You might have triggered the fear response: fight or flight. It is easier for them to exclude you (which is a form of flight) than fight you.
Fighting requires thought (just ask any professional boxer) and that is not often what a frightened person can easily do.
Try a little humor and see if they are less fearful. They are not fearful of you, but their fear is that THEIR ideas might be not be correct. You represent a mortal challenge to their ideas, their core beliefs.
Hence, you are a threat of unknowable consequence to them, and to be avoided or defeated at all costs. Thus, their behavior will usually not be that of a rational person, but rather that of the animal reflex-response that is essential to each of our personal survival.
I’ll approach it with some humor.