Being open-minded person is one of the most powerful and essential skills that anyone can learn.
It gives you access to more information, new perspectives, and worlds that you may not have considered before. It also helps build a broader understanding of others, which in turn is a great way of showing compassion and empathy in relationships. For some, they may recognise the need to learn how to be an open-minded person.
What does it mean to be open-minded?
Being open-minded is about being willing to explore new ideas and find out new information. It is about the willingness to look at the information that may challenge your existing beliefs and concepts. Open-minded people usually look at things in a neutral way. They are not looking for information that would confirm their existing views and ideas and don’t have an opinion or bias on the subject.
Being open-minded is crucial to avoid being trapped in your own bubble of understanding and perception, which is also called confirmation bias. This is when you only look for information that supports your existing beliefs, opinions, or thoughts. You block out any information that contradicts your existing thoughts, creating a black and white view of the world. This can lead to a distorted view of reality and you may miss opportunities and important information.
What are the benefits of being open-minded?
Here are the top 5 benefits to being an open-minded person:
- Autonomy – the ability and freedom to do what you want in life, without dependence on other people and without being blocked or controlled.
- Creativity – the ability to think outside the box and try new ideas. It is also about thinking creatively about ideas, such as creative expression (music, art…)
- Contributing to society – By sharing your knowledge and ideas, you can help others and make a difference in the world.
- Independence – being open-minded means you can make decisions independently without having to conform to other people’s opinions and ideas. It is also about creating your own path in life, not just following the crowd or mainstream.
- Empathy – developing empathy is about understanding other people’s feelings, thoughts, emotions and motives. It relates to thinking about how a situation might affect someone else.
Now you understand what an open-minded person is and see all the amazing benefits it brings to you as a person. If you are still reading you are most likely in a position to want to under how to learn to be an open-minded person. We have put together the following 11 skills and tips that will help you develop a sense of open-minded.
11 Easy skills/tips to become open-minded
1. Do not judge a book by its cover.
This famous saying is so important for people to understand. In other words, we are not always able to determine if someone is open or closed-minded just by looking at them. One example is when you see a book that looks interesting on the table.
But if you only look at its cover without opening it you may assume that its contents are not worthwhile. But when you actually open the book, you will find out that it’s a very interesting and important piece of information.
Same with people – we don’t see their true colours until we expose them to our perspectives and ideas. So before you start judging people, it’s best that you have an open mind and look a little deeper. By engaging and learning more about them you will not only discover their true colours, but you will also learn a lot of valuable information about them. This is a great way to start building trust and relationships with other people.
2. Be curious
People who are curious tend to be more open-minded because they are always open to new ideas and ways of looking at things. Curiosity helps you see things in a new way, which in turn can help build a better understanding of the world and yourself. It helps you think in new ways and be more creative about new ideas and perspectives. In addition, it also helps you develop your creativity and also leads to greater productivity.
3. Find out about other people’s ideas
People with a deep interest in a subject or field tend to have a deeper understanding of its concepts. They may even go beyond others’ knowledge by researching on their own or look at outside information before forming an opinion or conclusion about something.
For example, when you read a book about a specific topic like games or technology you will discover new facts. So if you are interested in games, you will learn many facts about them that may not be mentioned in the book. This is because your mind is opening up to being more open-minded.
4. If you have a strong opinion about something or an idea, understand the opposite opinion better than those that hold it.
This is my favourite open minded skill. If you have a certain position on something and others hold another position. Do some research from a place of empathy which will lead you to understand the other point of view.
For example, if you have a strong opinion about Apple products and prefer Windows, then read what people who own another brand of Computer prefer. You will discover that you are not alone and that your perspective is not the only one.
Another example, if you are a feminist, try to understand the opposite view of people who are anti-feminist. If you are pro-abortion, try to understand the opinions of people who are anti-abortion. This is a great way to build up your understanding of people with different attitudes and beliefs to yourself and those around you. It also helps you challenge your own views and opinions that may be limited by bias or stereotypes of others.
5. Be open-minded to views that are different from yours
This is about building a better understanding of others by understanding their point of view and avoiding being judgmental or closed-minded to others’ opinions, actions, and ideas.
