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Communication is Key

Octagon area rug
Octagon Area

Communication gaps happen….

even though I’ve lived in Costa Rica for 43 years.

When there’s a misunderstanding there’s the assumption by the Costa Rican that it’s because of the language. We all have misunderstandings and it doesn’t always have to do with language. Living in the same country, speaking the same language, even being born in the same year, does not guarantee that there will never be misunderstandings.

Families as Cultures

I think of families as separate cultures. One family may not be demonstrative with hugs or touching while another is constantly hugging ( Italians). One family may use loud, boisterous voices ( Italians)  while another is quiet and low key.

When two people try to communicate their signals can get mixed up because of the different cultures of their families.

When I have a misunderstanding I’ve learned to ask this question. “When you say this, or when you do that, I feel this way. Can you help me with that?”

“Can you help me to understand?”

This question shows a true willingness to understand the other point of view. It’s not attacking or defending which makes the assumption the other person is attacking. It’s just saying, can you help me understand you?

And it may be that the family you grew up with did not speak in a certain way so signals get mixed up because you come from different cultures.

Having lived in a culture not my own for most of my life I’ve learned to be more aware of other cultures and customs.



Communication is the keystone to creating a life and home you love.

Often we want to recreate a room we grew up in and it may be difficult for a partner to understand why a certain style or ambiance is so important.

We may not even understand it ourselves. So how do you communicate how you want your house to look and feel? The most important part of communication is to have one side truly listen.

When you know that someone is truly listening, a space for trust develops.

Asking the right questions, or just allowing the space to open to allow for feelings and ideas to flow it has been a privilege for me to be invited into my client’s homes and listen to their ideas.

I think it has helped me pave the way to a greater understanding for all of us who grow up differently, even if we lived next door.

Share with us your insights on communication in the Comment Area Below. I look forward to hearing from you.


2 thoughts on “Communication is Key”

  1. Laurel, Your rugs are beautiful. I tried to make some last year, lovingly layered with acrylic paints and glazed with water based varnish. Everything sticks to them and they are filthy and unreasonable. You’ve found a secret to protect against CR humidity.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I haven’t found a good water based varnish in Costa Rica so I use Lanco’s Polyurethane varnish in matte. It does affect the color of the paint with four coats of oil-based varnish so I am restricted from doing pure white or very light pastels. But it looks great with beige and all the other colors. It’s worked the best for me after 13 years of testing varnishes here in CR.


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