Make Friends First and Let the Relationship Work Itself Out

I love the way it is so easy to make friends in Mexico. It’s normal there to get to know the people working and living around you.  Once you strike up a good conversation, it’s natural to exchange telephone numbers and email addresses. To those of us who come from more suspicious cultures, this can be a little confusing. We wonder why they want to be friends with us when they don’t even know us … and … and … we don’t really know them. Which can make us nervous.

Imagine. You’ve just struck up a conversation with someone and have been talking for about five minutes about a town that you both happen to love to visit.  Your American self is about ready to say goodbye and never see that person again. Why would you? You might just comment later to your partner what a nice conversation you had, but that’ll be it. Suddenly, the Mexican person says, “Give me your phone number.”  You freak. You wonder if they’re a stalker or something.

They wonder what they said wrong. After all, they just let you know that they though you were a worthwhile acquaintance and would like to keep in touch. They think you are really being a snoot not to give your number.

Once you get used to this way of connecting with people, it’s really fun. In Mexico you just make friends first and let the relationship work itself out. Some people you never hear from again. Others you do.  As you find common ground or mutually beneficial skills, items, acquaintances, etc. then you develop a favor relationship. Once you get used to it, this is a really great way to be.

When you live in Mexico you can shed your suspicion and isolation and really have a great sense of community.  It’s also a great way to help make yourself safe when you live in Mexico.

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