How do you put your socks on? Do you carefully roll them up or do you stick your foot in and wiggle? If something as trivial as getting dressed can be used to highlight differences and similarities between us, imagine where else we can illustrate this concept.
From our early years at school, we are immediately faced with the challenge of following trends or standing out. Whereas the safe option may be to follow due to a fear of being different, it seems important to consider the effect this can have on our self-esteem. In fact, the positive or negative outcome we associate with standing out or blending in may have a lasting effect on our future decisions. Fortunately, taking the bold decision to stand out may become less daunting as we grow older. Or perhaps we will overanalyse the situation and hold back. Either way, it will inevitably lead to new experiences and it could even become the norm.
Anatomically speaking, human posture is consistent across the globe and yet, we can still find many differences in the way we all stand. Physical injuries and emotional stresses are all reflected in the way we carry ourselves at any given moment. As such, this can affect how we react to certain situations and movement patterns. Indeed, postural anomalies will often be the result of a complex network of tensegrity across our bodies. In fact, even the same posture on two individuals can be the result of very different biomechanical forces pushing and pulling them in different directions.
Tom Robbins once said “Our similarities bring us to a common ground. Our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other”. Even within tight-knit friendship groups there will be notable differences in the way each individual approaches a new environment or task. As such, this can provide frequent opportunities for learning new tricks or embracing particular aspects of work and play. In fact, this could also be true of interactions with people we do not know. Think of the last time you had a conversation with a stranger. Did the conversation flow smoothly? Beyond the usual small talk, we tend to try and find some common ground to discuss. However, if the silence should become deafening, it could be worth attempting to unearth differences. Although this may end the conversation if we touch a nerve, it could also provide the necessary spark to make it a memorable interaction!
“The things that make me different are the things that make me” Winnie the Pooh