Interpersonal communication has many barriers like misconception, misunderstanding, and difference in culture or nature of the participants in communication. The aforesaid first two barriers are developed in due course of time and the last one i.e, culture differences is developed right after birth and which continues till our death! It is inevitable to avoid or ignore the barriers in cross cultural and intercultural communication but can be taken care of and sorted with some inputs from participants in that communication. Smoother intercultural communication is tough but not an impossible thing; you will find it interesting when you show an interest to learn another man’s culture and how that culture has cultured his nature!
The influence of culture in any human being starts from his birth. He is subjected to a lot of rites in his culture. He is taught about his culture through stories and epics and he is made a man, a complete man! For example, in many parts of India, a guy is not allowed to touch any girl when he speaks and so this gets into his habit to such an extent that he thinks the same way even when he goes to Western countries where they can touch or sometimes even hug their friends, no matter of the gender. And now, you would have got the essence of the actual cultural barriers in communication. It is not wrong with the human beings but it partly is with the way our cultures are framed in different places which brings the diversity in us. These differences hamper the interaction with others and stop us from creating a fraternal world.
Experts in the field of intercultural communication have put forward many theories to define interpersonal communication and how culture can create an impact on it. Let us now discuss some of these theoretical aspects of interpersonal intercultural relationships and their types. According to Cognitive dissonance theory, there are three types of cognitive relationships: consonant, dissonant and irrelevant relationships. When your ideologies meet with the other person, it means you both experience a consonance in relationship. And when they do not meet with each other thus creating an imbalance between them, they are having a dissonant relationship. On the other hand, when there is no meaning in a relationship then it can be termed as irrelevant! Apart from these there is something called complementary relationships where the people involved in communication establish a contrasting pattern with each other, like one person being more arrogant and the other is calm!
Certain tensions within intercultural relationships also prevail in marriage or love. The main reason behind this would be when one partner finds the other person to be stereotypic or bored with his culture and needs some change in their lives. When you find something to be the same or inferior, it is obvious that you will lose interest in that. And your behavior after such a thing would be aggressive and pessimistic towards your partner. To an extent, this can be avoided by projecting the positive things in your culture and being humorous most of the time. Every person carries a sought of cultural identity and when that identity is not respected, you are sure of getting frustrated with that person. So it is equally important to respect others culture and thereby respecting the diversity between you and your partner.
Man is the only cultured and social animal. When the other uncultured animals are showering love towards their counterparts, why should we shy away from others in the name of protecting our culture? Cultural diversities are actually to be learnt with joy as that will make to be multicultural as a single human. Adapting to others culture without spoiling your cultural heritage will actually solve the problems between us and make this world green. It is true that culture and communication are mutually dependent on each other but that dependency should be reduced to a minimal. Sam was a tourist who used to visit every part of the world. He used to preserve things he buy from various countries and explain his friends about the cultural importance of them. After few months, his friend, who is an American, married a Japanese girl and the reason for which he gave for this intercultural marriage was that he got impressed with the Japanese cultural explained by Sam. Come on world, let us stay united in diversity too!