Communicating with irrational people
In this technique, you feed back what the person is telling you, in a neutral, inquisitive way. By repeating what the person has said and asking questions, you are not directly challenging the person's defenses; you are holding up a mirror to let the person see his or her own views. If the person has very strong defenses, he or she may persist, however, if the defenses are less rigid, the person may start to question his or her position. Ask "open-ended" questions that require a response other than "yes" or "no." Such questions require the person actually to think about what he or she is saying. This will help the person re-examine his or her beliefs and may encourage the person to ask you questions about your views.
"What Would You Do?" Technique
Once you have a dialogue going with the person, you might want to insert him or her into a hypothetical scenario. Doing this is a greater threat to the person's defenses, so it is more risky. Do not try to "win" the argument or try to embarrass the person. Remember that no one likes to admit that his or her deeply held beliefs are wrong. No one likes to hear "I told you so!" Be patient and gentle. If you are arrogant, condescending, hurtful, or rude, you will just turn the person off.