Following on from my last post where I showed how similar we are in the way we process information and that our thoughts are so similar, there are some variations that make each of us different to each other and can make us believe that we all think differently.
Let's look at some of the major differences;
Gender - Evolutionary, men have learned to suppress most emotions, with the exception of joy/happiness. If they showed fear for example, men were killed by their enemy or by wild animals. Men have taught ourselves to compartmentalise emotions, speak mainly from their logic brain, and to suppress emotions with bravado and humour.
Women on the other hand have always, quite rightly, shown emotion; they had no evolutionary need to suppress emotions, they have always expressed how they feel, they speak from both the logic and the emotional part of their brain, and they openly talk about any concerns they may have.
Age - The older the person, the longer the sentence is a reasonable guide with generations. Technology has greatly influenced the way in which younger people communicate - say it in a photo rather than with words. The way each of the generations react when angry is also different; Traditionalists go quiet, Baby-Boomers express anger by raising their voice, Gen-X's also yell but quickly move on, Gen-Y's express how they feel in two words, the second word being "you" or "off", while Gen-Z's use just one word, "Whatever" and walk away.
Culture - Culture is introduced from when we are born and has a strong influence on how we behave, our acts, not on how we think. Culture is more about social norms. Our culture can also have a major impact on our values, what we consider important us and how we behave in various situations.
Personality - This is the main factor that confuses us into believing that we all 'think' differently. Our personality is formed in early childhood and is a combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Personality is how each of us view the world. Two major factors influence our personality - what we inherited from our parents (genetics) and the world around us (our circumstances). Nature and nurture. Twins will have different personalities despite having the same parents and what seems like the same environment. However, many studies have shown that we may not treat our children exactly the same, unconsciously of course, which can impact strongly on personality. Then there is their friends, their schooling, their music......
How often have you sat in a meeting or coaching session and thought of a question to ask but were afraid to ask it and then someone else asked the same question and everyone in the room said, "I was going to ask that", or "Yeah". And you then wished you had asked the question first. Resonating with you?
The majority of us, psychological and medical variations aside, all think the same way. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we all talked about what we are thinking?