According to Meriam-Webster, an open-minded person is open to [other] arguments and opinions and is not prejudiced.
Are you an open-minded? A large majority of people consider themselves to be open-minded. But truthfully, are they really? You might not be aware of it, but could you be manifesting the trait of closed-mindedness?
Being closed-minded will have have a negative impact on loved ones, your co-workers, and employer. It can make them feel unhappy and awkward in your company and cause them to avoid you. The conversation will often be stilted, as others will be guarded in their dialogue.
What does it mean to be an open-minded person
Open-minded people are pleasant, open, friendly, and accommodating. People seek their company, and are attracted to them like magnets. Well, who could resist such traits?
Take a good look at yourself. If you are objective and honest enough to recognize that you may be closed-minded, you can make improvements to your personal happiness, if you want to. The major point of recognition is that our personalities are not fixed, but plastic, and we have the power to re-mold them. With some work and mindfulness, you can grow to become a more pleasant and emotionally mature individual.
Signs you may have a closed mind
Let’s say your team is brainstorming to conceptualize an action plan to achieve your department’s quarterly goal. Or you and your significant other are discussing plans for your house or a holiday. Each person has their experience and likely have suggestions they wish to contribute. If you automatically assume your idea is the most viable, best thought-out, and workable and is typically frustrated that others don’t see the magic in your plans. You may be a closed minded person.
You might be argumentative about your own ideas and opinions, and instead of accepting other solutions, you might think you’re doing others a favor by using your own. But instead, your behavior shows lack of open mindedness, and new ideas.
Why are you behaving like this? You may not acknowledge other people’s ideas because you always think you’re right, know better, and don’t like your ideas challenged. This may be partly unconscious behavior, but it can generally be perceived as arrogance.
Some traits of a closed-minded person
Closed minded people may have a “me first” mentality, and selfishness is the root of it. If you have a “me first” attitude, you don’t have a deep sense of caring about others. You may feel entitled and may have elements of a narcissistic personality. As far as personal relationships go, you could end up being alone and lonely, with no one to empathize with and comfort your time of need.
You may be considered prejudiced and discriminatory. Because you judge others based on their skin color, education, socioeconomic status, culture, language, and nationality. You might believe that one race is superior to the others in terms of character, skills, and mental ability. Many people are not aware of their innate racism and can be in total denial of it.
I may help to take some time to examine the relative merits of your beliefs. Try to look inside yourself and ask “How would I feel if someone acted that way towards me?” If you have found something negative in your personality, can you acknowledge it and make a decision to change? Acknowledgment is a good start. Your mind is beginning to open to other points of view. You may be ready to relinquish the deep seated fear that cause you to keep your mind closed and be ready to embrace personality development.
Signs you are open-minded
Open-minded people genuinely care about others. When you’re open-minded, you appreciate differences and frame these into advantages rather than problems. You don’t look down on others because they are different, knowing that this diversity can produce creativity and be part of the solution.
You acknowledge that the other person has their own potential and ability just like you regardless of their racial or cultural identity. You are fair and balanced in your dealings and open to better ideas and ways of doing things. Even if the other person disagrees with your opinion.
You embrace change and progress and believe that more can be achieved if there is cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork. You respect the other person’s views even if they conflict with your own opinion.
Benefits of having an open mind
Open minded people are more successful. Because they allow themselves to be open to new opportunities and possibilities, such as a career change, higher education, or relocation to improve your earning ability or lifestyle. They have a greater willingness to make an effort accept change.
Being open-minded can help prevent you from placing too much expectation on yourself and others. This doesn’t mean you’re complacent; you are able to accept the reality and move on. When we fail to meet the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves and others unhappiness happens. The result is new or worsening health conditions such as hypertension, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or depression.
You will gain many more friends by being broad-minded. As a result, you have happier and more fulfilling relationships whether in your private or professional life. Because you are accepting of others you may expand your own intelligence because you give yourself the privilege of learning from others who are different.
Now you will experience a more relaxed and comfortable lifestyle because of your positive attitude. You’re not in conflict with everyone who is “different”. More positivity equals greater success and happiness.