Different viewpoints help grow perspective

Different viewpoints help grow perspective

COMMENT
Opinion
Friendships come in many forms and can be with people from different walks of life. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

Friendships come in many forms and can be with people from different walks of life. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

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Friends can range from lifelong gifts to something more brief but they are important.

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Friends are great, everybody has them.

Some have been about for almost a lifetime, others are relatively new, and some come along during the intervening period.

Some people have a natural tendency to make new friends easily, these types are normally extroverts.

Us introverts, however, usually need the other person to strike up the conversation first, but enjoy the interaction once in the swing of it. This scenario happened to me quite recently.

It's quite natural for your friends to come from within your area of interests or work.

Examples are mates at footy and netball clubs or a plethora of other organisations that one may be involved in.

Work is definitely an area where friendship groups are formed.

This phenomenon is particularly stark in farming.

Farmers love hanging out with each other, talking about farming. It makes sense in lots of ways.

My best mates are still the ones I have had since I was quite young.

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We may not see each other that often, but the shared history and bond is so strong that we can easily pick up from where we left off.

The same stories do tend to get recycled, but that is half of the fun I think, as it's a reminder of good times we had in the past.

As I've gotten older and done different things, the people I have met have come from varying backgrounds, and have much different experiences to what I have had.

The later cohort of friends I have collected along the journey have opened my eyes a lot more to how other people think.

I am very grateful for my upbringing on the farm, but upon reflection, I was isolated from what happened outside my very enjoyable comfort zone.

Some people didn't have the same upbringing I had, and when some of them tell me their experiences growing up, it still shocks me.

I have friends that have diametrically opposed views to mine on some topics.

We vote differently, eat different foods, and have varying opinions on lots of topics. We may converge with our views, or we may agree to disagree.

It doesn't really matter, so long as you respect the other person's opinion.

You don't have to agree on everything. In fact, life would be quite boring if we did.

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Another thing I have learnt throughout the years is that most people love talking about themselves - it's normally their favourite topic.

This can work a treat though, if you really want to find out how someone got to where they are in business or in life generally. You just ask the question, then keep quiet and listen.

As humans most of us have an innate need to fill in space if there is a gap in conversational flow.

I find you learn so much more if you let the other person talk, these types of conversations are rarely wasted time.

You don't have to agree on everything. In fact, life would be quite boring if we did.

Having friends from diverse backgrounds, with different experiences and interests to ourselves will pay off in the long run.

You just never know where random conversations or connections with new friends will lead.

Having friends from various walks of life, gives us all a more well-rounded view on the world.

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