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The challenges of a narrower mind

Do third culture kids (TCKs) find it challenging to deal with those of a limited world view — people who can’t see two sides of a story?

How do you find interacting with people that have a more limited world view than you?

Our respondents have mixed views on this: some say they find it hard, some say that “people are people”: people can be difficult or narrow-minded whether they’re cultured, well-travelled or not. Compared to a control group of non-expats we might see that expats are not more accepting of other views but simply understand that there are lots of viewpoints.

Tom: “It can be frustrating, but I am interested in talking to people with different views to mine.”

Methee: “I have no interest in talking with narrow-minded people. Otherwise, discussing different perspectives can be quite insightful.”

Jimmy: “I enjoy talking to people with different viewpoints. I only struggle when they aren’t willing to try to understand or accept something which is out of their comfort zone.”

Alma: “We’ve all had different lives and experiences. Everyone interprets/absorbs information differently.”

Alexander: “Being exposed to different cultures and discrimination early on can give you an enlightened sense of the world we live in, and I find it difficult to relate to people who are only from one place. I've seen people completely traumatised by spending a few months abroad - devastated at the thought of leaving their home.”

Lucy: “I found it quite difficult. My in-laws have lived in the same house for 30 years and I definitely feel as though they have a narrow view of the world. They seem fearful of change generally and have what I consider to be very old-fashioned views about family and parenting.”

Young adults walking down city street Young adults walking down city street

Lisa: “I try to be as understanding as possible and learn from others even if I think they have a more limited world view.

“The recent Brexit and immigration rhetoric used in the UK has been hard to stomach. It’s hard to understand how people can be so awful about other races, religions and ethnicities. It’s made me think about moving back to South-East Asia or somewhere else. I really don’t want my daughter growing up in such a divided culture.” 

Nina: “Interacting with people with a more limited world view is boring at best, frustrating at worst. I choose my friends carefully and don't waste time with people with whom I disagree on important things.”

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