By Tiffany Abera
Wow. Today I had the privilege of experiencing a real firsthand intercultural communication breakdown. It was difficult to talk through it but once everyone was on the same level of understanding it felt good to know that we finally understood each other. We tried to be as open and honest with each other about expectations and desires from the other person as possible. During that conversation everyone kept asking me if I was ok. Honestly, I was not ok. I was frustrated, confused and ready to throw in the towel. There were times when my patience was almost pushed to the limit. I wanted to jump back on the plane and come back home, but I have never been one to run away from a conflict. So the only option was to talk about it. There were times when I thought that the dialogue was pointless and was going nowhere, but through honest communication and truly listening to the other person’s views it felt as if we came to a middle ground. Both parties remained unscathed by the communication breakdown and feelings were not hurt. I am not sure how that happened, but I can tell you that it was truly an effort worth pushing through.
At the end of the day, we changed guesthouses that was in a much safer environment and more suitable to our expectations and basic needs. I am not sure if during that talk if I remembered anything that I had learned in class. LOL I’m sure something sank in though.