Fitting in

People who don’t fit into a box fascinate me.

What’s fascinating about them is that they don’t look the part. A medical student who moonlights as a musician. A financier who’s also a hacker. A college-dropout who works in corporate.

All of these people have one thing in common.

Their unique experiences.

Whether you realize it or not, your brain is constantly looking for short cuts. When we look at someone we’re consciously or unconsciously making judgments about them.

There are certain cues that spark associations in our brains. Some are more universal than others. For example:

  • Tattoos » Biker
  • Suit » Financier, Layer, Corporate professional
  • Luxury car » Wealthy
  • Glasses + Hoodie » Nerdy
  • Etc…

Now, different people may have different associations based on where they grew up and the content they consumed.

It’s incredibly difficult to avoid making a judgment when looking at someone new.

Something that’s helped me avoid making judgments when meeting new people is searching for what makes them unique.

I’ve found that it makes for better conversation too.

Next time you meet someone, ask yourself, what box am I trying to fit this person into?

Fight the urge by searching for what makes them different.

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