Precautions against Bezness are possible and even can offer a good protection, if only it starts early enough - sort of like with a dentist....
Moreover, in the selection of methods one should not be too choosy and not let oneself guide too much by "western thoughts".
In Tunisia, there is a principle that one is never confident with people whom he does not know - one is suspicious of them until they proof to be trustworthy. Instead of the approach in most western countries, where it is "innocent until proven guilty", in Tunisia it is rather "suspect until proven innocent".
This behavior is not "backward" or "unjust", but simply arises from a healthy caution about anything that is unknown - a precaution which is only not used extensively anymore in some Western societies, because there, a strong state protection for ignorant and helpless people exists.
In a society, however, where the members have more to rely on themselves and their judgement and the state has a lower penetration of the social structures, the conditions are different.
It is there rather expected in many situations, that one keeps the eyes wide open
oneself and uses common sense
before calling for assistance from the state.
As described elsewhere, the Tunisian society and community is organized like onion peels - this organisation has a high impact on daily life and restricts personal freedom, but on the other hand, also protects one from the influences of others.
For example, when entering into a relationship, it is completely normal that the families will investigate
the backgrounds of each other and inquire specifically the economic backgrounds and moral integrities of the partners.
Later, the families will constanly monitor the lives to make sure that there not any "deviations" of the norm.
Tunisians spend a significant amount of their communication on exchanging status messages about themselves and persons of their area of interest (family
), which eventually creates the situation that family members almost always know where to find other members and what they are doing - sort of like today's online "twitter and facebook society".
An "escape" from this close-knit informal network is possible, but it will also result inÂ negative social sanctions.
While most western countries believe in that you must trust another to gain trust, in Tunisia, it is "trust is good, but control is better".
A western person who enters into a relationship with a tunisian, must foremost get rid of the "western thinking"
and adapt to the conditions that are common in Tunisia. And this is, unspokenly, even expected by the Tunisian partner.
Of course, every Bezness person is aware that a westerner does not know much about the social norms of Tunisia and has no "eyes" (family, trusted friends) in Tunisia - and this will be exploited.
In particular, a tunisian bezness person will demand that the westerner trusts
him and he will assure him that "western social norms" are also valid in Tunisia.
He might stress, that he himself is "progressive" and "modern" and thinks just exactly the same way, as the westerners do.
However, this is, if not an outright deliberate deception
, at least a self-deception
of the Tunisian part, because he will never be able to grasp the ideas and values of a western society without having lived in a western society for some time - not to mention even that each western country is different from the other and that there is no such thing like one "western country", the same way as there is not one "arabic country".
And, vice versa, the same is true as well - so it is important that westerners who want to initiate a relationship with a Tunisian, research information
about the country thoroughly and from independent sources (rather than just from what a boy- or girlfriend is telling them
And they should not hesitate to apply methods that allow them to make up for their disadvantage or that put them on par with their partners - most notably, inquire
about them with third parties and try to build a network by which they are kept current on actual developments.
This is, of course, not always possible, and this disadvantage can be compensated only by special caution and awareness.
Again - this has nothing to do with "lack of confidence", but rather is customary and expected behavior in Tunisia.
And only those who want to hide something will protest against it - for the others, it is just a natural caution which is absolutely normal in their society.
Bezness Prevention - Practical tips