Changing People

If you’re looking to change someone’s mind and by this, I mean their core beliefs, which are usually equivalent to their political views (dangerous turf these days!), I have a strategy for you:

Be patient.

Views honed through decades of experience don’t change with a single conversation. Your talking points, your statistics may seem impressive as hell to you but when they’re going up against emotion-driven beliefs resting deep in someone’s guts, they have as much impact as a crumpled up piece of paper.

Instead of pushing for change, share your experience, your lived experience, meaning what happened to you, the stories that shaped you. You’ll know you’re doing it right because you’ll be using the word “I” a lot more than “you” when you talk.

Although the change is not immediate, several things will happen when you do this.

Your body will relax a little.

You will leave an opening for this person to let you into their world.

You will be remembered, not discarded.

And, if you’re really speaking from the heart and not from strategy, your words will be ingested because they will not be perceived as poison because they are not poison; they are truth. We all crave truth way more than facts.

Small parts of your stories will go down the throat like a capsule because truth is irresistible when given in earnest and that capsule will silently open and spill into the stomach and the intestines and the liver until your words are spread out so much they’re undetectable.

Undetectable yet ever-present, like water molecules, like blood cells.

Deep and meaningful change happens from the inside out. The mistake we all make, when seeking to get someone to see our point of view is that we forget we have to get inside first.