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Intercultural communication competence promotes effective communication between people from different cultures. People who possess intercultural communication abilities can interact and communicate effectively by understanding each other’s perceptions, feelings, thinking, and actions. Cultural backgrounds are different in many ways thus people who want to develop the intercultural relationships must possess the requirements of intercultural competence that include cultural identity, knowledge, empathy, and self-confidence. The paper reflects the intercultural relationships and suggestions to improve understanding of each other to sustain the relationships.
Establishing relationships with people from different cultures is often challenging considering the differences in cultural competencies (Bystydzienski 5). Before they learn the customs and traditions of each other’s culture, they face several challenges. Although it takes time to learn about each other, people may decide the path their relationship takes. The challenges include confusion and uncertainty especially in the interpretation of attitudes and behaviors of each other that are culturally different. People in intercultural relationships often encounter fear and discomfort as they interact not to mention things that go contrary to each other’s culture. Issues of denial and misunderstandings are common as the partners are not open exploring the beliefs of each other (Karis and Killian 5)
Suggestions to sustain Intercultural Relationships
It is important to consider the personal relationship goals before entering into an intercultural relationship. To love a person from a different cultural background is not wrong but it is paramount to consider learning about their background and family before proceeding to marriage. One should not develop the intercultural relationship based on excitement or thrilling someone. It is important to consider learning the language of your partner to capture some aspects of culture and open a world of possibilities in the relationship. Learning the language of each other promotes communication in the relationship which is the major basis for the development and solving issues.
It is also important to reconsider the perceptions you had about your partner’s culture before entering into a serious intercultural relationship (Hample and Cionea 430). It occurs mainly when an individual had negative perceptions of the partner’s culture before the relationship. The person is recommended to ask for an explanation from the partner and draw inferences from the version of the culture presented by the partner rather than the previous misconceptions.
There are several strategies that are designed to cope with intercultural relationships. These include education and knowledge on a partner’s culture (Hample and Cionea 435). One has to explore the partner’s cultural values closely by enquiring about the childhood, socio-cultural customs, and beliefs that shape a person’s life. It helps in understanding where a person comes from and who he or she is. It is important to understand and embrace the cultural roots of each other for an intercultural relationship to continue. Communication is an effective tool for the success of every relationship whether intercultural or not. Language barrier makes the essential aspect of communication in intercultural relationships difficult to achieve (Hample and Cionea 438). However, sincerity, openness, and respect serve the purpose before the partners can learn the language of each other. Patience and acceptance of each other are critical aspects of the relationship as they help in overcoming the cultural barriers (Karis and Killian 3). It is important for every member of the relationship to accept the existing cultural limits and exercise patience in learning each other.
Cultural issues are important components of every intercultural relationship that must be dealt with to eliminate conflicts. The strategies that the partners select to deal with the cultural issues determine whether the relationship will last or not. Patience, mutual understanding, and respect are crucial virtues that sustain the relationship before the partners can fully understand all the cultural aspects of each other.
Bystydzienski, Jill M. Intercultural Couples. New York: New York University Press, 2011. Print.
Hample, Dale, and Ioana A. Cionea. ‘Serial Arguments In Inter-Ethnic Relationships.’International Journal of Intercultural Relations 36.3 (2012): 430-445. Web.
Karis, Terri A, and Kyle D Killian. Intercultural Couples. New York: Routledge, 2009. Print.