how to keep an open mind practice how to keep an open mind practice

See the Similarities

When we meet someone for the first time we immediately assess if they are -or could be- compatible with us. It doesn’t matter what type of relationship, personal or professional, we’re looking for. If we feel that someone is too different from us we tend to cut them off and stop the relationship from progressing. Even if we have to work with that person, we go out of our way to avoid them. Differences in opinions and lifestyles can be a red flag for us because we seek familiarity and what we understand.

In today’s society we can’t keep avoiding those that are different from us. Or those that we think are different. We encounter people throughout our lives that we immediately write off. Because of this we might miss out on a friendship or a life lesson we need to learn. So the purpose of this practice is to start searching for the similarities in others. Instead of focusing on what separates us, let’s look for what unites us.


For this practice all you need is an open mind and a little imagination. When you meet someone new, especially someone who seems opposite and incompatible, remember your shared human qualities. Realize that they have fears and flaws just like you. They just have a different way of showing it. Maybe they come off strong because they’re insecure of their appearance? Perhaps their attitude stems from a lack of unconditional love? Or maybe they just received horrible news and are having a bad day? Keep in mind that no one’s experienced life the same way as you.

You can still dislike someone new, even with this mindset. But you can begin to see that underneath the differences they are still a person, just like you. So there’s no need to write them off entirely or have any negativity towards them. Challenge yourself to keep an open mind when meeting people locally and globally. Hopefully you’ll discover that there’s more that connects us than separates us.

A group of many feet forming a circle

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