What to Say to People Who Preach at You and Try to Convert You

Do you ever encounter people who start preaching at you, hoping to win you over and convert you to what they think is the “right” perspective, even though you completely disagree with what they’re promoting or advocating?

How do you respond to it?

Do you take it upon yourself to refute their claims by either introducing counter-arguments or by attempting to punch holes in their arguments to invalidate them?

If you have done this, what kind of results did you get?

Didn’t it just turn into a debate or argument where both of you dug in your heels and became adamant about proving the other person wrong at all costs?

But what’s accomplished in taking this approach?

And what are the ultimate end results?

Let me ask you this:

What’s more important to you: Winning people’s respect and esteem and enjoying harmonious relations with them – or revealing the error of their ways and making yourself the one who has to be right, only to succeed at creating animosity in them?

Because if your aim is to win respect and esteem, how is that accomplished when you turn yourself into people’s adversaries by arguing with them when they preach at you?

After all, think about yourself…

When people try to prove you wrong by refuting what you belief in, how do you react to them?

Don’t you tend to look at them more like enemies you have to conquer rather than friends whose time you can enjoy?

And are others much different than you in this regard?

Isn’t it likely that they react the same way you do?

Then there’s another scenario…

Maybe instead of arguing with people who preach and proselytize, you simply keep your mouth shut and listen to their admonitions even though you internally disagree with them.

Perhaps you just humor them.

But is this being honest with them?

After all, if you listen to them without objecting, aren’t you communicating to them that you agree with what they’re saying, even though you actually don’t?

And furthermore, isn’t this an approach that reveals your lack of confidence in yourself and a weak personality that is too afraid to be your true self and stand for yourself and what you believe in?

Well, isn’t there a way to make your position known so that the other person knows where you stand, all without discrediting their perspective and causing them to become antagonistic towards you because of your urge to prove them wrong?

When dealing with preachers or evangelizers who see themselves as warriors for their cause, there’s just one sentence you have to remember, which is this:

“I disagree – but it’s an interesting perspective.”

The reason this phrase is so powerful in dealing with people who preach at you in hopes of converting you to their perspective is two-fold:

First, you make it known to them that you are not in agreement with them. This prevents you from “deceiving” them into believing you stand with them in their belief through your silence and listening ear, and your lack of objection to their claims.

People respect a person who is honest about what they belief, but has no urge to convert others to that belief through preaching.

Second, this phrase doesn’t put preachers on the defensive, like people do when they argue and refute their claims. It acknowledges that their position or perspective has value to that person by stating that it’s “interesting.”

If you ever encounter people who attempt to push propaganda on you in the future, instead of arguing back with them to try to prove them wrong and instead of keeping your mouth shut even though you disagree with them, I encourage you to remember and use this simple phrase:

“I disagree – but it’s an interesting perspective.”

You’ll probably find that when you say this, the people preaching at you will simply accept that you’re not on the same page with them and they’ll stop trying to convert you to their beliefs or way of thinking.

Not only that, but they’ll probably notice that you didn’t jump in to try to prove them wrong and convert them to your perspective at the same time, because that tends to be what a good majority do.

And they will respect that in you.

After all, who likes people trying to convert them to their way of thinking by being pushy and argumentative?

So when you simply state that you disagree and tell them that their perspective is interesting without arguing with them, no friction and animosity will arise in your relationship with them, yet at the same time, you will have been true and honest with and about yourself.

This can all be effectively accomplished when people try to push their propaganda on by simply saying:

“I disagree – but it’s an interesting perspective.”




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