How to Be More Open-mindedMay 20, 2022
Do you consider yourself to be an open-minded person? If not, don't worry – it's something you can learn. Open-mindedness is essential in this day and age. However, with so much information coming at us from all angles, it's necessary to have a broad perspective. This blog post will discuss what open-mindedness is and how you can work on becoming more open-minded.
How receptive are you to new ideas?
Open-mindedness is the capacity to accept new or different ideas or things. Open-minded people are more tolerant and capable of receiving multiple perspectives from other people and trying out new experiences. They are willing to listen to what others may say and have the curiosity to ask questions about things they don't understand. Also, they don't get angry quickly when their beliefs are challenged and are capable of respecting other people and trying to understand why they may have such different thoughts and ideas.
Not everybody can be open-minded. However, it is a desirable trait if one wants to expand horizons and try what the world offers. Moreover, being open-minded means personal growth for you as you gain more knowledge and skills from what you learn from others. The way an individual grows and the social environment one gets exposed to can influence how receptive one can be to others' opinions. The good news is that open-mindedness can be learned, although it may take time to cultivate such a mindset. Various ways can help an individual change close-mindedness into open-mindedness.
1. Trigger your curiosity
Remember when you were a child and kept asking questions about what something is called, how they work, why they happen, etc.? It is this curiosity that can help one become more open-minded. Unfortunately, just because one has finished studying at school, one cannot learn new things anymore. Even as an adult, there are still plenty of new things to discover and ask questions about how they work and why they happen. Do not be confined by the walls of what you already know, and keep the fire of curiosity burning. Being inquisitive can open new perspectives and allows you to take a different route from what you used to do.
2. Mingle with like-minded people
Close-minded people can be challenging to get along with when trying to open your perspective to new things. They have rigid beliefs and think something should only work in a certain way, and they may not be open to new ideas that easily. Therefore, it's easier to open your mind when you mingle with other open-minded people. These are the types of people who won't immediately shoot you down just because your point of view is different from theirs. They are also more open to discussion, even when discussing sensitive topics like religion and politics. Also, being exposed to different kinds of people can help you understand their experiences and status in society, eliminating prejudice in your mind.
3. Be humble with what you know
As one keeps on doing their craft and becomes better at their career, they can eventually become experts. It can cause some people to have an inflated ego and think they are the authority in their field of expertise. Therefore, they may not be open to questions, especially if someone presents a different opinion that challenges their knowledge. The thing is that even if one becomes very skillful and knowledgeable at something, they can still be prone to mistakes, and time may erode the validity of a body of knowledge. As such, somebody needs to become humble and realize that what you know may change, and new information may contest what you once knew as the truth.
4. Move out of your comfort zone
You can challenge your existing beliefs and learn different perspectives by stepping out of your comfort zone. Try making it a practice to expose yourself to new situations, read something different, or do an activity you have never done before. Do not rush and gradually do new things once in a while. Listening to different opinions can also help widen your view on things. All these new things can open new opportunities for you and train your mind to be more open-minded.
5. Don't judge too quickly
Most people will find it easier to assume things and judge others rather than trying to understand why someone or something turns out in a certain way. To train yourself to be more open-minded, once you see or perceive something, take a moment to ask why such a thing happens or turns out that way. Don't quickly judge unless you know the facts and have enough evidence to support what you will think and say afterward. Gain insight and research why something or someone turns out to be before making any assumption.
6. Be open to the idea of having a middle ground
People will often think in absolutes; there are only two sides to an issue or topic. Either side will think their choice is right while condemning the other wrong. It is especially prevalent with moral issues. When asked for your opinion, you can only choose from two differing viewpoints. Sometimes, it can be challenging to pick one side. How about a third option, which acts as a compromise between two extremes? Thinking of a middle ground is an excellent exercise in having an open mind. Sometimes, neither of the two choices is right or wrong, and a third opinion can help diffuse conflict between the two ideas. Open-mindedness requires seeing the bigger picture of things and coming up with a better alternative to settle things. Being neutral can help you weigh information and see how each perspective came out in other people's eyes.
Open-mindedness can go a long way.
Becoming an open-minded person is no easy task. It requires an understanding of different experiences and possibilities without immediately bestowing judgment. It would help if you also were more empathic with people as you may encounter some who can shake your beliefs with their perspectives. However, open-mindedness can only prove beneficial to you as it can help you grow by gaining knowledge about many things and helps remove your ignorance about things that may lead you to have biases. It can also help you become more positive with your outlook on life and expands your learning potential. You may even make more friends by giving focus not only on what you believe but also on what personal beliefs other people might have.