Keeping an Open Mind

Being open-minded is generally thought of as a necessary quality to think critically. It helps us to see all the factors that might be affecting a situation. It is one of the factors that protect against dogmatism.

Being open-minded can be tricky, especially if we have grown up defending our worldview and opinions within our family of origin. Most of us have inherited our world views from our family, religion and culture, and will go through a natural process of questioning those views.

We ask ourselves if the world views we have inherited feel aligned with our inner truth. Open-minded people question what they have learnt as children to see if it aligns with what they know as adults—open-minded people fact-check. 

As we develop differing world views to our family of origin and friends, there can be a period of internal instability as you become clear about your new ideas and do the research. It can be shocking for your friends and family to hear your new views; they might feel betrayed somehow.

One way to quell this type of response is to say something like: “Because we disagree on this topic, doesn’t mean there is any less love between us. We can still be close and not agree on this particular issue.”

Did you go through a period of evaluating your familial beliefs and choosing your own? How did your family respond?

Love Jen