Key Principles You Need to Know About Being Open-Minded

I really enjoy having conversations with people from different cultures because it opens my eyes to new ideas, new foods, new religious beliefs and different worldviews.  Being open-minded is one of the traits that I learned at UNC-Charlotte and it is one that I am most proud of having learned.  This past weekend our little blog passed 3000 followers, a feat I never could have imagined when starting this 7 months ago!

There is a large percentage of my readers from other countries and it has been very neat to learn about new cultures and political situations.  Differing opinions can cause conflict though and having the right mindset is crucial.  When I have talked of being open-minded in the past I asked lots of questions and one of those questions was: do you go into conversations with the willingness to have your position changed or do you go into a conversation to defend your position to the death?  So with that said here are some Key Principles You Need to Know About Being Open-Minded:

I prefer to listen to folks and allow myself to stick to my convictions, but also understand that there is the possibility that I have been wrong or held an uninformed opinion.

I think too many times people go into discussions presupposing what the other will say or only listening in order to form rebuttals.  And this is a mistake that robs most people of learning.

I do not look at accepting that I could be wrong as weakness!  On the contrary, it is strength!  To put oneself in the position to have your opinion or position changed is to say I do not know everything.  I do not presume to have more knowledge than I really do, therefore I am open to learn, I am open to experience and I am open to have my mind changed.

How do you approach debate or conversation?  Listen to argue or listen to learn?  Don’t answer quickly.  Stop and think.  Are you waiting anxiously for others to shut up so you can interject your opinion?  Or do you let people complete their thought and listen intently to what is being said?

The reason I say not to answer quickly is in my 43 years on this planet I can count on 1 hand the people I know that are truly open to have their mind or opinion changed during debate.  And I have a lot of friends!

I challenge you to challenge yourself to start listening with the willingness to have your opinion changed.  This does not imply that your opinion will be changed, but it does mean you are willing to consider other options or possibilities.  Just a thought for a Monday…

Open your mind, open your world!

Big Dreamer

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39 thoughts on “Key Principles You Need to Know About Being Open-Minded

  1. Being open minded is the only way to be, it is most definitely a strength and one I wouldn’t want to live without. I too have learned so much from my blog friends from other countries, so fascinating and possibly life changing to listen to others. I am selfish, I don’t want to miss anything this world has to offer so I listen to everyone, doesn’t mean I accept all their ideas but I feel that I should at least listen, never hurts to do so. Much light and peace to you. Michelle

  2. I like to learn. I find many different things fascinating. However, I have a few things that no matter what someone says, my opinion will not change; I see them as ethical positions. I will listen to information regarding why someone has such and such an opinion. I find that lots of times people have an opinion, but no reasoning behind it. Then, I haven’t really learned anything new. Too sad.

  3. Beautiful and inspirational words. I love the way you think! As long as we’re open minded, sky is the limit! Have a beautiful day!

  4. I have changed my mind and determined I was wrong on nearly every firmly-held belief that I ever had before! Which is why I’m the Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick! I used to be ignorant, due to my parents keeping me that way, but no more!

  5. Great challenge and I accept. I do believe I fall under both categories. Depends on the topic but I am actively working on being more open minded. Great post and one of the greatest obstacles/challenges of the human race loving one another instead of fighting one another 😉

  6. Reblogged this on anewperspectiveperhaps and commented:
    I do believe if the we would listen and try understand more, the world would be a loving and gentle place. This is a great post that will make you think about how you directly influence the world around you depending on whether you are open or closed minded.

  7. I go into every conversation with an open mind. Any preconceived judgement doesn’t even occur to me. I guess I’ve just always been that way. I also enjoy reading blogs from people all over the world. It’s one of my favorite things about blogging! Listening had always suited me better than talking. I love meeting new and interesting people and hearing their stories

  8. Same here… And I accept that people will always be individuals with different beliefs and opinions. I usually do not force my opinion unless… It is well backed up by a “multitude” of reliable evidence. A good coffee to Peter may not even a coffee for John. 🙂

  9. Excellent. It’s a shame that politicians doesn’t realise this; the debates always end in a compromission, since either side can’t see anything else than black and white. It’s merely an act of desperation. But nonetheless, it’s awesome to know that there are other smart people out there! Thanks for existing.

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