Tip: See Everyday Conflicts as Cross-Cultural

Before jumping to conclusions about the other person, seek cultural clues in the conflict.

All interactions are cross-cultural in one simple sense. Each person brings different cultural experiences to the table. Even if you are from the same family, cultural gaps widen by growing up in different generations, going to different schools, being of opposite genders or simply looking different. What appears to you as irrational, the other person views as perfectly sensible. Your own culture is often invisible to you, like water to fish or air to human beings, yet highly visible or recognizable to the other species. Individuals often remark that they never felt more American than when they lived abroad. Consider everyday interactions as cross-cultural to bridge the omnipresent differences.

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