Difference vs. Commonality

Do you look at what is different between you and other people? Or... do you look at what you have in common? It is a variation on the glass being half-empty or half-full. Focusing on what is different usually leads to separation and judgement, while focusing on what you have in common tends to lead to connection.

Differentiation is a natural developmental task we work on in childhood and adolescence. We out find who we are separate from our parents by differentiating ourselves from our parents. Carl Jung called this the process of individuation. It is how we find our individuality.

However, after we accomplish this developmental task, differentiating ourselves for others is less useful. It can be of value in discerning how you may process differently than someone else in a relationship. But otherwise, we do not typically need it for much.

But often differentiating ourselves for others becomes habitual. When this is so, we immediately zoom in on what is different. When we say to ourselves and the other(s) involved that we are different, there are not as many places to go from there. There is no common ground.

You and another human being might be extremely different. But if you share even just one thing in common, you have the basis to share and connect.

I once completed an exercise of finding something  in common with every employee at my work place at Intermountain Hospital in Boise. It was difficult to find commonality with some people. One person and myself could not have been more different. Watching professional football was the only thing we had in common.

So when I saw him in the hallway, we talked football. And we thoroughly enjoyed our connection. He later told me that he felt closer to me than anyone else at work.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. outlet wrote:
great resources here. Ill be back for the next your posting. keep writing and happy blogging.

Sat, December 15, 2012 @ 7:37 AM

2. Elli wrote:
This is a comment to the admin. Your website:http://michaelhoffman.info/2012/12/difference-vs-commonality/ is missing out on at least 300 visitors per day. I came to this page via Google but it was difficult to find as you were not on the first page of search results. I have found a website which offers to dramatically increase your traffic to your site: http://aerotraffic.com/web-traffic/. I managed to get over 10,000 visitors per month using their services, you could also get lot more targeted visitors than you have now. Hope this helps :) Take care.

Tue, January 8, 2013 @ 10:41 PM

3. Suzanne wrote:
This is a comment to the webmaster. I discovered your "Difference vs. Commonality | Michael Hoffman- Innate Gift Specialist" page via Google but it was difficult to find as you were not on the first page of search results. I know you could have more traffic to your site. I have found a website which offers to dramatically increase your rankings and traffic to your website: http://seoaccelerator.net/order/ I managed to get close to 1000 visitors/day using their services, you could also get lot more targeted traffic from search engines than you have now. Their service brought significantly more traffic to my website. I hope this helps, happy new year!

Wed, January 9, 2013 @ 12:35 PM

4. Mariann wrote:
This is a message to the admin. Your website:http://michaelhoffman.info/2012/12/difference-vs-commonality/ is missing out on at least 300 visitors per day. I discovered this page via Google but it was difficult to find as you were not on the front page of search results. I have found a website which offers to dramatically increase your traffic to your website: http://aerotraffic.com/web-traffic/. I managed to get over 10,000 visitors per month using their services, you could also get lot more targeted traffic than you have now. Hope this helps :) Take care.

Fri, January 25, 2013 @ 10:20 AM

Add a New Comment


code
 

Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.