Every person is unique. Although we can find a common interest, there will always be individual differences in the way how each of us was raised. And this is one of the challenges that we may encounter in finding the best way to treat a person. This is primarily because we do not have any experience with their way of living and we don’t know what their beliefs in life are.
On the other hand, to maintain harmony in a relationship with another person, it is very essential for us to learn how to understand our differences. Instead of criticizing those differences, we should try to accept and embrace them. Whether we agree with their beliefs in life or not, still, everyone deserves to gain respect. We must use our own experience as an instrument to learn & grow as an individual.
The road for this scenario will be full of obstacles, but don’t worry. You should not be afraid to take the challenge. All you just need to do is to follow these tips and rest assured that you will be on the right track:
Learn more about your culture. Understanding your culture would help you a lot in understanding the effect of cultural behaviors and beliefs. Then, to learn how to respect individual differences, you must first get to know someone from another culture as a person.
When you deal with a person who is dissimilar from you, try to learn first more about him by spending some of your time in talking to him, so that you can see and tell what makes him not the same with you. If you are dealing with a small group of people within a formal situation, you can run a questionnaire, so that you can obtain and collect information regarding these people. In that way, it will not be hard for you to determine how those people vary from you & from other members of the group.
Then, you should proceed on trying to learn and understand other’s culture. It is believed that respect starts by acknowledging the dignity, rights, and opinions of each and every one. You can start getting to know people around you by simply asking them some decent questions concerning their traditions and customs.
When these people who came from another culture celebrate a special event or holiday, you may consider participating or urging them to share some pieces of information about that particular celebration. This way, you will be more able to understand their culture and their differences from you.
Learn to admit the things which are against your belief. Showing respect to the differences of a person from you does not mean that you need to always agree with them. If both of you have different opinions about something, which either of you can’t agree on, then be honest about these things.
But remember that even when you don’t have the same stand, learn how to move past it. Look at those differences as just a divergence of standpoints and not a subject of good and wrong.
Share some details regarding your life. As the person or the group of people share information about their culture and beliefs, you must reciprocate in detail-sharing by simply volunteering and giving information concerning your life. In that way, you can let the person see that you’re willing and determined to build a relationship with him.
Make connections where the similarities appear. You should look for those things that both you and the person with whom you have differences possess. You should try to build on those similarities; come with him for a social gathering, or you may start discussing some things the two of you enjoy. While you do those things, you would probably see that you and that person are actually more similar than you thought before.
Understanding the differences between you and the other person is not hard, all you need to have is an open mind and accept and have respect whatever they believe in. After all, you would expect them to do the same for you.