Impossible Arguments: Psychological Reasons Why People Will Not Change their Minds

By Joe Burgett
Impossible Arguments: Psychological Reasons Why People Will Not Change their Minds

Have you ever had an altercation with someone in public or online regarding something they said? Perhaps, they came up to you and had an issue with something you said. You’ll then get into a verbal discussion that turns into, basically, one of those impossible arguments that none of us want to be in.

What do we mean by “impossible arguments?”

We’re glad you asked, random reader. An impossible argument is something that occurs when two people get into a debate or argument that turns out to be two people colliding like a car wreck. Basically, neither one of you is going to back down from your belief, and therefore, you will only get mad at one another.

You will both think that the other person is an idiot, with possibly one being right. Of course, neither person could be correct too. In the end, none of this matters because you just wasted your life arguing with someone who was unwilling to even care or listen to your points.

Why are people like this? Why is it that these people are so hard to reach?

Honestly, it’s all psychological and there are ways to combat it. At the end of the day, you need to know what is causing the problem before you attempt to fix things. This is why we’re taking a deep dive into these impossible arguments and how you can navigate around them. Let’s get started!

[image via Rudall30/]

People Aren’t “Idiots” Just Because You Disagree With Them

While we mentioned above how arguments with people can get so problematic that you both may consider the other an idiot, even when that isn’t technically true. If a person is breathing and speaking, then they are not defined as an idiot. This tends to be a general term for a person when we disagree with them. In reality, many people could hold problematic views.

Intelligence does not dictate this. In fact, a math study was done on Gun Control between people who classified themselves as American Liberals and American Conservatives. These people had no trouble with math itself. They were tested to know skill levels beforehand. The study concluded that they generally answered questions incorrectly when the answers did not line up with their beliefs.

People simply chose not to believe something mathematically, not because the answer was too difficult, but because it did not line up to beliefs. A second test found that the higher a person’s intelligence happened to be, the better they are at coming up with a reason to support something. Yet this was only valid, they found, when the intelligent person agreed with the position they were supporting.