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Dansedescygnes's avatar

Do you ever try and "convert" people to your opinions or interests?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) May 10th, 2009

Sometimes I see people do this and it really annoys me. Obviously, if someone is asking for opinions, then that’s different, but I’ve seen it happen in situations where opinions were not even asked for, and yet, there would be people seemingly trying to “convert” the person to their own opinions. It’s happened to me where it almost seems like I’m bombarded by salesmen working for the companies. “You just HAVE to like Linux” or “you just HAVE to go to Stanford”. It’s like…are you getting paid to tell me this or something? Because I can understand if you’re getting paid…that’s different.

A specific example: my friend seemed like he was trying to “convert” me to his type of music and he kept asking me “why don’t you like it? It doesn’t make any sense. Why not?”. I just. fucking. don’t. I don’t care how much you like it; it’s not going to make me like it.

Usually I don’t do this to other people unless they specifically ask for other opinions. I think it’s annoying.

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26 Answers

asmonet's avatar

I don’t, or at least I don’t think I do. A lot of what you said can be interpreted different ways. Depending on my relationship I might demand someone do something in a silly way like saying I won’t be ‘in like’ with them if they don’t watch a movie I like and won’t give it a chance. But if they saw it and formed an opinion opposite of mine, the most I would do is make a sad face or have a fake death.

Dunno, I’m an odd kid.

But on things like politics, religion, etc. if they differ I drop it. I know I won’t be changing a thing.

casheroo's avatar

I think wanting to expose a friend to a certain product or music is more of trying to spread the word of something they really like.

I usually don’t try to change someone’s opinion on anything, most people are set in stone with their views. I’ll just give them the facts that I know, and let them decide for themselves. Only if we’re having a discussion about it, I wouldn’t come out of no where and be all over them about it.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Yes, that’s true. One may not see it as “conversion” but on the other end, they may. Also, I agree with the part about politics and religion; they’re really isn’t much chance for change there. People are usually pretty fixed in their beliefs on those subjects. I’m always willing to garner new information on those subjects, but to try and change someone…there’s not much point in that and I really don’t think I would want to do that in the first place.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Oh, I’m all for spreading the word about something I like; that’s just something natural that people do. We want to share things we like. But if the person repeatedly says “no thanks” or “I like such-and-such better”, I think maybe you should just leave them alone at that point. Only because they’re not showing themselves to be interested. It’s the persistent pestering that I was referencing in this question. Someone telling me once to try a new type of music or something like that is fine. I’d be a pretty unpleasant person if I were that easily annoyed.

asmonet's avatar

@Dansedescygnes: Well, a blatant disregard for another persons wishes on whatever subject is bullshit. No, I don’t do that. :)

jackfright's avatar

No, i like friends who have their own opinions.
You learn less from the like-minded.

phoenyx's avatar

Yes. I’ve been trying to convince my co-workers that the caps lock key has an incredibly useless function, but is in a very useful place. I’ve tried to convince them that they should remap it to something else. Imagine a world where your caps lock key acted like another control, alt, command, or option key! The Colemak keyboard layout has it function as a backspace key. How cool is that?!

For the most part, though, I don’t usually push my opinions or preferences on others.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

No, I don’t. Everyone has their own right to believe things as they see fit. Just as I don’t want others to push their ideas or beliefs down MY throat. I think it’s wrong to do that.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t think converting is the goal but so often, I have seen people being told they are wrong for holding the opinion they do. Gray areas are made black or white. Now I suppose there is a subtle difference between trying to make someone see it your way or just telling them their way is wrong, but it is a pretty fine line to tread.

dynamicduo's avatar

I love simple questions like this! No, I do not convert other people to anything of my opinion, because I don’t like for others to try and convert me. Golden rule strikes again!

elchoopanebre's avatar

Everyone does whether consciously or not. Humans like having influence.


