Want to Be Taken Seriously? Take the Long View
When you concede a point, what you're doing is making an investment in your ability to be taken seriously and listened to by people in the future.
Julia Galef is a New York-based writer and public speaker specializing in science, rationality, and design. She serves on the board of directors of the New York City Skeptics, co-hosts their official podcast, Rationally Speaking, and co-writes the blog Rationally Speaking along with philosopher of science Massimo Pigliucci. She has moderated panel discussions at The Amazing Meeting and the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, and gives frequent public lectures to organizations including the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Student Alliance. Julia received her B.A. in statistics from Columbia in 2005.
One useful thing you can do to be objective in arguments is what I call take the long view. So remind yourself that when you concede a point, when you say "You know what, I think you were right; I was wrong," what you're doing is making an investment in your ability to be taken seriously and listened to by people in the future.
So if people know that you're the kind of person who changes her mind or changes his mind when he or she feels the evidence warrants it then in the future if you don't change your mind people know that you're not just being stubborn. It's that you've thought about the question and you've genuinely, to the best of your abilities, concluded that the evidence doesn't warrant you changing your mind.
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