“Humans Want to Fit in, Atomic Habits for Respect”

“Humans Want to Fit in, Atomic Habits for Respect”

People often prefer sticking to their beliefs rather than changing their minds, even when faced with facts that challenge those beliefs. One reason is our need to belong to a group. “Humans want to fit in, bond with others, and earn respect,” as mentioned in ‘Atomic Habits.’ Being part of a tribe historically meant survival, and that inclination sometimes clashes with seeking truth.

Social Connection vs. Truth

Sometimes, social connections outweigh the importance of knowing the truth. This leads to holding onto false beliefs that align with the beliefs of our social circle.

As Steven Pinker said, “People hold beliefs for social acceptance rather than accuracy.”

The Power of Friendship in Changing Minds

To change someone’s mind, it’s about changing their tribe. If they abandon their beliefs, they risk losing social ties. So, making friends and integrating them into your group can create a safe space for them to consider changing their beliefs.

Changing Minds Through Proximity

It’s easier to influence someone who mostly agrees with you.

“The people who are most likely to change our minds are the ones we agree with on 98 percent of topics,” noted Ben Casnocha.

Focus on those closer to your beliefs on the spectrum rather than the extremes.

Books vs. Arguments

Arguments often trigger defensiveness, but books allow ideas to settle in without the pressure of defending one’s identity. “Reading a book is like slipping the seed of an idea into a person’s brain,” where it can grow without confrontation.

Why False Ideas Persist

Repeating bad ideas—even to criticize them—keeps them alive. “Silence is death for any idea,” but continually discussing a bad idea only reinforces it. It’s better to champion good ideas than to waste energy on bad ones.

Intellectual Discourse: Scout vs. Soldier

Most arguments aim to win, not to learn. Adopting a scouting approach—curiosity over victory—allows for exploration and understanding rather than confrontation.

“People often act like soldiers rather than scouts,” as Julia Galef pointed out.

Being Kind to Change Minds

Haruki Murakami highlighted, “To argue and win is to break down the reality of the person you are arguing against.” So, kindness matters. “Always be kind, even if you are right,” especially when aiming to connect and collaborate with others.

The essence of winning at any cost often disregards empathy and understanding. Instead, the real triumph lies in kindness, even amidst disagreement.

“Convincing someone to change their mind is the process of convincing them to change their tribe.” – James Clear. Encouraging someone to reconsider their beliefs isn’t just about altering their thoughts—it’s about guiding them into a new realm of belonging. When we seek to shift someone’s perspective, we’re essentially inviting them into a different community of thought, one where their views align differently.

“The people who are most likely to change our minds are the ones we agree with on 98 percent of topics.” – Ben Casnocha. Ben Casnocha’s observation hits at a fundamental truth of persuasion: the greatest influencers aren’t those on the polar opposite side but rather those who share an overwhelming common ground. It’s easier to consider a shift in perspective when it stems from someone whose beliefs largely mirror our own. This notion suggests that incremental changes, coming from familiar and relatable sources, hold more weight in reshaping our thinking than radical departures from our current stance.

“Silence is death for any idea. An idea can only be believed when it is repeated.” – James Clear.

Silence doesn’t nurture it; instead, an idea gains life through frequent repetition. This principle elucidates why ideas, regardless of their veracity, persist: the more they’re reiterated, the more they embed themselves in collective consciousness. It’s not just the truth of an idea that matters but its recurrence that dictates its acceptance and influence on our beliefs.

“People often act like soldiers rather than scouts. Curiosity is the driving force.” – Julia Galef. When we adopt the role of a soldier in discussions or debates, our focus tends to be on winning and defending our position at any cost. Contrastingly, embodying the spirit of a scout signifies a commitment to curiosity

In Asian and Pakistani societies, the importance of belonging to a community or group runs deep within cultural values. Throughout history, being part of a tribe or community has been fundamental to survival and prosperity. This sense of belonging isn’t merely a desire; it’s ingrained in the fabric of societal norms. It’s about fitting in, forming bonds, and earning respect within the collective, often influencing personal beliefs and actions.

The significance of community ties and societal acceptance is evident in everyday life. Whether in family structures, local neighborhoods, or broader cultural contexts, the sense of belonging to a group holds immense value. This collective identity shapes perspectives and behaviors, creating a strong emotional connection that influences decision-making and belief systems.

However, this desire for belonging sometimes creates a conflict between adhering to established beliefs and seeking factual truths. The need to maintain harmony within the group or community might supersede the pursuit of absolute truth. This tension between fitting into the tribe and embracing objective reality can lead individuals to prioritize social acceptance over challenging their existing beliefs, even when faced with contradictory evidence.

An Overview of Shaping Beliefs

Belonging to a community holds great significance in Asian and Pakistani cultures, shaping beliefs and behaviors profoundly. The need to fit in, bond with others, and gain respect within a group is deeply ingrained, dating back to the historical importance of tribal connections for survival. However, this desire for societal acceptance sometimes conflicts with the pursuit of truth, leading individuals to prioritize conformity over challenging established beliefs, even in the face of contradictory evidence.


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Habiba khan


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Dr Rashid Wattoo

That’s logical arguments. Keep it up