We all struggle with it to some degree or another.
Regardless, of where we’re from. Growing up in our society we’ve been conditioned from early years to think and perceive things in a certain way. Nothing wrong with it, as long as, that very way will not limit our thinking and hurt those around us in the process.
“Intelligence is sexy” t-shirt?!
When that happens we got to call out a specific term to describe this case. It’s called narrow-mindedness and some of us tend to demonstrate that characteristics more than others. Before we go deeper into why people are narrow-minded, let’s take a quick look at this check list to determine what traits narrow minded people typically display.
1. Very judgmental.
They know it all, and they always have their say about what someone else should do, say, or how they should look like. Typically, those statements are nowhere near being positive. Judgmental people know best, what their friends should be doing with their life, how their relationships should be like, and what their neighbor should wear. Their statuses on social media are often criticizing others with no intention to give anyone at least a bit of credit.
2. Must be (always) right.
“I told you so” is their favorite motto. There is no way to win an argument with a narrow minded person, not to mention getting to some form of agreement. They will turn around the facts to support their opinion and will never let you have the last word.
3. Xeno/Homo/Humano… phobic.
Anything even slightly different is a thread. Foreigners, gays, people from lower or higher social class… Narrow-minded person can be very good at hiding these phobias and not show their disapproval on the surface, but deep inside they have a negative view on these people.
4. Stuck in their habits.
Narrow-minded person can be going on over and over that they’re not feeling well, but they will not try to do improve their diet or undertake any physical activity. They complain about their job, but they will not address any issues they face and try to get help. When driving a car they swear on other drivers, like they’d have forgotten that they’re also driving here, and belong to the same kind of species called human beings.
5. Generalizing lots.
Statements such as “All foreigners still jobs”, “Rich people are rich, because they steal”, “All politicians are liars”, “Such and such country is dangerous” and so on, are their beliefs. The thing is, that these are often repeated slogans they’ve heard from others or read in tabloids and have no real evidence to.
They use words such as: “always”, “never”, “everybody”, “all” and so on in form of accusations. “You never listen to me!”, “All men want one thing” and more.
Generalizing is very common in our society and it hurts not only people towards whom we address these slogans, but mostly, it hurts us, because by doing so, we are closing our mind even more. It’s very bad energy – yeah generally speaking!
6. Getting offended or upset easily.
Many things, even small things can offend a narrow minded person. A girl in a bar who wore something they’d never dare, a friend’s friends who didn’t pay them attention they think they deserve, a taxi driver who didn’t say “Thank you”.
Now, it is important to be able to set apart getting upset for these things over and over from a short term “bad mood” situation, when you get up and everything seem to irritate you. You are a human being and it would be very narrow- minded of yourself to think that you’re not allowed to moan from time to time!
7. They’re dishonest and have trust issues.
One works with another. Obviously, I am not talking about situations when you don’t trust someone because your gut feeling is telling you not to, neither when lack of trust is an outcome of your past trauma. It’s absolutely understandable and OK to question things and people. However if you don’t trust anyone by definition, perhaps it’s the time to ask yourself what are you protecting yourself from? Some people deserve a chance, so you do.
8. Giving up on people on first attempt.
Not because these people have done something terrible, but because they were not as perfect as you expected them to. They did well in pretty much everything; they were kind, respectful to you and funny but they did that one single thing which overshadowed the whole experience with that person. Here, we may argue that it’s a matter of maturity and perhaps that’s the case at times. Nonetheless when you’re a grown up and still choose to see one negative thing over a few positive it is simply unfair and deserves a second thought.
9. Doing that ONE thing only.
They will listen to only one type of music, eat only food from their country even when they travel abroad, see only people within their social circle etc. There is nothing wrong with preferring one thing over another as long as you’re happy. On the other hand you’re the one who may miss out on different life opportunities. Narrow- mildness is though when you do that one thing and think that’s the best way ever, and show lack of respect by imposing it on others.
10. Having an agenda.
They call their friends when they need something or they feel lonely because their partner is away. Otherwise you don’t hear from them. They want you in their life because you got something they want to make use of, and hanging out with you will make them feel better about themselves.
Ufff… these are only some treads, the list could reach up higher if we really wanted to expand on this. Narrow-mindedness is a hard one, because in one way or another, we are all partly narrow minded. Coming from very judgmental society it took me years to watch my thoughts and fight them when I was getting constantly upset about people doing things in the way I’d never do. I still struggle at times. Nonetheless it’s still worth it, because the more open-minded you become the better you feel about yourself.
And here is a small definition to nail it.
Narrow minded is when you don’t think for yourself and mostly repeat what you’ve heard. Open mind is when you start really thinking with your own instinct and you say “Hey let’s see what happen if I open up for a different way to think about that?”