How easy it is to make something different from you, bad or wrong. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about all the ways that “different” is just that: different.
Sadly, much of our world immediately categorizes anything unusual or “out of the ordinary” as something to be avoided, something to question, and most of all, not something to accept right away.
I get it. As a species, you’re biologically programmed to question what is not familiar to you. That is, in fact, the way that your cave dwelling ancestors survived long enough to keep evolution going.
Problem is, fast forward to today, and many people still react in a similar manner to anything that is “not like us”.
Whether it’s how someone looks, how they talk, what they choose, what their issues are, what they’re good at or struggle with… doesn’t matter. Most people struggle to accept others’ differences as anything other than a defect or flaw.
Accepting differences as not bad or wrong, does not imply that you don’t get to have your own feelings and preferences about something. On the contrary.
Acceptance can ONLY happen after you’ve had a chance to make your way through all of your own feelings and experiences, so that you can make room for others’ experiences too.
That’s the only way.
Developmental theory says that all you can do is support where you are and this will automatically lead to the next step.
So, for many of you, this first step might look like beginning to recognize that you have judgment towards anything that is different than you. This can be hard to see sometimes, especially if you grew up in a family or environment in which everyone was expected to be the “same” or pretty darn close to that.
It’s only by accepting where we are and what is real, can we even begin to move forward
in our life.
For this experiment, here are the steps:
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.