In most cases, I understand how it doesn't really matter. There is some saying about a person convinced of a truth against their will is not convinced. The idea is that everyone want to think that they realize the truth of something themselves and not that others tell them.
OK, I get this, but what about in cases where it is urgent and important to convince the other person? In particular, I'm thinking about convincing my wife about how to treat my son's sickness. This morning, my son woke up with a sore throat.
My wife went to reach for the antibiotics to give him and this started some friction between us because I immediately forbid her from doing that. I did this because I have lots of evidence that not only are they non-effective again sore throats which are usually viral, but that misuse of antibiotics is dangerous. Check out this article about Antibiotic Misuse.
How could I have handled it differently? I have heard the advice that I should agree with everything my wife says. So, I should agree with her advice to administer ineffective and potentially dangerous medication to my son? That's hard for me to accept.
Furthermore, I also have strong evidence that there is little evidence of any effective treatments for the common cold and he best we can hope for is to reduce the suffering and just wait about 1 week for it to get better. The most effective medications are NSAIDs or Acetaminophen (Tylenol). I prefer Acetaminophen because it is effective for me. When I take NSAIDs I don't have any feeling that they work. You can check this article about how to treat sore throats.
We have Ibuprofen for children, an NSAID, though it is difficult to administer without my wife's help and she doesn't want to give it because she wants to give the antibiotics. Furthermore, she doesn't believe me, despite me showing her the above pages. No, she want to call her friend, who has no more medical knowledge than my wife, so I don't know why she would trust her over me.
So, how could I handle this differently? Just let her give the antibiotics? Give my son no medication and let him suffer? Continue to try and show my wife that antibiotics are dangerous and NSAIDs and Acetaminophen are thousands of time safer?
We are also dealing with cultural differences as my wife is Chinese. Reason and logic are feeble weapons against culture and habits.