Do you feel humiliated when someone disagrees with you? Do you get defensive when things don’t go your way?
If it’s a yes, then you are at the right place. If you feel any of that, it means you are a person with a closed mind, which is normal. We just need to learn how to be open-minded. We are human beings; we don’t want someone else to stand over us with their beliefs and opinions. And because of that, we close our minds and keep our thoughts confined.
But in all this, we are losing the bigger picture. We are losing the opportunity to learn new things, explore new things, and grow. So let’s understand why and how to be open-minded.
Why do you need to be Open minded?
People have different perspectives about everything.
Being open-minded helps you understand and accept these differences. By understanding other people’s beliefs, you can develop a better relationship with them.
Close-minded people are very hard to be with. You will get frustrated Just by talking to them. If you develop open-mindedness, you will be more optimistic, it will help you in your self-growth, and you will learn new things in life.
How open-minded person are you?
Before analyzing how open-minded you are, let’s understand the definition of open-minded.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, open-minded means the willingness to accept and understand new ideas and opinions, even if they contradict our belief systems.
Open-mindedness means that people we interact with can express their ideas, beliefs, or arguments, even if we disagree.
Imagine you are the head of a project and working very hard. Someone comes up to you and suggests you change a particular thing. What do you do in that place? Do you listen to their suggestions or feel their idea isn’t worth the shot?
Well, your choice will decide whether you are an open-minded person or not.
What would you do while engaging with a person, ask them questions or sit back and wait to disagree with them at the very end?
Do you listen with all your attention? Or do you jump in the middle when someone is saying something?
When someone doesn’t agree with you, do you feel angry? Or are you calm and composed and accept their views?
Do you always add “But” to other people’s views? Or do you just add your thoughts to their thoughts?
Do you believe in a different perspective of a single thing? Or are you stuck with the one you think?
These are some of the questions suggested in the book Principles by Ray Dalio. Answering these questions honestly will help you understand better whether you are an open-minded person or not. It will give you a path to understanding how to be Open Minded.
How To Be Open-Minded?
Let’s assume that you are not that open-minded, then what further can you do? How to be open-minded?
You can follow some mind-opening exercises that will help you become an open-minded person.
1. Analyze Your Mind
The first step is to analyze whether you are open-minded or close-minded.
If you don’t like people disagreeing with you or giving you their point of view If you always point out that someone’s belief is wrong and you are right, if you only want to be understood and not understand, then that means you are a closed-minded person.
On the contrary;
- if you allow all kinds of thoughts and views from other people
- if you don’t get mad when people disagree with you,
- if you listen more than you say, or if you can hold two perspectives without losing your ability to think.
Then you are an open-minded person!
2. Give yourself some time
The process of mind-opening isn’t easy. It requires time. Stop being in a hurry when you are having a conversation. Develop patience. If you hurry, you will miss the chance to gain extra knowledge. Take a pause and then seek new possibilities, views, and beliefs. Slowing down isn’t bad. Motivate yourself to accept change and to have a wider perspective of things around you.
3. Develop a mind of curiosity
Being curious will help you become an open-minded person. You must genuinely show interest in something to learn new facts or beliefs. You have to be curious about something and then ask questions. If You are approaching with a “Why,” “How,” and “What more” attitude will help us best in having an open mind.
Developing a curious mind will also help your mental health. When you broaden your thought process, you get the satisfaction that you are getting to learn more. This satisfaction enables you to stay happy.
Want to know more about your mental health? Take this quiz.
When listening to someone, we tend to zone out into our world or thoughts. You don’t even listen to what they have to say. To have an open mind, you need to be mindful. You need to be in the present and not think of anything else. If you find it difficult to concentrate, you can take the help of meditation. Focused Meditation helps calm your mind, and you can easily focus and gain awareness. Create a space where you can meditate and practice it every day. There are also different meditation techniques that you can explore, which will help you develop mindfulness.
5. Learn and Explore
Learning is the best way to challenge your mind. If you explore, you learn new things; that way, you have access to different views of people, which can help you develop an open mind. Exploring helps you by making you go out of your comfort zone.
If you learn something new or explore, your confidence will boost, and there will be an increase in your self-esteem. Your mental well-being is highly connected with your confidence.
6. Be Thoughtful
Assuming that you are an expert on everything that needs to be corrected. You have to accept that your views and thoughts can also be wrong. If you consider that you are always right, you will lose interest in learning new things.
This is also known as Dunning Kruger Effect. It is a cognitive bias where people overestimate themselves and make them ignorant.
7. Be Acquiescent
You are in a conversation, and you have something to say. You should wait and add your views to their views without cutting whatever they say. Use the term ” And ” rather than “But.”
If you add, but you are imposing your thoughts over theirs, you are cutting them off completely.
8. Evolve yourself
Don’t stay stuck in your same thoughts. You will only not develop yourself if you do the same thing repeatedly with the same perspective. Change your path sometimes or others. Thinking of different approaches will help you see a new version of yourself and train you to improve with time.
Also Read: 11 Mental Health Skill Building Activities
9. Stay Humble
As Albert Einstein said, ” A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the success and the constant restlessness that comes with it. ”
It is essential to have a humble attitude. If you are humble, you make room for new things to learn. Nobody knows everything. There’s always a person out there who knows something better than us.
Read More: 11 Best Gratitude Apps You Should Try ASAP
10. Try Self-Assertions
Whenever we have advised anything good, we get defensive. If we are advised to eat healthily, sleep early, or stop drinking alcohol, we have a defensive answer ready at the tip of our tongue, like, ” I don’t have time to cook,” or ” I just drink occasionally,” etc.
For once, try saying affirming statements to yourself like, ” Eating healthy will help me with my health” or ” Drinking alcohol is injurious to health.” You will see that your mind will accept such advice, and you might even follow it.
So, did you get your answer on How to be open-minded?
Being open-minded is a challenging process, but it’s possible too. You can commit to all the different simple exercises to practice open-mindedness, and you will see a drastic change in yourself.
Even if you have a closed mind, it’s absolutely fine. You just need assistance, and then you will also become an open-minded person.
Accepting the views of others and being tolerant is an essential trait of an open-minded person. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also celebrates the International Day of Tolerance to spread awareness regarding the importance of tolerance in our everyday lives. To know more about it, Click Here.
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