Being open-minded means having the ability to consider other perspectives and trying to be empathetic to other people, even when you disagree with them.
Open-mindedness involves being receptive to a wide variety of ideas, arguments, and information. Being open-minded is generally considered a positive quality. It is necessary in order to think critically and rationally.
Open-mindedness can also involve asking questions and actively searching for information that challenges your beliefs. It also encompasses the belief that other people should be free to express their beliefs and arguments, even if you do not necessarily agree with those views.
Learn to question yourself
The next time you find yourself saying no to a new experience, or convincing yourself that there is no way you could ever, enjoy, believe, or understand something, take a moment to ask yourself why?
What is holding you back? Is it fear or prejudice?
The more you explore the reasons you tend to close yourself off, the better able you will be to resist those impulses and open your mind.
Let yourself be vulnerable
There’s no way to be more open-minded in your thought processes or your actions without letting yourself be vulnerable.
If you try new things, reach out to new people, and attempt to embrace new ideas, you will, on occasion, fail or be disappointed. If you accept that and allow yourself to be vulnerable, you will soon find that even when things don’t go as planned, things are still okay.
Even better, you can still get something positive out of a negative experience. Remember that the failure you may experience can also be used as a launching pad for reaching your goals.
They’re not rushing things
There are a lot of people I disagree with. There are politicians I don’t like. There are colleagues who annoy me. And in the past, I was very open about it.
Over time, I learned that being so critical with expressing my opinion (which was often negative) pushed people away from me. Because they felt like I could be negative and hostile against them too. And I won’t keep quiet about that.
So, I changed my strategy and started giving things and opinions time to formulate and take a certain shape.
If you’re always trying to prove how someone else is wrong, you’ll never have time to question yourself. Meeting and dealing with people who have different beliefs is just a part of life. They don’t have to stop you from believing what you believe is true, and at the same time, you don’t have to share your opinions with everyone all the time.
You see what I mean?
Being open-minded is also about knowing what battles are worth fighting for. Do you really want to argue with your 80-year-old grandma about women’s rights in the middle of a Christmas dinner?
I know I don’t! As a benefit, hearing someone else’s opinions can help us question our own beliefs, which is what open-minded people do!
Acceptance is the way to be open-minded
Acceptance involves allowing ourselves to accept others as they are and the world as it is. It can be tricky because we might often find ourselves wishing that those around us were different.
We might especially wish that our bosses, family members, partners, or kids were different or even try to put in an effort to change them. But this effort is wasted from the outset.
When we accept and allow others to be as they are, we are freeing a lot of energy for our own pursuits. It also helps us establish relationships with many different people and embrace change without needless worrying.
Do you listen without interrupting or getting absorbed in your thoughts?
If we love something in life, we love to talk. Did you notice that most people jump to give an answer or a reply as soon as you’ve finished speaking? That happens because, listening, doesn’t come naturally to us. We get distracted and pulled into our thoughts and search for a reference point to share.
For example, when someone says “I have a stomach pain”, in your mind might be followed by a “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” if you allow (your mind) to drift away in search of the reference point. That can make you insensitive to what you just heard, thinking of your leg pain.
Stay focused on the conversation and enrich your knowledge with others experiences and expertise. Listen, make people feel important and bust your power to influence others.