The complexity of the model in your head.

We all have them, models in our head that tell us how an interaction is going to go, when it’s our turn at a stop light, and any other interaction we have in the world. It isn’t the same as the one in the other person’s head. That’s where the constant miscommunication of the world happens.

Your model may be complex, seeing the subtlety or the gray areas of the world. Someone else’s may be simple, black and white. Trying to communicate a gray area from a complex model to someone with a simple black and white is a complicated endeavor. While people can learn new facts, changing the structure of their model is something dramatic. If there isn’t a space in their mental model for what you are trying to convey, you may not be able to convince them no matter the persuasiveness used or the facts.