4 Ways to Get Out of Your Cultural Comfort Zone

I’m a big believer in experiencing new things, and learning about others. Whether you are learning about a different religion, or just trying something you’ve never done before, it can make sense to get a little bit out of your cultural comfort zone. You might be surprised at how adding more culture to your life can enhance your experience.

You don’t have to do anything drastic or dangerous, either. Just go do something new, that maybe isn’t something that you would normally do in the course of your daily activities.

Here are 4 ways to get out of your cultural comfort zone, and perhaps even increase your understanding of others and the world around you:

1. Attend Another Religious Service

Every Easter in high school, I attended the overnighter put on by my best friend’s youth ministry. It was a little out of my comfort zone to have Bible study with people who thought differently about the Bible, especially with me in the minority, but it was a good experience.

I felt a little out of place at Friday prayers at a mosque once, but I still treasure the experience of meeting others and talking with them. I’ve enjoyed visiting Buddhist temples and other holy spaces of other religions, and, even though there is initial hesitation, it’s still a good experience to learn a little more about others’ faiths.

4 Ways to Get Out of Your Cultural Comfort Zone

2. Read Something You Don’t Agree With

When I find myself getting stuck in my little bubble, I go out there and read something I don’t agree with. It’s worth noting that not everyone thinks the same way you do, and it’s good to recognize that there are valid arguments on the other side. Sometimes I don’t change my mind about things when I read something I disagree with, but there are times when I do. And at the very least I often understand another point of view better.

3. Try a New Food

Food is huge when it comes to most cultures. Instead of eating the same foods that you’re used to, venture out of your comfort zone a little bit and try something different. You don’t have to get out there and try balut or Rocky Mountain oysters, but you can try something a little different, like Indian or Thai food. One of the coolest things I did at last year’s FinCon was go to a Vietnamese place and try something recommended to me by someone else.

There’s always some trepidation when you try a new food, but you might decide you like it — and it can be a good cultural experience.

4. Listen to a Different Type of Music

My playlist has a wide variety of music, from Turkish pop to heavy metal to big band to Baroque. Listen to music that you wouldn’t normally think to try. Sometimes, I even listen to R&B and rap because my husband likes it, and I think it’s good to understand a little more where he’s coming from.

Music can provide you with insight into another culture and another time. Just listening to the traditional music of another culture (I like some of the atonal Chinese music out there) can be a good way to get out of your comfort zone and broaden your horizons.

What do you think? Do you ever challenge your cultural comfort zone?

One Response to 4 Ways to Get Out of Your Cultural Comfort Zone

Leave a reply