Have you ever wondered, how much your culture may influence the way you understand people of different background? Sometimes when somebody uses too beautiful words, "what a flatterer", can cross our minds, when one don't understand our words we have repeatedly said, we can think: "Is he/she stupid or what?", and sometimes when one sounds too straightforward, we can feel yourself mad and insulted. Was this all intended? Or is there some influences we didn't know to consider?
If you are European (don't know about Americans though), how would you feel when somebody says to you: "You are walking like an elephant!". If you are European, you can feel yourself very insulted and think: "Am I really so clumsy and fat, that you have to say this to me?". But guess how'd you feel, when you'd have Indian background? "Well, I must be looking gooood - majestic and handsome!" (Now I need some Indian to confirm it :), but that's what was told us by our English teacher and I know, that there's a beautiful Indian girl name Gajgamini, what means "Who walks like Elephant")
When we hear somebody saying something like that, we can perceive from the tone of her/his voice, was it insult or praise. But without hearing? If we just can read something like that from posts or blogs. How easy is it to draw wrong conclusions?
So, have you noticed, how cultural differences have influenced you?