Yesterday I was talking with a new friend, whom I met through an Attachment Parenting baby group. Since so many of us found each other after experiencing the local Mother’s clubs as foreign in approach and content, we ended up discussing Like-mindedness. She made what was, to me, a really fascinating observation…that in our culture there is not much ability to be with conflict and difference. In particular we were meandering over the fact that so many people, parents and others in the United States, are so much more comfortable hanging out with people who share their beliefs.
And it is true that many of the people in our group are thrilled to have found people with similar parenting styles, especially so since most of our parenting styles are not the norm in this culture.
Incidentally, this friend is Israeli and from my trips to Israel and based on my experience with Israeli friends, I’ve noticed that Israelis are much more comfortable in general with difference and disagreement.
Relatedly, I’ve noticed, as someone who often has strong and uncommon opinions, combined with a seeming inability to keep them to myself, that being in disagreement often results in people feeling criticized, dismissed or "less than". I guess that’s why I tend to be drawn towards people who have strong opinions with little fear of expressing them. In a way, it’s safer for me. It gives me more room.