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The Strenght Of The Weak

At first, it seems that we humans shape our opinions based on facts, but this isn't true. Contrary to what one would think, humans, make an opinion first, and then find facts and evidence to support it. You might be surprised to find that some of our strongest opinions are held without many strong arguments in support of them. Religion for instant. There is no evidence of God’s existence but people are prepared to die in his name. Or even though we’ve traveled to India, members of Flat Earth society still claim to believe that Earth is flat and it seems that they are dead serious about it.

We often take time and effort to convince someone that their opinion on a particular topic is incorrect, but it still can lead to a quarrel. Instead of taking notice, they argue with you, protecting their absolute righteousness. Someone else's "wrong" opinion can be highly frustrating and after the

logic and cold facts you present get swiftly rejected by your opponent, our emotional reactions can easily slip out of control. Cyberspace has become a huge arena for those who defend their own point of view passionately, creatively, and compulsively. There are misunderstandings and lapses of humor. Minor differences of opinion quickly spiral into incivility. Is this a fight that can ever be won? Has anyone ever said that an internet argument changed their fundamental belief system? Debatable…

An individual who has been presented with conflicting information tends to respond with counterarguments to increase the strength of their positions. We then unconsciously search our brains and select material to further strengthen our beliefs. Several recent studies have demonstrated that more intelligent people can rationalize details more creatively and interpret them to better suit their opinions. The brain's error detection mechanism and the mind's desire for stability and assurance both contribute to a belief's continuity when new or unexpected information occurs. Think of the last time you've searched the internet for the "right" answer to a specific topic. How did you examine Google's search results? Did you do it systematically or were you attracted to solutions already matching your current theory? Once you answer these questions for yourself, you'll see that we actively search to confirm our preexisting beliefs.

Way too often we judge and criticize people without even realizing it. When we accept others as they are, it means that we understand they are doing the best they can. Accepting or even just tolerating other people's opinions can be challenging, especially the sensitive subjects you feel strongly about. Almost everyone encounters people they disagree with at times. Perhaps the first step to acceptance will be avoidance of emotionally charged subjects to eliminate conflict that can cause tension.

When changing another person's opinion becomes necessary, you must remember that minds don't follow facts but beliefs. Data alone can't change anybody's mind. We consider information to be valid only when it clarifies our current understanding. The first thing you should do is put yourself in their shoes and show them your understanding. Even if you don't agree, never say "you are wrong". It is way more difficult to change someone's mind if you are rude, and sometimes it is worth researching the topic a little deeper to understand the thought process of your opponent.

However, you ought to keep in mind that at times too much information can actually work against you. The large volume of information is not a problem per se. The actual problem is the lack of quality control of incoming information, and the inability to control the flow of incoming material. Given the situation, it's not surprising that some of us suffer from information overload and feel an urgent need for an information detox. Information overload can trigger anxiety and make it harder to focus. Your critical thinking skills become impaired and it becomes harder to distinguish between high-quality and poor-quality content. An example here would be the fake news problem, where people believe in something that isn't real and find facts, even if they are false, to support their beliefs. Even though gathering information in a modern world is easier than ever, it can be point-blank dangerous. Individuals who encounter false information on social media, often actively spread it further, by sharing or otherwise engaging with it. Much of the spread of disinformation can thus be attributed to human action. What junk information does to our minds isn't much different from the way junk food harms our bodies. We should pay attention to the quantity and quality of the information we consume. It is crucial that we don't treat our brains like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Just as we should be selective in what and how much we eat.

If you feel that you need to change someone's opinion, don't cater to the logical side of the brain, for that will leave you disappointed. Instead, make suggestions or arguments that appeal to the emotions of the person.

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