Maybe both are true. Maybe at different times, each one is true. When I see a pack of mean girls at the mall, I think, “birds of a feather…,” or “misery loves company.”
On the flip side, in certain instances we are drawn to others with characteristics absent in ourselves, and, to me, this is a good thing. A sage/spiritual director, a mentor, a spouse, or a friend, may seem more intriguing because they posses traits and qualities we admire, but have not quite yet mastered. From them we learn a lot, when we are willing. And if they are wise, they also learn.
The comfort from being around people like us can be soothing, and smoother sailing, but it will not produce the kind of growth that healthy conflict can. The smoothing of the rough edges happens best during the interaction of dissimilar personalities. When there is mutual respect, very beneficial outcomes, personal growth, spiritual growth, and learning are the consistent result of contrasting personalities.
Who has been the most beneficial in your life who was not like you, and what was the lesson from them that you appreciated most?
(feel free to leave a comment.)