As the world gets smaller, people with different cultural backgrounds are colliding more than ever before. CLASH! reveals that a single root cause drives many of these conflicts, from global struggles between regions and nations, to everyday tensions between genders, races, social classes, religions, and even workplaces.
The way we think can be profoundly influenced by our cultural upbringing. Few psychological patterns are universal. Some patterns of behavior might be really reliable among European Americans but hard to find in other cultures. One big difference that psychologists have found between cultures is the difference between the independent and interdependent ways of thinking.
New research has shown that these mindsets can have a lot to do with how we visually see the world around us.
Cultural Independence vs. Interdependence being the two ways of thinking come down to how we think of ourselves. One way of thinking is to consider yourself as an independent entity, focused on your own needs and desires. Another way of thinking is to consider yourself as an interdependent entity, focused on how you fit within a group of people.
Overall, people from more Western cultures like the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe tend to think of themselves as independent selves whereas people from East Asian cultures like China, Japan, and Korea tend to think of themselves as interdependent selves. Of course, this is an average difference, but it can relate to cultural differences in what’s valued most.
Society is highly specialized and interdependent, so that few of us would know how to survive without running water, electricity, and a supermarket. We’re also dependent upon our personal relationships. Human brains aren’t fully developed for 18 years, and psychological and financial independence from our parents takes even longer. Moreover, as adults we depend upon others to fill sexual, social, and emotional needs, such as friendship, communication, nurturing, appreciation, learning, love, and touch. The closer a relationship, the more we’re interconnected.
Many claim that because we’re wired for dependency” is normal and shouldn’t be considered a problem to correct. They claim it’s not only natural, but healthy and beneficial to be dependent upon an intimate relationship. They blame the interdependency movement for breaking up marriages and people’s loneliness. I agree that we all have dependency needs and that healthy relationships can meet those needs and greatly benefit us.