I barely tried to get people on my side, and I agreed with others most of the time instead, mainly because I found it difficult to persuade people. However, there was a time I overcame my fears and tried one time to convince someone to agree with me, and I was successful. I asked my mother to let me go study abroad; I used many strategies to communicate and connect to her so that I could achieve the goal.
My mother was never a big fan of studying abroad. She believed that she would lose her kids as if they left her side. Moreover, she was also scared about the differences in culture would possibly change us, her children, to become the ones that she did not expect. Our country, Vietnam, has many strict customs toward thinking and behaving as compared to the US; Americans are somehow too open-minded. It took me three months to convince her to believe my decision, and of course, my persuasion had to come along with actions. I changed myself to an independent and decisive person so that she could ultimately count on me. I cleaned my room, scheduled my classes, took care of my brother whenever my mother went to work, cooked my own meals, etc. I did everything to show her that I had grown up, indirectly telling her that I can cope with difficulties if I lived alone. Not only that, I collected newspapers, brochures, and everything which talked about study abroad. I demonstrated to her numerous advantages from going to school in America. For example, the universities granted their students a good educational system with passionate and professional staffs. The dorms are not only safe, but also they give people an active atmosphere to live and learn. I kept telling her how bad I wanted it; I wanted my dream of exploring a new world to come true. I made sure that she could see the ambition in my eyes. After three months of watching me change, of making up her own mind, and of putting her absolute trust on me, my mother helped me do the application. I was excited and beyond happy that I could persuade my mother that I could go study abroad.
It was my first time trying to convince a person to agree with me on something that greatly affects my life. I have realized persuading was not a hard process, but it required lots of efforts. As long as I use the right way of rhetoric, I feasibly succeed. It took me sometimes to figure out the ways to persuade my mother. I used all three strategies – ethos, logos, and pathos, to communicate with my mother. I used ethos by demonstrating her the “new me”, how I change to be able to adopt my new life. By watching me change everyday, she would give me credits and rely on me. I also appealed her with facts and logics about studying abroad from trustworthy sources from newspapers and universities’ websites. The last thing I did was expressed my emotions, connecting her with me so she could feel how important the subject was to me. She finally understood that I genuinely wanted to attend to a university in the US.
My mother was a very strict person so it would not be easy to change her mind; however, I made it. I am a freshman studying abroad in college right now. Whenever I think about my story, I believe that persuading a person requires many efforts and I try multiple techniques to communicate with him or her. However, as long as the strategies are reasonable and good enough to build a connection between me and the one I am convincing, getting him or her to be with my side should be possible.