7 Ways Befriending A Foreigner Will Change Your Perspective And Life

by Michael Matarlo

What is it that makes foreigners so alluring? From accents to body language, they seem to do everything right.

Every little quirk, idiosyncrasy or flaw makes foreigners much more amusing to be around.

Not only is getting to know someone outside of your nationality new and exciting, but being with a foreigner also makes you think two-fold about the things you do.

If you feel like you’re trapped in a narrow-minded frame of thought, here are seven reasons why knowing a foreigner will change your life:

The Beauty of Life

Interestingly enough, you and foreigners share different cultures. This is a great opportunity not only to meet someone new, but also to give you a first-hand chance to learn about another culture outside of your own.

Just as you share stories with old friends, sharing your culture will be just as beneficial to foreigners as it is to you.

It’s easy to become acclimated to a monotonous lifestyle, but speaking to a foreigner will lead to newfound appreciations, such as how easy it is to talk to someone new or how beautiful your town is.

Turn Off The Cell Phone

Let’s be honest: There is a degree of comfort when you’re with your friends. You feel like you can be on your phone and not feel pressured to say anything. In comparison to people from most other countries, Americans tend to spend a lot of time on their phones.

A foreigner will always give you something to talk about, which will give you a break from your phone.

Whether is it comparing lifestyles or learning about culture-specific holidays and activities, you will spend less time on your phone and more on developing yourself and your relationships.

International Friendships

Meeting new people and developing friendships is much more difficult when you know you won’t be spending much time together.

Whether you are studying abroad or they are completing an internship near you, having that limited time together will be the basis for making the most of your situations.

Of course, getting past the language barrier is not an easy process, but the time and effort is well worth the effect they will have on your life.

Broadening Perspectives

Cultural differences are not only about outward appearances, but also a reflection of one’s beliefs and values. Making yourself aware of another’s culture will help you consider and recheck the basis of your own culture.

Seeing the world from someone else’s perspective will provide a deeper understanding of why people do what they do.

Foreigners help to shape your preferences and perspectives by encouraging you to expand your tastes by trying new foods, music and activities.

Interpersonal Development

It’s already hard enough that you both speak different languages and have differing beliefs.

Knowing a foreigner is a great chance to overcome one’s fear of speaking to others.

It may be easier speaking to a foreigner because you will always have something new to talk about. Plus, most foreigners will be more initially trusting because after all, you are an expert.

They are getting first-hand experience of what your culture is like in the proper context. This helps build interpersonal skills and grants you the chance to impress yourself and them.

Alternative Living

Whether you are a foreigner in another country, or you meet a foreigner in your country, you are forced to break out of the familiar routine to which you have become accustomed.

When you’re with a foreigner, you are much more likely to experience something you wouldn't have otherwise. You are given the possibility to learn and try new things that will possibly never happen again.

There is no better time to try something new than with a foreigner. Not only will it be exciting to watch someone else experience something for the first time, but it’s also a good moment to rid yourself of biased perspectives that may lead to states of familiarity.

Paralysis By Analysis

How things really happen are different than how we think things happen. We can only have a negative or positive experience based on how we think things are, not how they really are.

Recognizing that others, including foreigners, have lives that aren't dependent on yours, makes your encounters much more meaningful.

Foreigners help us escape the trap of paralyzing ourselves by analyzing our situations. Their light grants us permission to live fully.

This leads to deeper and more intimate conversations, exciting and new experiences and even revitalization to the life you are already living.