Introduction: Code-switching: the Codex in Knowing What to Say, When to Say, and How.
Code-Switching is something that can be defined as the practice of moving to and from cultures, specifically a cultures norms and language. What is meant by "language" is not restricted to the broad dialects we see across the world, from Chinese to Patois, but the speech patterns, slang terms, and socially acceptable practices that are differed by those that make up a distinct population, but under different tongues. To code-switch is to identify that there is a culture different from yours, that has taken a strong presence in the current situation, along with the culture brings it's expectations on how someone should operate, communicate, and pretty much exist while under the residing culture, or code, and act among-st them to gain acceptance, favors, and kinship to some degree.
Step 1: Know What Kind of Person You Are
To know what kind of person you are is to know what you identify yourself as in a way that you are comfortable saying what you mean, and meaning what you say. Problems that come across this may be insecurities, a lack of confidence, or a simple lack of knowledge on how to express one's self in a fashionable manner.
Step 2: Know the Environment Around You
To know your surroundings means to know what law of the land, or code, is apparent, and to be successful, following suite with everyone else there.
- Places of different code can be somewhere has simple as the gym versus something like the first day of school at a university.
- Ways to find out about where you are in context to its code could be the attire worn by people there, the way people talk to one another, such as the colloquialisms and terms used.
- Furthermore, you can look at the way people can go about socializing with another. Are people sticking to themselves, or fraternizing and reaching a common goal?
Step 3: Evaluate What Your Goals Are
How do your goals match up to those that are also under the same code? A goal can be as small as finally getting that person's number whom which you had your eye on all night, or becoming the CEO of a Fortune-500 Company.
- You may need to compare your's to others around you, your plans to execute in a coup in a third world country may not sit well with those in your book club.
- Discretion may be advised. In other words, discretion refers to "the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information."
- That definition refers to code switching because it knowing the code will reveal if the information you hold is something to share, or keep to yourself to avoid any problems down the road.
Step 4: Know What Is Too Much or Too Little
One large factor of being able to code-switch is to be able to "sell yourself" in a way. You need to be someone who isn't necessarily putting up facade, but isn't showing the parts of you unacceptable to the code around you
- We as humans tend to exaggerate expressions we usually do not mean, so if you feel yourself "doing the most", re-calibrate, re-evaluate, an refresh.
Step 5: Be Comfortable in What You Are Doing
Confidence is key when trying to blend in with another group.
- Do not appear as a wolf in sheep's clothing, appear as someone who knows what they are saying and to whom, in the proper manner
- People that have been integrated into the code can identify those that just don't fit in.
- Fitting in can come from showing to much or showing to little, re-iterating the idea of discretion, or to not bring too much information.
Step 6: Remain True to What Your Morals Are About
People usually code-switch with the intent of turning things "on and off". Therefore, it is alright to turn things off when things are getting too intense, or too much for you. Be careful to not abuse this though, as to not turn off said code just because somethings are not going your way. There is a fine line.
Step 7: Respect Yourself
Apart of the latter step, with turning things "on and off", is seeing when too much is too much, draw that line with yourself, and maybe others around, to avoid harm that could've been prevented with carrying some dignity about yourself.
Step 8: Give Switching Time and Practice
For some, code-switching may be something intrinsic, and comes naturally. For others, it is a skill you need to hone and perfect like any craft. Practice can come from keen observance of the general population of the apparent code, watch for the social cues and norms, just like those brought up in the earlier chapter of knowing the environment. Furthermore, it is a fact that it may not come over night, so there will be awkwardness, as well as stumbles and falls in the path. Overall, don't quit and don't get discouraged.
Step 9: Reach Out to Others
Reaching out to others establishes that since of camaraderie where needed. This could be showing love to coworkers, superiors, and team members. This gives others the since that you want to be there and gives your presence more weight.
Step 10: Be Yourself, Even If You Have to Be Under Code
Let your personality transpose under the code you are under, being yourself gives more natural movement, speech, and overall great impression on who you are trying to be at the time. In conclusion, have your personal agenda in a way that your goals are appropriate to the world around you and strive for it, not letting whatever code or rule get in your wa