A simple example is that in most Northern European countries like England, Scandinavia and Germany, people allot a larger zone of personal space than his Italian or French counterparts (Interpersonal Communication in an Intercultural Setting 2003). The stoic Englishman would look askance at a man who suddenly pulls him into a hearty embrace when all he wants is a handshake. He would probably cease to do business with the man, because from his perspective, the fellow is violating his personal space and thereby intruding in his privacy while to the other, he is simply trying to make the British gentleman feel welcome.
It is difficult to define what communication is but regardless of that fact, it is "is so deeply rooted in human behaviours and the structures of society that it is difficult to think of any social event or behaviour that is not affected by it (Communication Theory 2003). Although communication involves a variety of factors, the basic model of communication remains the same for all. There is a sender who transfers a message to a receiver (see: Figure 2) and it is in between the sending and the receiving of the message that the potential for a breakdown in communication happens. There are numerous sources for error that by the time the message reaches the receiver a there is already a 40-60% loss of meaning.
Factors such as those previously mentioned regarding personal biases and the like, act on the communication model to either facilitate or distort the message received. Often referred to as "noise", these factors which warp the message so that the recipient receives it incorrectly.
Consider a somewhat humorous but realistic example of a man who is asked by a significant other if she is fat. If the man takes time to consider his answer and answers honestly that she is, the woman would become angry with the man or worse would break down in tears and state that the man does not love her anymore. In this scenario, we would often see the beginnings of an argument brewing or the emotional breakdown of the relationship because in her question, the woman is not actually asking if she is fat but is actually seeking reassurance that the man loves her regardless of her size. The man in this case, having failed to received the non-verbal cues and having failed to understand the woman from her perspective gives an honest answer which is the same response he would give a male companion who asks him the same thing.
On a more serious vein, consider how the perceptual differences of two nations such as China and Taiwan make it difficult for them to communicate effectively with one another. With China considering Taiwan as part of its territory under the "One China Policy" which states that "the Government of the