The maze from above

I don’t have a good name for this concept yet, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about mental “glitch traps.”

I’ll illustrate by exposition. Ran into one at work yesterday with someone I was attempting to explain something quite easy to. But because it didn’t fit into their worldview, they just could not comprehend it at all.

Stripping out the specificity, there were a pair of items where the item in question is almost always found singularly. And no matter how hard I tried, the person just could not understand that this one time there would be two of them.

In the end it was me repeating over and over again, and here summing up many many words, “This time there are two. I know there is usually only one and the tool is built for only one. But this time there are two. Just ignore one.”

And then the person would say something like, “But there are two? What do I do with two?”

I must have repeated the same set of instructions in different iterations a dozen times before I basically just gave up.

But the person in question just could not understand. There being two of the item just completely did not fit into their conception of the world and so they were unable to proceed past that point. They simply could not go on.

Glitch trap. Mental breakage.

So that now has me wondering, when do I run into these (since I must) and is there any way to break out of them without looking as foolish as the person at work to anyone above the maze, looking down?