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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Cultural Issues in Relationships

Among other things to consider in a relationship is respect for cultural differences. It is possible for others not to appreciate or even approve of your behavior on the basis of your up bringing or cultural background. However you should pay close attention to how you respond to other people on such basis.
Sometimes a relationship is not carefully planned and it may begin with one whom we least expect. If you are in a relationship with one who is from a different culture from you, you should learn to take the following ten steps in order to sustain and enjoy the relationship:
1. Ask Questions on issues you misunderstand: let your partner know areas of his or culture that seem misunderstood by others, find out the real meaning of such issues, what they connote and why they are practiced, etc.
2. Do not speak spitefully of another's culture: on a general note, it is not ethical to make fun of other people's culture or belief. It may be totally unfriendly to speak about your partner's culture in a spiteful manner
3. Understand your partner's Temperament: Different people respond to comments in different ways, one comment might sound offensive to one, but may be taken as a funny joke by another, therefore ensure that you understand how your partner feels about comments you make about his or her culture. Somehow your joke may be misunderstood
4. Feel relaxed to talk about your own culture: If there happens to be areas of your partner's culture that seem archaic, don't speak in an arrogant manner about your own culture. Make simple comments or analogy between your culture and your partner's
5. The relationship is about you and not the culture: Remember if you allow the cultural difference to breed problems in your relationship, you will constantly be fighting hard to make the relationship survive. You should focus on building each other's trust and friendship and enjoy your companionship.

6. Your relationship is now on a new culture: You and your partner have built a new culture which is different from what each of you used to know and experience. Now that you are both together, endeavor to bring togetherness by respecting and accepting each other's cultural differences and grow together in that understanding.
7. Be flexible: Don't always insist on having your own way all the time. Or saying things like "in my culture this is how it is done", remember the other person was not raised in your culture, so be flexible and be ready to show some compromise when necessary.
8. Let there be constant communication: always talk about your opinion, don't assume your partners knows what you want. In fact communication is a bedrock of every strong relationship, how much more a cross cultural one.
9. There should be a common ground: You should have something mutually common with your partner. Already, you two have different cultures, it will be useful to have other points in which the two of you share and agree, perhaps, education, business, or even religion.
10. Avoid situations that will arouse prolonged arguments: If it is possible, do not allow yourselves to be in environments that stimulates cultural debates or unnecessary comparisons. This may lead to arguments that have long emotional impacts on the two of you.
In conclusion, you should put your relationship ahead of the cultural differences that exist between you and your partner. Put your energy on making a happy enjoyable relationship than cultural fault finding and fruitless pursuits


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