Being narrow–minded closes the door to opportunity and insight!
Thankfully, the sun was out and it was the perfect day for a walk in the park. Linda had been feeling closed-minded lately, so she figured she‘d clear her head and was determined to try to be open–minded while she was there.
As she walked around the park, she noticed a group of people ahead of her that seemed to be quite different than her. She tried to keep a positive attitude but something about them made her feel uncomfortable. Yet she decided that it was no excuse to be narrow-minded and determined to give them a chance.
So she walked closer and realized that they were speaking a language she was unfamiliar with. Linda turned away and started to walk but then quickly realized what she was doing. She had been so quick to judge and immediately dismissed them, out of her own fear.
Linda took a deep breath and walked back towards them. She was surprised to find that they were actually quite friendly and welcoming! Two of them spoke English, so Linda was able to make conversation.
The group had come to the park to do group meditation and invited Linda to join them. At first, she was hesitant but eventually decided to give it a try. The experience was surprisingly refreshing and fun. After the meditation, they shared stories, jokes and talked about their life experiences.
Linda felt closer to the group and had gained a new appreciation for them. Linda realized that being narrow-minded isn’t good. Being open-minded can open so many doors and Linda is thankful that she finally opened her mind and gave them a chance.
It’s All About Your Mindset
“Your mindset defines your reality, so focus on creating a positive and productive one.”
Narrow–Mindedness is a mindset that closes off any new ideas, information, or experiences before allowing yourself to fully consider them. This can constrain personal growth by limiting the range of perspective and understanding one may have.
Broad–Mindedness is the opposite – an open–minded approach to life that encourages exploration and understanding of different perspectives, ideas and experiences. Being Broad–Minded is usually seen as a positive quality that can lead to personal growth and deeper understanding.
Looking In The Mirror
What kind of person are you, narrow-minded or broad-minded? If asked, a large majority would no doubt consider themselves to be broad-minded, but objectively, would they all really be? You might not be aware of it, but could you be manifesting the trait of narrow-mindedness?
If so, it will be having a negative impact on your family, friends, acquaintances, employer, and co-workers. 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.
How about if you’re broad-minded? When you’re pleasant, open, friendly, and accommodating, people seek your company, and they are attracted to you like you’re a magnet. Well, who could resist such traits?
If you are objective and honest enough to recognize that you may be narrow-minded, you can make huge 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 Be Narrow-Minded
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 has suggestions they wish to contribute. Do you automatically assume you’re your idea is the most viable, best thought-out, and workable? Are you shocked and surprised that others don’t see the magic in your plans?
You might think you’re doing others a favor by using your brilliant ideas. You may be trying to convince them with your opinions and might even be argumentative about it. Maybe you are oblivious to the fact you’re exhibiting narrow-minded behavior. Or you might know what you’re doing, but you’re too proud to accept that there may be other better solutions.
Why are you behaving like this? You may not acknowledge other people’s ideas because you always think you’re right and know better. This may be partly unconscious behavior, but it will generally be perceived as smugness.
You Possess a “Me First” Mentality
Another reason might be you have a “me first” mentality, and selfishness is the root of it. If you have a “me first” attitude, you don’t care appropriately 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 sympathize with and comfort you in times of distress.
You could be prejudiced and discriminatory. You may judge others based on their skin color, education, social status, culture, language, and nationality. Perhaps you 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.
It helps to examine and ask yourself, “How would I feel if the positions were reversed?” If you have found something negative in your personality, can you accept it and resolve to change? Acknowledgment is a good start. You’re starting to be more open-minded because you’re ready to embrace personality development.
Signs You are Broad-Minded
When you’re broad-minded, you appreciate differences and frame these into advantages rather than problems. Firstly you don’t look down on others because they are different, knowing that this diversity can produce creativity and be part of the solution.
Additionally, you acknowledge that the other person has their own potential and ability just like you regardless of race and nationality. You are fair and balanced in your dealings and open to better ideas and ways of doing things. You embrace change and progress and believe that more can be achieved if there is cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork.
Benefits of Being Broad-Minded
You’re more successful when you are broad-minded because you’re open to new opportunities and possibilities, such as a career change, higher education, or relocation to improve your earning ability or lifestyle. You have a greater willingness to accept change.
Being broad-minded can help prevent you from expecting too much from yourself and other people. This doesn’t mean you’re complacent; you are able to accept the reality and move on. When unrealistic expectations are not met, it can cause and worsen 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. You will experience a more relaxed and comfortable lifestyle because of your positive attitude. More positivity equals greater success and happiness.
Being narrow–minded can often make life more difficult. It can keep us from making meaningful connections and can make us feel isolated and disconnected. Broad–minded individuals, on the other hand, have an abundance of opportunities and experiences to learn from. They are open to new ideas, cultures, and different points of view, and they can use those experiences to become more compassionate and understanding.
Broad–mindedness helps us to become more accepting of ourselves and of others. It allows us to better understand the world and stay current with change. Keeping an open mind provides us with a better range of potential opportunities, while narrow–mindedness can blind us to potential paths that may be beneficial in our lives.
With an open mind, we can learn new things that may bring success to our lives.