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Maintaining Cross-Cultural Relationships

Man cannot live alone, thus he goes out of his comfort zone to be friends with people around him. For some people, maintaining relationships with others, especially those who come from different countries and have different cultures is difficult. However, there are ways on how a person can maintain lasting cross-cultural relationships, including examining one’s self first, being culturally competent, understanding the differences and accepting the cultural norms of the other person, trusting, and communicating.

The process of connecting deeply with other people is a challenging task because it involves aligning and reconciling one’s beliefs, values, and norms with others. The difficulty can be attributed to people’s own hidden biases that are at work once an individual meets people of different cultures. In addition, people have different perspectives about a lot of things, and this usually ends up on cultural collision. Cultural collision occurs when people judge others based on cultural rules and when both sides are not willing to give in (“Cultivating a Cross-Cultural Relationship,” n. d. , pp. 1-2).

However, a person can be guided on how to maintain lasting relationships with people of different cultures. They only have to follow certain ways. First, a person should examine himself whether he is harboring stereotypes about the culture of other people. Although stereotypes can be positive, they can “cloud a person’s perception of others. ” Thus, it is important that the person first analyze the things he believes about the culture (“Cultivating a Cross-Cultural Relationship,” n. d. , pp. 1-2). The next step involves being culturally competent through obtaining culturally relevant information.

This is important because the culturally relevant information will determine whether one’s perception of others’ culture is accurate. Further, it will fill in the gaps of what a person already knows about others’ culture. Through this, a person will understand how others feel or behave (“Cultivating a Cross-Cultural Relationship,” n. d. , pp. 1-2). The next step is to understand the differences and accept the cultural norms of others. When people begin to understand the underlying differences, it signals the possibility of reaching a common ground.

This can also lead to finding similarities between the cultures, and this can establish a point where two or more people can improve their relationships. Moreover, when people learn to accept their friends’ cultural norms, it shows that they are willing to accept others based on who those persons are. Although culture is part of one’s life, acceptance shows that culture is not really an obstacle in forming and maintaining friendships. Rather, it contributes to the uniqueness of people (“Cultivating a Cross-Cultural Relationship,” n. d. , pp. 1-2). In addition, friendships and lasting relationships will not survive without trust.

It is an important ingredient for friendships and relationships to succeed, particularly in complex environments. Moreover, trust is something that takes years to build, yet it can be destroyed in just a few seconds. For this reason, it is important to never betray one’s trust because it might be difficult to regain it (Koteskey, n. d. ). Maintaining trust can be in the form of regular informal meetings in friendly settings (Asherman, Bing, and Laroche, 2000). Another way to maintain cross-cultural relationships is by effective communication. The importance of communication cannot be overemphasized enough.

Without it, relationships would collapse. When people facilitate good communication between them, it opens a new dimension for opening up and sharing personal experiences, opinions, or thoughts. The ways on how to maintain cross-cultural relationships are not just limited on what is previously mentioned. It depends on the people involved and the situation. However, the processes of examining one’s self, being culturally competent, understanding the differences and accepting the cultural norms of the other person, trusting, and communicating will give an idea on how relationships can be successful.

With these in mind, a person can maintain, keep, and foster lasting relationships with people from different cultures. References Asherman, I. , bing, J. W. , & Laroche, L. (2000). Building trust across cultural boundaries. Retrieved May 11, 2009, from http://www. itapintl. com/facultyandresources/articlelibrarymain/buildingtrust. html “Cultivating a Cross-Cultural Relationship. ” (n. d. ). Retrieved May 11, 2009, from http://www. coopyrite. net/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/cross-cultural-relationships. pdf

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