After providing a definition of cultural adjustment in his book “The Art of Crossing Cultures,” Craig Storti goes on to point out that when we cross a cultural boundary there are actually two kinds of adjustments that we make.
The first is to “behavior on the part of the locals that is annoying, confusing, and unsettling.”
The second adjustment we have to make is within ourselves — “adjusting our own behavior that is annoying, confusing, and unsettling to the locals.”
It’s easy for those of us living cross-culturally to make a list of the things we have to adjust to in a new culture. In China, the list invariably includes things like spitting, scrums instead of lines, the traffic, and the staring.
But how about that second type of adjustment?
What behaviors do you exhibit that are annoying, confusing, and unsettling to the people where you live?
Go ahead. Make the list. I dare you.