Openness: (or where I middle-of-the-road it)
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 dimention, you are:
Sometimes curious, sometimes content
Words that describe you:
A general description of how you approach new experiences and information:
Like someone who can sleep comfortably on either side of the bed, you are equally at home with ideas and beliefs that you have held for a long time and with new ways of thinking and believing that grow out of your intellectual curiosity.
Your sense of who you are and what your place is in the world around you rests on values and principles that are the solid ground you walk upon. You've tested them, they work for you, and much of the time you are content to trust them, that is, until some provocative new idea slips in from a conversation, book or some flight of your active imagination. "Hmmmm. What's this. Never thought of it before." And off you go, exploring.
Since you love to learn, you've always been teachable; you absorb new information, which means you are well-educated in things that matter to you. Sometimes your intellectual exploring will lead you back to where you started; the "next new thing" proves too shallow or impractical to you. But once in a while a new idea or belief will dislodge you from the ground you've stood upon; it is so compelling and persuasive that you step away from the tried-and-true and embrace this notion that is brand new to you.
Because you hold both solid beliefs and are open to new ideas, you are accepting of other people and other ways of thinking and believing. You are flexible enough to listen to something new and different, or something outside of your comfort zone; if it works for you, you'll take it in, and if not, you'll let it go. In this sense, you know who you are: you are neither closed-minded nor wildly open-minded, but walk somewhere near the middle of the intellectual road.
Negative reactions others may have toward your style of thinking:
Not everyone will be thrilled by your flexible, middle-of-the-road ways of thinking and believing. A few people are so taken with flights of imagination into whatever is new that they might find your commitment to long-standing values and beliefs too confining, if not too boring. Oh well; so be it. They'll just have to be in free-flight without you.
Others are content with the ideas that have served them and their culture well; they're not excited by the prospect of moving on. And some people are afraid of new ways of thinking because they are somewhat fragile; they have trouble maintaining their current worlds and don't want someone like you, for instance pushing out the edges of their intellectual cosmos. So don't be surprised if your solid values sometimes make people distrust you as an explorer, or if your flexible and open mind sometimes gets you criticized by people who walk away from the very same explorations that you find refreshing.
Positive responses others may have toward you:
Many others will find you trustworthy and therefore an attractive companion on the intellectual journey. They will appreciate the combination in you of open-mindedness and a commitment to the tried-and-true. In an intellectual climate sometimes dominated by the extremes of either wild innovation or dug-in traditionalism, your moderate views and your proper acceptance of a wide range of possibilities will be a distinctive and refreshing quality. Because you join your curiosity to strong foundational ideas and beliefs and practical solutions to problems, people will trust your occasional explorations into new territories to be reliable, and not "something new for newness sake".
You are accepting of others, flexible in your own intellectual commitments, well-informed in areas that matter to you, and comfortably aware of who you are and where you stand. This combination will make you a desirable companion on the intellectual journey for many, many people.