Are you an open minded person? Do you feel comfortable when others share their opinions and views much better than you? Are you eager to take the best of what others have to offer?
All these and much more make you a receptive person. You are the one who is flexible, unbiased, neutral, and always objective in your thoughts and actions.
In this elaborate think-piece, let’s learn the various aspects of being an open minded person.
Open-minded – Meaning
Open-mindedness is the urge to actively look for evidence against an individual’s favored goals, plans, or beliefs and to measure such evidence reasonably when it is available.
Having an open mind does not mean that a person is indecisive or incapable of thinking for his benefit. Its importance stems from the fact that a person would consider various alternatives. He would finally take a firm stand on a situation and act appropriately.
Open-mindedness is a positive character trait. It enables all those who use it to think rationally and critically for drawing unbiased conclusions.
Open-minded attitude is the ability to accept and consider the opinions of others that are novel, and different from their own. They remain flexible to all those ideas that help in critical thinking and creative decision-making.
Why is open-mindedness important?
Being open-minded is beneficial in a number of ways.
- Open minded behavior helps to weigh down stress. You are no longer burdened by unnecessary conflicts in life.
- You will always experience deeper satisfaction and peace.
- There will be so much to learn and experience all around you.
- More buddies will be added in your social sphere.
- You will no longer be influenced by any narrow biases and views.
- Open mindedness allows thoughtful thinking and stops you to jump into conclusions.
How to be open-minded
We have already discussed the meaning and importance of open-mindedness in the previous segment. Now, keeping those details in mind, do you visualize someone who accepts beliefs, opinions, and behavioral patterns?
If you resort to these, you are more or less right. Emotionally rigid individuals have more probability of accepting differences in views, experiences, and beliefs of the world.
All those who are open-minded, are ready for new experiences, learn new things and develop an understanding of differences in views and opinions. They do not just accept everything blindly.
Now, it is time to discuss the various ways through which you can become open-minded-
1. Adopt the habit of questioning yourself
Whenever you find yourself rejecting a new experience or telling yourself that you can never enjoy or understand something, take time out to ask yourself, why?
Analyze what is dragging you back from exploring new things in life. Is it fear of failure or prejudice? Understand that the more you explore the reasons you tend to close your mind off, the better you will manage to resist those impulses and become open-minded.
2. Fix a goal to experience one new thing every month
Becoming an open-minded person happens to be an endeavor based on action. If you wish to get the desired results, you have to act and execute your plans that help widen your horizon.
Your initial goal should be to select a new thing to experience every month. You will open up limitless possibilities for yourself. In this process, you can get down to reading any book outside your preferred genre, or try out a new food item. You can even listen to music from a new radio station or explore a brand-new area of your hometown.
3. Analyze hot topics from a different perspective
Always remember that opening up your mind does not mean changing it completely. It only means that you are slowly learning to view the world from different points of view and consider several possibilities.
Invest your time thinking about some burning issues, about which you have strong opinions. They could well be related to morals, styles of parenting, religion, or political issues. Those who are closed-minded, will never go deep inside these aspects of life and tend to judge from the outset.
On the other hand, if you have an open mind, you will make that extra effort to understand why someone has a different opinion. You would realize that it happens to be the product of all the experiences he has gained over the years.
4. Expose yourself to vulnerability
There is no other way through which you can become open-minded in your thought processes without making yourself vulnerable.
If you explore new things, meet new individuals and look to accept new ideas, there will be occasions when you will feel disappointed and not attain success in your endeavors.
Once you accept your vulnerability, you will soon realize that it is perfectly alright to not have things going your way all the time.
You start accepting the fact that there is always something positive hidden inside a negative experience. Understand that whatever failure you experience; you can use it as a launch pad for attaining your goals.
5. Learn how to go with the flow
Emotional and mental rigidity are the two things, which would appear as hurdles in your process of becoming an open-minded person. Refrain from constantly telling yourself that you should not try out new things or you will face dire consequences if you indulge in certain activities.
These negative thoughts would continue to drag you toward being a close-minded individual. You would always shudder to explore and widen your horizon of life. It is necessary for you to relax and just let things move on at its pace. Avoid making presumptions and it would help avoid the creation of new problems in life.
6. Expand your friends circle
The practice of expanding your friends’ circle happens to be one of the most important things that help you in becoming an open-minded individual. The wider your friends’ circle becomes, the higher the chances of you being exposed to different beliefs and ideas.
Even though you cannot force friendships, you can take the necessary steps that can help increase your chances of attracting new buddies in your life.
