i was attending a workshop about communicating across cultures, and we were discussing strategies on how to do so effectively.
we did an activity called D.I.E.: describe, interpret, evaluate. we looked at a picture and had to answer the question, “what do you see?”. as humans do, we described some things, but also gave answers that were clearly assumptions about the picture and its contents.
when it comes to intercultural communication, it’s important to see the problem/issue/barrier for exactly what it is, before assuming you know what’s about to transpire. it is better to wait for the problem to present itself to you, than to assume there may be problem when in reality, there’s no problem at all.
it really hit home for me today, in light of some recent events in my life. i need to focus on simply describing life. i have to stop trying to interpret and evaluate everything. if we constantly assume a person’s intentions, instead of taking it at face-value, we only put our own well-being in danger. my own mental health can no longer take on the “what-ifs,” the “whys,” the why haven’t theys.”
from now on, it just is.
the first step is awareness.