On a scale of 1 through 10, how would you rate your open-mindedness? Are you usually accepting of people’s beliefs? Do you typically give a confused poodle look when others’ opinions contradict your own? Do you rarely say yes to invitations to new activities because your mind tells you there is no way you would have fun or relate to the people? Have I completely lost you with this interrogation? I have been there quite a few times. The pushback to being open is the fear of the unknown and the tendency to keep the same thought patterns most of our lives.
If you are ready to step up your open-mindedness game, I’m sure you will find at least one way that inspires you from the list below.
Be Social and friendly. You’ll discover being social will create the possibility for new experiences. Go to that belly dancing class your friend invited you to. Say yes to the girls’ road trip to Lake George, especially if a person you’ve never met is attending. The chemistry in your brain changes with new environments and new people. New scenery, new thoughts, and new people will allow you to try on a different personality. If you usually show your intellectual side, try a bubblier side. Be the carefree version of yourself! Walk over to someone of a certain age if you typically feel more at ease with those of the same generation. There is so much to discover from those much older as well as those much younger.
Contemplate a different opinion-Allow the other person to give their supporting arguments for their point-of-view. Listen with interest. Don’t focus on what your response will be. Could you be willing to try their opinion on for size? Could there be legitimacy to their perspective? How could acknowledging this perspective widen your social circle? Perhaps you hear an insight that you agree with but never crossed your mind. Creating an opening for a different view will make you a more conscious individual.
Remember our interconnectedness– Dr. Kristin Neff the self-compassion rock star/ expert once said, “When we’re in touch with our common humanity, we remember that feelings of inadequacy and disappointment are universal.” The false belief we are separate from one another, and nature is the primary cause of sadness. Every single person you meet is going through pain in one way or another. Pay attention to your word choices, they will affect people you don’t even know. Remembering this will increase your self-compassion which will increase your tolerance and flexibility. You will co-exist more peacefully and be a higher-value human being for it.
Be Curious– What exactly does this mean? It’s a state of mind like dropping intellect, drive, and desire for knowledge into a drink. Then shaking it up like a mixologist for a more sophisticated emotion. Curiosity can not only boost one’s skills but can be the conduit for social bonds. This occurs by encouraging engagement with others’ smorgasbord of perspectives. It’s like a magnet for relationship building. As humans, we are more attracted to people interested in us than those interested in themselves. One study suggested that curious people have a greater ability to accurately read social cues. This capability has some amazing outcomes. It enhances our overall well-being as well as resilience to rejection.
Stay Calm– Being in a relaxed state increases the likelihood of starting any conversation in a softer tone. Your tone is a big predictor of how an exchange turns out. According to the Gottman Method, the way we start a conversation is the way we end it. Think of going on a blind date after a big business deal fell through and your three-month diet resulted in zero weight loss. Now tell me how open this will make you during the date. Now think about having a productive day an easy day. In which of these two scenarios do you predict being open to listening and learning about the person in front of you? Correct 🙂
Being rigid emotionally and mentally takes away many life-changing opportunities. Be it making new friends, participating in new cultures and cuisines, and even reducing your sensitivity to rejection.
If you’re interested in my new Walk & Talk Warrior sessions or would like to learn additional methods of being-open-minded, please feel free to schedule a quick complimentary breakthrough session(link below) or simply say hello on Instagram. I love putting a face to your names and getting to know you!