For instance, you can join a gym or you can even become a member of any popular club. Few of the new connections might soon turn out to be your best friends, with whom you can exchange ideas.
Examples of open-mindedness
Let us now briefly discuss some of the examples of open-mindedness-
- If you are an open-minded person, you will always have the curiosity to hear what others think of a particular situation. You would want to get various perspectives and gain further insight on the topic.
- When you have an open mind, you will always have the intention to challenge others’ ideas. It gives you great pleasure to put forward your arguments, compare them with their thought process and then come to a logical conclusion.
- You can come across an individual, who does not get angry when they are proved wrong. Rest assured that the individual is open-minded. He or she doesn’t mind setbacks. Rather they look at them as opportunities to learn and excel.
- Open-mindedness results in empathy. A person with an open mind will always behave in an empathetic manner towards others. He will try to understand their thought process and find out the reason for their specific kind of behavior or actions.
- Another example of open-mindedness is that an open-minded person will always remain humble about the expertise and knowledge they possess. You will never see them boasting of their achievements.
Close-minded/narrow-minded vs. open-minded
The following table will help you get an idea about the differences between a close-minded and an open-minded person.
Let us check out the details below-
|Serial No||Basis of Difference||Close-minded/Narrow-minded||Open-minded|
They struggle a lot when anyone challenges their ideas. These people always want to prove themselves right in front of others.
An open-minded person sees this as an opportunity to explain the learning. They even take their time out to listen to other people’s viewpoints.
Statements vs. Questions
|Close-minded people are always willing to make statements. They do not even think of asking questions as there lies the chance of people contradicting their views.||Open-minded people are open to making mistakes and learning from their faults. So, they ask genuine questions to understand situations or things better.|
All those who are close-minded, focus on making others understand their opinions and beliefs.
|Individuals with an open mind tend to see things from others’ perspectives. They are always eager to ask questions and understand what people are trying to convey.|
Acceptance of Criticism
|Close-minded or narrow-minded people cannot accept that they can ever be wrong in making judgments or in analyzing situations.||Individuals who carry an open mind tend to freely accept criticism and put the requisite effort toward betterment. They are not at all ego-centric and always looking to improve.|
|Close-minded people tend to be harsh on them. They feel that everything has to unfold as per their expectations. When reality fails to match their demands, they become upset.|
For open-minded people, some of their life experiences will let them down. However, the good thing about them is that they manage to get rid of it and move on with life.
Tackling of Change
|Close or narrow-minded individuals face problems dealing with change. They possess a strict view of the world and always wish to fit their experiences neatly inside it.|
Open-minded people thrive on changes. They take them up as challenges and get excited by the prospect of having new experiences.
Who is an open-minded person?
An open-minded person refers to someone, who is flexible in their approach, amicable and empathetic toward others.
If you have an open mind, you will have a mix of different qualities. They include creativity, integrity, and the playfulness of a child. You will look at the world as a vibrant place filled with loads of possibilities.
Neither you conform to rules and regulations, nor do you try to spend your lives based on set patterns and expectations. You tend to take things as they come in your life. It will allow you to take input, learn from your mistakes and become the best version of yourself.
Characteristics of an open-minded person
If you are lucky to become friends with an open-minded person, you surely know that the world is a wonderful place. You can make out from the way your friend reacts and interacts with the world.
Following are some of the characteristics of an open-minded person-
1. Great conversationalists
An open-minded person is someone with whom you will enjoy having a conversation. He or she will not try to force their views on top of your thoughts. They will give you due respect by listening to your ideas.
They will be eager to learn new facts and develop fresh perspectives on various topics. Getting engaged in debates is nothing new for an open-minded individual.
2. Avoid judging others easily
People, who possess an open mind, never pass judgments easily. They make sure to listen to both sides of the story and then draw a fair conclusion.
This tendency comes from the fact that they always give due recognition to others’ views and opinions. It allows them to do complete justice to their companions and acquaintances.
3. Loves to explore life
If you have an open mind, you are someone who not only carries a variety of interests but also wishes to explore new avenues from time to time. You will be eager to unravel secrets and make some discoveries.
Open-minded people will not think twice before doing adventurous activities. Thus, they will help add thrill and excitement to their lives. You will also love to try out new dishes and test your taste buds.
4. Focuses on hope and possibilities
One of the greatest attributes of an open-minded person is that you never lose hope. You are always on the lookout for possibilities. Even if an open-minded individual sees political turmoil, they see it as proof of policies failing to serve people on equal terms.
They are always measured and level-headed while assessing the minute details of life. Their practical approach enables them to focus on the positive sides of different situations while ignoring the negativities.
