This week, I jumped on The Margarita Confessionals podcast with Ali Washburn and Lauren Levine, two capable, smart and lovely women with a lot to say. (Listen to it here.)

I’ve been on a few podcasts, and this one was different. They asked me questions centered around how to be a kick ass partner, professional and overall person.

Of course, we talked about motherhood, and one of their statements struck me:

They marveled at how they would fit a baby into their already packed lives.

That like many people, they didn’t see their whole life has to change to accommodate a fussy live-in roommate that sticks with you until they turn 18 and you have to send them to college.

It got me thinking: We often focus on the data points, using (as one friend has said) people’s front stage as the grist for our own messy backstages.

We see someone supposedly crushing life — having the baby and fulfilling love life and hot business — and we think we can never get there. That we’re so different from each other. We hyper-focus on those differences.

But here’s where we’re getting caught up: We need to focus on each other’s similarities instead of what makes us different.

I’m not talking in the kumbaya, “We’re the same on the inside!” or condoning people who intend to hurt others. Nah, they don’t get this pass.

It’s more like this: Humans are interesting, and we’re interesting to each other. We create the time and energy and resources for whatever we want to put in our life.

The whole difference thing?

It’s a great big shield, Mama. It’s a fear-based conversation like how we’re different versus how are we alike.

We do it to protect ourselves from people who won’t like us, who won’t accept us. So when you think Jan over there is giving you the side-eye, she may be having a craptastic day. It’s not about you, at least not all of the time.

If the other person confirms your worst fears about opening up and trying to find similarities, at least you said what was needed to be said.

So, tell me: What similarities can you find with unexpected people? Where can your life open to make room for what’s next? And, happy listening to the podcast!