Jan 26 – Why should I change my thinking if I were to disagree with someone?

“I found the topic interesting as I’ve always been interested in how people think and reason. Once you have that figured out, you can adapt your approach to problem-solving with them and be more successful. I think of it as approaching people where they are, having commonality, etc. Now, here’s the issue, why should I change my thinking if I were to disagree with someone? After all, it was alluded to that there are different degrees of truth…”

Great comment about approaching people where they are in their mindset and establishing commonality. With regards to changing our thinking so as not to be disagreeable, this wouldn’t benefit either party. I feel open-mindedness is a gift you give yourself. When you listen with the intent of understanding and become curious with questions to increase your knowledge then you have a deeper appreciation of the others viewpoint. That knowledge may reinforce your own view or give you valid reasons to reconsider. In either case the person you have been engaging with feels as if their opinion has been heard, understood, and they will feel a connection with you. And therein lays the gift. – Cathy Wright

Thank you. I appreciate that you found the topic interesting. There is certainly a lot more on the topic of thinking that is well worth exploring! I fully agree that “approaching people where they are” is likely one of the best strategies for successful dialogue. I do not think, however, that when one engages in disagreement that there is any imperative that one must change one’s mind. As you no doubt fully understand, most disagreements (I suspect) are about trying to get the other person to change their thinking. If one is able, during an argument, to mentally step back and examine the reasons one is disagreeing—that is to examine one’s own response for bias, emotional motivation, allegiance to a principle or belief, such an examination would be valuable and self-instructive. In the end, the best path for you may well be not to change your mind on the matter at hand. All the best. – John McDowell    

The changing of one’s mind can be seen as positive or negative, useful or un-useful depending on several factors. If one had a conclusion based on information and more information became available that encouraged a change of mind, changing one’s mind would be considered positive and useful. In fact, to not change one’s mind may be considered negative. As well, the information may not change, but the context may change also resulting in a positive scenario to change one’s mind. Changing one’s mind perhaps should not be seen as an obligation to someone else but rather an obligation to one’s own mental integrity. – Ken Hubbard



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