04 Jan The One New Year’s Resolution You’ll Want to Keep
We’ve been through a lot in 2016, so what better way to start the new year than with a vow to be more open minded, accepting, and adventurous in 2017?
Instead of the standard resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, or spend less money, the team at Ashley Madison is challenging you to try experimenting with a New Year’s resolution you might actually want to keep: being more open minded.
What does it mean to be open minded?
“Keeping an open mind” would generally mean that you haven’t come to a conclusion yet. You are, however, capable of coming to a conclusion about a topic without passing judgement on people who think differently than you. Being open minded about something takes effort, because you need to take the time to explore and accept all sides of the issue.
At Ashley Madison, we believe non judgment and open mindedness leads to a more accepting, diverse and caring society. But what do the experts say about the benefits of being open minded?
- The Critical Thinking Community defines open mindedness as “an intellectual virtue that involves a willingness to take relevant evidence and argument into account in forming or revising our beliefs and values, especially when there is some reason why we might resist such evidence and argument, with a view to arriving at true and defensible conclusions. It means being critically receptive to alternative possibilities, being willing to think twice despite having formed an opinion, and sincerely trying to avoid those conditions and offset those factors which constrain and distort our reflections. The attitude of open mindedness is embedded in the Socratic idea of following the argument where it leads and is a fundamental virtue of inquiry.”
- Psych Mechanics, a blog dedicated to how the mind works, says, “Open-mindedness is one of the most important personality traits that one must seek to acquire. A closed-minded person can never be truly free for he dwells in the prison of his own ideas.” They go on to say that being open-minded means not blindly accepting something as truth.
- Meanwhile, more simply put, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines being open-minded as being receptive to arguments or ideas.
In terms of sexuality, being open minded can mean any number of things. It could mean that you’re more open and receptive to exploring your relationship boundaries and new forms of sexual expression
Being open minded could mean considering relationship types that vary from the heteronormative, monogamous, ‘til death do we part-style relationships that have traditionally been the standard. It could mean an affair, open relationship, polyamory, being monogomish, heteroflexibility, or however you choose to define it.
It also means that those who adhere to traditional standards can be open minded by being accepting and supportive of the fact that while these relationships may not be for them, they are right for some.
How to be more open-minded
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to becoming more open minded, but by simply thinking about it and learning about things that are intriguing to you is a step in the right direction.
There are a few exercises that can help you build open mindedness, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s department of positive psychology project, Authentic Happiness.
- Think about an emotionally charged topic and look at both sides of the argument. Write down valid reasons that can explain why each side is correct. If you have a staunch opinion on a topic such as abortion, religion, or sex, that would be a good topic to choose so that you can directly place yourself in the shoes of someone with a differing opinion.
- Think about a time when you felt wronged. Whether intentional or inadvertent, come up with at least three reasons why the other person may have done this.
- Think of a topic that you regularly argue with someone about and come up with reasons why they may feel the way that they do.
Stepping into another person’s shoes when it comes to viewpoints that are unfamiliar to you is a great way to start building more of an open mind when it comes to both new experiences and disagreements.
The Critical Thinking Community also has a number of tips that could act as a roadmap to opening your mind.
- Ask questions and seek more information by having a constantly curious mind. Instead of taking something at face value, delve deeper into the topic.
- Don’t be reactionary and jump to conclusions. Stop taking things at face value—ask those questions, consider both sides, and read more than one source about an issue so that you have a well-rounded idea on which to form your own conclusion. See things from each side of the argument/issue just like in the exercises above.
- Have humility—recognize privilege, biases, and try to understand how they inform your viewpoint on a specific scenario.
- Don’t behave like a troll and call out internet trolls.
Our Challenge to you
While being sexually open minded is great, all of us at Ashley Madison are challenging you to be more open minded in all your life experiences. Try new things, acknowledge certain biases you may have about activities, and try to overcome them with hands-on experience.
The following list is by no means comprehensive, but a good start for those who are looking to be truly open minded in 2017.
We wish you the best life experiences, so get out there and live.
Make personal choices:
- Buy a new food at the grocery store
- Go to that new restaurant
- Put your dancing shoes on and head to that new club
- Take in an alternative art show
- Go to concerts of genres that aren’t your go-to for easy listening
- Venture away from your local bar
- Do something different on a weekday night
- Try something new in the bedroom! (more on that below)
Make choices that affect how you interact with other people
- Seek out people who have different worldviews and listen to their experiences
- Add some new flavour to a vanilla sex life by experimenting with intimacy that pushes your relationship boundaries in a new way
- Make an effort to learn more about non-traditional relationships such as polyamory
- Learn about different sexual identities and orientations
For those that are still exploring their sexuality and experimenting with the idea of non-traditional relationships or affairs, you’ll find millions of like-minded people at AshleyMadison.com.
About Ashley Madison
Ashley Madison is an open-minded dating community where you can explore those moments that take your breath away, and learn all about new ones that you can explore.