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The Danger of Having a Dismissive Attitude

By: Brian Kim - August 10, 2014

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You've probably met someone or know somebody in your social circle who has a predominantly dismissive attitude. After a while, it's no longer fun to be around them anymore right?

You tell them something, an idea, something you've heard, a new way to do something, and the response is always along the lines of:

"Pssshhhh, it'll never work, it's a scam, it's a conspiracy."

Now some things probably are.

Now there's nothing wrong with dismissing something. But there IS something wrong with having a dismissive attitude run you 24/7.

First off, we have to understand why people do it. If you look underneath, even a little, you can easily see why.

It's a cocktail of emotional affirmation.

When you dismiss something, you're simultaneously acknowledging that you're really smart, that you know it all, and most important of all - you're RIGHT.

Who doesn't like to be right? It feels good right?

But here's the subtle trap. Because it feels good, you keep doing it over and over and over again and if you were to by some chance, not dismiss something that you usually do and try it out and find out you were wrong, then you feel that will invalidate every dismissal you had in the past, proving that you may not be as smart as you thought you were.

That idea alone terrifies people so they keep on dismissing. They don't ever want to face that inconvenient truth that they may have been wrong about a lot of things all along. It's a strong loop that's hard to break out of.

There's SO much we don't know.

When we dismiss, we miss out on so many things.

But it seems like the natural progression of things. The older we get, the more our mind becomes "full" and there's no more room for other stuff.

We don't explore, we miss out on future domino effects of pursuits, interactions of those future ideas we would've pursued - in other words, there's exponential growth we're missing out on through dismissing.

So don't dismiss anything?

Extremes on both ends tend to not be good.

Having an open mind about the email you get from the Nigerian prince promising you a million dollars may not be the way to go when it comes to not dismissing something.

So when do we dismiss?

It's a hard answer.

There's no real rule but at the very least, you should do some research, explore, try new things and over time, you'll get feel for what can be dismissed and what should involve further research.

If you fall for something promising you can make a ton of money overnight, you may fall for the scheme at first, but then learn what the hidden messages are behind that and then spot that framework elsewhere a mile away.

It can also reinforce some ideas that need reinforcing, especially ideas about preparing, starting small, growing etc.

Think back to times when you dismissed something, only to find out later that you should've done it sooner.

We have to be humble, keep an open mind, and remember that we don't know everything.

There's still TONS worth exploring and potential to learn and grow.

Skepticism running you 24/7 is very unhealthy. It's easy to become cynical and see the world through a particular set of lens that does not serve you.

But if you stay humble, keep an open mind, learn, research, grow, you'll see that there's so much you don't know and so much you can benefit from and that will begin to drive you in a positive loop.

It's a really great cycle to be in when you have an open mind, learn, discover more things that you pursue since your mind is open, learn more, etc.

And going back to the introduction, it's such a refreshing contrast isn't it? To meet people who aren't close minded all the time. Who wouldn't want to be around people like that?

Turns out ditching your dismissive attitude will help your social life too.

So if you ever find yourself constantly dismissing, take a step back.

See what it might be costing you.

And resolve to keep an open mind.

What's usually the case is that what we're dismissing right in front of us holds the key to exactly what it is we're looking for.

Life is funny like that, always hiding things in plain sight.

It just takes an open mind to finally see them.

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