[A collaborative post – all thoughts are my own.]
I like to be surrounded by open-minded people. When you think about an open-minded person, do you figure out someone who is accepting different opinions or beliefs?
If yes, you’re definitely right. Not only accepting different opinions, but people who are open-minded are also open to learning new things, trying new experiences, and understanding different views, not just accepting them. The benefits of being an open-minded person are that they enjoy lives that are much more fulfilling than those who are not open to new ideas, people, and experiences.
Being an open-minded person gives you access to more information, new perspectives, and worlds that you may not have considered before. It also helps build a strong connection and a broader understanding of others, which is a great way of showing empathy in relationships.
Open-minded people usually see things in a neutral way. They avoid being trapped in their own understanding and perception (confirmation bias). They are willing to look at the information that may challenge their beliefs and concepts. They’re not blocking out any information that supports their opinions or thoughts.
Sadly, being open-minded is not an easy thing. In fact, many of us were raised to live as adults among people who generally have similar values and belief systems. We tend to create a black and white view of the world and this leads to a distorted view of reality, which makes us miss important information about the world. For some, they may need to learn how to be an open-minded person.
Think the opposite perspective
Challenge yourself to accept new ideas and understand different perspectives. Do some research of things which will lead you to understand the other point of view.
For example, if you like pastel color, try to understand the opposite of people who are like bold color. If you are non-vegan, try to understand the opinions of people who are vegan. This is a great way to build up an understanding of people with different beliefs about yourself and those around you. You learn new things from different places and with different people.
If someone believes that ghosts are real (hell yeah I believe), then you should try to see it from their point of view. A child may believe in Santa Claus, so you should try to understand their point of view rather than dismiss it as crazy.
As an open-minded person, you must be willing to accept other people’s views, beliefs, and opinions even if they are different from yours. You will have the skill to give others to explain their point of view and when it’s the time for them to talk, it’s because they want to choose it not because they are being forced. In fact, this skill can really help you better handle relationships with others.
Learn to think neutral
You should not judge or criticize people’s ideas. Try to understand people’s opinions without giving them your opinion. This will help you understand why they have those opinions so you can choose to agree, disagree, or support their views.
This skill help will contribute a lot to developing healthy relationships with people. People will respect your boundaries and you will not have to worry about getting into conflicts because you are open-minded as you know when it’s the right time to share your opinions and the right time to agree/disagree.
Remind that you should not change people’s ideas; even if you don’t agree with them, just try to understand their reasons for having those beliefs by asking questions so they can explain it properly.
Read a lot
I always mention that you need to read every day. Reading a lot will help you learn to understand other people’s views, cultures, languages, habits, and opinions that will help you build a positive relationship with them. You can read books by different authors which can give you a better understanding of the world.
For example, when foreigners come to Bali, they need to respect local’s beliefs and cultures which totally different from their culture. Reading books about other countries with different religions or viewpoints can help you imagine and sympathize with different opinions.
Make new connections
During my active years working as a translator, I met people from other countries such as Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabic, etc. I’ve worked with foreign companies and offered my translation services, such as Poland, Singapore, and a Russian company. I make connections and learn from their perspectives about some things.
After starting blogging and engaging with great creators, I learned from them a variety of perspectives on life. Even if we are from different countries, I take the opportunity to learn more about their interests and personality.
Acknowledge you are learning
Being an open-minded person means that you must be willing to accept that you may have been wrong or try to understand why and how you were wrong about something. When you realize your opinions or ideas could be incorrect can help you figure out how to learn from the experience and do better next time. When someone corrects your mistakes, show appreciation and thank them for helping you open your mind and educate yourself.
I know that admitting when you are wrong can be challenging for some because it means you accept the fact that you might not be the great person you want to be. But the ability to accept your mistakes can help you become more open-minded.
If you struggled with changing your mindset, don’t beat yourself about it. I learned from my mistakes over the past years. View change as we take a step forward. Listen, acknowledging you are learning from your mistakes and striving to improve yourself is not a confirmation that you’re not good enough, but a statement of confidence.
Be a good listener
If I love something in life, I tend to talk a lot; even when I admit myself as an introvert. Did you notice that most people jump to give a reply as soon as you’ve finished speaking? Well, that happens because listening doesn’t come naturally to us.
We are social creatures. We what people value us, love us, need us, and like us. We tend to predict what others think, want, and need from us. Yes, you might have the best intentions, but the results are many miscommunications and misunderstandings. You don’t know what you don’t know and what you know is limited to your experiences.
When you want to build a better understanding with others, stay focused on the conversation and make people feel important. Enrich your knowledge with others’ experiences and bust your power to influence others. This skill helps you be aware of what others are telling you. A good listener is someone who focuses on what the other person is saying and understands whether it makes sense or not.
You can be a good listener by trying to be patient, paying attention, and refraining from interrupting people when they are speaking.
You cannot change or be open-minded on everything as you have certain beliefs and ideas that you will always hold as being right. Whenever someone is telling you something that you don’t want to believe, try to understand why they feel that ways and try to listen to their explanation. You may disagree with them, but at least you now know that there are reasons for them to believe what they believe.
At the end of the day, you should be open-minded about some things but you need to decide which are the things that you want to be open-minded about. Sometimes you can ignore certain ideas because it will only make you believe in things that don’t make sense. It is important for every person to have certain beliefs because these are what will help them in making good decisions in life.