Think of the time when you first met your best friend. What were you wearing, what were you thinking, what made you approach them? And finally, did you think that after this moment, they would be your best friend? As one thinks of these experiences it is important to realize and consider, how much energy do we really put on paying attention to not only our surroundings, but also those people in it. Reflecting on it now, I feel that I have strengthen this skill in multiple ways. Beginning my freshmen year of college, a professor made us do an exercise to test how aware we are of things. Instructing us to close our eyes, to then ask us questions and think about the answer. Some questions asked were “what is the color of the persons shirt sitting next you,” “what did you have to eat” etc. Once the activity was over, I noticed that I could not answer all the questions asked. Since then I have tried to be more aware so I could use it to my advantage.(See how you can improve your attention to detail here!)
For example, when going to other countries, people tend to be more alert due to a number of things. Such as the attractions, not use to the area, or even fear. Whatever the case may be it causes one to pay close attention. Allowing someone to really cherish the place where they are and learn the culture. Doing this can expand ones knowledge about different people, which could lead to new encounters with others, and spark friendships. This could also improve a person attention to detail; due to the fact that they are willing to learn about some of the specifics regarding other people from different cultures. This will also teach those very people how to appreciate and respect other cultures.
Though what can also arise is stereotyping, and trying to avoid inappropriate stereotypes could be difficult. The reason I believe it could be difficult is because they are everywhere, gender stereotypes, race stereotypes etc. However, there are ways to avoid and eliminate them. Meghan M. Biro wrote a piece for Forbes titled “5 Ways To Smash The Generational Stereotype Trap.” The five steps she gave were for avoiding the workplace generational stereotype, however, some of the steps could be used for others as well. The one I thought which seemed the most affective was her second step: disprove the stereotype. Educating yourself to the point that you feel inclined to do something about it, where this could also teach you something about yourself and other individuals.
There are so many stories out there with regards to peoples background and their upbringing. Some of those stories are emotional, motivational, inspirational, etc. Don’t be afraid to learn more about other people, who knows, those new encounters could change some aspect of your life for the better!