- If you are reading this post, the chances are high that you are dealing with family members who are less than pleasant. They have labeled you as the black sheep of the family because you dare to view life in a manner that is different from the family norm.
Does your family criticize everything you do? Do they make it their business to give their negative opinions?
1. They make a point to be overly critical.
One clear sign of a closed-minded person is that they are overly critical. This type of family member makes it their duty to drop by or call to express their negative and unwanted opinion about your life. They often go out of their way to make sure you know what’s on their mind.
They will say things like, “I’m just trying to help you” or “I’m just telling you the truth.” However, their “truth” always comes across in a manner that is disrespectful and uncalled for. They have little regard for the way they make you feel with their condescending tones.Dear Black Sheep, toxic family members will criticize everything you do in an attempt to break you down so they can control your life with their approval. Click To Tweet
As soon as my coworker answered her cell phone, her parents began with their list of criticisms. It seemed that her parenting style was an embarrassment to them because she was “too soft” on her son and daughter. She chose to talk to her children instead of yelling and belittling them.
At one point, her parents even told her that they were sick of her “acting like a little white girl.”
I was certainly interested in what they had to say next because their last few statements were nothing short of foolishness. And guess what, they didn’t let me down.
They began to explain to her that her children were not like the rest of the grandchildren. Their speech and dress code were somehow implying that they thought they were better than their cousins. That was the most ridiculous crap I have ever heard – especially since the children were only in elementary school.
2. They often refer to the same old way of doing things.
Closed-minded people are often offended by the idea of something new. They will accuse the black sheep of thinking they’re better because they refuse to conform to the rest of the family’s views.
That’s the way they work. Negative family members will often accuse you of thinking you’re better than them because you have the nerve to be different in spite of their negativity and criticism.
People who think this way are limiting themselves by their refusal to accept anything other than what they are used to.Stop letting negative people plant their negative seeds in the garden of your mind. Click To Tweet
The idea of breaking away and doing things outside the family norm seems absolutely ridiculous to closed-minded people. They will have an argument for every point you bring up, even if what you are suggesting actually works or makes more sense.
In the case of my coworker – she tried to explain to her parents that although her parenting style is not what they are used to, it is working. All of her sibling’s children were constantly getting into trouble at school and home – not to mention that their grades were horrible.
However, my coworker’s children had excellent grades and their behavior was very commendable.
Still, her parents were arguing that it was not the way they (the family) do things. In their eyes, it was better for her to raise her children the same way the family raised children for generations than to do something different – even though it was apparently working.
Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn
3. They are never wrong.
Whether it is an uncle, aunt, cousin, or parent, we all have people in our family who are never wrong. They can never admit that there is a better way of doing something than the way they are accustomed to. Even when they’re wrong, they are going to find a way to still be right.
My coworker’s way of parenting was clearly working better than the parenting style of her siblings. They pleased their parents, but it was easy to see that their children were heading down the same path of destruction as the parents; and their parents before them.
It’s hard for closed-minded relatives to find value in your “new and different” way of doing things because they view your new and different way as an insult to their same old way.
They will often disregard your positive results and focus more on the fact that you are not doing things the way the family does them.Dear Black Sheep, you may have to learn to live with the apology they refuse to give. Click To Tweet
4. Only their words matter.
You know you’re talking to a closed-minded relative when they refuse to let you speak. In their minds, their methods, ways, thoughts, and opinions should be the only methods, ways, thoughts, and opinions brought to the table.
The conversation is often hijacked by their point of view. It’s hard to get a word in because they refuse to entertain anything other than their own opinion.
As my coworker was speaking to her parents, they kept interrupting after every five words. It was hard to get her point across or explain anything because they would never allow her to finish a complete sentence.
What she had to say was irrelevant to them. The conversation was completely one-sided. They expected her to listen to their point of view but they refused to do the same.
My coworker quickly became frustrated with her parents and found a way to politely bring the conversation to an end. After hanging up, she informed me of the real problem.
Her parents were upset that her children disliked spending time at their home and that she did not force them. According to the kids, their grandparents, aunts, and uncles would often talk badly about their mother and father and question them to get information.
Benefits of being open-minded.
Open-minded people have more fulfilling lives. They are more willing to try new things and live life outside of the box.
They are also easier to talk to because they have mastered the art of disagreeing respectfully.
Open-minded people are also less stressed. They are welcoming of new ideas, methods, and ways to solve their problems. They are also less likely to reject help, unlike closed-minded individuals.
The thing about closed-minded people is that they think everyone else is closed-minded. They think everyone with a different point of view is the problem.
On the other hand, open-minded people are open to receive constructive criticism. This type of criticism is meant for the betterment of an individual. Closed-minded people often get constructive criticism and destructive criticism confused.Dear Black Sheep, #God made you different than the rest... your family wants you to view it as a curse because they can see that it's really a blessing. Click To Tweet
Have you ever ended a conversation because a relative was too closed-minded?