What does being open minded really mean?

United States
December 31, 2008 2:50pm CST
I've been speaking to someone for about a month now and the other day they told me "You say you're open minded, but you're not." The thing that caused them to say this is I am not for recreational drug use. I retorted being open minded means "Trying to get to know something bnefore you decide whether you like(or support) it. It doesn't mean supporting everything". What does being open minded mean to you? Can you be open minded and not like certain things or groups?
2 people like this
6 responses
@ichandel (47)
31 Dec 08
i believe it means being able to see the point from everyones perspective and yet be able to keep your stand but not to base your decisions on prejudice or on trusting stereo typing ideas of others.
@mkmoney (468)
31 Dec 08
it means some thing like expect anything or expect the unexpected....i dont really know what it means ..but had a guess. lol
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Apr 09
Open Minded means being willing to push your mind- to find weaknesses in your arguments, so you may either discard them or find a way to combat that weakness and retain them. Open Mindedness is the act of constantly improving yourself by wondering "Why?", and finding the answer amid all the lies.
@amoyube1980 (2233)
• Somalia
12 Apr 09
I define open-minded as the ability to listen to new ideas or other's ideas without being judgemental about it. It is about allowing other people to have their own opinion without being offended if they don't agree with one. It is being able to share what I believe in without forcing other to believe in the same. It is being able to gain new knowledge, esoteric, weird or unreligious without compromising what I believe in.
• India
2 Jan 09
to me open minded refers to someone who is frank, accept things as they are & also have a broad mind towards people.. You should be able to read the mind of a person who is open enough.. But ofcourse that does not mean open minded peole should accept all bad things also.. In that case they should strongly object & this has nothing to do with their open mindness..
@wheel416 (1019)
• Canada
2 Jan 09
Being open minded is a phrase we hear a lot nowadays. It is my personal opinion that many people use it without really stopping to consider what it means. I think that you are absolutely correct in your opening posting. Being an open minded person, and liking, or accepting anothers decision are two very different things. For me personally, Being open minded simply means being willing to listen to anothers point of view, accept that they may have some valid points to support the conclusion that they've come to. After being willing to listen, the next step in being open minded would be to then evaluate the opposing point of view. Taking the points that you think are valid, and accepting them to be at least of equal value to your own. It's not about whether you agree or disagree with someone. It's about being able to listen , and understand even if you do not agree. After listening and truly understanding anothers point of view, I am then in a better position to decide whether your decision is an equally valid option, perhaps not the same option I would choose, but no better or worse then my choice. If your choice then fits within my personal value or belief system, I can then move on to accepting it as your choice. Alternatively, if I find that your choice is contrary to my belief system or values, I can disagree with your opinion and not necessarily accept it, but only hear it, has a different point of view. I do not have to agree with another person's decision in order to love and support them. I can love and support a friend and hate their decision. Or as I've heard others put it, I can love the person, and yet still dislike the behavior. I hope I've been able to adequately put my thoughts into words. I'm just trying to point out and there's a difference between being open minded, listening and accepting the choice of another as being valid and believing that their choice is the correct one. So I think the final piece, to being open minded, is hearing the other point of view, sharing my own, and believing, that neither is any better or worse then the other. Absolute open mindedness then could be, hearing an opposing viewpoint, validating it, sharing your own, and then not trying to change the other person's viewpoint. The only exception to this rule that I can think of at the moment would be, if a person's choices, affected the welfare of a child and put them in imminent physical danger. I hope that makes sense. What a great topic! All the best to you in the new year and happy Mylotting!