You may often come across a situation where you have to deal with a closed-minded person. This can be at your workplace, in your daily life, or even at home. Persuading such people to change their opinions and making them open to accept new ideas is quite a challenging task. Communication with a person who is closed-minded often causes undesirable conflict in the two conversing entities.
In fact, interaction with a closed-minded person can be a real test of your patience and persuasive skills. In this SocialMettle article we have provided some tips that will help you deal with these people in an effective way. Let us first understand what characterizes a closed-minded person.
What is Closed-Mindedness
Closed-minded people are closed, that is, they are not open to new ideas or any positive modifications in their behavior or views. They are quite stuck with themselves and are unwelcome to change their view points or accept new ideas. I would like to mention that there is a thin difference between the two terminologies - close mindedness and narrow mindedness. The concept of narrow mindedness is more often associated with religious beliefs and the person generally is reluctant to modify his imbibed religious beliefs.
Moreover, a cold tendency to accept new ideas is what characterizes a closed-minded person. These people have overly deep rooted beliefs, and it doesn't really matter to them if what they hold is right or wrong. A closed-minded person often is someone who is very stubborn to modify his views or behavior.
Now compare it with an open-minded person; an open person always welcomes positive change and does not hold any grudges when asked to do something that he has never tried in the past. He is ready to accept his wrong. It is very hard to change the opinions of a closed-minded person and make him responsive to accept what is right. Dealing with such people can be a headache, and we have discussed some ways to keep conflict low while dealing with these people.
Be Assertive in a Polite Way
Dealing with stubborn people demands patience and sometimes you have to take a backseat and accept defeat. Yes, it is in fact difficult to convince and persuade these people and it is best to accept that they won't give in to change what they hold. It is the stubborn attitude of these people that makes them unreceptive to accept any kind of change. No matter how hard you try to convince closed-minded people to accept the right ways, they will find it difficult to accept what you say.
More often it is also the case that these people behave in a way that they are masters of everything and what they have to say is only right. It is this rigidity of attitude that makes it hard for them to accept their wrongness or change themselves. On your part you should be assertive in your opinions and try to convince the other person in a polite way. But you will more often fail in convincing these people and so the recommended way is leaving the situation to avoid conflict.
Give Them Time and Space
The best way to deal with closed-minded people in any situation is giving them time to alter their behavior. With the progress of time there is surely a probability that they will change their views and accept their wrong. Compare it with a situation at the workplace. You are a part of a successful and profiting organization. You have a good plan, that you are sure will work for the best interests of the company. You communicate the plan to your superiors; but they refuse to accept the plan out rightly as they are unwelcome to any change. This is an example of a closed-minded attitude.
In situations like this you should try your best to stress your point of view and if nothing works, give the concerned people some time to think about the situation. May be after sometime, they will realize that what you had suggested was in the spirit of the company's profit. You may come across many such situations where you have to deal with a closed-minded person. Being with a stubborn person who is always grumbling and unwelcoming to change is difficult and it doesn't matter how hard you try, you will fail to convince the other person. So it is best to leave the person at the sake of his own views.
By now you must have understood that closed-minded people have a deep depth of stubbornness. The human mind is very intriguing and it is really difficult to understand how some people are so unacceptable to positive change. It can often be annoying for you to deal with such people, the key lies in believing in your opinions to the core if you know they are right.