For example, if people think that exercise is good for a person because they feel better after exercising, then you should also make sure that you are open to the idea. You may change your perspective and understand that exercise can actually do harm to someone.
Or if people believe in ghosts or aliens, explain this by saying you are open-minded about it as there is no proof of this. If people say a celebrity is good, then you should also be open-minded about it.
6. Avoid being defensive and challenge yourself to accept all kinds of ideas
This skill can really benefit you in your relationships with other people. People who are open-minded tend to be more humble, supportive and sympathetic when others express their opinions or ideas. They are not quick to judge or criticize others for having different views on things as they have learned how important it is to be able to see the big picture.
People who are closed-minded usually have strong opinions and ideas about things. They tend to come across as negative, defensive and biased because they cannot see past a certain point of view or understanding.
As an open-minded person, you should be willing to accept views that differ from your own. This will help you build up relationships with others as they will not be quick to judge or criticize you and they will respect your humility and willingness to listen to their ideas.
7. Try to see things from different perspectives
This is about focusing on making sure that you understand the other person’s perspective and looking at things from a unique point of view. When you are open-minded about something, you will understand other people’s opinions and beliefs better. In fact, this skill can really help you better handle relationships with others.
One example is if someone believes that ghosts are real, then you should try to see it from their point of view. A child may believe that the TV is alive or a person may believe in Santa Claus. You should try to understand their point of view rather than dismiss it as crazy.
8. Challenge yourself to accept new ideas and understand different perspectives.
This is about building a broad understanding by expanding your knowledge and learning new things from different places and with different people. As an open-minded person, you must be willing to accept other people’s views, ideas, and beliefs even if they are different from your own.
9. Be willing to be wrong occasionally
Being open-minded means that you must be willing to accept that you may have been wrong or that someone else’s point of view is different from yours. By being open-minded, you can be in a better position to understand why and how you were wrong about something.
For example, if you think everyone should drink milk and your mother disagrees with you, then try to understand why she doesn’t like the idea of drinking milk. Maybe she has certain reasons that can explain why she doesn’t like this idea of drinking milk. This will help you accept that there are people who have opposing views to your own and it’s important to get to know them better.
Or maybe, you might be wrong about your own beliefs and ideas? Think of the following example:
You don’t like the idea of people owning guns because you believe that every human should own a gun and the only way to stop crime is to have more guns in the community. This is not true as there are many other ways to prevent crime. If you can be open-minded, then you would be able to admit that your idea may be wrong and you should consider other ways of dealing with crime.
This happened because there were so many people who had different views about vaccines. Some of them thought they were bad, some thought they were useful. There were reasons why they thought differently to you.
10. Try to be positive in order to build a better understanding of others
This skill can contribute a lot to your relationships with others. When you are open-minded, you will be able to understand other people’s points of view. You will have the ability to give others the opportunity to explain their point of view and when it is the time for them to talk, it’s because they want to choose it not because they are being forced.
This skill can really help you build and develop your relationships with others as you will not worry about getting into a conflict when they start to disagree with you. As an open-minded person, you will be in a better position to listen and support them when they express their points of view and beliefs.
11. Challenge yourself to understand issues in the world
This skill can contribute a lot to your relationships with others. It will help you understand the world better as it makes you aware of global issues and problems. By being an open-minded person, can influence your views and explain how you think about certain issues. You will be able to understand how others see things as opposed to being judgmental.
12. Try to let go of small problems in order to build a better understanding
This is about forgetting small differences so you know how to have a healthy relationship which involves building trust. It means that you must be willing to forgive someone who has wronged you but it doesn’t mean that you should accept everything or be open-minded over everything. Sometimes, when you want to build a better understanding with someone, it is important that they can forget what happened between them and your relationship that only lasted for a short period of time. This will help you have a healthier relationship in terms of trust and how you see each other.
For example, your friend has had an argument with you but they want to know if they can be friends again. If they ask to be friends with you again, then it means that they want to have a healthy relationship with you and they have accepted that the fight between them wasn’t important and that it only lasted for a short period of time.
