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Localization manager/translator and coach/intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about diversity management and intercultural communication, self-awareness and coaching, SFBT and NVC, languages, cultures, body art, dancing, self-empowerment, and, last but not least, vegan gluten-free keto food and good movies.

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I'm the only person responsible for its content and the views and opinions expressed here are solely mines.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is friendship something natural or cultural?

Is friendship something natural or cultural? 
We tend to answer that friendship is something natural but, while living "immersed" in a different culture, a brand new one to me, I understand more and more that this is more complex than how it looks at a first sight.

The need for love, care, belonging, friendship, and connection are universal and "natural", and yet the ways we use to express, perceive, define and meet these needs are cultural.
What we consider natural or logical or something to be taken for granted is actually something absolutely and exclusively cultural, due to customs, traditions and established ways of thinking.

[Daria and Jane from MTV's Daria]

At the end of the day, we’re still human. Our emotions can’t and won’t replace one great friend with 100 acquaintances; it’s simply impossible to create the same feeling, endorphins, etc. and will probably inevitably lead to depression of at least sub-par enjoyment of life.

My way of thinking about friendship and my standards for it are completely different from those of people around me. Both are perfectly valid and "correct", but definitely incompatible. This implies a series of very interesting questions.

What does it mean:
- living in a different culture?
- not being able to decipher the signals that others send us?
- having no idea what people around us are going to do or what kind of reaction they're going to have?

Unfortunately, I can't answer these questions. Have you ever asked yourself something similar? Did you find an answer?

Tags: Friendship, Natural vs. Cultural, Intercultural relationships

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Charlie Brown's life philosophy about goodbyes

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