Talk About Marriage banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Wasn't sure if this belonged in the social spot or the politics/religion forum...guess we'll see.

So a friend and I had a discussion/argument today about the most effective way to change people's minds (can be political, social, or any other context). Without going into too much detail, we talked about how much discussion, logic, and debate is productive, and what one should do (if anything) in turn if they feel powerless at changing others' minds.

Questions in order:

  1. When was the last time you genuinely changed your mind or were convinced of a deep belief that you did not previously hold?
  2. If affirmative, was this due to someone else's argument/advertisement/what have you, or a personal life experience? If neither, what happened?
  3. What, if anything, do you think is the best way to change someone's mind? (I'm purposefully leaving "best" vague and up to debate.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I guess I should add that one of us was more "pro arguments" and the other was more "pro life-experiences", for context of the discussion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,096 Posts
1) Recently

2) Combination of both...and some hard introspection.

3) Hard to say...I'm not even sure it's worth the effort most times.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,419 Posts
I can be swayed by facts.
I can be stayed by emotion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cynthia and fto0293

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,096 Posts
Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, talks alot about persuasion. Not sure if he's an actual expert in the subject, but it's interesting nonetheless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,640 Posts
Law/Graduate School had some great profs who were absolute masters of legal theory and presentation!

Just have one of them force you to academically take a stand on some controversial viewpoint other than your own!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,395 Posts
I find that things I believe either get stronger or weaker depending on life experiences and what I see and hear around.
Re my faith and my political beliefs, my beliefs have got stronger over the years. Nothing has happened that has led me to change my mind or alter my course. Plenty has happened that has shown me that its the right course.

As for changing someone else's mind, is that for us to do?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24,996 Posts
It is futile to argue for the sake of changing the other person’s opinion. And, one should accept opinions as just that, a person’s opinion. Information backed by evidence is different matter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,991 Posts
I can and do change my mind. If someone wants to change my mind, a few simple rules

1) don't shout at me, or accuse me of being fundamentally evil because I disagree

2) Figure out *what* we disagree on. Often in political discussions the disagreement is not over goals but over the best way to achieve those goals.

3) once you have found the key disagreement, then figure out if we disagree with the validity of sources of evidence, if you have different information, or if we have reached different conclusions based on that evidence.


For example I have changed from pro-nuclear to modestly anti-nuclear because I've seen enough evidence that it is not economically viable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,216 Posts
I can and do change my mind. If someone wants to change my mind, a few simple rules

1) don't shout at me, or accuse me of being fundamentally evil because I disagree

2) Figure out *what* we disagree on. Often in political discussions the disagreement is not over goals but over the best way to achieve those goals.
Yeah, my view is pretty similar. If you want to persuade me:
  1. listen to me
  2. play it back to me, until I feel sure that you understand my point of view really well
  3. then and only then, explain your point, disagreeing with as little as possible of what I said.
What not to do: sarcasm, zingers, insults, shouting, censorship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,271 Posts
I've changed mind due to the reactions that I get.

I decided to stop waiting for the 3rd time, reevaluate. I now reevaluate at the 2nd or even 1st incident that what I've believed is not true.

I can't remember when an individual has persuaded me to change my mind. I'll have to think about it.

My husband has changed his mind on one thing that is very important. On a couple of occasions in which I had talked about conflict with other people and I have thought, I bet she's capable of X. My husband used to tell me that I was crazy and psycho for thinking that because no one could be that cruel. Never mind that my fear that his so called friend would advise him to dump me was validated. and a few other things .....

finally, he has come to the conclusion that I could be right. Which is progress since in the past he would accuse me of being totally wrong....... which would make him totally right in assuming that nothing that I am saying could possibly happen. What an irony that is. I find it a breakthrough. did he change to keep the peace between us or because he realized that since some things did happen that I predicted, that maybe I have some understanding into human nature and that he is not right ALL the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,268 Posts
I change my mind all the time.

But to do it, you're going to have to show me the math, logic, or data behind your reason.

This of course leads me into no end of trouble when it comes to relationships.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,271 Posts
My parents were very difficult people precisely because they felt that they had written the book on every aspect of life.

Trying to explain to them how things are different ie my trying to explain that you don't show up unexpectedly at the office of a company in a nice suit and resume in hand and assume that they want to hire you.

I realized at some point that the more I explained the world that I was facing, the more "supply" my parents were getting from that. So whenever they shared with me their opinion, I would say "Ok, thanks."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thank you to all who shared their perspectives. It's given me a lot to think about (and yes, dare I say it...might actually have changed my mind a tiny bit.)

I agree that people can generally smell obvious attempts to argue or proselytize a mile away and that tends to trigger people's defense shields.

There are a lot of issues I have strong opinions on, but very few of those are issues I would proactively try to bring up to others in an attempt to change their beliefs.

However, though it may not be common for most people to actively go out attempting to change others' minds, it does seem that everyone has a lot of experience with having others try to change their minds and arguing back. You may not want to necessarily be outspoken about a certain issue even if you feel passionately about it in private and merely try to live in accordance with your values, but if someone else comes up to you with a different one, well...

(And even a small minority of outspoken people can inspire this reaction if each individual attempts to change a larger number of people, and not surprisingly, technology/social media has not hindered this in the least.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
For my own part, because it probably isn't fair to give questions to others without answering them-

There aren't any issues I can think of where I've done a hard 180 and changed my view to the exact opposite in the past couple of years' working memory. There are, however, a few where I have gone from previous stringent belief on one side to much more agnostic/uncertain on the issue. Not sure whether that counts as a significant change or not, though.

These changes of opinion for me, were also a combination of other people's arguments and my own personal (please excuse the term) lived experience.

Overall I would say the sheer amount of argument dwarfed the amount of lived experience but the lived experience weighted heavier on my decision to change (or, if we're being perfectly honest, it wasn't changing so much as being uncomfortable with holding the previous opinion to a breaking point. Is that a distinction without a difference?)

Well...trying to change others' opinions is the worst form of conflict resolution, except for all the other ones.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top