By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

December 22, 2016, Israel

I am a product of at least two cultures and perhaps some past lives. I have some American traits that I am proud of and hold onto for dear life despite living outside the USA most of my life. And there are Israeli traits that I am equally proud of.

In Israel everything is blunt, in your face and honest. There is little of the subtle politeness that you find in some societies. People say what they mean and do not apologize. It is not uncommon to ask people you just met if they are married, and if not why not. People ask personal questions, if they want to know something they ask you. What's wrong with that?

If you go on a blind date, a set up, it will usually end with the girl saying, so where do we stand? What did you think? Yes yes, no no, but no one leaves with any doubts. No rudeness, just honesty. It is important to know where you stand.

For me this is the backbone of any healthy relationship, the freedom to ask and know - Where do we stand? If I do not care about you I will not say anything but if I do care I will tell you if something is bothering me. Do not be insulted if I tell you that something you did upsets me, you should be insulted only if I see no point in telling you.

You see if something bothers me but the person or the relationship is not really important to me, I will just walk away and you will never hear an insulting word. You will just have one friend, or one customer less.

But if you matter to me, if the relationship matters to me then be prepared to hear some criticism from time to time. This criticism is a sign of a healthy relationship. Leaving things bottled up inside makes us sick.

And it works both ways. If I matter to you, if our relationship, business or personal, matters to you then I expect to hear some criticisms from time to time. I rather you tell me that something I did, said, or wrote, upset you than have you walk away leaving me wondering why.

If something is bothering you, Speak up! Say something, and as the Beatles wrote...We can work it out. But if you remain silent a good relationship will die a silent death.

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