Social Question

Mimishu1995's avatar

Is it bad to agree and change your mind during an argument?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (23649points) April 19th, 2022

In my culture, it seems that people are supposed to stand for their argument until the end. If you change your mind during an argument, it means that you don’t have any self-respect and you don’t deserve respect. As a result, people are expected to try to defend their point for as long as possible. There are very few instances when someone manages to convince someone else to their point.

I feel like I change my mind so quickly. I can easy see the point of other people and change. When I was in high school, I had a group project and my classmates were discussing some activities to put in the project. One classmate suggested something that I thought was good, so I agreed. Then another classmate suggested something contradictory that I felt was also good, so I agreed. Then someone asked me what was wrong with me, I had just agreed to two contradictory things.

I thought it was just because I was a dumb teenager, and I would grow out of it. But no, this tendency has continued to my adulthood. Sometimes I feel so ashamed of myself for changing my mind so quickly. What is wrong with me?

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16 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Learning is the whole point of having an argument. Or else it is just entertainment. If both sides refuse to change then nothing is gained.

If one learns that they are wrong than it is a good argument. Unless your going into politics; where one should have worked one’s, or most of one’s, beliefs out before running.

Flip flopping is frowned in politics. Sure it is good to learn and admit that they where wrong, but too much makes one look weak.

snowberry's avatar

Mimi, that quality in your personality is what makes you so endearing. Don’t change! That’s one of the things we love about you!

JLeslie's avatar

It’s great to change your mind if you see you were wrong, or if you see there is another way to look at something, and maybe even both of you are right. Things are not always black and white or right and wrong, there is a lot of grey areas in life.

If you agree, because you feel badgered, or verbally beaten into submission, that is something else. That is not really changing your mind about the subject, but rather going along to get along. That can be ok, depending on the situation, but it also wears down the soul. It feels to me like being run over by a truck if you have someone in your life who constantly requires you to do this it isn’t good in my opinion. That situation feels to me like it shortens my life due to the stress it causes in my body.

vimead1's avatar

No it really isn’t bad to change your mind, Although it might be embarrassing to realise you were wrong and you went through all that yelling for nothing but in the end there is nothing wrong with it.

For example: The other day me and my lil brother were arguing over whose easter candy was eaten by who, I thought that he ate mine but he kept saying that he didn’t and that he was eating his candy. Yeah he was right, I finally looked in my easter bucket and low and behold there it was and I was quite embarrassed to admit it but I was wrong.

Forever_Free's avatar

Keeping an open mind and listening to the other point of view is essential to a healthy discussion.
Using the word argument implies that there is a right or wrong side. Debate and discuss as a mindset leave room for it being an open learning experience.
Now it is completely different if you are agreeing quickly which may be more people pleasing based on your comment of agreeing on two contradictory sides.

LadyMarissa's avatar

How are you going to learn what you really think, IF you don’t look at BOTH sides??? Sometimes you need to breakaway from your culture to find the REAL you!!! Be strong for yourself…NOT for others!!! Listen to BOTH sides…even agree with BOTH sides…then decide for yourself what it is that YOU actually believe!!!

Zaku's avatar

There is a difference between a conversation style where people agree to present one side of an argument until the end, and not being able to change one’s mind.

In the cultural conversation style you describe, it sounds a bit like a formal debate, where the expectation is for each person to present a perspective without changing that perspective. I am not familiar with your culture’s conversation styles, but perhaps that can be honored by simply getting to the end of that conversation (quickly, if you’ve really changed your mind) without changing your position . . . and then starting a new conversation, where you say you have a new understanding thanks to that conversation?

In my experience with formal debate, I distinguished that there was a role to play arguing a position, and could argue either side of the same issue . . . but I also saw that the purpose of debate was to develop argument skills, and NOT to arrive at the truth, or a best answer to a question from an objective point of view. That was educational, but I also came to very much dislike debate, at least in cases where i felt it would be better to be trying to find the best answer.

