As you go about your day, do you intentionally practice open-mindedness? Or do you let narrow-minded thoughts control how you feel?
Having an open mind means you’re open to new opportunities, experiences, opinions, worldviews, and people. You aren’t afraid to explore new ideas and, if anything, you’re inspired by them. You’re willing to try new things and consider other perspectives.
Those with an open mind:
- Use empathy to understand others
- Don’t mind their views being challenged
- Genuinely want to learn about different perspectives
- Believe that people have the right to live the way they want
For some, this practice proves challenging. Those set in their ways or raised with strict beliefs may find it more difficult to be tolerant of opposing views, let alone embrace them. With enough determination, however, anyone can practice open-mindedness.
If you want to practice being more open, here are 3 tips to help you get started.
Surround Yourself with Different People
Are you used to being around the same people all the time? When was the last time you met someone different from you who you maintained a connection with?
Learning how to work with others is crucial to live a fulfilling life. When you spot differences, you can choose to see them as strengths instead of weaknesses. What sets you apart is what makes you special and gives you something unique to offer the world.
Make an effort to surround yourself with all types of people. You can learn a lot from those who have different experiences, backgrounds, and opinions. You can meet people through various hobbies, public events, virtual events, and through social media.
Be Patient with Yourself
So you’ve decided to be a more open-minded person. This is excellent, but it’s important to realize that the process takes time. This is especially true if you consider yourself set in your ways and find it difficult to accept other opinions.
Being more open-minded won’t happen overnight, so give yourself time to adjust. When you hear something you disagree with, it’s easy to shut down or dismiss it. But it takes strength and emotional intelligence to consider someone else’ perspective and communicate clearly instead.
On the road to open-mindedness, be gentle with yourself the same way you are with others. You’re learning to embrace new ideas while challenging your own, which you may not have done before. Learn to be patient and trust the process.
The best way to better understand other perspectives is by asking relevant questions. Doing so will help you and those around you clearly communicate so you can learn from each other and grow together.
Asking questions shows you’re interested in learning more and going about it respectfully. You genuinely want to explore new things and are looking for answers to questions you’re curious about.
Part of open-mindedness includes challenging your own beliefs. On top of asking about others’ viewpoints, question your own as well. As you learn about new things, challenge your existing thoughts and values. Take accountability for personal biases that add to your belief system. You might find that you knew less than you thought or come across new information that changes your opinion.
Over to You
Being more open-minded doesn’t have to be difficult. With clear intentions and consistent practice, you’ll soon be able to see things from others’ perspectives. Practicing openness also leads to better understanding people so you can build successful relationships you’re proud of. How will you dedicate yourself to being more open-minded in the future?