Closed-minded people are everywhere. It could be your elderly uncle, your neighbor of 15 years, or even your boss. You know them by the way they're totally unreceptive to new ideas or other people's arguments. It doesn't matter the topic; they know best.
It goes without saying that having to be around a closed-minded person can be a challenge.
A Chinese proverb describes it nicely: “A closed mind is like a closed book: just a block of wood.”
Perhaps you have lost count of the number of arguments you have tried to place before your closed-minded acquaintance -- all carefully thought out, logical and, you thought, impossible to deny. Yet, time and time again, your acquaintance refused to hear you out.
Productive? Absolutely not, because, try as you might, you will not be able to broaden their horizons by trying to change them. Rather, what is needed is acceptance.
“The best way to not be affected by what another person believes is to allow them to be the way they are,” says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates. “If you try and change them they need to defend their position and will only close down more.”
As you let go of resisting them and wanting to change them you will find yourself naturally accepting them as they are, Dwoskin points out. And letting go is something that's easy to do when you learn The Sedona Method.
“Letting go of your resistance allows you to go on with your life and not get as hooked into the dynamic between the two of you,” Dwoskin says. “This also creates more space for them to be different with you even if they are still closed with others.”
“Remember, as you release,” he says, “do it for you to feel happier and more at ease within yourself rather than trying to force them to change.”
At the same time, realize that ultimately it doesn't matter who is right or who is wrong. And by the very act of trying to make your acquaintance see your point of view, aren't you being a bit closed-minded yourself?
The path to peace is, therefore, not about how to make a closed mind more open. It's about accepting people the way they are, and letting go of any frustrationsthat may cause within you.