Communication in Intercultural Relationships
A relationship with somebody from a different culture can be very exciting but very challenging at the same time. Every culture understands life and interacts differently. Are you in an intercultural relationship at the moment, and have you noticed this with your partner? Have you been confused as to how to resolve the differences and establish a better mutual understanding?
From my personal experience, and when working with my clients, I have realized, that people in an intercultural relationship should invest extra effort and commitment to make their relationship work. Misunderstandings, different expectations and specific communication barriers are common between these couples.
Most likely, there were times when you were surprised by a certain reaction of your partner, just because you “assumed” you are both on the same page. Sometimes, you have probably been sure that your partner understands you, when in fact, that was not the case!
How to Improve Your Relationship
The secret to making intercultural relationships work is communication. In fact, it applies to any other kind of relationship. However, relationships between two people from different cultures, require a slightly different approach. If you are going to continually invest some more energy and time, your relationship is more likely to work and flourish.
In the book called “Getting the Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix, the author provides one most brilliant exercise for couples and I find it especially helpful for multicultural couples. I previously used it with my couples therapy clients, and now use it with my individual coaching clients, and it’s always been very helpful. The exercise is called the “Relationship Vision Agreement”. It is designed to help intercultural couples to have conversations that are necessary to ensure smooth sailing through their differences.
Try this exercise together with your partner and see how your relationship will improve with time. This exercise can be repeated as often as you feel it is needed. People and their priorities change with time, therefore it is a good practice to revisit them every so often.
Watch my video below to find out about this special exercise and please go ahead and try it out!