Example: A New Neighborhood

Two people move into the same neighborhood. One of them is from a place very different from the new neighborhood, and he feels different from most of the people he meets. The other new person is from somewhere that was very much the same as the new neighborhood, and she feels fairly connected to most of the people she meets.

The different one speaks the same language at least, so to connect to people, finds himself really paying attention to lots of things about them and how they act (ProxAwareness). This makes it easier for him to introduce related things into conversations, and understand how someone might find different things interesting about a situation than he finds interesting (rank depends).

The one from a similar neighborhood meets a number of new people right away, as she seems to understand these new people, letting her quickly become actively involved with their concerns, and make smooth transitions from topic to topic. She understands the advantage of networking and being connected to a group of people (value of some), and easily creates links between new friends when she sees they have something in common.

Then, one day the two new people happen to meet each other. He has become so good at relating to variety that at first she doesn’t realize he’s from someplace very different. So hoping they might get together later (more proximate), she uses some insider phrases that mean one thing to people “in the know” in such neighborhoods and something else to most everyone else. He doesn’t “get” the insider phrases, and thinks she’s suggesting something she isn’t, something he thinks isn’t appropriate (doesn’t honor their integrity).

He gets upset and begins to unwind and get out of the conversation. She realizes his misinterpretation, knowing the limits of any one phrase. She points out the miscommunication to him, but suggests he loosen up a bit (allow uncertainty). He gets more upset, saying she’ll never understand all the ways people are different (never know all) where he’s from.

She then realizes she better pay more attention to what he’s about, and value his differences (honor the integrity of some of his background). So she avoids forcing the issue of him loosening up, and gets more actively involved by asking him about his background.

In the resulting conversation, they are able to group some things about his background that are similar to her background. This makes them feel connected, yet still independent, which makes it interesting. He then uses her earlier insider phrase in the proper context. She laughs, and they agree to get more proximate later.

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