· Non-verbal communication
There are ways to cross these barriers:
- Language.- Be culturally competent. Know what to say, how, when, where and why. Ask for clarification when you don’t understand, learn the language or find help.
- Non-verbal communication.- Do not assume you understand any verbal signals of behaviors. Don’t take it personally; develop awareness of your own nonverbal communication that might be insulting for others.
- Stereotyping.- Increase awareness of your own preconceptions. Learn about other cultures and avoid judging. It can become a vicious circle of prejudice, racism, violence, and end up in war and genocide.
- Evaluation.- Maintain appropriate distance, recognize that you cannot change a culture, do not judge values until you have come to know them.
- Stress.- Accept ambiguity, reduce other intercultural barriers, be forgiving.
It is very difficult to understand other cultures and it is more difficult when you have to maintain relationships or even life inside other culture. I think that the way to avoid having any sort of problems is to be patient, to have an open mind. It is important, especially in this times of diversity and constant contact with different cultures, that we develop awareness and that we learn to understand and respect others. My advice is to be open to changes, to understand and even learn from other cultures. We have to appreciate the opportunity that we have with open communication and all the facilities of internet and information, to learn from other cultures. Each culture has something different, something special and something very interesting that instead of judging and discriminating we should take it, learn from it for our personal benefit, to nurture our spiritual growth.