How being open-minded literally changes the way you see the world

How To Become More Open Minded (Even If You Suck At It)

I used to be pretty close-minded when I was younger. I thought I was right when I wasn’t. I had a limited set of hobbies. I wasn’t interesting and interested in others so I came off boring and cold.

But I didn’t want a boring life without friends or women. So I started to change my perspective.

I’ll show you how to become more open minded.

What is An Open Minded versus Close Minded Person?

An open minded person is okay with new, unfamiliar ways of living life or performing tasks. This can extend to adopting new cultures or finding faster but strange ways of achieving a goal.

A close minded person, also known as a narrow minded person, is someone who is against adopting new styles. There are many reasons why they are against it, usually stemming from fear of the unknown or different and love of the comfort from familiarity.

A close minded person is similar but not the same as a small minded person. A small minded person is someone who gets caught up in trivial problems or concerns in life at the cost of long term happiness and success. An example would be a woman arguing with and obsessing over a lady who acted slightly rude to her so much that it makes her sad the rest of the day, completing forgetting that she is healthy and young, her family is alive, and she’s living in the top 1% wealthiest percentile of the world. Why are people close minded? They’re often born naive and stay ignorant about how to live life most strategically.

The difference between and open minded and close minded person is in their willingness to adopt new concepts, ways of life, or practices. It can be as small as trying a new Afghan cuisine to as big as living in a new country.

Why Open Minded People Live In A Better Reality (Benefits of Open-Mindedness) & Get More Success

A new psychological study by Antinori, Carter, & Smillie revealed that open-minded people may live in a completely different reality.

They found that openness and mood can affect how you visually perceive the world, which can affect creativity.

Another study by Stanovich & West found that open-minded thinking, the ability to evaluate objective argument quality independent of prior belief, was reliably linked to cognitive ability.

Science aside, I have made a conscious effort to become more open in the last couple years because:

  • A wider range of activities in your daily life appear fun, so you’re less bored.
  • You’re less of an repelling asshole by doing more than just what amuses you.
  • You become more of an interesting, attractive person by trying out more activities than the rigid “video games and porn” of a typical nerd.
  • You’re less of an annoying downer to be around when your movie tastes, food tastes, or other interests clash with people you want to hang out with.
  • You develop more relationships and communication skills with others by showing more sympathy by taking into account their interests and dislikes.
  • You become more attractive romantically by showing strong mental health with adaptability and resiliency (mentally unhealthy people stick with what they know too much).
  • You’re more creative and detect more possibilities, which is great for any artistic craft, analytic work, business decision, or research.

For example, if you are close-minded (which I used to naturally be) you are, by definition, less likely to be unwilling to put aside personal bias to find the truth about the world. It’s unscientific.

We naturally walk around with hundreds of biases of different degrees: sexism, greed, racism, commitment and consistency bias, liking bias, the halo effect, social proof bias, and so on.

What the scientific method does is root out as many of these biases as possible by sticking to a strict procedure, controlling all factors, and looking at just the results. It’s not perfect but a lot better than most other processes. In fact, it’s helped us double our life expectancy, travel to the moon, and realize that the planets don’t revolve around us and that maggots don’t spawn from dead flesh.

However, on a person-to-person level, we don’t interact on through the scientific method. We let out biases seep out unconsciously and we often come into a debate already decided on our beliefs before considering the other side.

Being more open-minded is tough. When you’re in the moment, and swept up with emotion, you don’t want to even consider someone else’s perspective. You’re heated. Maybe you’re even angry. So how do you do it?

Listen to my podcast of how to be more open-minded:

Download this podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher to listen to on your phone while you’re on the go.

Will's Personal Development Podcast

In addition, being more open minded can improve your dating success.

The Mating Grounds podcast and its counterpart book What Women Want, bring on board hundreds of scientific studies and dozens of revered scientists to decipher the science of attraction. They found that adopting more open minded characteristics, like the willingness to try new restaurants and cuisines in the area or trying on new clothes, signals mental health through playfulness and adaptability, key traits women unconsciously look for in a mate.

Become the Expert of the Other Side First

The billionaire Charlie Munger has said numerous times that the world would be a much better place if you didn’t take aside until you can argue the other side better than anyone else. But most people don’t because it’s less work to skip the research.

If someone believes that everyone should be vegan, she usually knows a few reasons for why being a vegan is beneficial but not much on why being vegan may be wrong or unhealthy. If she could understand and argue the other side better than anyone else, she would be ten times more persuasive because she can address and counter any claim and she’s proven to be an expert. Moreover, she can be more confident in her decision.

Learning more about the other side can help you optimize your life by getting you to make better decisions than you would have. For example, if you’re close-minded, you may not see the value in meditation or journaling. But if you open yourself to researching thoroughly the science and evidence, you may change your mind and it may actually improve your results in life.

Don’t Swing to the Other Extreme

“Another thing I think should be avoided is extremely intense ideology because it cabbages up one’s mind. When you’re young, it’s easy to drift into loyalties and when you announce that you’re a loyal member and you start shouting the orthodox ideology out, what you’re doing is pounding it in, pounding it in, and you’re gradually ruining your mind.” -Charlie Munger, speech at USC

You should avoid swinging to the other end of the pendulum and becoming too open-minded as well. The biggest danger I can think of is if you are so willing to try new things without factoring in the potential risks of death, poor health, or permanent drops in performance that can occur.

Drugs and traveling alone with strangers that can rape, hurt, or murder you abroad or in unfamiliar areas come to mind. It sounds obvious but it’s still worth warning against.

How to Deal with Close Minded People

Accept close minded people for who they are. By definition, they are hard or impossible to change.

If you can, spend more time with open minded people if you struggle with getting innovative ideas or styles across.

You may be able to change some close minded people into more open minded people, but it can take years and it’s often done through symbiosis and leading-by-example rather than logically arguing with them. Seeing the benefits of another way of life is often a better emotional persuader than logic. Forcing or trying to hard to change someone often backfires.

Respect the beauty of close minded people because being close minded isn’t always bad. Being too open minded can lead to downfall as well. Just because something is fresh or different doesn’t mean it’s better. Some activities, like hard drugs or a leisure, laid back culture, may destroy your chances of achieving your life goals.

Are you open minded? What have you learned here to stay open minded? Let me know in the comments.

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