Carmel and her abusive husband, Matthew (1989).

Carmel and her abusive husband, Matthew (1989).

 In an abusive relationship, stonewalling may become a fundamental tactic, because it is a way to apply pressure that seemingly can’t be confronted, because the abuser is “not doing anything.”

Cross cultural communication

A Vietnamese speaking friend asked me to explain the difference between “convention” and “convection”. After defining a couple of the meanings of “convention” and trying to explain the basic scientific nature of “convection”, he showed me the newspaper headline that he was trying to decipher. It read: “Wrongful Conviction”.

It reminded me of how much of what we say is open to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. We are misunderstood far more often than we realize because all communication is, in fact, cross cultural.

The conscientious alien

I often notice how my thinking, my frame of reference, is different from folks around here. Many times I feel uncertain and I don’t know if I understand what people are saying or not. That is the plight of the conscientious alien.

Ethnocentrism

People have a way of accepting their culture as both the best and the only way of doing things. They don’t fully realize that their perception of “normal” is  not universally shared, but exclusive to their culture. This attitude is called ethnocentrism, a belief that not only one’s culture, but one’s race and nation form the center of the world.

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