Ivan's avatar

Discussion is good.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I won’t try to convert anyone, but I will share with them my knowledge of things. Like their fear of spiders. I know that this is a fear that can be overcome, if the person will just try to be rational about it, learn some facts, and educate themselves. I overcame my fear of spiders, and I think that other people can do so as well. If they refuse, well at least I tried. It’s not like I’m going to hound them about it. I know when to shut the fuck up, you know.

Speaking of hounds,I have an extreme fear of large dogs, and I’ve had people try to get me to stop being that way, and it hasn’t worked. So I know that sometimes, these things go deeper than simple fear.

I agree, people who won’t leave you alone when you say no are pretty goddamn annoying.

Dansedescygnes's avatar



And I’m afraid of spiders. I can’t even Google Image search the word “spider” without freaking out.

cak's avatar

I really try not to convert people…I just air an opinion, when asked, that’s all. I don’t assume my opinion is the only view and I don’t assume I am always correct.

Sometimes when I am asked about certain things, I will rave about them and I might say, “You gotta try this——-!” I try to keep that in check, though.

YARNLADY's avatar

When someone tries to convince me they are right and I am wrong, I will try just as hard to show them why I am right. I enjoy a good exchange of facts, but I do have trouble with opinions based on feelings that are counter to the facts.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

If I think anything I say could influence them, then I jump at the opportunity.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Only when it comes to pop culture things – movies, music, TV. I suggest things to people and pester them until they’ve at least given it a shot.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No. In fact, when people tell me they want to join me I remind them there isn’t any sex, gods or big money involved in order to discourage them but it doesn’t work.

knitfroggy's avatar

I will express my opinion on a certain topic-religion or politics for example. I don’t try to tell anyone else what they should be thinking though. I enjoy a good open discussion and I try my best to not judge what anyone else has to say. I always hope they do the same for me. I like to hear other peoples ideas on certain topics, but I know it’s nearly impossible to change someone’s mind about some things.

cheebdragon's avatar

Oh, you should have seen fluther during the election last fall…

cookieman's avatar

I rarely to never offer unsolicited opinions.

I learned long ago that you cannot change people.

Now if you ask for my advice, that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

reverie's avatar

Some people aren’t confident enough in their opinions, intelligence or personal taste to accept that other people think differently, or that other people may be privy to information that they haven’t been exposed to.

I think that this insecurity, or lack of confidence, makes them uncomfortable when they are exposed to conflicting views, and this can explain the sometimes over-zealous “converting” that you describe.

Personally, I love the idea that I’m probably wrong a lot of the time, and that I know pretty much nothing. It makes learning, and life, a lot more exciting.

fireside's avatar

This is a good question, so let me take this opportunity to tell you about the wonderful benefits that my company/religion/political party can offer you when you become one of us.

wundayatta's avatar

When I was just out of college, I took a job selling ideas door-to-door. I became quite good at it. We were trained to keep on going until we had three “no’s” from the person. This was really to test if they were opposed to the idea, or if they were agnostic. It was also to get those who didn’t want to be bothered to at least sign a petition to get us to go away. The petition signing was to buy us time to sell them on making a contribution.

We used facts to try to convert people—at least, we believed them to be facts. We pretty much knew we’d get support from people who already supported us, and that we wouldn’t get support from people who were against us. The hard thing was those in the middle.

I also used to try to make people who came to my door to sell religion sit with me and waste their time. I would be thinking I was trying to convert them to atheism, but really, I knew it was hopeless. Still, it was practice to learn what is going on with religious people and how they justify their beliefs to themselves. It taught me a lot.

As to converting people socially—naw. Unless they are truly agnostic about the subject, I might try to bring them to my opinion, but not in an urgent way. With people whose views are set, sometimes I’ll engage just for the pleasure of an argument, and sometimes I won’t engage because I don’t like arguing. How’s that for contradiction?

Nullo's avatar

I like to expose my friends to new experiences that I think that they would enjoy.

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