Changing the beliefs or thinking of another person is difficult, but not impossible. Exposing facts and evidence to prove that your counterpart is wrong will only make things worse. To convince someone about what you say, you must be humble and empathic.
We human beings are very complex. Sometimes we refuse to accept that we’re wrong, even if the proofs literally slap us in the face. It seems that stubbornness is part of our nature and therefore, forcing someone else to think like you is simply useless.
In this article you’ll learn how to change someone’s mindset by applying really effective techniques.
Methods to change someone’s mindset
The way you say things can attract or keep people away from you. If all the time you want to prove that you’re right and that others are wrong, you’ll hardly get to change people’s minds. So, the first step in changing things is to change the way you’re.
Doing something like that sounds easy but it isn’t at all. If you want to learn how to do it, you should pay attention to the following list of methods.
1. Gain their trust
Show yourself as a reasonable person to other and open your mind to accept others’ opinions. Share the reasons that support your opinions and know those of your counterparts` The more familiar you become with the other person, the more willing he/she will be to accept your point of view and change his/her way of thinking.
So, gaining the trust of your counterpart will help release the tension of the conversation, creating a more relaxed environment.
2. Get on their same side
This doesn’t mean accepting the opinions of other people even when knowing that they’re wrong. It’s about accepting valid arguments that support that way of thinking. Finding common points between both parties will help release the pressure.
If two people have different opinions, it doesn’t mean that they have opposite thoughts about absolutely everything. Maybe it’s a slight difference between the two arguments.
Feeling empathy is the key to understanding why certain people think or act in a certain way. Some people just need to be understood, someone who listens and understands the real reasons behind their actions. You must try to be that person they need.
Mothers can apply this tip to change their teenage girl’s mind.
3. Give your counterpart time to change their mind
We human beings hate to admit that we’re wrong. So, the more arguments you give a stubborn person to prove he/she was wrong, the more they will defend their point of view. Many people are stubborn because they’re afraid of looking stupid in front of others.
So, don’t try to expose someone else’s mistakes in public. That would be the worst thing you can do. Instead, speak personally with your counterpart and show him/her the reason why you think he/she was wrong. Also, raise possible solutions to the generated problem.
Doing this demands lots of self-control and patience. Many people have the bad habit of insulting and humiliating other people when they realize they’re wrong. If you act this way, you have no chances to win this battle.
4. Look at the problem from a different point of view
Most disputes arise because people don’t see things from the same point of view. If that’s what happens in your case, try to see the problem from another point of view and try to make the other people do the same.
When that happens, both parties won’t need to defend their views on a given issue, because the perspective of things has changed.
5. Think of a new solution
After you and your counterpart learn to see the problem from the same point of view, propose a new solution that both agree on. Take the time to present facts and evidence that support your decisions.
6. Explain how influential people acted in the same case
Some people feel respect and admiration for some influential figures. If possible, cite how other influential people acted upon similar problems. Maybe, if your counterpart refuses to listen to your solutions, he/she may accept the solutions proposed by someone else.
Every time you make your arguments, use phrases like “for instance” or “for example”. Showing examples gives more value to your explanation and shows that your decisions aren’t based on your own criteria. The more examples you provide, the more your chances to change someone’s mindset.
7. Show yourself confident about your decisions
Sometimes, your counterpart will try to manipulate you. If you doubt trying to defend your arguments, you certainly won’t convince anyone. In exchange, show yourself confident about the decisions you make. You can say things like: “If this doesn’t work, I won’t charge you for my services” or “I will pay you $100 if I’m wrong.”
Obviously, you must be really sure of what you’re saying; otherwise you could pay a high price for the things you say.
8. Expose the pros and cons
A good way to change your counterpart’s way of thinking is to expose the pros and cons about something. Once the other person realizes about the pros of thinking different, then he/she will be more prepared to make the changes.
Usually, it’s easier for people to change their opinion when they convince themselves to do so than when someone else tries to convince them.
9. Compliment their point of view
Some people consider a threat against their authority when others question their thinking or acting. So, questioning isn’t the right way to change someone’s way of thinking. It’s better to compliment the other party for the valid reasons that support their behavior.
You can use phrases such as: “you’re right”, “I would have done the same” or “I understand your decision”. When you do this, people feel more open to reveal the reasons behind their actions. Pay close attention to what they say, so you can propose another alternative that can change their mind.
This technique is widely used by sellers, when their potential customers lose interest in buying a certain product and prefer to buy another. Sellers ask questions to know the buyer’s way of thinking and then suggest more attractive offers than the competition.
So, to become a good seller you have to learn how to use these techniques in your workplace.
10. Use persuasive language
The way you express yourself can tell a lot about you and your academic level. If you use inappropriate language when explaining your arguments, people won’t take the things you say seriously. Instead, using a polite language full of persuasive arguments may have better results.
Respect is the secret of healthy relationships. So, don’t use language too difficult to understand to make your counterpart seem like an ignorant. To change the thoughts of those who hear you, you must ensure that they clearly understand your message.
11. Don’t speak slowly
According to psychology, speaking too slowly is a clear sign of fear and insecurity. To avoid sending the wrong message, try to speak quickly. When you do this, you don’t give a chance to your counterpart to contradict what you say.
Your tone of voice and body language can also affect the situation. If you show yourself hostile while you speak, the tension will increase and everything will go terribly wrong. So, keep a good mood, respond with a smile and use a suitable voice tone.
If the conversation becomes toxic, just keep silent. Wait for an opportune moment to continue the conversation, when you and your counterpart are calmer. We human beings tend to react violently when we feel very frustrated.
12. Talk to people who think different than you
Practicing is the best way to learn. Try to get out of your comfort zone and engage in long conversations with people who have an opinion different from yours. To perfect your skills, you must be brave and risk talking about topics that may be awkward or uncomfortable for you.
You must be open to accept any negative opinion and change the way you think if it’s convenient. Anyway, what would be the point of learning to change someone’s mindset when you aren’t willing to change yours?
So, it’s important to be humble to recognize when someone else is right.