Expat Life: Culture Shock May Be Inevitable But Pain Is Optional


At one point or another new expats will get a “lecture” about “Culture Shock” as it is explained in this video:

Not every expats experience that sequence of emotional reactions and saying this is “normal” is not removing the pain or discomfort. Often people who do not experience this “one size fits all” approach may feel “abnormal” or less competent than typical expats and sometimes think they are a failure not able to cope with their struggles while living abroad.

It is important to acknowledge first the feelings without judgement and then look at individual best coping strategies. You can’t change things you have no control about but you can change the way you think and from a new perspective make necessary changes to get the most of your expatriation.

Sometimes friends are not enough and it is important to allow yourself to find professional help.

If you need someone to deeply listen to you and help you solve issues you have as an expatriate, Please Send Me Your Message  for a complimentary coaching session

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6 thoughts on “Expat Life: Culture Shock May Be Inevitable But Pain Is Optional

  1. sarchjudith June 15, 2014 at 12:49 am Reply

    Very valuable info, Anne.

    This was the cycle that I experienced when i moved to Italy and lived there for 20 years. I was so radically changed in how I saw myself and the world that when I returned, 30 years ago, I didn’t fit in to the US culture and still don’t. I surround myself with people who enjoy my unique qualities.

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach June 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm Reply

      Hi Judith, agree, when we live abroad we changed and other people back “home” changed too but in a different direction so it is very hard to adjust emotionally to be a stranger in your own country

      • sarchjudith June 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm Reply

        Thanks for your reply. As “A stranger in a strange land”, I no longer have any home other than myself. I am studying the shadow and found that journaling helps a lot. Also, a book called “Romancing The Stone”, by Zweig,

        Would love to hear your thoughts about how you have adapted to your own strange land. I don’t remember where you live now.

        Let me know if I can support your business in any way. I offer a 1-hour brainstorming session on any topic you choose. If you want to join me, email me at sarchjudith@gmail.com

  2. Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach June 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm Reply

    Thanks Judith for mentioning the book of psychologists Connie Zweig and Steven Wolf “Romancing the Shadow”, I have not read it but sounds interesting to explore our “dark side”.

    I have not repatriated yet but I have listened to many people who really get lost in translation while living abroad or back home after being expatriate for quite a long time.

    Thanks for you offer to help too.

    • sarchjudith June 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm Reply

      My pleasure. My roots are Russian and Polish. I have never been to either country.

  3. […] It is important for my “integration” to be able to meet other French people or Expat people just to cope with  “home-sickness”  or more correctly, “the feeling of not being from there ” that most expats have at one point or another, a strategy for coping with culture shock. […]

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