Life is full of conflicts. Have you ever had an argument with someone in which they refuse to change their minds? No matter how much evidence you give them, it is never enough? By nature, we strongly hold onto our beliefs and are stubborn to change our minds. But how can we convince someone that they’re wrong? In this article, we’ll be looking at seven ways to change someone’s mind.
1. Keep Calm
When trying to make someone reconsider their viewpoint, it’s important to avoid being aggressive. Aggression instantly turns the other person off your points and puts them in a defense mindset; they want to fight back. Instead, try to bring up your points in a civil manner and have a conversation, not an argument. Listen to their points and try to understand where they are coming from before making a statement. Not only will this make you more persuasive, but it will be much less tense for both parties (Bronner 2020).
2. Have Them Come to the Conclusions
Have you ever tried to get an idea through to a person but it never works? You keep citing facts and providing evidence but they still won’t believe you? Perhaps try to have them make the same conclusions. People are more likely to change their minds when they are able to apply an idea to themselves and reach their own decision. Instead of hammering them with information, ask them questions so they can analyze their knowledge on the subject matter. Ask them about certain circumstances and the pros of cons of each decision. Once they’re able to break down your argument and apply it themselves, the more likely they are to be convinced (Wolff 2017).
3. Ask Them to Explain Their Viewpoint
As people, we like to think we know everything, when the reality is that there’s a lot that we don’t know. Oftentimes however, we don’t realize how little we know about something until we’re asked to explain it. Next time you’re in an epic debate with someone, try asking them to fully explain their viewpoint and see what happens. Chances are they will reach a point where they cannot continue. On the contrary, make sure you are prepared on your end for the same (Barker 2019).
4. Ask Yourself Some Questions
When you’re trying to persuade someone to change their mind, you should ask yourself some important questions. What are your motives? What do you want them to believe? What do you hope will happen? These questions are great ways to get started. Doing this “homework” helps you establish your goals and understand why you think a change of mind is important. When trying to change someone’s mind, it’s important to know why your point of view is correct (Davret 2020).
5. Have Long Responses
Long, thoughtful responses are more convincing than short statements. Being able to dissect an idea as well as back it up with evidence will make you appear more knowledgeable about a certain subject; it proves you’ve actually thought about the issue at hand and were able to get educated about the topic. It’s important to avoid throwing insults at people as it detracts from your overarching argument (PsychologyToday 2020).
6. Be Empathetic
Knowing why someone holds a particular belief is important when you’re trying to debate it. People tend to hold their beliefs and values close to them for personal reasons. It’s important to know what these reasons are when you’re discussing them. When trying to present a differing viewpoint, it helps to be able to find common ground on where you agree before you bring up a point. Ask them questions and try to point out in which areas they are correct. Again, having a conversation and not an argument is key (Bronner 2020).
7. Know Your Audience
Knowing who you’re talking to is essential when bringing up differing opinions. Having empathy and knowing where the other party is coming from is essential to get your message across. Knowing how to speak to them calmly and politely will also help keep the conversation going. You will be especially convincing if you can tie your ideas to something that they value deeply. Doing this helps them find common ground that you both can agree on which will lead to a productive conversation (Bronner 2020).
Conflict is a normal part of life. It’s important to know how to talk civilly about our viewpoints to be able to convince the other person. However sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we can never quite convince someone to change their mind to which we must agree to disagree. The best we can do is to engage in a productive conversation and share new ideas. What are your thoughts about this subject? Are there any more ways? Have any of these worked for you? Let us know in the comments!
- Barker, E. (2019, December 17). This Is How To Change Someone’s Mind: 6 Secrets From Research. Barking Up The Wrong Tree. www.bakadesuyo.com/2019/12/change-someones-mind/
- Bronner, S. J. (2020, August 13). 10 simple methods to change someone’s mind. Inverse. www.inverse.com/mind-body/10-simple-methods-to-changing-someones-mind
- Davret, B. (2020, July 2). How to Change Someone’s Mind in 10 Steps – Forge. Medium. forge.medium.com/how-to-change-someones-mind-in-10-steps-e73d1f2d1e63
- PsychologyToday. (2020, October 8). Evidence-Based Ways to Change Someone’s Mind. www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evidence-based-living/202009/evidence-based-ways-change-someone-s-mind
- Wolff, C. (2017, September 11). 9 Genius Ways To Change Someone’s Mind, According To Science. Bustle.www.bustle.com/p/9-genius-ways-to-change-someones-mind-according-to-science-2307178