Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Arguments in other cultures

One thing that I really detest at times is when I have a misunderstanding with someone. I know how to handle that type of misunderstanding in my own culture, but I haven't quite grasped it here in Mexico. The people here are much more sensitive and many times more childish than in the U.S. Example, I have a classroom for the language school that has an air conditioner in it. It is attached to an office where some ladies in another part of the ministry work. Today they locked me out of my classroom because they don't like that we close their door when we are running the air conditioner.

In our culture, I THINK that the ladies would have just come to me and said, "Hey, we really need to cool our office down. Is it okay if you don't close the door?" But here, they just got mad and locked the door... that made me mad. I went to them and said, "I'm sorry, is this your air conditioner?" That made her even madder and about to call the superiors in the ministry. SO, I calmed down and apologized for my harsh words (?) and just asked her not to lock the door again. Did she apologize? NO. Will she talk to the superiors? Probably. It's an awfully dumb thing to fight about.

My husband has had several misunderstandings and arguments over the years. It seems that we Americans are much quicker to apologize and let it go. Mexicans, in their Latin passions, hold on to things for a lot longer and run with it a lot more than necessary.

Obviously, today got off to a bad start. I'm fine, but frustrated with this aspect of the culture in which I live.

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