Change Your Mind

A person is entitled to change their mind. Sometimes, however, this switch can be seen as a betrayal to the people you used to side with and have now left behind. Opinions or deeply held beliefs help make a person who they are, and an entire vocabulary has arisen based on changes of heart because of how fundamental certain viewpoints seem. Here are ten words about changing your mind.

For more, read the full article: Flip-Flop Phenomena

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. renege
    fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
    He not only lies openly, but he reneges on his promises daily.Salon (May 7, 2017)
    Renege means to go back on a promise or obligation. When used in this context, it fits well into the concept of “your word is your bond”- saying something, even without an explicit promise, compels you to act in ways that fit with how you said you would behave.
  2. retract
    formally reject or disavow
    But critics suspect that Hekma­tyar is unlikely to change his stripes, disarm his men or retract his harsh criticisms.Washington Post (May 18, 2017)
  3. abrogate
    revoke formally
    It was quickly abrogated with one rewrite after another, each resulting in further land take-aways from the Sioux.Seattle Times (Oct 26, 2016)
    To abrogate something it is not enough to just speak out against it or separate yourself from it in a public manner. In order to abrogate one must formally revoke a previously filed document or opinion. A more common synonym for abrogate is “repeal”, as when a new administration seeks to repeal, or cancel, measures taken by the previous administration.
  4. disclaim
    make a disavowal about
    When the photo surfaced in the last week of the campaign, Butler disclaimed any knowledge of how it had come to be.Time (Feb 19, 2016)
  5. repudiate
    refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid
    The authorities of the Scottish Episcopal Church should immediately repudiate this ill-advised invitation and exercise appropriate discipline for those involved.”The Guardian (Jan 15, 2017)
    From the Latin meaning “to cast off by divorce,” repudiate is a clear example of a word that is used when you have really changed your mind and seek to separate yourself from your previously held beliefs. Repudiate focuses on the demonization of where you were and not the positive aspects of where you are now.
  6. disavow
    refuse to acknowledge
    Professors in the sociology department disavowed Edmonds’s remarks, saying, “We consider Professor Edmonds’s views to be unfounded, ill-advised and clearly insensitive.”The New Yorker (Jun 7, 2017)
    To disavow is to break a promise or belief. In this case, disavowal also includes refusing to stand behind something previously supported by you or your organization. Often in times of crisis or scandal, people who have up until now been boosters for the accused will disavow them when the evidence against their former friend becomes too great or the scandal simply reaches epic proportions.
  7. abjure
    formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief
    Scientists in the West generally abjure this sort of research on the grounds that it amounts to genetic engineering of humans.New York Times (Jun 29, 2015)
    Abjure is a word that takes leaving a former belief behind one step further — it means to swear an oath that you reject the previously held position. Abjure seeks to stop flip-flopping right after the person has flipped to the “right” position. The extra pressure, or guilt, of an oath will perhaps prevent going back to your past position and make you indebted to your new-found outlook.
  8. renounce
    turn away from; give up
    A favored tactic is public humiliation – forcing those who wrote negative comments to appear on local television to renounce their views and apologize.The Guardian (Jun 6, 2017)
    This word is another one about changing your mind that deals in high stakes decisions. It is inappropriate to say that you’ve renounced your formerly favorite breakfast cereal because they removed your most-loved marshmallow shape, unless you are the celebrity spokesperson for said cereal — then it is a big deal. Renounce is a word that not only entails switching your viewpoint, but also explicitly rejecting a formerly held opinion.
  9. forsake
    leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch
    For most of us, choosing family doesn’t mean forsaking our friends or core beliefs.Slate (Apr 14, 2017)
  10. quash
    declare invalid
    Heavy gunfire erupted on Monday in Ivory Coast’s two largest cities as the military tried to quash a four-day army mutiny over bonus payments.The Guardian (May 15, 2017)

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