When our minds are closed, we cannot work with others for their good or for the greater good. It makes perfect sense to work against others and for our own interests as if the two are in opposition. Win/win deals appear to be a losing proposition to closed minds that are wary of giving advantages to the known enemy. Working with others seems naive and vulnerable to being exploited before getting a chance to exploit the others.
When our minds are closed, we need to make enemies of others. We cannot live with ourselves or accept every facet of our total being. We are at war with ourselves and eager to stop taking our frustrations out on ourselves. We project our intolerance onto others whom we find unacceptable, at fault or deficient without a doubt. We make them into our scapegoat, "whipping boy" or "messenger that needs to be shot down". We ease our chronic anxiety, stoked by our self contempt, with attacks on others' composure and confidence.
Working with others is different from collusion and conspiracy intended to really work against others. Working with others begins by getting others understood. That new understanding then breeds compassion, empathy and deeper insights into others. We get an inspired sense of how to work with others and what difference to help them make in their lives. We contribute to a strong system that transitions any weakness into a strength, resource, skill set or effective strategy.
Our open minds are really relating to others who feel moved to do the same for us in return. The inter-relation with others becomes a both/and proposition of benefiting from giving and receiving or from understanding others and getting understood by others. We care for ourselves by caring for others. We gain more than we expected by giving up looking after our own interests. Self interest, amidst working with others, becomes a paradox of selfishly being selfless.