I love being around people that are open and accepting of different perspectives. People that are curious about other ways of doing things besides what they know and what they're comfortable with. It's brave and interesting. Call it open minded, accepting, non judgemental; I’m not sure how to define this quality. What I do know is that there is a different energy and feeling to a person who approaches me with curiosity and acceptance rather than judgement and rejection. It’s straight up refreshing for me to be around someone whose open to different ways of thinking, being and living. It’s rich.
I know that within my own experience when I have felt that my way of seeing the world is judged or not accepted, it definitely doesn’t make me feel like I want to continue to share myself with another. Absolutely contrary to sharing, it makes me want to shut up and close off. It’s not welcoming and it doesn’t feel good.
I’m a huge believer that it’s for you, ultimately, to decide how you want to approach life and think about things. How you see and think about things helps you find your people and leads you to the reality of your life. Usually when you feel connected to another it’s because you feel like “they get it.” Another kind of connection that can happen and that you can learn a lot from is when you “don’t get it,” but remain curious and open enough to hearing a different perspective. There is a way to “not get it,” but remain open to seeing a viewpoint or way of thinking of another from a different angle. This is what can make life interesting and can introduce you to new ways of doing things.
Do you feel like you're a person that’s open to seeing things differently?
Seeing something differently, especially when it’s a topic that you have a solid and clear opinion about, can be tough. I ask this in order for you to do some introspection on where you lie with this topic. How open are you to a person, world or situation that operates really differently than you? There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s just an opportunity for you to get real with yourself.
Whatever feelings that come up from that question are not to be judged. Just notice them and hang out with what comes up. A further question would be to ask yourself if you're looking to become a more accepting and open person if you’ve discovered that you’re not as open as you would like to be.
If you struggle with relationships, people and situations that present differently than you, that’s okay. Here are some thoughts to help you consider a different angle of thinking if you’re struggling to see a different perspective.
We Are All Coming From Different Ways of Being
We were all raised differently, had different life experiences and came from different family situations. Nobody has had the exact set of circumstances that you have had in your life that make you who you are. This is obvious, but really easy to forget. I know I’m a victim of “not getting it” with another and the unfortunate thing with that is that it usually causes a disconnect or shuts down a relationship before it can start.
We Are All Wired Differently
For some odd reason, I was born drawn to certain things and turned off from others. I’m not sure why, nor am I going to pick that apart. Sometimes it’s a good reminder to remember that just as you wouldn’t want someone to change something about you that is natural within you, be mindful that you're not asking that of another. I know that’s something that can really fire me up inside: When I’m told that something I’m doing that’s like clock work for me is “wrong.” I suppose that’s relative. If it feels right for you and you like the results you are getting in your life for being a certain way, then carry on my friend.
We Are Not Meant to Think the Same
I’m so glad that everyone is not like me because that would be boring, right? We don’t need a world of clones. Learning to be curious about differences instead of judgmental will always lead to a better result. Bottom line: Different ways of thinking and contrasting types of people keep it interesting.
Maybe there have been times within your own life or there will be times in the future where you can benefit from seeing a situation from a different angle or perspective. This doesn’t mean that you need to change the way you think and are. What I’m offering is for you to open up your mind in order to see a person, situation or experience from another angle that accepts rather than rejects. I’ve never heard of anyone miserable about another person approaching them with an open mind. Keep it airy and open. It's way more welcoming.
* I took this picture last weekend on a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.