Open practice Open practice

Observing Opinions

 How many times a day do you get annoyed because your brain just won’t quiet down? There seems to be a constant running stream of consciousness. But you can’t always control what you’re thinking because it’s filled with subconscious thoughts. So, throughout the day start to notice and become consciously aware of these thoughts. Although you might not act on them, what you think still affects your beliefs and opinions. If you aren’t careful these subconscious judgments can turn into actual beliefs -which then influences what you say and do.

Practice observing your subconscious thoughts for *beginner* a day or *advanced* a week. When you’re at work, school, home, with friends, or running errands, bring your attention to the thoughts that run through your mind. Are they being presumptive or judgmental? Are they jumping to conclusions or assuming the best intentions?

You can’t control your subconscious thoughts, but you can control how they affect you and your opinions of others. So the more awareness you bring to your thoughts and judgments, the better you’ll be able to decide their validity. Thus lessening the power they have over you. Once you’ve identified what thoughts aren’t truly yours, you can begin to practice having an open-mind and discovering your true opinion of others.

A close-up of a red wooden "Open" sign hung on a tree outside

Wield the "Why"

It’s essential to ask many questions in order to really get to know and understand a person. Yet how well we know someone doesn’t completely rely on them. Conversation is a two-way street, so how you ask, listen, and respond to a question is as important as the question itself.

When you’re communicating with someone it’s helpful to ask the question, “Why?”. You can use this when you don’t understand what they’re saying, when you don’t agree with them, or when you want them to expand. Utilize the “Why?” so that it requires the other person to elaborate and search more deeply into their own thoughts, beliefs, and opinions.

By utilizing the question, “Why”, you aren’t assuming that you already know or understand their position. Instead, you’re showing curiosity and respect because you want to learn more and the reasoning behind it. If you don’t try to understand their point of view or why they believe it, then you won’t be able to have a genuine discussion. When both sides of a conversation are able to state their beliefs, as well as why they believe it, then it’s possible to begin to accept and respect one another.

Large metal question mark sign with lightbulbs inside of it laying down sideways

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