Why can’t we open our minds to others?

I mean truly open. Showing what we know, why we believe what we believe and how we make decisions. Sometimes it feels like we can, but in reality that’s usually only when the other person is in total agreement. When there is pushback, why does it always feel like an attack?

Because we’re all irrational.

Because the choice of what we value (Efficiency, Empathy, A Better Future, Fun and Freedom, Stimulation, Health, Clear Structure, Good Feelings) above others is arbitrary and may be related to our genetics, our brain’s individual architecture and any host of external factors that we didn’t actually make a choice on. Add to that when someone values efficiency, while another values fun, there are bound to be conflicts even when viewing the same information, events and choices.

These arbitrary things we decide to value is what we could call the “ego.” As a result, someone who thinks they are the most efficient and values efficiency sees themselves in a good light, but someone who thinks fun is the most important may simply see them as arrogant. After all, they don’t seem to be having much fun. When people have the same “ego” they tend to see the world the same. It’s easier to open our minds to those types. It’s just a matter of sharing the facts and information. When our “egos” conflict, that’s generally when we get the name calling, the “I can’t believe this…”, the “Why” questions, and for nearly all of it, when we drill all the way down, it’s just unanswerable or unreconcilable.

This is why you can’t convince everyone of everything. Being persuasive is about maximizing who you can convince, but if our “egos” are too far apart and what we value at a base level doesn’t match, there is no convincing to be done. There is simply arguments about a worldview which even if you could win would mean shattering the other person’s perception of the world. That’s not a positive event in most cases for the relationship between the two people conversing.

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