3 Easy Ways to Develop an Appreciation for Differences

June 11, 2020

The world is filled with diversity, and it’s a richer place when we learn how to appreciate the differences that make it so interesting and colorful. If you—like most of us—tend to hang on to what you know best, try these 3 easy ways to develop an appreciation for differences.

Try Something New

We’re automatically drawn toward sameness and familiarity. To develop an appreciation for differences, sometimes you have to try something new. Change where you go for your morning walk, cook a familiar meal using some else’s recipe, read a book you wouldn’t normally pick up, or say hello to a stranger.

Ask Questions

The more you learn about why people act, talk, think, and live differently from you, the more you’ll understand and appreciate those differences. So ask questions, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and keep an open mind and an attitude of curiosity.

Say Thank You

Sometimes you have to actively teach yourself just how good differences can be. One way you can do this is to draw positive attention by saying thank you. If you’ve identified someone else’s strength in an area where you’re weak, thank them for how they contribute in that area. Thank the people who answer those questions you asked, and the person who gave you that recipe or book recommendation. Saying thank you is a way to teach yourself that you really do appreciate differences.

Appreciating differences doesn’t just give you a richer outlook on life. It can increase your happiness, boost your self-esteem, and improve your relationships, your studies, and your work. Developing an appreciation for differences is a way to embrace the complexity of an increasingly global world, and foster strong relationships within that world.

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