Many people become angry and double-down on their opinions, even when presented with contrary evidence. This doesn’t happen with all beliefs — only our most deeply held convictions. The non-negotiable ones.
Neuroscience teaches us that our nervous system prompts the same “fight or flight” mechanism when these beliefs are challenged. Think about that for a moment. Telling me I’m wrong about something I feel strongly about produces the same physiological reaction as me being in urgent, life-threatening danger.
Next time you’re in a war of ideas with someone who refuses to be sane and rational (by agreeing with you), just remember that you also hold many beliefs. Some of them, if challenged, may cause you to become similarly insane and irrational.