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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » how do you reconcile your beliefs with "open-mindedness"?

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Author Topic: how do you reconcile your beliefs with "open-mindedness"?
000
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I can't be the only one with this experience. You know, when you are arguing about something from a feminist standpoint and someone calls you
"close-minded" b/c you have strongly-held beliefs. Most of us these days like to think of ourselves as "open-minded". Is that a meaningless term? What do you think?

(Not exactly the same, but relatedly, I've had tensions with my mom the past couple of years whenever she makes a negative comment about someone's appearance or sex life and I ask her not to. (Like for instance, telling me my legs need muscle tone or telling my sister she needs to lose weight. Or insinuating that someone is dirty b/c they choose to have sex in more casual relationships than what my mom thinks is appropriate.) She thinks I'm being "uptight" when I complain about her comments. But no one else in my family is willing to voice an opininon on the issue. So yeah, do you get the "uptight" or "close-minded" comments a lot? Are they a sign you shouldn't voice your views so much? How do you deal?

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Alatariel
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I think that one is "open-minded" when they're willing to listen to and consider a point of view or way of life different than theirs in a non-judgemental way, and closed-minded when they won't listen or won't consider or judge before hearing all of the facts. You don't have to covert to their way of thinking, just be willing to hear them out without judging. It's not closed-minded to not like hear your mother's (by this definition, closed-minded) comments.
So, in fact, many people who claim to be open-minded really aren't.
This is, of course, just my opinion.

[ 12-06-2006, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: Alatariel ]

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Dude_who_writes
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It's all a matter of perspective.

Honestly? My opinion is that both camps -- from the inclusive, "open-minded" end of the spectrum to the hiding-under-your-bed religious right on the opposite -- tend to be close-minded. But, it's more a matter of arrogance, really. Whatever the debate, both sides of any argument tend to stand fully behind their own feelings, thoughts, and opinions, whether they come from strictly moral-value or through research, study, and scientific analysis. It's all politics, essentially. And both sides believe that they are 100% right. But, when it comes to opinion, you're always 100% right. To yourself. It's when you try to articulate that position or opinion that you throw yourself out to debate and differing perspective.

But, Alatariel is on the right track: being open-minded is more about being willing to listen to another side to any argument--keyword alert!--respectfully and then, again, respectfully articulating your own position. Without trying to get into that whole, "I'm right, you're wrong" mentality.

--------------------
Tim

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed. -- Carl Jung

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Ikeren
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A quote I like is "Beware of keeping an open mind, for, like keeping anything else open, people will try to fill it with garbage". Having an open mind is willing to consider other ideas and counter-argue if you disagree. If anyone ever calls you close minded for having say, deeply rooted feminist beliefs, shoot back at them "No, you're just wrong." Then smile and wink.

Furthermore, the term open-minded is can be equally irrelevant to every other term. There are times where people said "You are so closed minded" and I looked at them and said "heck yes." I won't consider the idea that synonymizing gay and bad is okay. There are some ideas that aren't worth considering. Close-minded yes? Accurate - more so.

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19, male, interested in Sadomasochism (BDSM) and some bisexual tendancies.

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cutslan
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To be open-minded is to be receptive to new ideas. This doesn't mean to listen to things you consider wrong respectfully, it means to listen to new concepts or viewpoints intently, but not necessarily considering them. Open-mindedness has nothing to do with listening to the "other side" or what you consider "wrong" unless you have not bothered to listen to those points in the first place.

Being open-minded does not mean everyone else is. Remember, esp. in the case of parents, adults have often (not always) worked hard and have a faced a lot of challenges to become who they are and try to raise their child a certain way. Trying to change their "truths" that they hold is near-impossible since they have not lived on this earth and worked so many years to listen to some...kid. Kid in terms of their perspective.

Perhaps you should learn how to better present your own "truths" or simply learn that not everyone is interested in hearing them. Perhaps choose better times to discuess them, or find a place where they are more accepted. If you find a group, your voice will be much louder than screaming in a room by yourself.

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conan
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Fortunately my parents encourage open discussion and debate about any subjects. They have always taken an opposing view on subjects to stimulate debate in a very friendly manner. My parents are extremely bright and I know if I am going to disagree with them I better be prepared to know what I am talking about and not just an opinion. I would suggest that you "choose your battles." Some aren't worth getting your drawers in a knot over.
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lizenny
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quote:
Originally posted by iheartdc:
Are they a sign you shouldn't voice your views so much?

Being open or closed minded has a lot less to do with how much you voice your views and much more to do with how. How much you sound off shouldn't be an issue if you balance voicing your views with respectfully listening to other views.

I'll add that this does NOT, I repeat, IT DOES NOT mean simply shutting up and waiting for them to finish, but actually processing what is being said!!!!

I have witnessed and participated in far too many debates where one person just waits in attack mode and then goes on some tirade completely disregarding what was just said. If you find yourself in a postion where you consciously or unconsciously think: "No matter what you're about to say I will STILL consider you utterly wrong!" THAT'S a closed minded approach.

Here are a couple of things it might help to watch for:

-"Everyone knows that..."
-"That's just the way it is."
-"...END OF STORY!"
and this one in particular

If you find yourself using these phrases when not dealing with the most undeniably concrete of facts, you may be taking a closed minded approach.

BTW, I used the words "closed minded approach" because it is possible for someone to be more respectful and receptive of other views on one issue and less so on another issue. Calling someone closed minded because of the way they voice their opinions on a single issue makes a generalization on the person's entire mindset that may not apply to them in other areas.

AHHHHHHHHHH! [Big Grin] I had to let that out.

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I AM WOMAN...THE REMIX!!!

You catch more flies with manure than you do with honey.

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