In this article we discuss how to deal with closed minded people. Practice these communication tips to make a connection with someone who is closed minded.
We’ve all encountered, and sometimes even worked or lived with, an individual
that simply refuses to see anything from any perspective outside of their own.
Sometimes this isn’t much of an issue, since many things are often best left to
personal preference, like choice in diet, or taste in music.
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But say you’re dealing with someone who’s closed mind is directly interfering with your quality of life, or effecting those around you and them negatively?
Well, there are several techniques that might loosen up those mental hinges.
Find something you both agree about that relates to the topic at hand
The first step to creating productive dialogue is to find common ground in your beliefs.
Sometimes the only difference between what you and someone else believe can be found
in the differences in the personal definitions for the terms you are using.
Asking specific questions about what they believe can help you and them both understand more about the topic in question, and each other.
Avoid triggering ego responses
Everyone has their beliefs for a reason, and often times seemingly terrible beliefs
are internally founded and rooted in something the person considers important and precious,
such as the availability of food or shelter, or even the survival of the culture they inhabit.
We are all prone to conflate ourselves with the things we consider important aspects of ourselves,
like our culture, our beliefs, even our talents or tastes.
So when you question the validity of a belief, a person can feel personally attacked by it, and immediately close off and stop listening to anything you have to say.
This of course includes being respectful and kind to whoever you’re having a disagreement with, after all, how can you expect someone who’s behaving irrationally to listen to you if you’re retaliating with similar behavior?
Use examples from other topics and metaphors
Sometimes all it takes to change a perspective is to be shown how similar or identical lines of
reasoning can apply to different situations.
It’s especially helpful if you frame the example with something the other person relates to, or has experience with.
Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something
The best way to lead is by example, and when others see that you are humble enough to admit you
aren’t an expert in a specific field, they might loosen up and start to question how much they
know or don’t know about it themselves.
Always question yourself first
Before you try tackling a debate and deal with a closed minded person, practice on yourself! Try to challenge everything you think is true by seeking out new information every day.
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