We have all encountered that one person who is closed off and set in their ways. More often than not, it gets under our skin and we are completely exhausted being around them. Being close-minded will literally suck the life out of you, but the good news is you can change it. You can change your perspective by becoming open-minded, and you can change the people you are around who are close-minded.
So what does it mean to be open-minded? Being open-minded means welcoming new ideas, arguments, and information that you typically do not align with. Open-mindedness is a positive character quality and it enables those who use it to think critically and rationally. It is so important to be able to step out of your comfort zone and consider other ideas and perspectives, especially in this day and age.
Open-mindedness is not easy and requires concentration so as not to lead to cognitive dissonance when learning new thoughts that conflict with existing beliefs. Being able to change outdated or incorrect beliefs is an important part of learning and personal growth. This all stems from learning and unlearning close-minded behaviors. When a person is close-minded, they typically are not unwilling to accept or even think about anyone’s viewpoints but their own.
Being close-minded could lead to unwanted thoughts and behaviors that in turn lead to arguments and eventually resentment. Do you see the rabbit hole that close-minded people dig themselves into? This is where compassion comes in. Having compassion during arguments where one or both people are closed off to the other’s goals, viewpoints and ideas is not an argument at all. It’s a power struggle. This is where one person fights to make the other person see things from a certain point of view, the “right” point of view, aka, their point of view.
With compassion, both people should come together in an argument and make a sincere effort to understand how the other person feels, the importance of the other person’s beliefs/goals, and to empathize with one another. If both people are showing compassion for one another, then both people will be able to resolve a disagreement and creates a more open-minded conversation that can include new talking points and outside ideas that might not have come about when people are arguing out of anger leading to deeper connections in your relationships with others.
The main goal here is to try to understand one another by being open-minded and showing compassion. Both will take practice, but with assertive communication, disagreements, where people have an open mind and are showing compassion, will lead to both parties feeling understood, important and valuable.
So what are the benefits of being open-minded and using compassion?
· Gaining greater insight into new ideas and topics you otherwise would not have
· Having new, exciting experiences
· Achieving personal growth
· Becoming Mentally Strong
· Ditching the glass half empty negative vibe
· Continued learning – hey this also keeps your brain young!
Being open-minded can take some time to accomplish as it takes practice and a deep look into one’s self to understand where those thoughts and beliefs come from in the first place. Using compassion also takes some work, and most likely doesn’t come naturally, but once you get the hang of it, you step back and assess each disagreement as they come, and approach with kindness, caution, and respect, you will achieve so much more than those who fight out of anger that leads to resentment.