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Four Tips for More Effective Cross-Cultural Communication

Photo of a multiracial couples looking at each other and smiling. Learn 4 Tips for more effective cross-cultural communication.

Do you and your partner clash over fundamental differences in worldviews and values? Effective cross-cultural communication can bridge these cultural gaps in your relationship. Learn 4 tips to improve communication and deepen the bond with your partner.

Globalization affects each of us. Whether you’ve recently moved to a new country, you’re sharing a dorm at college with an international student or you’re married to someone from a different culture than your own, we all are in contact with people from all over the world. 

Even when there is a common language, things can get lost in translation and conflict can arise.  These five tips can help you to navigate communication and build stronger relationships:

How to Foster a Better Cross-Cultural Communication

1. Ask questions

At the beginning of a relationship, it comes naturally to ask questions. As we interact with one another, we seek to understand where the other person is coming from and why they do what they do. 

However, as time goes on, we can assume that we understand the other person and that we know why they do what they do. In cross-cultural relationships, it is particularly crucial that we continue to take a learner’s posture and continue to ask questions. 

Values and beliefs that we have had since childhood can be difficult to spot and articulate and can come up at unexpected times. Asking questions will help you to maintain a humble posture. 

2. Do your research

Each country contains a variety of different cultures, each with its own customs, values, and beliefs. Doing a quick online search can help you to identify any major do’s and don’ts in certain countries. 

It can also be helpful to learn a few phrases in the other person’s mother tongue. Showing that you are invested in understanding the other person and that you respect where they are coming from can contribute to building a stronger foundation for communication.

3. Be Flexible

Cross-cultural communication can bring beauty and diversity, but you must be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Compromising can allow for each party to share part of their culture and embrace something new. It may be a little uncomfortable to start with, but it can lead to a beautiful discovery of something new. 

4. Laugh

There will be miscommunication. Things will not always go as planned. Accept that extra time, grace, and patience will be required. Learn to see the humor in the situation and learn to laugh it off. 

Cross-cultural communication can be hard, but with the help of one of our counselors, you can gain confidence as you seek to navigate diverse relationships! Consider scheduling with Kinga Gudor to begin this process today.

Couples Counselling for Building Stronger Cross-Cultural Relationships

Are you unsure about how to approach this topic with your partner? Do you feel like cultural barriers are starting to affect your relationship?

“While addressing weaknesses in a relationship may feel uncomfortable, taking this first step is essential to resolve issues. Couples Counseling provides professional guidance to help you and your partner work through these challenges in a safe and mediated environment.

Consider scheduling your free 15-minute appointment with our therapists Kinga Gudor or Carol Snow. Find more information on couples counseling in NC & VA here.

Kinga Gudor, PhD

Kinga Gudor, PhD

Kinga is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with more than 15 years of experience. She specializes in couples therapy and working with individuals from a multicultural background.

Learn more about Kinga
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