5. They are authentic in their approach
On most occasions, a person’s dishonesty comes from their attitude that they have to preserve a particular mindset. A child resorts to lying so that they can avoid punishment.
Open-minded people focus on truth and honesty. Due to that reason, there is less likelihood that they will see any value in covering things up than portraying themselves just the way they are. There is no chance of people influencing their viewpoints.
6. Close observer
It is tough to be an open-minded person and not keep your eyes open. This is applicable both literally and metaphorically. The curiosity of open-minded people makes them notice changes in their environments quite easily.
This can turn out to be as simple as noticing how a certain shade looks on your eyes. You can also recall the license plate of someone’s car quite easily.
Open-minded relationship – how it looks like
Many share their opinion by telling others that they should keep an open mind in their relationship. It refers to being receptive to enjoying new experiences. This also shows that you are empathetic to the feelings of the other person.
In this respect, it is important to point out one important fact. An open mind does not mean you have the freedom to date people outside your relationship or indulge in sex with others.
An open-minded relationship talks about the path you are taking in your relationship. It also takes into account innovative sexual experiences you are ready to explore and even try out new food items.
You can practice being open-minded in a relationship in the following manner-
If your partner has an open mind, he or she will show empathy toward their partner’s feelings and sentiments. You will give respect to your partner by encouraging them to speak up and explain what they are going through in their lives.
They will listen, analyze and then offer their best advice for resolving any matter. This will help build trust in one another, resulting in the growth of a relationship.
2. Listen carefully to add your opinion
Ensure that you carefully listen to your partner’s opinions and ideas, rather than listening to speak up or add your viewpoints. This is known as active listening.
It is another way of showing the partner that their opinions matter, hence making them feel an important part of your life.
Following this pattern is another extremely important component toward becoming an open-minded individual.
3. Receptive to new suggestions
There is another important way through which you can become an open-minded person in a relationship. You need to stay flexible and open to receiving new suggestions.
It can be anything from trying out a new food item of your partner’s choice or experimenting with innovative sex ideas for giving him or her ultimate sexual satisfaction.
Now that we have seen, the ways through which you can become open-minded in a relationship, let us quickly take a look at how this can help your relationship grow –
Use of open minded nature in relationships
An open mind can help salvage a stagnant relationship. It is true for those who have either been in their relationship for years or are struggling to cope with its challenges.
Open-mindedness can result in more excitement, and add feelings of closeness and positivity, thus leading to the renewal of the relationship.
This is particularly applicable for couples who had gone into relationships with feelings of lust and passion. Both these aspects can be great to kick off a relationship. They can make you feel crazy and more connected to your partner.
Still, studies have shown that there is a high possibility for passionate love to fizzle out with time, resulting in break-ups. Contrary to this, showcasing love toward your partner’s emotions, feelings and values have greater chances of making the relationship last longer.
Following are some of the ways where having an open mind proves to be useful in relationships-
a) You develop the tendency to say yes to meet your partner’s wishes or demands. This is especially applicable in a long-distance relationship and do not have sufficient time to enjoy quality intimate moments.
b) Therefore, seeing things from his or her perspective, you will be inclined to try out new restaurants. You can seduce one another to spice things up inside the bedroom, resulting in unique sexual moves.
c) It is important to note that simply agreeing to your partner’s wishes is not enough. You will make sure to convert your promises into actions. This will invariably raise the level of trust and love in the relationship.
d) You will also prepare yourself to make compromises for the happiness of your partner. There could be a feeling that some of his or her demands are not justified. You will happily ignore your feelings and go by your partner’s choice.
e) The good thing about an open-minded relationship is that your partner will also make sure to listen to your suggestions. They will adjust accordingly, but with some limitations.
For instance, a long-distance relationship can make her crave sex a lot. She can demand to have another sexual partner inside the bedroom and have sex in front of her fiancée or husband. This is where her partner would raise objections and make her understand the importance of privacy.
f) If you do not pay heed to your partner’s suggestions, it can have negative repercussions. He or she can feel abandoned, unwanted, unheard, misunderstood, and depressed.
g) Regular communication with one another regarding important aspects of a relationship. They include, maintaining expenses, sex, which are critical for making it grow further.
h) Maintain honesty and express your true feelings. This will help bring clarity to the relationship. Even if you are not sure about doing something, you will be polite in asking your partner to explain the benefits of the activity.
How to be open-minded in dating? Tips to consider
Dating can be exciting as well as daunting. It gives you memorable experiences that you will wish to cherish forever. This also involves painful moments that you would rather forget in no time.
