We asked Cracked readers on Facebook, “What’s something that you used to strongly believe but don’t anymore? What helped to change your mind?” We were pleasantly surprised by the insightful and thoughtful answers we received. (Seriously, we thought y’all would troll us!) Since our main takeaway was the way in which you were convinced to change your mind, not about the belief change itself, we didn’t include some other really interesting personal growth stories that people shared without specifics on who/what prompted them. But we read them and enjoyed them! 

We noticed most answers fell in the following categories: personal experience, education, media, and listening to people with different backgrounds. We were surprised that even an angry comment from a stranger on the internet made it on the list! Even if you disagree with any of the following belief changes, you can still learn ways to persuade others. In an age of misinformation and propaganda, it’s important to know what are effective ways to share your beliefs.

A Mantra

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? A MANTRA Sam О. tells us, I used to believe that I would die addicted to drugs. Recovery has proven that was a lie. The singular line that helped me recover was 'Surrender to the process. CRACKED.COM

Doing Research

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? DOING RESEARCH Rich L. used to believe that community college shouldn't be free. Then my wife and I had a conversation that included looking up data from states who tried it. Initial results were promising related to participation, completion and the state economy. I now think that this is a good investment of tax dollars and will continue to do so until the data shows otherwise. CRACKED.COM

Source: FTC

Meeting People from Other Countries

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? MEETING PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES VITA Bob W. says, I was brought up believing the United States was the greatest country in the world. Not only that we were the greatest but that it was pretty worldwide known that we were the greatest. It wasn't until I got older and met more people that I realized not only does our country have a lot of flaws, but most countries don't even like us very much, let alone think we're the greatest. CRACKED.COM

A Movie

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? A MOVIE Casey P. used to support capital punishment until I saw The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris. Someone wrongly convicted and incarcerated could feasibly be released and exonerated, but there's no bringing back the dead. CRACKED.COM

An Internet Argument

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? AN INTERNET ARGUMENT Schae R. says, I used to believe that domestic violence victims did something to deserve it. It was something I had heard a lot of different people say as I was growing up that I just parroted the phrase to everyone I met. It took a stranger on Tumblr going off on me (who was a survivor herself) for me to realize how wrong I was. I felt like an awful person afterwards, but I'd never known anyone who was in an abusive relationship before. Now I've

Switching Roles

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? SWITCHING ROLES Dana F. used to believe that grades in college matter. Unless you are going to grad school, they don't. At all. I discovered this when hiring people. The degree is all that matters and grades are never asked about. CRACKED.COM

A Bill

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? A BILL Raina K. changed their mind about private insurance in the U.S. when my daughter had to have surgery and suddenly I was hit with a $56,000 bill. Up until that point I thought that people were just complaining about but that you were good if you had really good insurance. I had really good insurance, they paid 90%, my 10% was the $56,000. That did not include medications or cast removal...that's just the surgery. It was a painful awakening for me. CRACKED.COM

A Spouse's Teaching

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? A SPOUSE'S TEACHING Phillip В. says, I used to believe that being gay went against nature. My wife at the time taught me how wrong I was and how narrow minded and lazy my thought process was. Ever since then I have a far more empathetic and rational approach to things I don't understand initially. Rather than just assuming that if you're different than me there must be something wrong with you. This was 20 years ago and it's a lesson I've never forgotten. CRACKED.COM

Observation

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? OBSERVATION Ellen M. says, I used to believe our elected officials were servants of the people, observation has shown me they only care about their own power and pocketbooks. CRACKED.COM

Living the Struggle

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? LIVING THE STRUGGLE Trinity S. says, I used to think minimum wage was fair and that burger flippers deserved to earn less. Now I'm an adult trying to make ends meet any way I can, and I realize how classist our society is. Working your hands to the bone and never getting paid enough to save is demoralizing and exhausting. If you're working 40 hours a week, no matter WHAT it is, you shouldn't be getting peanuts for compensation. CRACKED.COM

Hearing About and Seeing Other People's Lived Experiences

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? HEARING ABOUT & SEEING OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVED EXPERIENCES ART One reader tells US, I used to be misogynist, racist...the whole package. Changed that talking to real people and watching another's realities different from mine happening right before my eyes. CRACKED.COM

Growing Up

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? GROWING UP Stacy W. says, There are two towns near me. One is called Hellertown and one is called Hecktown. When I was little I always assumed my parents had made up the name Hecktown because they didn't want to say Hell in front of me.l was an adult until I found out Hecktown was a real place. CRACKED.COM

Expanding Your Friend Group

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? EXPANDING YOUR FRIEND GROUP Tom C. says, I used to believe that all drugs are bad and anyone who uses them is a bad person. I mostly pin that those anti-drug programs we had as kids whose overall message could be distilled down to that, the people I met who I knew were into that losing control of a lot and having my own bad experience on a prescription. Mostly I blame having preconceived and inaccurate notions of what that usually looks like, and being around people who were more

A Patient Explanation

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? A PATIENT EXPLANATION Redd F. says, I used to be a climate change denier because I had questions and instead of receiving polite discourse I was met with ad hominem attacks for my stance. Until a 1 in 1000 person met my questions directly and courteously and didn't tell me I was wrong but that I was viewing it from the wrong angle with not enough data. Once confronted with that data, and how it fits in, I almost immediately changed my mind. CRACKED.COM

Comparing Your Experience to Others'

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? COMPARING YOUR EXPERIENCE TO OTHERS' Pat F. used to believe that you needed to go to college to get a good job. Seeing family members who make amazing money as plumbers and realizing I'd be in debt for the rest of my life helped change my mind. CRACKED.COM

A New Job

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? A NEW JOB Douglas S. says, I used to believe that doctors who wouldn't see you without insurance were just greedy, now that I'm a doctor myself I realize the reason is because they can't help you... if I see an uninsured patient who needs $4,000 in labs and CT scans, I know they won't get those things, and all I've done is taken their $40 copay to tell them I can't do anything for them until they get insurance. I'd rather they save their money until they're insured, and

A Decade of Experience

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE Tara T. Tells us, I used to believe that working hard meant I would be rewarded with promotions and a better job. Instead many times I actually trained people who eventually became my boss, I mean eventually as in a few months to a year. Promotions were granted to people who did less work than I did because, according to my manager, if you let me leave my position, he would have to hire at least two people to fill my shoes. It took almost a

Meeting People of Different Backgrounds

... TELL US NOW. HOW DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND? MEETING PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS Kyle W. says, I was a complete conservative/libertarian until I got a job teaching in a public school in an underserved community. Made me realize how much a person's life trajectory is determined by their family's situation growing up. Now I'm on the complete other end of the political spectrum. CRACKED.COM

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