Love is Color Blind!

“It don’t matter if you’re black
White or yellow, if you’re brown or red
Let’s get down to that
Love is color-blind”

“Take it out to the world
Tell every boy and every little girl
Be proud of yourself
Cause you’re as good as anybody else
Put away your prejudice
Open your mind, don’t need a stick to this
Try to make this earth
A better place without a racial curse”

The world is getting smaller!

“Americans eat beef; Chinese eat starfish; Japanese eat sushi; Thais eat pork; Indians eat goat; Vietnamese eat dog; French eat duck. Can you tell me who is right who is wrong?”

Well, since there is no such thing as right and wrong about people from different culture, so let’s make the world a better place for every human being!

Cultural-Diversity1      diversity

The world today is a multicultural society. A globalization has brought a greater diversity to communities. As we can see the establishing of many international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Unions (EU), the International nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the ASEAN Economic Community (ACE), to help promoting cooperation between countries.

Culture diversities make the world smaller! Let’s make this world a better place for all of us!

So now what can we do to resolve cultural conflict?

First of all, you have to be aware of culture sensitivities and diversities. Do not judge people from other cultures from their behaviors or appearances, because you do not know what lies beneath those behaviors. Moreover, you should try to be open and willing to accept others’ differences as much as possible when communicating with people form different cultures.

How to improve communication among different cultures

1. Learn about other cultures

Learning about other cultures, only a basic level would make a big difference with you traveling to that country or have a conversation with others. You will have a sense what to do or should not do.

2. Understand the potential problem that might occurs from cultural differences

Culture is an essential part of conflict, so please bare in mind that your words or action might found offensive in other cultures.

3. Learn the nonverbal language used by other cultures to avoid cultural misunderstandings 

Similar to number 1, learning about nonverbal language used by other cultures would help you to avoid cultural conflicts.

4. Do not assume that people from different cultures think or act the way you do

Something you say or act might not be interpreted the same way you want it to be, so please pay attention to everything you say and do

5. Recognize the different perceptions about time. Accept it as the way of leaving

American seems to run and rush all the time While in Asian culture, people take things slow.  People wander; they spend hours at a table talking about their family and friends.

6. Respect the way people in different cultures deal with conflict

Related content:

Cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness

Don’t judge people because they are different from you!

“Don’t judge my path if you haven’t walked my journey”- unknown

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Judging people is a human nature. I am sure we all do. So where is it come from? Why do we judge others?

Here are some reasons why:

  • We feel insecure: when people feel unsecure and unhappy, they tend to say something bad on others. When people feel upset or sad, they want others to feel the same. People have to drag others down.
  • We think we are superior to other: we judge others because we think we are better than others.
  • We envy others: when we don’t have something that others have we are likely to make a judgment about them. For example, people often criticize others whom wear expensive clothes, or have a luxurious brand named bag because they just want to have like others but they could not afford it.

How to stop judging people?

Put yourself in other’s shoes

It will help you have a better understanding of others’ behavior; it helps you understand why others act, say and dress up the way they do.

Avoid stereotyping

As I said in the last post that people shouldn’t be judged only by their appearances or culture differences.

Remember how it feel

Remember when you feel when you are judged. It feels bad, isn’t it? Then why you judge other?

Acceptance

Once you begin to understand, try to accept people the way they are.

“Don’t judge too quickly”

 

Related content:

How to Stop Judging and Criticizing People

A Simple Method to Avoid Being Judgmental

4 Reasons We Judge Others

 

Culture stereotype

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What is culture stereotype?

It is the way of categorizing people in to the group and assuming that everyone who has the same culture, religion, values and race would act the same way. Stereotypes are generalizations based primarily on membership in that group without exception. Culture stereotyping usually refers to negative assumptions because it is unjust to individuals who vary from others in the same group or culture.

Whenever we talk about people from different culture, we usually categorize people into a group of actions and behaviors we assume that they would act in the same way. Stereotypes are rigid and fixed. Sometimes when the stereotype develops into a rigid attitude and when people’s belief based on wrong assumptions, prejudice occurs.

 Example of culture stereotyping:

  • Mexicans are lazy and came into America illegally  Stereotype-me
  • Africans are black
  • Americans are obese
  • Thailand is known as the sex tourist capital
  • Muslims and Arabs are terrorists.
  • Jews are greedy
  • Thai women are sex slave
  • Asians like Math
  • Africans are poor

stereotyping

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This is what I feel needs to change, as people shouldn’t be judged only by the cultural differences!

Related content:

Effects of a Cultural Stereotype in the Workplace

Taranga and stereotypes

How aware are you of cultural differences in body language?

