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20 Amazing Things About Loving A Person With A Different Cultural Background

20 Amazing Things About Loving A Person With A Different Cultural Background

Because of globalization there are more relationships that are inter-cultural. Such relationships are a celebration of love, trust, partnership, tenacity and tolerance as it provides the opportunity for growth and exciting challenges. Here are 20 of some of the best things about loving someone with a different cultural background.

1. You enjoy different treats

If you are in a relationship with someone from a different background, you have the opportunity to enjoy different treats other than you are used to.

2. You learn more about your loved ones taste in entertainment

It is interesting to discover your mate through what they listen to, books they read and movies they watch. Entertainment could be different to yours but it could tell you more about your loved one’s choice of entertainment. If you are American, there is a lot to enjoy from Bollywood if your partner is Hindu!

3. You have cause to travel to a new location

Get ready to book that flight ticket and get unraveled in the adventure of your life! This may happen because your loved one is from a different culture, so you are pushed to see a bigger picture of the world.

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4. You have the opportunity to be a dual citizen

Sticking to your loved one means you have the opportunity to become a citizen of their ethnic group and further accepted to be a member of their community.

5. You accept the world of your loved one

Loving someone from a different culture becomes incredibly eye opening and helps you to understand other people’s belief and tradition.

6. Every meeting point is colorful

Whenever you meet each other’s families and relatives there is a distinctive exchange of identity, culture and opinions. Meeting each other’s relatives also offers a melting point of ideas and knowledge.

7. You can learn a new language

You wouldn’t want to mocked or caught bewildered every time your loved one speaks to his/her relatives. You want to be involved and this could lead you to taking an interest in a new language.

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8. You have to teach so many things to your loved one

Teaching comes with an opportunity for humor, and challenges you to be willing to help. It also brings out compassion, desire and patience, qualities that are essential for your personal growth.

9. Your loved one is charming to your friends and families

When introducing your loved one to your friends and families there is something extra he/she brings to the meeting that adds charm and interest to both parties.

10. You test your love

Challenges and difficulties from clashing cultures test your love and makes your relationship stronger.

11. You relationship is unique

How do you feel when you are with a Bolivian and you are African-American? Excitingly different. Unlike other relationships yours has a spark of immense discovery, many eccentricities and exceptions.

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12. You come to terms with being misunderstood sometimes

At least it will save you the worries and anxiety because you simply won’t be able to understand everything that’s happening. Some of us call it pants, others call it trousers, some call it soccer and others call it football, and these may dazzle you for some time.

13. You can tap into different cultural idiosyncrasies

Every culture and country has its unique sayings and proverbs. They way they greet each other in Japan is very different from that of Bolivia. However with time you start loving what the other culture does.

14. You have new holidays to celebrate

You have more good times to celebrate. You will have to party to new holidays and celebrations even if you have no idea what is being celebrated.

15. You start supporting two different teams during major sporting events

Now you have two teams to support during the Olympics and the World Cup. Something you may have being used to before. Even if you don’t want it, at least it keeps the excitement alive.

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16. You learn to become more aware of who you are

When your culture meets another you start finding those elements you may not have found in your culture previously. You start realizing what your culture truly means and how you can portray it to your loved one.

17. You get stuck with each other’s accents

Certain cultures and accents limit their speakers from pronouncing certain alphabets correctly. For example someone from Hong Kong could want to say ‘plaque’ but says ‘plague.’ But this could be humorous for you as you start appreciating these elements in your loved one.

18. You appreciate your loved one’s skin color

When you are used to being surrounding by your own culture all your life and become in a relationship with a someone completely different, you tend reevaluate your thoughts on cultural and racial identity.

19. You learn so many ways to say ‘I love you’

Whether it is “I love/Te Quiero/T’estimo’” saying these and expressing them in a different tone and language other than yours is eye-opening to the language of love.

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20. You are more tolerated as foreigner

If you make mistakes or have a misunderstanding because of certain things in your loved one’s culture you do not know about, it is easier to get away with it.

Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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