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Harmony, especially interpersonal harmony, is a fundamental principle and the goal of communication in Chinese. However, communicative discord is an inevitable part of communication in the target language, especially when communication involves multilingual and multicultural settings and people with diverse expectations. Contesting the prevailing thesis of harmony, this article shows how linguistic equilibrium can be destabilized by inquiring into personal matters. Topics such as age, family composition, occupation, hometown, and nationality are presented in a manner that presupposes and reinforces traditional Chinese norms. Centering on the concept of privacy, this article analyzes the ways in which these topics are addressed in introductory Mandarin Chinese textbooks, so as to enhance their intercultural sensitivity and intercultural communicative competence, while offering constructive suggestions for future textbook design. Through critical analyses of lessons on the subject of privacy, this study presents how both speakers and listeners can address personal and private matters without violating privacy by using indirect questions, the use of correct context, and cultural nuance. By practicing intercultural awareness and the interconnectivity of people, Chinese language learners will acquire both language proficiency and intercultural communicative competence with enhanced global consciousness.