The danger of limited perspective in your writing

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Different perspectives and viewpoints can enrich your writing. But if you hang out with certain groups of people, you risk bringing into your writing a limited perspective.

I came across this interesting comment from Anonymous on Quora about “Why do some men prefer to have women friends instead of male ones?”

“Sartre (Jean Paul Sartre) had a pretty strong answer for this. My answer is a little softer, though see Sartre’s point of view a lot. Basically, in the context of making friends for heteros, men with men tend to do two things: compete or dumb-down. Getting mostly past this is how they become friends. Men with women and the answer is sexual politics.”

You have perhaps experienced this competitiveness, dumbing down and even combativeness, when in the sole company of men. The conversation can revolve around who has the biggest house, who has the biggest car, and who has the best-looking woman. Anything that can be acquired becomes the best.

Then there is the limited conversation about who is the best at knowing about rugby, Formula One racing, motor GP racing, fishing, and so it goes.

This is why I find the comment by Anonymous so revealing. Yes, it’s a generalization, of course, but it sums up how the company you keep can limit your viewpoint.

If you associate with different viewpoints, different people, with different perspectives, you gain more insight into human nature.

Understanding people and their wants, their desires, and their passions helps you hone your messages for your target audiences.

This wouldn’t be complete without briefly looking at the perspectives that women bring.

Here I will give my experience, which may not be complete or comprehensive, but may just provide a snippet of what I would say if somebody asked me the question.

In the remark about men, you will notice there is no reference to art, books, film, and so on. I know this is a generalization, but the beauty of interacting with women is their lovely unpredictability. Not all, but many women have a wide range of interests, including, as I said, books that they have read, films they have seen, music they listen to, and a whole range of hobbies or pastimes that are interesting.

I’m not going to get into the emotive side here, but all I would say is that when I’ve hung out with women, I find them to be more understanding and empathetic, or, let’s just say, more in tune with emotions and feelings.

Again, I know this is a big generalization, and I don’t want to get flak for it. All I’m saying is that there are interesting differences.

Now for my point:

Whatever writing you are doing, remember that there are many viewpoints and experiencing different viewpoints will enrich what you have to say or write about.

If you need help or brainstorming in this area, contact me by email, and I’ll see if I can help you.

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