I have a friend who I butt heads with constantly, and frustrates me with his unflappable overconfidence despite being wrong often. I’d written him off in my head completely, as it was far easier to assign no value to anything he said than vet every statement for accuracy and then usefulness.
Then he said something that caught me as crazy, profound, and interesting enough to engage on (“all systems end up resembling their creators”).
Between that and a friend’s advice to not antagonize him, I softened a bunch, and was able to add a lot of nuance to our interactions, and this get far more positive interactions with him.
Writing him off was easy. Just like trusting someone completely, at least until they mess up. But it’s never fully accurate: even Disney Villians aren’t 100% evil, and have things to be learned from them and positive interactions to be had with them.
The world is better when one can accurately understand and handle more complex understandings of things (as long as the model is more accurate than the simple one). But one doesn’t have the time to do that with everything, so be okay with your simplicities when you need to be.
And be okay with other people’s simplicities when it’s hurting you less than it’s helping them.