Accept Different Styles

Drawing by Ann Van Eron

A friend told me that as an introvert she found it challenging to be with her mother. Her mother would talk continuously and ask many questions. My friend found it exhausting. Later her mother would be surprised to see her daughter journaling rather than speaking with her. It was hard for her mother to appreciate a different style. It was much easier for my friend to be with her father, because they did not speak much.

We naturally believe our way of doing things makes the most sense. And it does for us. We have natural dispositions and we have learned behaviors that work for us.

However, given how unique we are with our different mindsets and styles, it is useful to learn how to work with our differences. First, we need to appreciate that we are all seeing and responding in unique ways. Then we need to notice our reactions and manage to shift from judgment to being curious and even recognize the humor in how we can be so different. Without awareness, we can easily become frustrated and blame others for not behaving appropriately. We want to make the intention to be open to others and manage our reactions. When we step back and shift to being curious and engage in positive and productive conversations we can benefit from our various perspectives and ways.

I shudder to think of all of the people who have felt hurt and experienced missed opportunities simply because a colleague or family member has a different way of processing or has a different style.

Set your intention to be open to a different style, catch your judgment and shift to being curious. Notice what you learn.

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