Why should you befriend those different from you? I have 3 important reasons!
I’ve noticed that a lot of moms seem to congregate with those who have everything in common with them.
Homeschool moms gravitate mostly towards other homeschool moms. Public school moms stick with other public school moms.
Stay-at-home moms seem to congregate and be friends with each other. The same goes with work-at-home moms or working moms.
This is unfortunate, because I feel like we could all enjoy each other’s friendship. We’re missing out by only being friends with the people exactly like us.
One of my good friends was a homeschool mom. For various reasons she and her husband decided to send their kids to public school. After they made this choice, she actually had someone tell her, “Just FYI, you’re going to lose all your homeschool mom friends now because all of us think it is stupid for you to send your kids to public school.”
It really hurt me that she was left out of that group just because she sent her kids to a different school.
So why should we make the effort to be friends with people who are different from us? Here are 3 reasons to consider:
1. If all of us were the same, the world would be boring.
Think about it: the world would be boring if we were all really, truly the same! If we all dressed the same, if we all listened to the same music, if we all ate the same foods, we’d get bored with ourselves and each other.
Seek out others who are different from you. Your new friendships will expand your worldview, your interests, and your tastes.
2. We can learn from each other.
I might be convinced I’m right in certain areas, but I’m always reminded that I have plenty to learn from other people!
I’ve written a lot on this blog about how we were low income for several years. Before that I had grown up in upper middle-class America. My dad had a good job and sent me to private school.
As an adult I went through three years when my family was on government aid. We aren’t any more and we haven’t been for a few years, but I’ve been there–in the WIC office and the local health department applying for food stamps.
It was a part of my community I’d never seen before and hadn’t grown up around, and I learned a ton from that experience.
3. We actually might have more in common than we think.
You may be missing out on a really awesome friendship just because someone doesn’t make the same choices you do.
If you differ on a lot of things, it might be challenging. I recommend you stick to those things you have in common, and you love each other despite your differences. But try not to get into arguments about the things you don’t have in common.
For example, maybe you are hard-core homeschooling, and you really feel like it’s what God has led your family to do, and you are of the opinion that more families ought to consider homeschooling. But you have a friend that is hard-core into public schooling, and they believe just as much in public schooling as you do homeschooling.
Instead of arguing with this person, look at something you have in common. Maybe you both believe the same about God. Focus on that. Focus on being sisters in Christ and love her and she’ll love you, and maybe you can learn from each other and eventually find some middle ground.
I’m a believer and follower of Jesus. I have friends who aren’t, but they do share my love for natural living. Things like natural child birth, eating unprocessed foods, and using natural skin care products are just as important to them as they are to me. We find commonality in this despite our differing views on religion, and we enjoy a vibrant friendship!
And maybe…maybe because I am not hateful toward them and don’t condemn them, maybe someday they will want to know Jesus, too.
And maybe there is something they can teach me as well.
Do you find it difficult being friends with people different from you?
This world is beautiful and unique and there are so many people that have so much to offer. If you struggle with finding friends, I have some tips on how to cultivate real-life community!