There are lots of suggestions doing rounds about how to attain success in the dating world. It ultimately culminates in one thing. It is to keep an open mind.
Being an open-minded person means respecting you as well as others’ opinions and needs, so as to get the best out of dating.
Let us take a look at some of the tips that you can consider in this regard-
1. Consider your happiness
Some people have deep-rooted expectations that run in their families, which they are not completely aware of. These thoughts lying underneath can influence your decisions to a great extent.
For instance, you might avoid seeing singles from particular communities due to your family’s negative outlook on interracial relationships. This might prevent you from finding a good relationship based on others’ expectations.
Keep an open mind and focus only on what makes you happy. Forget about what other people want. If you do not have objections regarding your partner’s race, creed, and color, then confidently go ahead to date that person.
2. Look for a person of a different personality
It is quite natural for you to have certain traits on your mind that you would like to see in your partner. There is nothing wrong with having a preference concerning looks and interests.
This can also turn out to be something that might restrict you from finding an ideal dating partner. If you have been dating a particular individual for a while and you might realize that you have chosen the wrong person.
Open up your mind to individuals outside of what you would normally consider your mate. Just because you have a different set of interests and preferences, does not mean you will not have the desired compatibility.
3. Try to be authentic
Lying in a specific manner to make you look more attractive to some people is the approach of close-minded individuals. This will do more harm than good. It is important to present yourself authentically in front of your prospective life partners.
As a human being, you will have the natural tendency to make a grand first impression on your partner.
It is equally important to be yourself. It will have the distinct benefit of opening up your mind to the intentions of all those who are close to you.
You would also easily make out if the other person is not being authentic and trying to wear a fake attitude. Try to develop a deep connection through a mix of confidence and vulnerability.
4. Take care of your negative thoughts
Many people look to attain perfection when they go dating someone. The idea here is not to find a perfect man or woman but to find the person who is perfect for you.
When you entertain negative thoughts about a person’s actions, consider your reaction mindfully.
The greater virtue of an open-minded person is that he or she will stop and think of themselves and the other person.
Hence, when you go on your first date and see that your partner is having a lot of complaints, you will not judge and control your negative reactions.
Open mindedness in leadership
An open minded leader is flexible and easy going. They are great team players because they always listen to the ideas given by other teammates. Thus, cohesive teams are formed in the organization.
Moreover, an open minded leader is innovative and looks for creative problem solving. They form psychologically safe workplaces where all the team members are given due recognition for their effort.
In leadership, open-mindedness is an important personality trait. It makes the leader thirsty for new learning. It also fosters curiosity and ability to see things from different perspectives. They will always accept others’ opinions gladly.
An open-minded leader is empathetic and respects the opinions and beliefs of other team members. They will prefer to judge their opinion in a new light after receiving quality suggestions from all.
Open mindedness in the workplace
In the workplace, open-mindedness is an invaluable quality that every worker should possess. This quality improves performance and brings overall growth in the organization.
An open-minded person is eager to learn from others, can accept mistakes and appreciates the ideas and suggestions given by others. Thus, team building becomes easy in the organization.
Open mindedness can help in the following ways.
- Brings openness to change.
- Employees adapt to new ideas and techniques when old ways do not work any more
- Flexible employees who share ideas and accept their mistakes easily.
- Teamwork gets better with an open minded attitude
- Conflict resolution becomes easy because employees already possess the spirit of cooperation and adjustment.
- Willingness to learn, explore, innovate new things increases amongst the staff members
- Open-mindedness leads to less work politics and minimal toxic positivity in the workplace.
Open mindedness in recovery
When you are recovering from an illness, it is important to remain open minded and flexible. You should be able to adapt the new treatment plan or intake the medications at the right time, and even talk to your doctor in case of any discomfort.
Being open minded in recovery requires a conscious effort. You should embrace changes as and when needed. This makes the recovery journey easy and worthwhile.
In patients suffering from relapse due to recurrence of alcohol or substance abuse, open mindedness is an important personality trait that can improve recovery rates by inculcating self-belief and more confidence in oneself.
Open minded attitude of the patient can help in recovery in the following ways:
- Improved self-awareness regarding their addiction and recovery states.
- Positive outlook towards life.
- Ability to accept a new recovery plan and accept it.
- Developing a cooperative attitude towards doctors and caregivers.
- Flexibility increases and makes the patient more adaptable.
- Open mindedness also allows independent thinking that is free from biases attached with alcoholism and drug abuse in our society.
Critical thinking and open-mindedness
These two things go hand in hand. A critical thinker analyzes everything in detail. So they need an open mind to look for new ideas and suggestions that can add to the existing ones.