If the hope IS for the truth, the best answer to a question, for understanding to improve, or to reach agreement, then I think that requiring both sides not to change their minds, tends to be a frustrating and overall terrible approach . . . unless there is a clear understanding that after each debate, people can then change their minds and seek actual communication and understanding.

Unfortunately, some mind sets have a kind of Dunning-Kruger problem insisting that there is no objective answer to some problems, and so they end up wasting many people’s time by arguing a position while admitting zero possibility that they maybe they should reconsider.

kritiper's avatar

If you are not sure of your POV, then you are (or should be) having a discussion, NOT an argument!
If you are absolutely sure of your POV, and so is the other person, then you are having an argument.

SnipSnip's avatar

Bad? Not bad. It could be weakness but most likely it is simple honesty with yourself. There is nothing wrong with realizing you are wrong. It says nothing negative about you.

raum's avatar

That doesn’t sound like an argument. Sounds more like you changed your mind. And the other two people are the ones in the argument.

But to answer your question, no. I don’t think it’s bad to change your mind during an argument.

Though I think this tendency could be good or bad.

It’s good when you’re valuing logic over standing your ground. And giving yourself room to consider you may not have all the answers is, in my opinion, a good thing.

But I’d say this could also be a bad thing if you are constantly finding yourself in arguments and changing your mind. My sister is like that, arguing with her gives me a headache because she’s all over the place. And when I ask her what she’s even arguing about, she can’t always tell me in a straightforward answer.

flutherother's avatar

Let’s call it a discussion where everyone listens to and respects the opinions of others so they can come to a deeper understanding of the issues while appreciating of the views of others. Arguments usually lead nowhere, and are for losers.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@raum Your latter scenario describe some people I know, both in real life and online. They don’t necessary change their mind, but change their argument so that they are still able to win the argument and get around admitting of being wrong. An example of that in action is like this:

Person: Covid-19 is a bioweapon engineered by China!
Me: Ok, why do you think they did that for?
Person: Because they want to sell masks and medical supplies and vaccine.
Me: OK. But if that was their goal, that would be a dumb plan, because now we are seeing countries from all over the world producing vaccines and medical supplies. Some of the most used vaccines in the world aren’t even from China. They are already losing the competition.
Person: Then they are doing it to gain political advantages on the South China Sea!
Me: OK. But as you can see, nothing has happened. Even our country who would have been their number 1 target is doing so well to the point of being praised by people all around the world. It’s been some years now. If they were trying to cause a war, this would be a rather stupid plan, because not only did they fail to start a war, but they are also having their hands full with their own citizens being infected.
Person: Then they are doing this to kill some political enemies in their country!
Me: But then would you imagine they would be more discreet with that? There have been cases of unknown sudden death all around the world, with clear political motives behind it. And all of those cases involved really secretive assassins, using unknown substances no one could identify, and only involved the death of the specific targeted individuals. The Covid-19 virus is widespread around the world, kills indiscriminately, and is identified and researched by everyone. So much for a secret assassin mission huh?
Person: Maybe it’s just too early to say and soon enough we will see their true color?
Me: OK, this conversation is going nowhere now…

In this case, they do change their argument constantly when they see that they are wrong, but at the core, they still believe in what they believe. They just try to get around admitting that they are wrong. This is still the kind of stubborn argument I’m referring to.

I’m thinking more about admitting that the other person actually make good point and your logic need to be adjusted.

raum's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I’d say that is less about a culture of arguing and more about a culture of distrust towards China. It’s so deep-seeded that it defies logic.

Mimishu1995's avatar

The Covid thing was just a demonstration of the argument style. I couldn’t think of another situation, but the conversation would be similar to that.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I think the whole point of discussion is to help each other find truth. Hence, opinions can and do get changed.

Entropy's avatar

It’s the BEST as long as it’s genuine. If you are the kind of person who will do that, and I have done it from time to time, it means you’re actually listening to the other person. Which is a great sign.

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