convey that the reason for ignoring someone's opinion is that he is the only person who thinks that. Even saying That's just your opinion doesn't necessarily imply ...which no-one else shares.

Personally I don't think there are any useful idiomatic expressions to convey what OP wants to say. When speaker is actually discounting addressee, he might explicitly say That's just a peculiar attitude of yours. Or we might describe the action using He dismissed John's opinion as an individual quirk. But that's all just using "normal English". The sentiment OP seeks to convey is simply too precise and obscure to have become encapsulated in an idiomatic expression.

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  • Certainly belittling and trivializing is what the speaker is doing, but there are many ways the speaker might do that. I don't think either of these convey what OP wants - belittling the other's POV by specifically calling attention to the fact that it is idiosyncratic to them.
    – Kirt
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 3:33
  • "There's always one", he sighed. Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 11:17
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    "Trivialize" is probably the best fit. I bet there is no more-precise term that specifically means "dismiss as autobiographical trivia."
    – Tom
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 18:32
  • "Idiosyncratize" would nail it, but I'd never come across it in print. I guess I never did a Google search on it, lol. Now I feel much freer to use it and the less-of-a-mouthful "idiosync" in informal settings. It doesn't matter if someone thinks it's "trivially-derived" or not. It's used. Usage over time takes any trivially-derived word and makes it non-trivial, so "trivially-derived" would just be to fall to the "bandwagon fallacy" that Kirt mentioned. It's exactly what I was after, actually. Thanks! Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 17:27
  • @MillardJMelnyk: It's up to you, but I'd advise against using idiosyncratise for your intended meaning. You certainly won't normally be understood without adding anther sentence or two to explain it. Granted, belittle, trivialise, [airly] dismiss, etc., don't particularly imply that the reason for disregarding someone else's opinion is because they are the only person who thinks that. But imho that's a rather peculiar implication to wish to convey unless you're really going to put the boot in. In which case, do it explicitly with, say, Nobody else would ever think that! Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 17:36
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This is called discounting someone's words.

For this particular verb meaning, the stress belongs on the second syllable (unlike the noun meanings and other verb meanings for discount).

Merriam Webster (entry 2 of 3):

discount
dis·​count (di-ˈskau̇nt)
transitive verb

discounted; discounting; discounts
1 - 2: (irrelevant)
3a: to leave out of account or consideration : DISREGARD
    discount the possibility that the situation may worsen
    its effect cannot be entirely discounted

3b: to minimize the importance of

My own example might be:

Kids tend to discount their parents' advice; on average they are more receptive to those they think will advise more disinterestedly.

Note: while M-W shows both first syllable and second syllable stress for the 2nd entry of 'discount', other dictionaries such as Collins make clear that this meaning of the verb is stressed in the second syllable.

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  • Yes, discount is another common verb for the act of summarily dismissing someone's opinion. But as with (virtually?) all alternatives, it carries no significant implication that the person whose view were discounted is the only person who thinks that. OP's speaker might discount many dissenting voices all saying the same thing - for any number of different reasons (perhaps he thinks they're all stupid, or they all have the same built-in bias regarding the matter in contention). Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 17:43
  • I see what you mean. That aspect was more in the title and not in the body of the question. Anomalize? Hare-brained-ize? :D
    – ErikE
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 19:10
  • Actually, I think you're wrong to say that stress can fall on the first syllable and still have the same ignore, accord no weight to sense. So far as I'm concerned, discount (verb or noun) always alludes to reduction from normal selling price. Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 20:13
  • I always thought it was the second syllable, but M-W showed the first syllable as valid, and I figured, who am I to argue with the history books?
    – ErikE
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 21:42
  • I see/hear only the "first syllable stressed" version under M-W's precisely relevant definition here for the noun. Their second definition (for the verb) has both pronunciations, but imho that's because they've collapsed two definitions into one there (1 - to make a DEDUCTION = discount, 3 - to leave out of account or consideration : DISREGARD = discount). But arguably people make "mistakes" that eventually become "acceptable". Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 11:46
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A general term (with a bit of a psychological flavor) is to invalidate. As the derivation suggest, it's to treat someone's concern/feeling/whatever as being invalid.

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    Devalue might be more apposite than invalidate
    – user20637
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 20:03
  • Yes, those are both accurate, devalue is apt, but still, too general for what I need. There are many ways to invalidate and devalue. If this one wasn't so prevalent and recurrent, I wouldn't bother, but it keeps coming up over and over again. Obviously, I need to find a better crowd, lol. Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 16:02
  • I learned it in exactly that context; a psychologist gave us a word for why a toxic leader was making us all feel so bad. :-)
    – adam.baker
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 16:54
0
  • "You are just channeling your [insert emotion, taste, role, disorder]!"

  • "Now you are just being the [sore loser, spoiled brat etc.]!"

  • Opine may be usable in some contexts. Merriam-Webster's own example is "You may opine about anything you want", which may be meant dismissive or even belittling, e.g. when followed by "but it's my house and these are my rules."

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Disregard, dismiss, discount. I'd go for the first.

But you might perhaps be looking for gaslight.

to psychologically manipulate (a person) usually over an extended period of time so that the victim questions the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and experiences confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, and doubts concerning their own emotional or mental stability :

In your examples, I feel there's a progression - I wouldn't use the same verb for all three {but see the disclaimer at the end!}:

"Well, that's one opinion,"

this is dismissing an opinion (you think this, it's OK, I just don't care or don't want to go to war on it)

"I understand that's how you feel,"

this applies a bit more pressure on the recipient, maybe beggaring the question of why they feel like this and hinting at some problem (ignorance, or worse) - I'd say they patronize.

"That's OK, you'll understand someday."

this is even worse, as it not only dismisses the other's opinion, but actively implies that it's wrong, and its holder can't understand this just now. Also, holding the wrong opinion is "OK", which means the owner's beliefs are just irrelevant. That's disregarding, or worse.

The next logical step would be gaslighting - something to the tune of "well, of course we all know why you would believe that", actively crossing from patronizing to saying openly that the other has some sort of problem.

(Note that I'm translating to and from my mother tongue, which isn't English, and the choice is in great part a matter of feeling. Actually, choosing the verb colors the description, attributing a more and more evil intent on the speaker: a dismisser is aloof, distracted, maybe already determined otherwise and possibly for good reason; maybe they are motivated by civility, and trying to not quarrel. A disregarder is at least a bit disrespectful. A gaslighter is a manipulator).

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    Thanks for the time and care you took in answering, I appreciate it. My problem here is that I'm looking for a term that will specify a type of disregard, dismissal, discounting. (Have you ever noticed how many "dis-" words we have, lol? Must indicate the amount of experience we have with dissing.) I use "gaslighting" a lot, cuz there's so much of it to talk about. So, I'm looking for "golden delicious" not just "apple". I've settled on "idiosync" (v) for now, as in, "Don't idiosync that comment!" 😁 Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 15:59
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Dismissal is the most appropriate word I have access to in this regard. And then, you can try using the different synonyms of this word to assess its relevance.

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