For critical thinking, you need to be inquisitive about how others think and feel in certain situations, and so become more open minded about what others have to offer on the table.
Open mindedness also helps you to challenge your ideas and take the best out of everyone. The more flexible one becomes, the better it is. Clarity of thoughts and understanding of concepts get better as well.
The person will be able to analyze and reconsider their existing beliefs in the light of new ideas and evidence.
Research findings have shown that higher open mindedness leads to increased ability to think, reason, and problem solve issues that are complex.
Benefits of being open-minded
It is now time to check out the benefits of being open-minded. They are as follows-
1. Stress will not weight you down
Open-mindedness makes things easier for you to put down all your burdens and walk-through life with a light head. You will not be under constant stress through the close-minded frustrations and the fear of the unknown.
An open mind can make you learn a lot about things you have an uneasy feeling about. Your mind will become free and look to erase the stress of not knowing something in life.
2. No unwanted judgment and needless conflict
Judgment will not drive your life and cause unnecessary conflict between you and your partner.
It will happen if you just allow your heart and mind to stay open toward knowledge and acceptance of others.
You will always try to find a reason behind the way someone behaves. Thus, you will not want to react abruptly. It also leads to better understanding and knowledge.
3. You will attract more friends
When you are a less ignorant and judgmental individual, you will automatically attract several friends in your life. It will widen your network, resulting in a greater amount of information transfer.
You will also make friends with people who are not your type but carry different personalities. It will encourage how people of varied mentalities work and exchange good things from one another.
4. You will learn a lot
An open mind will allow a person to view various aspects of life. They will take them in their stride and learn how to deal with them in the best possible manner. If you wish to understand and accept people and ideas different from you, many doors will open up.
It will help you learn a lot about people of different mentalities and cultures. You would get better insight and broaden your mindset.
5. Keep away from manipulation
The more you keep your mind and heart open to all those things that are outside your mode of understanding, the more judgmental people will not manage to influence and manipulate your thoughts.
Close-minded people will struggle to make you behave the way they want. You will resort to your ideas and beliefs and abide by them.
Disadvantages of being open-minded
There are certain disadvantages of keeping an open mind. They are as follows-
1. Less certainty and conviction
A basic disadvantage of having an open mind is that you have less conviction and certainty when it comes to dealing with burning topics. If you open yourself up to considering both sides, then it is difficult to opt for one side.
You can have difficulties in making choices because if you take both sides into account, it is tough to know which side is correct. This is because both sides often look suitable for various reasons.
2. Lead to complexities around the world
Having an open mind means that you wish to hear about ideas and beliefs that are outside the tradition. This results in complexity, which might become too much for some people to handle.
An open-minded approach complicates matters in the world. When someone is open to opposing and having different views, they just help add more detail. They do not necessarily carry any kind of certainty.
3. Going against the crowd
Some people have no ideas about most things, but could still possess strong opinions to share with others.
On top of this, they might also prefer the simple answer from a journalist on television. They will not research its authenticity from other sources.
This is the biggest problem with open-minded people. They wish to get more details. Thus, there is every chance of disagreeing with those things which people accept without raising any question.
4. Regret some of your actions
When you carry an open mind, you might go on to do things with friends, which others would never do in their lives. You are always open to exploring life and experiencing different situations.
Unfortunately, this approach can make you do things that you will regret later on in your life. You can avoid this by thinking hard before you act while sticking to your beliefs.
5. Open to harmful ideas
In your quest for having new experiences and enjoying life from all angles, you can be open to executing some bad ideas in your life. There is no harm in testing those ideas. The problem will arise if you start to lead your life by them.
Hence, it is necessary that open-minded people should always think of the dire consequences that they might have to face from resorting to harmful ideas in their lives.
Summing Up from ‘ThePleasantMind’
Open-mindedness is a positive quality to have in one’s personality. You look at other people’s situations, consider them unbiased and then draw desired conclusions.
It allows you to deal with life’s challenges in a courageous manner and keep yourself away from manipulation. You lead a life on your terms.
A Psychologist with a master's degree in Psychology, a former school psychologist, and a teacher by profession Chandrani loves to live life simply and happily. She is an avid reader and a keen observer. Writing has always been a passion for her, since her school days. It helps to de-stress and keeps her mentally agile. Pursuing a career in writing was a chance occurrence when she started to pen down her thoughts and experiences for a few childcare and parenting websites. Her lovable niche includes mental health, parenting, childcare, and self-improvement. She is here to share her thoughts and experiences and enrich the lives of few if not many.