How to Deal with Narrow-Minded People?

4,346 Views Updated: 18 Sep 2018
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How to Deal with Narrow-Minded People?

You will encounter narrow-minded people everywhere in your life. It can be at your workplace, in your friends circle or someone in your family. It becomes a herculean task to make them open to new ideas and change their opinions. Telling them that there is a different world that exists outside their mind will seem useless in the beginning. But it might help them somehow cope up with their narrowmindedness.

We need to have utmost patience while discussing a particular topic with a close-minded person. It might lead to a conflict at times when you try to deal with a narrow-minded person. They are usually resistant to change and new ideas. They are mostly stuck in time and are outdated about the new ideas. They believe that they are right and do not hesitate in getting into a disagreement with anyone who contradicts them. It is important to identify a narrow-minded person so that you can work on your relationship with them. Let us have a look at some traits of narrow-minded people.

How Narrow-Minded People Behave?

Narrow-minded people are often very judgemental of others. They always have an opinion about what others should do and how they should look like. They criticize others for everything they notice that is not right according to them. They will tell you to not wear a particular type of outfit or not speak in a certain way. They are unable to accept individualism in people.

Generalising is very common in our society. A narrow-minded person uses statements which they might have heard or read somewhere. Now they are using it as their belief. Statements such as "all girls gossip" or "Americans love junk food" are used by them. These are very vague statements for which they do not have much proof. But still, they believe in them.

They are not open to new ideas at all. They resist change as much as they can. That is why they are stuck in their age-old habits. They do not realize what they are missing out there. A narrow-minded person does things in a particular manner and thinks that their way is the best way of doing it. They even end up correcting others who try to do things differently.

Here is a simple definition - You are narrow-minded if you do not use your own brain to think about things. You just repeat something that you have seen or read without judging whether it is right or not.

In this article, we will share some advice on how to deal with narrow-minded people so that you can save the headache of an argument the next time.

How To Deal With Narrow-Minded People?

#1. Do Not Blame Them

If you spend plenty of time with a narrow-minded person, you will have to let them know how you feel about their behavior. But while telling them, try to calm down your tone as you sharing your feelings. Avoid insulting the person, as that will make the confrontation less effective. So if you have a friend who does not like you hanging out with others in a pub, do not tell that "why are they being so ridiculous." Instead, reframe your words, so it does not sound like a blame game to them. Tell them that you enjoy the company of your other friends as well.

#2. Understand The Reasons Of Their Behaviour

If we say that someone is narrow-minded, that means that they feel anxious whenever they have to do something new. Any change in their daily routine makes it difficult for them to act properly. To stop being narrow-minded, we first have to understand the reason why someone can be narrow-minded. These can include bad experiences in the past. For example, if someone lost a loved one in an accident, they will be resistant to driving any vehicle in the future. It will be easier to improve their behavior if you know the story behind it.

#3. Do Not Take Their Words Personally

The very important thing when dealing with a narrow-minded person is that you do not have to mind the things that they say. Just try to remember that they say horrible things to not just you but everyone they meet in their daily life. They will be criticizing anyone who is different to their set ideals. So if they try to demean you, just know that none of the things they are saying might be actually true.

#4. Assert Your Rights

You should learn to speak up and assert your rights when necessary in front of a narrow-minded person. It can be stressful to deal with them, but you have to do it from time to time to tell them their limits. Make sure that your opinion is heard and adhered to by them. So channel it in the right way. Be polite when sharing your views, so they understand it. Whenever they tell you that something you did was wrong, say that you respect their opinion, but you like that thing to be done your way.

#5. Correct Them Respectfully

Let them know what they are doing wrong so that they can realize their mistake and correct it. If you want to improve the bad behavior of a close friend or lover, do not escalate the situation by bad-mouthing them. Correct their words in a respectful way. For example, if you are sharing your work-life problems with your best friends and they start saying everything that you are doing is wrong, stop them and let them know that you do not want their advice and you just want them to listen. This way, they will keep a check on their negative advice the next time you share a bad day with them.

#6. Speak Up When They Offend You

Do not wait for a good moment to discuss their behavior. Instead, you should speak up the moment when they offend you. This will make them realize their fault instantly and they shan't repeat it again. A narrow-minded person can be frustrating to deal with especially when they are finding faults in you all the time. For example, they complain about the new food being served in the canteen, which you are quite fond of. Let them know that you like the quality, so they should stop complaining in front of you.

#7. Show Them Some Facts

A narrow-minded person often does not uses his/her mind to come up with conclusions. They are just blindly following something that they heard. So if you know that the person is not correct, you should collect some facts to make them face the reality. Narrow-minded people are very rigid with their thought process. So you need more than just words to convince them that they are wrong. Show them some facts that provide an evidence to what you are explaining to them. It will help you in dealing with them without wasting much energy on arguments.

#8. End The Conversation

It can be very difficult to be around a narrow-minded person at times. You feel like shouting at them and what not. But control that urge of yours. It is better to just walk away at times. If a narrow-minded person is getting on your nerves, simply end the conversation with them by giving any excuse. End the conversation with them politely saying that you have some unfinished work that you have to go back to. You do not want a hostile person to be spreading their animosity around. Ending the talk is a better way of dealing with them at times.


#9. Avoid Sharing Personal Details

If you meet someone who is a narrow-minded person, try and avoid sharing too many details about yourself with them. It might end up badly for you as they will be judging you for everything that you tell. If they ask about your family, love, work details, do not give any of this information out until you trust this person completely to not make fun of you. Otherwise, they will end up insulting you in the future and will make your personal life look like a joke.

#10. Take A Break From Them

If you have tried various things that we listed to deal with the person, but nothing seems to work, perhaps you should consider avoiding them for some time. This will give you time for yourself and to not give up on the person if they are someone very close to you. Do something that you enjoy to distract your mind. Watch a good movie or go for a walk. This will help to calm down your frustration. Also, you will gain the patience of talking to them when you get back.

We hope that our advice on how to deal with a narrow-minded person helps you in some way. If you have any suggestions for us, let us know in the comments down below. 

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If you are someone who does not like to walk on the path everybody does, chances are you had to deal with some narrow-minded people at least once. They will try to tell you to stop and turn your ways. But that has only annoyed you and slowed you down to reach your goals. Not at all the people that we meet are open to new ideas. Therefore they try to push others as well to follow the old ways of doing things just like them. But the best thing you can do is be patient with them. If you want you can just listen from one ear and take it out from the other. After that, you can continue to do things your own way. Although things get a little complicated when someone you meet daily is a narrow-minded person. Then definitely, you cannot do with just ignoring what they say. You have to find ways to deal with their thinking or changing the way they think. But do not start off as being rude to them. Try to understand their thinking pattern. It is usually influenced by the way they were brought up. Probably they did not have open-minded parents like you did. Or there is a possibility that they come from a small town which has those old traditions and everything. The person never got a chance to see the world in a different way like you did. But it is never too late to let the person know that they need to change the way they think. If it is someone that you care about, you can help them improve this problem as well. I had a friend who had the same thing. We were college friends and he came from a small city. Coming to a metropolitan city and living around the fast moving generation was a life turning point for him. He obviously did not react to it in a good way like we expected him to. He was a great person to be with and I did not want to lose him just because he was not able to cope up with everybody else. So I talked to him about this. I asked him to see the people and what they do from a different angle. He gradually learnt to adapt to new things and started loving it as well. So it was all a matter of a helping hand that he needed.

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