Body language or a non-verbal communication plays an important role in how people communicate. It reveals an 392412-4762-29unspoken intention through the physical behaviors. These behaviors include body gestures, eye movement, touch, hand sign, facial expression, greeting and personal space. A non-verbal communications also indicate emotions and a state of mind of that person such as angry, frustration, satisfied, happy, pleasure and relaxation. However, one must be aware that body languages are different from culture to culture. There are many body gestures that are commonly used in one culture, but may have different meanings in other cultures.

Here are video clips showing innocent gestures that mean rude things abroad!

 10 Surprising Ways To Offend People In Other Countries

The cultural differences in body language between the UK and Asia

Related content:

7 Innocent Gestures That Can Get You Killed Overseas

Rude Hand Gestures of The World

Hand gestures in different cultures

Your body language shapes who you are!

“Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.”- Amy ?????????????????Cuddy

Amy Cuddy, an American social psychologist, conducts many researches on emotions, power, nonverbal behavior, stereotyping and discrimination as well as the effects of social stimuli on hormone levels. In October 2012, she appeared in TEDTalk show to speak about body language. Her TEDTalk, delivered at TEDGlobal 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland, has been viewed more than 7 million times and ranks among the top 15 most-viewed TEDTalks.

To boost you self-confidence, just smile to yourself and do the power posing in front of the mirror for 2 minutes and you will have more confident through out the day!

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Related content:

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TED Idea Worth Spreading

Smiling doesn’t always mean I am happy!

Emotion is a very significant component in intercultural conflict. Negative emotional development such as anger, frustration, stress, anxiety and fear, play an important role in conflict escalation. Culture differences affect non-verbal behaviors and the way people express their feelings. They determine how we communicate to others what we are feeling or what we want others to think we are feeling. In collective cultures, where people have a low expression of emotion, they tend to hide and suppress their feelings. Especially in Asian countries, they have a strong system of emotional display rules than people from other countries. People value social relationship very high that they hide their negative emotional expression. In contrast to collectivism cultures, people in individualistic societies feel more comfortable expressing all type of emotions to others. For example, Thai people do not express their negative feelings to other people the way Americans do, we are likely to keep the negatives feeling to ourselves. In American society, people concern with their own needs and desires, whereas, in Thai culture, we are raised to care about what others want.

People often misinterpret other’s non-verbal behaviors such as smiling, laughing, and crying, in which it could lead to a misunderstanding. For instance, in Asian culture, particularly in Thai culture, sometimes people smile to hide their distress, anger or embarrassment. This is particular true when communicating with a high status person. Moreover, when Thais feel discomfort or shy, we often smile and laugh, which may be interpreted by those in American society as enjoyment or in some social context it can be interpreted as a disrespectful behavior. These misinterpretations with the lack of understanding of cultural differences could lead to conflict in broader issues such as, religious, gender and even national problems.

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Picture credit:  Yang Liu

Different in emotional expression could also determine the way people in different cultures deal with conflicts and disagreements differently. Moreover, it shows the difference in emotional communication styles. Mitchell Hammer proposed four intercultural conflict styles: Discussion, Engagement, Accommodation and Dynamic.

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The Discussion style emphasizes a verbally direct path when dealing with disagreement. People tend to say what they mean and mean what they say. However, even though they tend to discuss about the disagreement directly to others, they aware of their emotions and have a controlled manner when expressing their emotions. Example of this styles are North America: United States, Canada; Europe: Sweden, Norway, Germany; Asia Pacific: Australia and New Zealand.

The second style is Engagement style. This style emphasizes on a confrontational approach and verbally direct when dealing with conflict. They also use a strong verbal and non-verbal communication. Furthermore, this style is more emotionally expressive when dealing with disagreements. Examples of culture that use Engagement style are

Next is Accommodation style which emphasizes ambiguity in language use to make sure that conflict is not get out of control. This style has an indirect approach and emotionally restrained when dealing with conflicts. People who have this conflict style highly value a relationship with others and want to maintain social harmony. Asian cultures, such as Japan, China, and Thailand are an example of Accommodation style.

The last one is Dynamic style. This style use indirect strategies when dealing with disagreements; they often communicate through a third parties to resolve conflict. People who use this style also have an emotionally intense expression; they feel comfortable with strong emotion expression. This style is found in Arab Middle East countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Understanding and being aware of conflict styles used by people from different cultures can change people’s perception and perspective on others. Understanding cultural differences is a first step in resolving conflict rationally and effectively.

Related content:

Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory

Tammysong Blog