Have you ever avoided talking to someone who was different from you because you thought it would be awkward or uncomfortable?
If so, you’re not alone. People often expect such interactions to go poorly. Thinking about interacting with someone who is different from us can make us feel anxious and stressed, so we often do what we can to avoid it.
The same differences between people that can lead to anxiety and avoidance were what initially drew me to the field of psychology. As a kid, I was fascinated by what makes us think and act the way we do. Everyone has their own story—their own genetic makeup and life events that have made them who they are. I wanted to learn how these different factors affect the way we see the world.
As I got older, though, I began to see …
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Also published on Medium.