Three Ways to Become More Open Minded
Everyone has an opinion on everything, whether they acknowledge it or not. Your opinions can be docile or intensely passionate, with different people placing their emphasis on different things.
For example, some people have strong political opinions to the point they centre their lives around it, whereas other people feel more strongly about whether pineapple belongs on pizza.
Opinions are what make us who we are and form part of our personalities, but an issue arises when you are unable to be open-minded and accept that other people have a different opinion to yourself. We’re all guilty of it in one respect or another, and that’s why everyone can benefit from being more open minded.
So how exactly do you become open minded? It’s not an overnight thing and takes years of practice, but we’ve put together three tips that will surely help you change your way of thinking and set on the track to becoming more reciprocating of different viewpoints.
- Ask questions when you don’t understand something
The first step to being more open minded is to concede when you don’t know a lot about something and ask questions about it. It’s a natural instinct to form an opinion on something at face-value. As much as people say they don’t people or actions before finding out more, that’s simply not true. It’s human nature to form an opinion off the bat, but as an open minded person, you need to learn to keep your opinion to yourself until you know more about the topic.
This means acknowledging your gap in knowledge related to that topic and not being afraid to ask questions to learn more. Do you want to know more about what inflation is and how it affects your daily life? Ask someone. Are you questioning whether your small efforts will really make a difference to climate change? Speak to someone who knows about it. Are you asking yourself ‘why do Muslims give Qurbani?’ because it’s a religion different to your own? Pose the question to a Muslim.
By asking questions we learn, and the more we learn the more we know. As our knowledge increases, so too does our capacity to form an opinion based on all available information. This is an essential facet of being open minded.
- Diversify your experiences and try new things
In the same way as asking opinions exposes you to new information, so does trying new things. If you can, say yes to different invitations. After all, you won’t know if you like something unless you try it first – despite your pre-conceived opinions. Where possible, travel and explore different cultures. Experiment with food, and don’t be afraid to try different styles.
The more diverse your experiences are, the more open minded you can be.
- Acknowledge your personal biases
The final step to being open minded is possibly the hardest and involves acknowledging your personal biases. This can be difficult for many because it can expose them to the reality that they may hold certain prejudices and opinions that are not all that pleasant, but without acknowledging those opinions, you can’t put yourself in a position to change them and learn more.
As mentioned, being open minded isn’t an overnight change. It’s a journey that can take quite some time to complete, but it’s worth it in the end. You’ll find yourself more empathetic, understanding and ready to engage with people from all walks of life. You’ll still have your opinions, but as long as the ability to see things from other points of view, that’s what matters the most.