Stress Relief Question: Are You A Skeptic Or Just Closed-Minded?

by Doc Orman, M.D.

For the past week or so, I’ve been reading a book How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason In Everyday Life by Thomas Gilovich. It’s about some of the cognitive pitfalls that cause us to end up believing in things that may seem reasonable but are not really true.

Skeptic Vs. Closed-Minded

One of the distinctions discussed in this book is the difference between being skeptical and being closed-minded.  This was brought up in section on how we are biased to favor information that confirms what we already believe and we give less credence to information that is different from (or opposed to) what we believe.

Obviously, all kinds of bias can lead to stressful problems.  But I was particularly attracted to this distinction because I think it reveals something even more pertinent to a major source of stress in our lives.

You see, both skeptics and closed-minded people can look the same on the surface.  But deep down inside, very different internal processes are taking place.  Both may seem to reject new information, but they do so in different ways and for very different purposes.

A skeptic is very careful about accepting any new information as true.  They will only accept something new if it is tested in multiple ways and it withstands every test they can think of.  Hence, their reluctance to accept new information is a tactical strategy to accept only the best of the best.

A closed-minded person, on the other hand, may look like they are giving due consideration to some new information or new idea…but they aren’t.  They have no intention of letting any new input get in, regardless of how true or valid it might be.  Their minds are closed and there is little anyone can do to pry them open.

So, while both types of people will initially look uninterested in accepting new information or input, one is actually open to the possibility, while the other is closed off entirely.

It’s ok to be skeptical as long as deep down inside, you are open when good or useful input comes your way.  On the other hand, one of the great ways to generate stress in your life is to walk around closed to all kinds of input that could benefit you.

For a list of all my Kindle books about stress, click this link: http://ormanstressrelief.com/kindlebooks .

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