Written by Jami Lyn
I’ve seen this word thrown around so much lately, often to describe a group of friends; or a desire to find a tribe. It is very important to have people in your life that you feel connected to, loved and supported but I wonder if they also have to be like-minded? Let me explain.
Some of my closest friends, the ones I can count on in a moments notice to help, are the polar opposite to me, my beliefs and the way I view life. The only things we really have in common is our love and devotion to our family, we are homeschooling Mums, and we have a deep sense of respect for ourselves which leaches into our friendships. We respect each other so deeply that our differences are null and void.
So you can see how I feel when I think about like-minded friends. If I only wanted like-minded friends then I would be missing out on some of my closest relationships with amazing women!
I view the term like-minded as a red flag for echo chambers. I’ve talked about echo chambers in a past post relating to Facebook and how it is very easy to unfriend/unfollow people who are diverse and have opposing views to you. Don’t hear me wrong, there is a line in the sand where it is important to take care of yourself in the face of aggressive or hurtful opposition. But I would argue that having a diverse collection of friends is more beneficial than only surrounding yourself with like-minded people.
The thing is though, we all have echo chambers. There is some camaraderie in it as we all love to be around those who are similar to us. We love and seek out opportunities to share ourselves with those who will understand us because they’re like us. We often take advice from those who are like-minded because it’s often the answer we’ve been looking for. It may also help us form close connections with people.
Sticking with people who are like-minded can help if you’re wanting to change your circumstances or upskill yourself. Echo chamber can help you succeed.
So why is it a red flag for me?
Because, when you surround yourself with only like-minded people and rarely expose yourself to the views of others, there is a threat of becoming isolated and out of touch with people outside your group and you can begin to wander down the path of intolerance.
A way forward
Your mother was right! You are who you hang around. Which goes to the point, if your group of friends is diverse, you’ll be more likely to see the world and your experiences through many lenses, rather than through one.
Here at Learn Through Living, diversity is embraced like a hot cup of coffee on a cold winters day.
This is quite an intense topic! I hope it brought up something within you and made you think. It’s important to talk about the nitty-gritty of life. You see, I’m a firm believer that we need to talk about the hard stuff in a way that not only builds us up as individuals but also in a way that brings us together as humans.
I’d love to know your thoughts, so I’m not only receiving my echo back! Let me know by commenting below (so others can join in) but also share this to Facebook and tag me!
Let’s raise awareness and encourage a #diversefriendship, rather than a like-minded friendship!