Deal Breakers


Between the time I started dating my husband and the time I married him, we found ourselves facing a host of personality differences. There was only one (well maybe two) possible deal breakers that came up for me though. Because I'm of the opinion that I am not always right, I went to survey family and friends on whether or not they considered my deal-breakers detrimental to inner-workings of a potential future marriage. Of course, ninety percent of people did not agree with me. As it would seem, depending on how much I cared, I would be fighting my battle alone.

During that whole experience though I learned a lot about my friends. I mean – first of all, I learned never to go to them for relationship advice. They are awesome, but they don't know me or my relationship with my husband well enough to make decisions or pass judgements for me. The second thing I learned was that each person, with their different backgrounds, had a different view on the situation.

The most interesting opinion I received was that of a friend from another country who always had a way of providing refreshing and unique insights into my predicaments.

As it turns out, cultural differences really have an effect on your viewpoint and allow you to see things differently than you might otherwise.

Think about it. Would you use a fork in China? How many Americans do you know that would go out of their way to eat snails? And what about the importance of tea in Japan?

My first experience in Europe, we traveled between 4 different countries. Obviously there were big differences like language, but there were also smaller minute differences that were harder to spot unless you were in the right mindset. For example, as Americans we would naturally follow the speed limit from one sign to the next not even realizing that certain areas between cities had no speed limit! Autobahn, baby! ;) Then there was the whole issue of eating. You put the fork in your left hand and the knife in your right. Don't cut your food until you are ready to eat it. And go! (Argh! I hated it!)

But one of the things that caught me most by surprise, that I didn't read about until returning, is the way language is used in Germany compared to the US or the UK. For example, in German one might say "Clean the kitchen please", but in English, we would say "Could you please clean the kitchen?" One is very direct, straightforward and to the point (almost demanding), and the other is more lax and indirect. I have no idea if there is a more indirect way of asking in German, but, the article I read, suggested that the difference in speaking could easily result in miscommunication

The point I'm getting to is this: Don't judge people based on your first impression of them (or what they are doing). In my case, I had to talk out my differences with my husband to really discover if what we thought was a relationship deal breaker really was. And in the case of friendship with Germans (or anyone from another culture), you have to go into the experience realizing that you may not always see eye to eye. Or even more so, there may be miscommunication that is preventing you from understanding that you actually do agree even though you didn't think you did. (Maybe you were saying the same thing in different ways, etc?)

Don't let miscommunication or a lack of understanding prevent you from forming relationships with people. Don't be too quick to judge and assume you have found a "deal breaker" in someone until you have really gotten to know them. You may find that you have been sadly mistaken and miss out on the opportunity for a great friendship or relationship!

What do you think about deal-breakers? Do you think in some situations we are too quick to judge and assume bad things about others? Have you had an experience (through traveling or otherwise) where you've learned that a person's behavior is not necessarily what it seems?

* I'm participating in #LoveBlog this February. Click here to discover the prompts and join in!

1 comment:

  1. I like your perspective on this. I think communication and flexibility is key; even if you think you've come across a "deal-breaker" don't be too quick to judge. If you evaluate things more closely, it may not be as big a deal as you think.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...