Research indicates that about 40% of white Americans and about 25% of non-white Americans are surrounded exclusively by friends of their own race. Due to this lack of diversity in friendships, there are chances of you having a limited friend circle. So, why not vow to have more diverse friends?
In this article, we will explore the many benefits of indulging in diverse friendships and provide tips on building a diverse social circle.
Wondering how to begin? Without any further ado, let’s start!
What are the benefits of having diverse friends?
Having a diverse group of friends is essential for personal growth and cultural enrichment. It can also positively impact your professional life and society as a whole. Let’s see what benefits it has to offer.
1. There will be no barriers whatsoever
With diverse friendships, gain exposure to different cultures, customs, and diversity in thoughts too. Due to this, you have a chance to broaden your perspective. You will start appreciating the world around you. Additionally, diverse friendships can challenge your assumptions and beliefs, leading to personal growth and self-discovery.
2. There will be a boost in creativity
Another benefit of having diverse friends is the potential for increased creativity. Being around people with different perspectives can spark new ideas and ways of thinking. Furthermore, leading to increased creativity in your personal and professional life. Besides, diverse perspectives can also lead to improved problem-solving and increased empathy.
3. Opportunity to enhance your knowledge
In today’s globalized workforce, having a diverse network of friends can turn out to be beneficial for career opportunities and advancement. Diverse perspectives can bring different ideas to the table, leading to more effective solutions and a more inclusive work environment.
4. Diverse friends mean diverse life lessons
Friends make you laugh and infuse happiness. Besides, they teach us to maintain relationships. So, more diversity in friendships, more experiences, and more skills to learn. You will have a variety of life lessons and experiences to learn. For example, if you are single and need some relationship advice from diverse friends, you will have variations in advice.
Their two-cent experience can make a difference in your life.
5. A chance to learn new languages
With diverse friends by your side, there are high chances that you will learn a new language. For instance, if you have a friend from Turkey, you can pick some of their slang 😉. But jokes apart, there is a possibility of smooth communication and if you learn their language, probably they will be able to emote themselves well.
6. An opportunity to explore travel & food
When you have friends from different cultures and races, you will be able to travel to their country. You will be able to experience cultural diversity and check out the traditions of their country. Not to forget, cuisine. Yes, you will have a golden opportunity to relish some delicious delicacies – a win-win situation if you are a foodie.
7. Productivity will enhance
A study has highlighted that diversity in the workplace can help boost productivity. So, all-in-all, having diverse friends in and outside the office can prove to be quite valuable. It will also add value to your productivity, knowledge, and overall working environment!
8. It will help in spreading awareness
Some people hold prejudices about specific races and cultures. However, when you opt for diverse friendships, you will understand what problems they face on a daily basis. Besides, other members will become aware of their challenges once you introduce them as your friend. You might lend them a helping hand to tackle challenges while extending your friendship.
How can you build a diverse social circle?
Now you know the benefits of having diverse friends, let’s see how to build them.
1. Be open to meeting new people from different backgrounds
The first step towards boosting your diverse social circle is by being open-minded. Put aside your preconceived notions about people and embrace them with open hands. Provide them with a comfort zone, and you may realize that you connect on various levels.
Make an effort to seek out individuals from different backgrounds. You can undertake this task by joining a diverse community or attending events celebrating different cultures. You may also join clubs and organizations, volunteer, and attend events or gatherings.
2. Respect them for what they are
Be respectful and open-minded when interacting with people from different backgrounds. This means being willing to listen, learn, and understand different perspectives. Respect their viewpoints and do not mock them for their cultural beliefs.
3. Accept that there could be similarities
It doesn’t matter which race or ethnicity they belong to; you must accept that there could be similarities. Don’t treat them differently just because they belong to a different race or strata. Instead of figuring out your differences, feel happy about the similarities you have.
There would be instances where you will work in the same office or attend the same church. Whatever it might be, think about the things that get you on the same page. Focus on this golden opportunity and the way to open the door to a potential new friendship.
4. Show the willingness to make the first move
Undeniably, you will be more comfortable with your friend circle or with people of your liking. But make some effort and step out of your comfort zone to mingle with more people. After a meeting, reaching out to the person you were in a meeting with and asking them for a coffee or even a compliment for their presentation would work wonders.
Most importantly, don’t just make friends but cherish them for a lifetime. Stay loyal to your friend, no matter what! Yes, strengthen them to the core because a beautiful friendship does no harm. Rather it helps you in becoming a better person.
5. Promote diversity in social circle
As mentioned above, don’t treat your diverse friends indifferently. So, the first step is to introduce them to your friends and family. Practice inclusivity and actively spread the word of acceptance in your social circle. With this, there will be more positivity, and you will be able to retain both – your social circle and diverse friends.
In conclusion, having a diverse group of friends brings many personal and professional benefits, including cultural enrichment, personal growth, increased creativity, improved problem-solving, increased empathy, and a more inclusive society.
Building a diverse social circle is an ongoing process that requires an open-minded attitude and active effort. By following the tips above, you can start building a diverse social circle that will bring new perspectives and opportunities to your life.