|Introduction to Openness|
How firmly committed are you to the ideas and beliefs that govern your thinking and guide your behavior? Some people trust their current ideas and beliefs the way a climber trusts the mountain; whichever way they move, whether the climb is on a familiar trail or over new ground, there is something solid beneath them, something they count on. For others, new ideas, new solutions to old problems, new beliefs that replace tired convictions are like welcome wind in their sails. They can hardly wait to tack in a new direction and ride a new idea through uncharted waters. If it's new, it's interesting, and they're ready to explore. The following paragraphs describe your responses to new ways of thinking and believing. How do you handle new information? Are you more like the climber on a familiar mountain or a sailor with a tiller in hand and a fresh breeze to propel you? How you integrate and process new information about the world and about others is a core aspect of your personality.
|On the Openness Dimension you are:|
|Words that describe you:|
|A General Description of How You Approach New Information and Experiences|
You think like an artist. Or better, you SEE like an artist. While most people look at life's straight lines, its height and depth and width, you're bending the lines with your imagination and turning black and white into shades of blue and yellow. And in conversations at work or with your friends you want to ask, "Do you see what I see?" A few might, most don't, but you've piqued everyone's curiosity with your own original and inventive ways of thinking. You can, if you must, think in conventional ways. But left on your own, you'll usually opt for the eccentric or avant-garde; in fact you're usually bored with what everyone else is comfortable with. You learn from reading, talking, watching people and other fauna and flora, and simply sitting in the soft chair of your mind and wondering how people would learn how to count if they could only use uneven numbers. You are out in front of conventional ideas, bravely originally defining true and false, right and wrong, the good, the bad and the ugly.
|Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward Your Style of Thinking|
You drive through life faster than the speed limit, and when you hit speed bumps, and you hit a lot of them with your mind distracted from the straight line ahead your wheels leave the ground. For people who like life at a safer speed, you move too fast and lose touch too often with the solid ground they prefer, hence their discomfort with you. As odd as you might find this, many people feel safe in the shelter of the world they already know. They like the familiar. They breathe easily and sleep deeply knowing with more certainty how the world works. So although they might enjoy your company and be curious about your latest notion of how to count backwards by threes, they can only take you in small doses. And they wish you'd quit trying to push the boundaries of their personal and social cosmos.
|Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You|
Even those whom you make uncomfortable know, as just about everyone does, that you're not a flake. You think well, and even your wildest fancies have their roots in the deep soil of sound ideas and tested beliefs. So even if some people don't want to drive at high speed with you, they will respect you for your courage as an innovative and unconventional thinker. You lend color and imagination to what would otherwise be the straight black and white lines of their work world and social environments. A few more daring people of your circle might even learn from you to take a risk they would otherwise never consider. As comfortable as they are on solid ground, they may be curious about what it would be like to go faster than the speed limit, or paint the living room two shades of blue, or question ideas or beliefs they've fingered like sacred beads since they were children. After all, they watch you do it, and you seem no worse for the risks you take. In fact, your eyes are wider and your breath quicker, and maybe they can find at least a bit of this for themselves. To be certain, they don't want their wheels to leave the ground, but maybe the next time they approach a speed bump they might just brace themselves and speed up just a little bit.