People can change us, but can they change our opinions?

We are surrounded by people in most of our lives, whether it be family, friends, coworkers, or colleagues, there is almost always someone who not only impacts the choices we make, but they mold us into who we are. As humans we have a need for connection, its how we are wired. We have a need for attention, a need for love and affection, for happiness and joy, and of course, our opinions. The people in our lives support us, we receive advice from them, we look up to some of them, and base traits and personalities off of those we are close with. We get connections more often than not through people. So if people, the ones that are close to us (or not), have such a deep routed meaning and impact on our lives, why can’t they change our opinions?

Let us use Lynsey Addario as an example. Addario is a world renounced journalist and photographer who specializes in war-zone journalism. She has no military experience, and yet she fights along side soldiers in the middle east, Africa, basically anywhere that has conflict shes there fighting to get a story out. To some what she does is idiotic, risking her life, with a family at home, to create a story. But to her, even after being kidnapped and tortured, the reward out ways the risk, something many of her friends and family beg to differ. Yet she keeps on doing what she loves. Her opinion is that her job is worth the risk and no one can change that, even if the people trying are the ones that give her strength to keep going.

Addario pictured above in the middle east

As children the most influential people in our lives are our parents or guardians. These are the people that we know the longest, we spend the most amount of time with, they care for us, teach us, and most importantly they rub off on us. And more often than not their political standings rub off on us sooner or later. But while in their rebellious stages, their opinions might differ greatly from those of their parents. And as much as they decide to change one another’s minds, they become more innately invested in their side. So why can’t the most influential people in our lives, such as our parents or family, change our minds? Joe Keohane addresses this in his article, “How facts backfire”. Keohane states that the more people try and convince us were wrong, even with concrete evidence, the more we want to believe we’re right. Keohane says in his article, “ Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.”

The people we surround our selves with have a major impact on our lives. Our parents mold us, our role models we idolize and want to be like, and we want to fit in with our friends. But our opinions are something we hold to our own, something we perceive as infallible. People influence our decisions and build upon our foundation of personality, they even help build and expand our opinions and beliefs. Yet they cannot change those very same opinions, even if all the facts are there.

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