Allophilia (Liking Those Who Are Different)

Allophilia is the ability to like (or hold in regard) others who aren’t like you. Professor Todd Pittinsky coined the term as way of defining the opposite of prejudice.

I’ve posted about prejudice before and finding this term helps define a target that I can aim at when attempting to reduce my own prejudices. In order to understand and develop allophilia, I must first recognize where I see differences between myself and others. As with a lot of other topics, this starts with my own self-observation.

The next step is then looking past my own pre-determined ideas about who someone is and looking for aspects of who they are that I can not only admit that I like, but can also lift up as valuable and important. That is a tall order given the current polarization in our communities. It is difficult to see if we aren’t intentionally looking.

An example of what allophilia looks like are the historical examples of different communities and individuals who stepped up to help the Jews escape the Nazi persecution of WWII. Individuals and and groups who took risks to assist people who were different from themselves.

Where is there an opportunity to develop your understanding of allophilia? How does it appear in your daily life? If you can’t find regard for someone different than you, it is likely you are drifting toward prejudice. Take some time and practice looking for what you like about someone different than you and observe what happens. –

allophilia - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.