Marry someone from a different background & it will never be boring!

Sometimes I can't tell whether certain differences between mi gringo and I are personal or cultural. I realize that there are different styles of communication but I think that this is yet another area where cultura plays a big role. Mi gringo is quiet and he truly believes that silence is better than saying things that you might later regret. I'm an open book. I lack filter and over-communicate.

Over the years, thanks to coaching and a lot of hard work, I've learned to effectively communicate the American way--I try not to go off on tangents, I get to the point quickly, and keep it short. This comes in very handy in the corporate setting, but at home I go back to my raíces and so does mi gringo (his Irish roots). 

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I remember when my son Michael was diagnosed deaf. I wanted to share his diagnosis with the world! I couldn't stop talking about it, even telling strangers about it. I guess this was my way of dealing with the most devastating situation I've had to deal with as a mamá.  My husband and his family didn't want to talk about it. I interpreted this as rejection! My style of communication lies at the other extreme. As a child, my parents would call me "la BBC."  I can also be quitepachotera, which means that I can say things that can be pretty hurtful to others.

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I believe that the silent treatment, going to bed mad, or sleeping in another room to avoid a subject is the worst punishment you could impose on someone. It's taken 20-plus years for mi gringo to realize that this approach is as bad as being completely unfiltered. I feel fortunate to be able to draw the best communication elements from mis dos mundos--my two worlds--to come up with a happy medium.

I really try to focus on the issue at hand, take out the emotion but keep that human feeling. I try to communicate without being hurtful and it seems to work. But I do adjust my communication style depending on where I am or who I am dealing with--my anglo friends, my colleagues, or mi gente!

Image via Iván Otero/Flickr

Topics: consejos  husband  marriage  relationships