Scattered Curiosity: Can You Be Too Open-Minded?
The strongest distinguishing quality of an open-minded person is curiosity: a novelty-seeking person wants to learn more, wants to see, wants to hear about, wants to figure out. There are too many questions: what to do next, what to see after this? Where do we go from here? What does this mean? I recognise I am more curious than most. When I bring up a new idea, most people will say “Lets stick to the rules.” or “But I like that place!”
Often, traditional types will favour sameness, things they know they like. Things they know how to work. The biggest clash between curious and traditional types is not because traditional types dislike new ideas, but it is because they do not know it yet. When I come up with new ideas, I am always challenged to introduce it to them in an easy way and to make it known to them. Then, when dealing with traditional types, I am constantly forced to slow down. “Explain.” “Take it step by step.” My priority is to learn: theirs is to master.
Are you more curious about practical matters or about theoretical matters?
For me, curiosity is what gets me to want to be interested in personality psychology and theories about humanity. For the traditional type, it is what gets them to choose an easy vacation resort. It makes me want to see places and to go somewhere “While curiosity is often seen as a trait of intuitive and perceiving types (XNXPs) I believe even sensors can possess this quality of information-seeking.
Intuition is a hobby, just as sensing is. iNtuition is a tendency to favour abstract and complex hobbies that have intricate or theoretical parts. Sensing is to prefer practical activities, dancing, going out, meeting people, and having real activities. Novelty-seeking is not just about pursuing abstract ideas and what-ifs, but also about pursuing concrete knowledge and practical awareness about something. How to start a fire? How to build a house?
iNtuitives may see Sensors as narrow-minded, but this is purely because they do not share your interests. We perceive their dismissal of our curiosities as a dismissal of curiosity itself. But really, it is just a dismissal of our curiosities. So to truly know if a person is open-minded, you have to see how they go about their dominant interests. You get Sensors who live in the same city for thirty years and who would rather lock down the same job, iNtuitives who spend their life solving crime and keeping the world safe as criminal detectives. You get Sensors who want to see every city and meet every person in the neighbourhood. iNtuitives that want to know every theory and every idea.
Scattered Curiosity: Being too open-minded?
Are we too open-minded? Are there too many what-ifs? Not if that is what you love. Breadth is not worse than depth. Mastery is not better than diversity. Among the curious archetypes are the outgoing Discoverers who put the whole world under their feet, and the gifted Magicians who possess unique gifts and abilities.
Among them are also the complex Lovers with beautiful inner worlds, and the wonderful Sages who have seen true truth. None of them are damaged or harmed because of their curiosity. No, they shine, because they have mastered it and come to use it for great things. Yes, they set out as lost seekers, no idea where they were going, or quirky charlatans, who could barely pull of a small card trick. And on the journey, they may have anxiety and stress “What if I will never find anything of value?” “What if I will never learn any truly valuable skill?” but self-realisation is not to stop doing what you love: it is to keep aspiring to do it better.
There is no such thing as being too open-minded if that is what you love. So keep embracing being lost. You don’t have too many questions. What you have is always just enough. The key to personal growth is embracing your sometimes scattered curiosity and wielding it as your choice weapon in your adventures to come. Enjoy!