Communication in Mixed Families

  1. •Both partners should be more interested in giving than receiving.
  2. •There should be at least one language in which both partners are fluent.
  3. •Partners should never “assume” anything just because it’s common sense in their own culture.
How to deal with conflict in mixed marriages
  1. •Don’t give examples from your own country
  2. •Apologize even if it means you’ll lose the face
  3. •Never use generalizations about his/her country/culture/family even if he/she previously accepted that (e.g. we,…s usually are not punctual)
  4. •Don’t touch and don’t get so close, different cultures have different use of proximity
  5. •Check your voice and make sure you’re not too loud according to your spouse’s culture
  6. •Don’t talk about the past that (naturally) cannot be changed
  7. •Don’t say it was a misunderstanding or a language problem
  8. •Try to think like a person from his/her culture (force yourself)
  9. •Try to find something (even 1%) of what he/she says and agree with it 100%
  10. •Don’t interrupt and listen very carefully
  11. •Rephrase his/her problem in your own words
  12. •Never try to WIN the argument (when you win the argument, relationship loses)
  13. •Instead of YOU statements try to make I statements
  14. •Think about alternative solutions to the problem
  15. •State that you understand the other side and you are willing to solve the problem
  16. •Remember some people overreact when they lose face (e.g. when their mistake is revealed)
  17. •Remember different cultures have different values (e.g. yes, in some cultures work/responsibility comes before family)
  18. •Remember most conflicts arise because one side misinterprets the other side’s true intention
  19. •Remember, sometimes it might be a gender difference issue (men and women think differently) or a personality issue (introverts and extroverts act differently) rather than a cultural issue.
  20. •Don’t avoid conflict see it as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship.
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