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by Safaa Iseed
Cultural differences consist of various beliefs, behaviors, and practices for certain ethnicities, races, or national origins. It can also concern those who are younger or older than co-workers, or even those who hold higher degrees. There are four F’s that are tied to people’s reactions in situations that are new or unfamiliar. After a certain situation is read, we react these four different ways. The first is FREEZE which is many times the first reaction people have. This occurs because the brain stops to think about how it will react to the certain situation that has just occurred. This can happen in situations where people do not know how to react so they feel as though their mind and body shut off. The next is FLEE, which consists of someone attempting to leave a situation abruptly. This may occur when someone makes you feel uncomfortable to a point where the only thing you are able to think of is to walk away to end the escalation. The third is FIGHT, which occurs when you are not able to escape the situation you are in. This makes the person become aggressive and begin to defend themselves in order to not get hurt. This may also occur when you feel hopeless as though there is nothing else to do , so you try to deal with the situation. Running away from certain situations does not always work, so there may be times where you will have to deal with them. The last reaction is FRIGHT, which is the response when one does not know what action to take. This occurs after the fight does not work. There seems to be no way out of the situation so the person becomes scared to react to the situation. This also can be a fear of miscommunication which can cause intense situations.
The five D’s of difference include distance, denial, defensiveness, devaluing, and discovery. Distance is when one tries to avoid certain situations when they feel as though they do not belong. Denial comes in to play when one refuses to accept there is a difference between them and others. This consists of low tolerance for any type of disagreement on certain aspects. It may occur in those who refuse to believe there are cultural differences among us. Defensiveness is when we try to protect ourselves from differences. This can be because we want to avoid pain. Devaluing is when we see our differences as though they are not important or enough for ourselves or others. Discovery is embracing our differences and agreeing with them. We may go out of our comfort zone during this and be a lot more open minded.
Multicultural Competence–Psychology 325: Multicultural psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved August 7, 2022, from https://www.cpp.edu/~jsmio/325/powerpoints/multiculturalcompetence.html
What is cultural differences? HR definitions & examples. MightyRecruiter. (2017, March 15). Retrieved August 7, 2022, from https://www.mightyrecruiter.com/recruiter-guide/hiring-glossary-a-to-z/cultural-differences/