Why You Won’t Be Able To Change Their Mind

I am sure you have faced a situation where someone you knew had a totally delusional belief about something. You tried to show them facts, but they refused to pay attention. This is only normal.


Attitudes, beliefs, and opinions do not exist. You are wasting your time going against them. Only feelings exist. People have feelings. Their attitudes, beliefs, and opinions are mere justifications. Consider people who are pro-life. Do these people believe/think that fetuses have a right to live? No, they merely feel that fetuses have a right to live. They come up with a pro-life opinion to justify how they feel. Pro-choice people simply do not feel that way. The two groups are not ideologically opposed. They are emotionally opposed. They are in different emotional spaces. If you want to convert a pro-choice individual into a pro-life one, arguments are mostly a waste of time. Show them pictures of dying fetuses and things will take a wild turn. Aristotle calls it appeal to pathos. In psychology, we call it the peripheral roots of persuasion. Once they feel different, they would automatically change their stance.


There is a reason why some people become conservative after they become parents. They undergo hormonal changes, which change how they feel. Once they get used to the new feeling, they come up with a new set of justifications. Liberals do not grow up to become conservatives. They feel up to become conservatives. Their feelings change with their income and marital status.


Similarly, people who advocate for higher minimum wages probably work a minimum wage job or see themselves working one. They feel financially insecure. If you want to change their attitude, make them feel on a consistent basis that getting a high-paying job is very easy. Once they become used to this new feeling, they would never think about minimum wages again.