The dictionary definition of a naïve person is someone showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.
Now, to some extent, we can all be naïve in some situations and moments in life and it isn’t always a bad thing. One person’s naivety is another person’s optimism.
Perhaps you feel like the majority of the decisions you make in general are naïve? Maybe you have been called it often and by different people but don’t see it yourself? Below are some signs that you may be a naïve person and what you can do to make changes.
6 Signs of a Naive Person
1. You are often far too trusting of people and situations
You can be too trusting of people, whether that’s people you don’t know well or the best friend you have had for years. These people often know you are “easy-going” and so might take advantage, especially if they get away with it and you don’t call them out.
You may find yourself frequently putting yourself in a position of always saying yes, agreeing to things you believe to be true or sincere. You don’t consider that people are taking advantage of you.
2. You are gullible when it comes to what people tell you
Are you a believer in the latest conspiracy theory? What about the Go Fund Me stories that appear daily on Facebook? Do you reach for your purse ready to donate?
Believing what you hear or read without having any facts to confirm it makes you gullible. You don’t think to take a step back and consider who and where the information has come from or that it possibly might not be true.
3. You are often taken advantage of by people you are close to
When people know you are naïve, they often will exploit your good nature. You see their intentions as only being good and they use this to their advantage.
You may even recognise what they are doing, but often naïve people don’t want to upset anyone. So you will go with the flow at your own expense both financially and emotionally.
4. You can’t seem to function without relying on others
A naïve person will continually allow themselves to be taken advantage of because they fear if they don’t they will lose the support of those around them.
5. You grew up in sheltered life often with overprotective parents
Growing up in a sheltered life often will mean you had overprotective parents. It might have been something as innocent as having to check in frequently when you were out or as extreme as having a chaperone.
If you were banned from parties, living in dorms at university, or even having friends of the opposite sex, you weren’t able to make mistakes from the lessons that come from these experiences.
More importantly, you weren’t able to learn from them. Growing up in a sheltered environment will mean that as an adult, you often will attract unruly characters who will take advantage of your innocent and trusting nature.
6. You have missed out on real-life experiences
If your life has consisted of a routine of school/home repeatedly and then work/home, you likely have missed out on some really fun life experiences. These sorts of experiences can help shape you and how you react to situations.
When you do start exploring the world outside of your routine, you’ll realise you have a complete lack of worldly wisdom that could get you into trouble.
How to Stop Being Naive?
So you may have come to realise that you are naïve and are often taken advantage of. It’s not terrible to be a naïve person, you view the world in a much more positive light than a cynic.
But there are some things you can do to make yourself more worldly and less likely to be taken advantage of and inevitably get hurt.
1. Meet people from different backgrounds
You can often be referred to as naïve if your worldview is restricted by limited life experiences. If you can get out there and meet people with different lives to you, it can be an incredible learning experience and you make new friends in the process.
You might have grown up in a well-off family, so you don’t understand how difficult life can be for those less fortunate than you.
Meeting people and having friends from different socioeconomic backgrounds can make you realise how fortunate you are but also give you an understanding of how unfair life can be for many people.
Friendships and relationships with people from different cultures are a life-altering experience that can open your eyes to new cultures, food, beliefs, and practices. It will only be a positive thing in your life to experience new cultures.
2. Engage in new experiences
If you grew up in a sheltered environment, break the cycle and start undertaking exciting activities that challenge the status quo.
Learn a new language or skill, go abroad on your own (definitely recommend this one), go hiking, or maybe even push yourself to the limit and skydive or bungee jump. Just do something that is completely out of your normal scope of living.
According to Thomas Cook Ph.D., these new experiences stimulate new brain cell growth, even more of a reason to try new, novel things.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
When you have never stepped out of your comfort zone, the idea of it can be terrifying, but it’s really important to do to break the cycle and open yourself up to the world.
If you don’t break out and try new things, you will never realise what you are capable of. By doing this, you’ll reinvigorate your life and experience new opportunities and meet new and exciting people.
It can only be a good thing to step out of your comfort zone and explore the world around you. Embrace the fact that things might go wrong, you might mess up, but it’s worth it at the end of the day.
4. Travel more
You don’t have to go halfway across the world to travel. Even visiting a big city in your home country will widen your experiences and fundamentally make you a more well-rounded person.
A naïve person can often lack social skills and so they are less inclined to get out and meet people. When you travel, you naturally acquire these skills and you may notice the way you view and interact with people is altered.
Solo travel is a scary concept to many and whilst at first, it takes some adjusting to, like eating on your own in a restaurant, and having to take all your luggage to the bathroom with you as there’s no one to watch it.
It does make you so much more adaptable and confident, pushing you to talk to new people and hopefully, make new friends.
Naive isn’t always a negative personality trait. Being a trusting person with an air of innocence isn’t a bad thing, but if you do recognise yourself in the signs and want to make some changes, there are plenty of small things you can do.
It’s never a bad idea to open yourself up to new experiences and meet new people.
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