Making New Connections
Making New Connections
Do you have questions or comments?
Click here to ask us any questions that you may have about practicing No More Stereotypes.
One of the side effects of unconscious bias is a measured reduction in, what our science partners call, “nonverbal cues.” People make less eye contact with those that are different than them, they smile less and initiate fewer conversations…the early behaviors that create the possibility for friendship.
If we can mitigate these unintentional behaviors it gives us the opportunity to get to know people based on who they are, not what they look like.
Try to make an active effort to convey a sense of openness to those that are different than you. Look people in the eye, smile and say hello. When the timing feels right, initiate a conversation or invite someone for a coffee. Whether you become real friends depends on your shared interests and values, but at least find out what those are before making assumptions.
It’s time to make some new friends
Watch out for sneaky ways that bias affects behavior
The role of lip balm in fighting bias.
Each natural lip balm is infused with an extra ingredient; this one has love. We hope each time you take care of your lips you are reminded to switch on love in place of fear.
Negative stereotypes start to form as early as 3 years old. When we’re young, we look for simple ways to organize the world, and our brain uses these limited ideas as a shortcut to safety. It takes an active effort to replace faulty thinking and automated behavior with openness and curiosity about our fellow humans.
We believe in the power of friendship to make life rich and full. When you get out of your culture zone, you expand the way you see the world…and how you treat the people in it.
What if we spent more time talking about our similarities than our differences?
We are both immigrants; Magatte grew up in Senegal, West Africa, and I grew up in England. 20 years ago, we were both drawn to America’s openness, diversity, and entrepreneurial spirit.
We share a love of science, critical thinking, and doing stuff that makes a difference. We both have a wicked sense of humor, high expectations of people, and a keen appreciation for
nature’s medicinal qualities and impact on health. Neither of us have children, so we spend our energy on trying to right the wrongs with new ideas, and more importantly, personal actions.
We don’t share religious views, but we have the same moral compass and values. We met on a plane 2 years ago and decided to start a social enterprise, not really knowing each other that well. We began as business partners and became good friends. We look very different on the outside, but inside, we are very similar.
Scientists at Princeton University found that ‘fear of rejection’ was the main reason people don’t initiate a friendship with those that are different than them. What’s fascinating is that both white and minority groups say they would like more diverse friends but think others aren’t interested in being friends with them. We often mistake lack of openness and engagement for lack of interest…but really it’s just self-preservation, we fear being rejected. This means we are going to have to put fear aside and make some bold moves to encourage connection. Be the brave one, be the first to smile, say hello, invite for coffee, a movie or lunch…let’s get together in real life and start to dismantle our differences.
If you were friends with Vero…
…you’d be up until the early hours discussing decoherence in quantum mechanics and Derrida’s theory of deconstruction, you might even whittle away the hours debating whether moral theory really helps us figure out what actions are right and wrong. Just when you should be getting sleepy you’d move on to the dilemma of feminism in the Latina community.
Vero was born in America but moved to Mexico when she was 6 because her Mom was deported after her parents’ divorce. Growing up in Mexico with a single parent had its challenges, but ultimately turned out to be the source of Vero’s very independent spirit. Encouraged by her Mom to pursue an education that inspired her she chose to get a degree in philosophy. She loves critical thinking and believes the role of modern philosophy is to solve the ethical problems of our time. She’s not just a thinker, Vero is a doer as well. After moving back to the US and dealing with the stigma surrounding her own mental disorder, she suffers from OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), she started a social business called Spark Conversation to encourage a deeper understanding of mental illness.
Vero seems like an old soul in a young body; she is a bright, energetic star using her lively intellect to shine a light on the wounds that need healing.