5 ways of how to deal with people that have a closed mind
There are probably a few folks that totally get under your skin. They believe in things that you could never subscribe to and they are vocal and obnoxious about it. You would love to argue your point and arguments with them and yet it is like you are speaking with a rock. They will not listen – ever.
A while ago we had a neighbor who had a problem a good friend of mine who used to rent a room from my parents. This friend had a habit to park his car on the side of the neighbor right in front of his property. One day he summoned Werner (my friend) and proclaimed a no parking zone for him in front of his house. “The water and melting snow cannot flow around your tires and the water keeps creating big puddles”.
I am not sure what that to do with anything, but I was later also subject to the same reasoning. Anyway, Werner did not move his car. One day it snowed hard and when he emerged from his apartment to get into his car he found it blocked in by two piles of snow; one behind and the other in front of the car. The neighbor had had his revenge.
He did not know whom he had messed with. Werner never got mad, he got even. His car was one with built-in hydrostatic suspension. He put it on high and flattened the snow mounds in little time. He lowered it as he plowed into the snow until there was no more snow mound left. Ha! The picture above shows Werner with his “present” for the neighbor. He wrote a heartfelt greeting on it. The material (soft pinewood) had something to do with what the neighbor’s head was made of.
All humorous anecdotes aside, there is a six-step process that has a good chance of working when you encounter really head strong and opinionated folks.
- Preach and teach once. Then zip it. Make your point and get out. Chances are that if you are lucky you will impact the person for the occasion, but rarely in general. Spare your nerves with going overboard making points to convince people of how correct you are and they are not.
- You always have the chance to ignore the person. In fact, that typically is the best response. No sense getting yourself all worked up just to find out that the person responding to your posts and mails is someone that goes with the populous and not with what is the best and most prudent thing to do.
- Love them anyway and show empathy and compassion for them. The vast majority of folks cannot stand if they are being treated nicely by their opponents. Hatred is not the answer; only love will prove to be long term sustainable.
- No matter what other people do, sometimes you cannot listen to your and their brain chatter and just focus on what more you can do. Who is affected by anything you do or say?
- Have some fun with them. Respond in a witty fashion. Much like Werner, try to be as engaging as possible. Who knows? Perhaps one day you can convince a few people to look into the sky with us.
Ignorant people are a daily fact of life. Do not take that in silence. Make sure that you are heard, but then move on. Do not dwell on it. It will not help you, nor will it really do anything with the one whose mind is closed for the day. Do you have a story to tell with ignorant folks? Would love if you shared it with us. Use the comment field below.