Resistance to Change

Craig N. Shealy, Making Sense of Beliefs and Values

Our beliefs, values and worldviews shape who we are.

We are triggered to respond with resistance

when our views are challenged.

This resistance is nothing less than

our attempt to preserve our identity.  

We aim to protect our inner world from being altered,

because an issue is often deeply embedded

into our overarching self-concept and value system.

Resistance attempts to re-establish our inner balance

in order to overcome the disruptive tensions and emotional threat

We can even get so committed to our positions,


that we defend them ferociously even at the cost of accuracy.

when our views are challenged.

This resistance can show incredible resilience because:

it aims to protect our identities

it tries to respond to our core needs (e.g. belonging)

it attempts to operate even in the light of contradicting realities.

Our human mind is wired to secure our safety.

It has evolved powerful processes to justify resistance.

Motivated Reasoning

Such cognitive processes include:

Us vs. Them Thinking

Othering & Fear of the Other

“Resistance basically serves a self-preservation function,

even if the person recognizes that it is not congruent

with inner life goals or outer reality.”

Craig N. Shealy