“I really must leave this host family,” said the au pair.

“She knows nothing about childcare,” said the host mom.

“Why,” I asked.

Each party went on to describe the perceived error and ended with, “She should know…!” My response is always, “how can she know if no one has told her?”

So often we expect others to react to a situation the same way we would.  We expect them to behave the same way, interpret the same way, and even anticipate in a similar fashion. It’s important to remember that people from other cultures are likely to base behavior on a different value system.  Let’s stop jumping to the conclusion that everyone is viewing the world from the same-colored glasses!

This expectation that the other “should know” is dangerous and an obstacle for effective communication and a trusting relationship.