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I have thought that people are interested in new views of natural reality and so when talking to people I have a tendency to bring up newly discovered facts that modify our previously held beliefs.

When my personal belief is stated that way it becomes obvious why it is a false way to converse with others. Some people easily get bored with me and walk away at first opportunity. It seems strange but people are more interested in ideas that are congruent with their long-held ideas than in ones that might conflict with what they already believe. An idea that is an improvement to their relationship with reality would seem to be something they would value, and pursue, but I presently think that I am wrong about that presumption. In fact, they will find an idea that challenges their reality to be offensive and will reject every speck of evidence that they may be wrong.

With that potential realization in mind, I will make a habit to seek areas of agreement to talk about with every person I meet. That’s what most people do, and it works for them. If we have common interests we can feel better about being together, and we can feel more trust with one another. Conversation is for pleasure and not for changing one’s beliefs.

The subtitle of this blog is, “Many helpful hints on living your life more successfully.” That has been the underlying goal for all 4,000 posts, but those ideas are not what people want to hear. They want ideas that will prove that they are right, no matter what factual evidence is presented that is contradicting their belief.

I too have been a victim of my own counter-functional habit, that of trying to change people to be in better alignment with a more evidence-based worldview. Actually, I do pay close attention to what others say, and my proof of that absurd statement is that I so frequently put the right word into someone’s sentence that they make fun of me and my ability to do that. I will stop telling people what I think is right and start agreeing with them about what I think is right with what they are saying. People take new good ideas as a threat and thus a punishment.

That’s a great idea, and it works for me too.