Do you have any friends who are just like you? Maybe you have a girlfriend who looks more like you than your own sister. Maybe you have a friend who finishes your sentences for you (and you hers). And maybe you also have friends who are very different than you are.
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
― Maya Angelou
I love Tony Robbins. I mean, I would probably walk across a bed of hot coals for him if he asked me to. OK, maybe with shoes on, but I’d do it.
Well, Tony said something recently that got me thinking. He said, “When people are like each other, they tend to like each other.”
Makes sense, right?
When we meet people with whom we share similarities, we naturally feel an affinity with them – and we like them.
And we all want to be friends with people we like. (Duh!)
But, and this is a pretty big ‘but’…
Are we only being friends with people who are like us?
And, if we are, are we not potentially missing out on all of the richness that diversity can bring into our lives? The different experiences and perspectives that diversity can bring into our lives?
I would argue, yes, and also offer you five different ways for adding different types of friends to your life.
Trust me, your heart and your mind will thank me for it.
5 Ways to Meet Friends Who Are Not Like Us
1) Find a Meetup Group. Except don’t find one in which everyone looks like you. Find one with different kinds of people who are doing things that you don’t normally do. I still remember being part of the Indian Club in college (I’m Caucasian) and loving it. I myself am trying to find a Meetup where I live where I can re-connect with the Indian culture.
2) Find an International Chamber of Commerce. One such chamber where I live is the French American Chamber of Commerce. I’m sure they have chapters in other cities and I’m sure there are other similar chambers for different countries. While this may sound like all business and no play, these chambers often offer fun events that attract a diverse group of people. In my book, that’s filed under ‘awesome.’
3) Take a Class. Find a class on something unusual that might attract eclectic people. Or just people different from you. Learn and make diverse friends? I just love twofers!
4) Throw a Diversity Party! Have a party and ask each person you invite to bring one or two people of different ethnicities or cultures with them. Before you know it, you’ll have a mini United Nations and a wealth of diverse individuals to meet.
5) Cultural Events. Google “cultural events in (your city here)” and see what events come up. When I googled “cultural events in Atlanta”, the Black Arts Festival, the Peachtree Latino Festival, and the Atlanta Greek Festival came up – all likely to draw a diverse crowd of people. (Not to mention diverse and probably really good food!)
I know that I have benefited tremendously by having different types of friends in my life. And I know you will too – if you haven’t already.
Share with me in the ‘comments’ below. I’m sure there are lots of other ways to meet different types of people and I would love to hear your ideas below!
RACHEL FRANCO is Chief Be Yourself Enthusiast at Be Yourself And The Rest Will Follow®. She helps women go from being their biggest critics to being their biggest cheerleaders. Visit her blog at www.beyourselfandtherestwillfollow.com for easily digestible, practical wisdom (that won’t put you to sleep!) on being your best you! (Psst…being your best you makes you a better girlfriend!) And, follow Rachel on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BeYourself_TRWF.
Let’s make this a special year – filled with friends and gratitude. Sounds like the winning combination for a wonderful new year!
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