Communication and Culture


On this week we were asked:

  • Do you find yourself communicating differently with people from different groups and cultures?
  • If yes, in what ways do you communicate differently.

As I look back and think of the different people who I talk to, I do find myself communicating differently to people of different groups and cultures. I know that when I am around my biological siblings, I can be crazy and energetic self and talk the way I want to talk. I can be myself around them and not feel guilty. I am one that does not like a lot of swearing and smoking around me and my family knows that and they do not do them things around me and if they  slip and curse they hurry up and apologize. I tell them that it is okay and that it is their mouth and that I cannot tell them what they can and cannot say but they respect me and my Christian values to apologize. I am more comfortable and relaxed because I am around people who knows who I am as a person. When I am around aunt rosemy church family, I am more calm and mellow and we talk about God and how good he is, I help clean the church, I watch how I talk with my pastor and first lady who also happens to be my aunt and uncle through marriage. Although they are my relatives, I look to them as my spiritual leaders first then my relatives. When talking to my pastor I can talk to him about anything and know that he will keep it to himself. I speak to him in humbleness and truth.

I am comfortable in communicating with everyone no matter what race, gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation or age. I love to talk and I love to meet and greet new people. I do not communicate with families from other countries due to the fact the majority of our families are African-American. Even when I speak with those who speak Spanish, I am attentive and try to understand what they are talking about as they are talking in English. Sometimes they get so caught up that they start speaking in Spanish cultureand then I get lost because I do not understand what they are saying. I do not stop them because eventually they will realize that I am lost by my nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and body language.

In learning about the components of positive intercultural communication this week has encouraged me to adapt three strategies that will enhance my communication while interacting with people from a different culture:

  •  Becoming other-oriented and following Milton Bennett’s Platinum Rule, “Do to 5145730others as they themselves would like to be treated”. What may be  appropriate and accepted in one culture may be not be acceptable in another. Therefore, I need to be mindful of my behavior and the language that I speak.
  •  To expand my cultural horizon and broaden my world view (Gonzales-Mena, 2010). I can accomplish that by researching and collecting information from those who come from different backgrounds and cultures, and by developing my knowledge of their values, beliefs, and customs. This will enable me to understand what is important to them and avoid miscommunication that results from overlooking cultural expectations (Beebe, Beebe, & Redmond, 2011).
  • Develop Motivation-In developing motivation I will be able to become a competent communicator through learning and improving on how to communicate. “Developing strategies to appreciate others who are different from you may help you appreciate different cultural approaches to communications and relationships” (Beebe et al., 2015, p. 104).



Beebe, S. A., Beebe, S. J., & Redmond, M. V. (2011). Interpersonal communication: Relating to others (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2010). 50 strategies for communicating and working with diverse families. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. “Understanding and Appreciating Cultural  Differences”

4 thoughts on “Communication and Culture

  1. Dionna,
    Great post! It is really nice to see that your family respects you enough to apologize when they do something that they know is against your values and beliefs. To often families forget about treating each other with respect and at times family get-togethers become a thing of the past because all they do is fight and fuss. It is really a joyful thing to see a family working together and respecting each other. Your post is very informational and I love the pictures that you used they really grabbed my attention because they reminded me of situations that I have been in with people who mean well but do it in the worst way. Thank you for sharing.


  2. Dionna,
    Great post! I, too, loved your graphics! I loved your example of speaking to others who speak another language, and how they would notice if you didn’t understand them because of your non verbal communication. I have been told that its much easier to really understand someone by their nonverbal communication because its almost natural-like you aren’t trying to hide anything, etc. Thank you for your post!


  3. Dionna,

    I have this same issue when I am with my family. They know if they get too rowdy I will leave because of my Christian beliefs I don’t feel comfortable in all types of environments. Excellent strategies, but I am sure you are already familiar with “Platinum Rule” through your religion.


  4. Dionna,
    I love your quote about being comfortable with who you are. I am a talker and I love meeting new people but lately I feel that my personality can be a bit much for others. So in return I am more uncomfortable in one-on-one interactions. You are right in that for me to be a better communicator I have to be comfortable with myself. Your post was great and really inspiring to me this week!!!!!!!


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