Why it’s harder to friend a foreigner

In order to become friends, you have to trust each other.

In order to trust each other, you have to reveal yourself to the other person, become vulnerable. In order to become vulnerable like that, you have to feel comfortable with one another. In order to feel comfortable with one another, you have to let down your guard.

In order for both of you to let down your guard, you have to understand one another or at least think you each understand the other. And in order to think you understand the other person, you have to speak the same language.

I don’t mean that figuratively. In Korea, like anywhere else, I mean it literally too. I mean, if you don’t speak the same language or if you have to slow down to make sure the other person understands you, then you can’t let down your guard.

If you can’t let down your guard, you can’t say what you really mean. You’re always having to filter it through, Is he going to understand this? And if you’re always filtering, you’re never friending.

That’s why it’s hard to make friends with a foreigner.

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