I truly believe that humans are a sum of their lived and saved experiences. We are only as open as our own experiences have pushed us to be. So it’s important to remember that before we call someone small-minded. It is important for us to identify their socio-economic conditions. Or anything that might impact their perspectives of life. For e.g, your father is the head of the household, stick and the breadwinner, it might be an issue for you to speak to members of the opposite sex. It is likely that you might judge other women around you for being friendly towards men, without realising that your bias is based on your upbringing.
Because it is rooted in our lifestyle, some of these behavioural patterns are hard to recognise. We forget that we’re even judging people and that sometimes the things we say and do can impact another’s well-being. It is hard to make changes to our DNA overnight, so take it one day at a time. Simply being aware is the biggest step of all, from there you’re already on the road. However, if you know me, then you know I’m about to share a few helpful tips to get you through this journey.
Here are 9 ways you can help changes your perspectives in life:
1) Evaluate your perspectives
Think and consider the thoughts, perspectives and biases you might have on important subjects. Maybe list them out for better clarity. Figure out how they shape you and your friendships, does it make you seem negative to others? This step is only easy if you’re honest with yourself.
2) Understand the source of these perspectives
All learned behaviour comes from somewhere, it could be your family, experiences, education, culture, reading habits. Once you understand the source, try to figure out if it helps you to be the best most expansive version of yourself. If it doesn’t this is exercise is going to help you make the desired changes.
3) Learn about somebody else’s life experiences
Just like you everyone else’s perspectives are developed from their own experiences. It would be wrong to assume that your truth is the only truth. Everyone knows someone they don’t essentially agree with, so approach that someone and engage in a healthy and casual conversation about their perspectives. This will surely help you get some insight into another person’s objectives. Make sure to also ask if their perspectives have changed over time and what has influenced that change.
4) Avoid debating and jumping to conclusions
While it may be normal to get annoyed with people who don’t share the same opinion as you, it may also be information that you learn something new about. Try not to immediately jump to conclusions, get defensive and then argue and debate the conversation. Recognise that both parties are different and thoughts are different, process at your own time, so just try and listen and respond respectfully unless the conversation veers towards being wildly inappropriate.
5) Get facetime older and wiser, people
Talking to an older person is not as tedious as you’d imagine. You learn a lot about history, their struggles, their perseverance, their values. You don’t have to try and bring all of their learnings into your life. Just take away the things that you know will help you grow.
6) Learn about something you have no idea about
Acknowledge that you cannot grow or develop without knowledge. You can enrol in classes, seminars, webinars, lectures etc. Arm yourself with the tools that go beyond human interaction and conversation. Indulge in politics even if you don’t like it because it affects your life.
7) Read as much as you can
Not just books that you like, read at least 1 book every few months. Read articles online, check up on news portals and media sources you trust for information. For e.g, even if you’re liberal make sure you read and get conservative perspectives, as this will give you access to both parties perspectives.
8) Travel far and wide
If you really want to expand your horizons effectively, travel as much as you can. You not only see the sights, but you also experience the culture, new cuisines, nuances of different people, language and behavioural patterns. It is an instant gateway to all things wonderful and wholesome.
9) Manage your expectations and begin to incorporate these new learned perspectives
Don’t expect that because you are willing to evolve your perspective that everyone else might be open to the idea as well. Make sure you manage your expectations when you are transitioning. Don’t try to integrate all you’ve learned at once, observe first and then go ahead and make conversation or share your ideas. For the most part, just enjoy what it feels like to have an open mind.
What are some of the things that help you change your perspectives in life? Let me know in the comments below.
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