How you can engage with people different from yourself?

How you can engage with people different from yourself?

How you can engage with people different from yourself?

For this post, I actually took my own advice. Stuck for topics, I went back and read my post how to come up with a year’s worth of blog content. And buried in that blog post, was the title for this blog post!


Start with the Generic

When you’re talking to someone with a different background, start with the generic. You might try the weather. These days, the weather can be more than a litle exciting. In fact, sometimes I’d rather have the weather be a lot more boring! Often, friends in different parts of the country or the world are struggling with flooding or drought. And sometimes they appreciate your asking how they are. Speaking of boredom, have you read Can the Simple Pursuit of of Total Boredom Make You Smarter?


Our Workforce is Diverse

You may need to work with someone with a different background since our work force is now spread all over the globe. People with different racial backgrounds, of different ages, and different viewpoints all need to get along. Many of my friends get to work with people from India or China, for instance, as a result of their work. And on social media it’s easy to connect with people in different countries.

HIPPIE photo

Keep Talking

Don’t for an instant assume that you have nothing in common with that ultra-liberal tree hugging kook you just met online (oh, wait! That would be me!). Keep talking to them, and you’ll see that they’re not that different from you. They love their family, enjoy good food, want security, and so on. They’re probably thinking the same thing about you that you are about them. But there’s still common ground. I like this article by Aysha Bagshi, Sense and Nonsense: Diversity and Friendship. In it, she says “In a diverse environment, the truest of friendships require trusting and sharing to be implicit and perennial.”

DANCE photo

Don’t Give up

Even if that person voted for someone you’d never vote for in a million years, chances are you may have hobbies in common. Or you’ve lived or visited the same place. Or, as Aysha Bagshi shares in her article, you feel a closeness despite being advantaged or disadvantaged. And even if their personality is quirky, you never know. You could end up being very good friends.

DANCE photo

Are Your Friends Similar to You or Different?

Some friends can be challenging to maintain. Others always have an interesting perspective. Do you like to hang out with people who are similar to yourself? Let me know in the comments. And thank you.



  1. Hi Carol,
    I love this post. As usual, you made me giggle, you made me think and you said something I pretty much assumed. In real life I’m around people of all walks of life who think like and differently than I do. I’m quite used to it after serving 22 years in the Army where I learned it’s a good thing and it’s educational.

    I pretty much know that I’m out in the field on my own with most folks who I communicate on line. I catch undertones and validating comments that hint but I don’t stop following or communicating with them. There are a few that might think along my lines but VERY few. That’s why I try to steer clear of politics and religion because I don’t want to alienate a healthy online relationship.

    I can’t wait to read with others think. Thanks again for a thought provoking post.


    • Hi Patricia,
      I think it’s important that we all learn to live with our differences. The world seems to be getting smaller every day. If we don’t get along, we’re not going to thrive, and thriving is critical for us. Going to Mars is not an option! Not yet, anyway.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      Wow–22 years in the army is quite a long stint!


Speak Your Mind


WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed