Why Changing Your Mind Is Risky & Expensive
The person you’re trying to convert, convince or persuade has a vested interest in their folly.
People tend to piece together their identities based off of opinions they’ve formed from fragments of information, schools of thought and narratives.
And whether this information is factual or not comes second, third or even last, to the benefits of identifying with a particular conglomerate of mixed truths and half truths.
In other words, latching on to a group identity and making it our identity is safe.
This is why it’s risky to persuade someone to change their mind on an issue.
It’s also expensive.
The person you’re trying to convert, convince or persuade has a vested interest in their folly. They get brownie points for partaking in groups that identify with particular positions, be it politics, religious or a sports team.
I guess this is what many refer to as “tribalism.”
The silver lining in this is that we get an opportunity to exercise empathy.
As you debate with someone on a point of view you deem problematic, think about what it would cost them to defect to your side.
If you were in a position where overwhelming evidence contradicted your deeply held opinions, convictions or worldview, would you change your mind?
Ultimately, I think our unwillingness to change our minds is what’s holding us back.
We don’t want to be wrong.
Being wrong doesn’t feel good and it sure doesn’t look good either.
But changing our minds has huge upside when we’re not afraid to lose our investment in wrong thinking.