Top 10 Ways to Convince People You're Right and They're Wrong

The internet is nifty. You can communicate and share information with people across the world instantly. There's just one big problem with all this open discussion: Not everyone’s opinion is the same as mine.

I'm minding my own business giving extremely detailed reviews of canned corn on Amazon, and then I see people in an article or on Twitter or a five-star Green Giant review being all wrong about everything. It's extremely irritating, and it makes no sense. This is the future. My phone has a quad processor in it. Yet there are still people out there holding on to primitive beliefs about socialism and what not. Am I just supposed to put up with this?

No. I need these people to know they're wrong and then they need to apologize to me for being wrong. I don't think that's very much to ask. But how do you get people to change their minds? It's not easy, so I'm rating the different methods of convincing people.


Trolling: This just involves yelling angrily at people you disagree with to make them angry. "Of course you think that about the minimum wage, because you're a drooling nazi communist. Die in a fire." It's probably the least effective of the methods, but it's also the most natural. I'm actually not sure there is a single instance in human history of trolling leading to someone changing his or her opinion. But it's also so much fun.

Rating: * * (two stars)

Logic: This is where you use careful, reasoned arguments to explain why someone else's views are wrong. This is considered a higher form of arguing than trolling, but it has only a marginally higher success rate. That's because all humans are good at wielding logic in service of themselves and are always really convinced their own logic is right. Like right now, I could be spouting absolute gibberish, but I'm really convinced I'm making an airtight, logical argument. And if you tried to tell me otherwise, I'd probably get so mad I'd bite you. So really, logical arguments are only good if you're trying to have an argument with a computer. But no matter what you tell a computer, it will probably conclude the proper opinion is "kill all humans."

Rating: * (one star)

Emotional Appeal: This is where you avoid any sort of coherent philosophy and try to convince people to side with you because things just "feel" right or wrong. You kind of sob and scrunch your face and make everyone think you really really care. It makes me want to punch myself just talking about it. At the same time, this does seem to be effective with the same sort of people Jedi mind-tricks would work on. Still, I would never use it as -- not to sound sexist -- feelings are for six-year-old girls.

Rating: * * 1/2 (two and a half stars)

Protest: The idea here is that if someone sees a group of people who took the time to organize together and wave placards and yell rhyming slogans, that person will say, "Wow. They must really care about this. I should carefully consider their opinions." Though more often the reaction is, "Who are these smelly, noisy morons? Whatever their opinion is, I will take the other option." The problem is -- as we saw a lot in Occupy Wall Street -- protests attract people who don't really even have an opinion but really like being angry and yelling.

Rating: * * (two stars)