13. Try to understand people’s opinions and beliefs without giving them your opinion
This would mean that you should not judge or criticize people’s viewpoints and ideas. This will help you understand why they have those beliefs and opinions so you can choose to agree, disagree, or support their views.
This skill can help you understand that the people around you can have different views and opinions which will contribute a lot to developing healthy relationships with them. You will not have to worry about getting into conflicts because you are open-minded as you will know when it’s the right time to share your point of view and the right time to agree or disagree.
You should not change or criticize people’s ideas because it doesn’t mean that you need to have the same beliefs but it means that you can accept them and build a better relationship with them. 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.
14. Read a lot
This will help you learn to understand other people’s views and opinions that will help you develop a healthy relationship with them. You can read books by different authors which can give you a better understanding of the world.
15. Learn to be a good listener
Being an open-minded person helps you to be a good listener. This skill can help you be aware of what others are telling you and you will not get distracted by your own ideas or thoughts. A good listener is someone who focuses on what the other person is saying and understands whether it makes sense or not.
If you have the ability to listen, then you will be able to fully understand what others are saying and it will help you build a better relationship with them.
You can develop good listening skills by trying to be patient, refraining from interrupting people when they are speaking, and paying attention.
5 Factors That Influence Open-Mindedness
There are several factors that influence how open-minded a person is.
Personality traits are one factor that often play a role in what the individual believes. The Five Factor Model of personality identifies openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism as five broad dimensions of personality. Openness is the degree to which individuals are curious or creative about trying new things or want to intellectualize ways of thinking about things.
1. Openness to experience
A person who is open to experience would be someone who is willing to discuss a concept or idea that is new or different from their own. Being open to experience would mean being able to keep an open mind and not being judgmental about something they have not been exposed to before. Someone who is not as open as someone else may be more likely to say no or even attack the new idea.
A person who is conscientious may find it hard to think outside of the box. Someone who is not as conscientious about an idea may be able to come up with something new, whereas someone who is very conscientious would rather stay within the system than think outside of it.
People who are more extroverted tend to have a mind that is open to new ideas and ways of thinking because they do not get so caught up in other things going on in their life. Extroverts tend to be more excited about a new idea or concept and are more willing to try different things.
A person who is agreeable is more likely to be open to new ideas because they do not see the world in a dark way. They tend to be more flexible in their thinking and are less critical of others. Someone who is disagreeable would have a harder time being open-minded because they do not want to try new things for fear of making an enemy of someone else.
A person who is neurotic would be more likely to be close-minded because they are more worried about other people’s opinions. Someone who is not neurotic would probably be more open to new ideas because they are less likely to be affected by others. The reason someone is neurotic can make them more or less open-minded. The trait can also be inherited, so it goes in both directions.
When you want to build a better understanding with others, you have to try to be open-minded. You have to be willing to listen and learn from what other people are saying and why they believe what they believe.
This involves developing your listening skills because you will need to understand the other person’s points of view and beliefs and why they believe them so that you can give them the opportunity to explain them properly.
You also need to be patient and give them time to explain themselves properly in order for you to understand their reasons. When you are impatient, it means that you will get frustrated and may argue with them if they are taking too much time.
Whenever someone is telling you something that you don’t want to believe, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have reasons for believing what they do. Try to understand why they feel that way and if they are positive about it, try to listen to their explanation. You may agree with them or not but at least you now know that there are reasons for them believing what they believe.
You cannot change or be open-minded on everything as you have certain values, beliefs, and ideas that you will always hold as being right. Regardless of whether it’s rational or not, try to accept their views and opinions in order to build a better relationship with them. You may not agree with them and you may have strong values that will affect your relationships but at least you will know that they have their reasons for believing what they believe and why they have those beliefs.
Some people are not open-minded about everything but this doesn’t mean that you can change them or be open-minded about everything. This is just an example of what it means to be open-minded.
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, it is best to disregard certain ideas and thoughts because they won’t give you a greater understanding and will only make you believe in things that don’t make sense.
It is important for every person to have certain beliefs and values because these are what will help them in making good decisions in life.