When I differentiate, it can happen within the context of appreciation or not.
If I differentiate – using thought to sort things out – within appreciation, I find that it tends to invite in curiosity and receptivity. I am more free to explore different views and takes on the topic, find the validity in each, and ways these views may fit together into a larger picture. If I am engaging with someone else, there tends to also be more of a sense of us and a recognition of myself in the other. A sense of exploration and partnership, whether the other person is open to that or not.
If I differentiate and it is not within a context of appreciation, it can be quite neutral. But the stage is also set for more easily going in the direction of a rigid view and a closed heart. Instead of a more open exploration, I may go into justifying or defending a particular view. I may go into polarization. I may experience separation to others and the views they happen to use as a guideline.
Either one is of course fine. And the differentiation without appreciation may be an effective tool in some specific situations. (Tough love, but there can be appreciation even there, just not expressed so directly.)
But in general, differentiation within the context of appreciation seems to be more helpful. When the heart comes in and supports the mind, there is more receptivity and curiosity there, and a willingness to explore the validity in a wider range of views. In some ways, there is a certain intelligence that comes from the heart supporting the mind.
Even when the differentiation comes up with the same in both cases, it is at least more enjoyable to do it within the context of appreciation and a deeper sense of us.
- appreciation and differentiation
- invites in curiosity, receptivity, a more fluid view
- invites in a sense of us, recognizing myself in the other
- fashionable in some subcultures
- differentiation and not appreciation
- invites in polarization, closed view