I could write a book on this topic! However, this latest blog is an Introduction to Culture Shock. Happy Reading!!
You are excited; you have just made the big move from your home country to a foreign land to start your new life. And, let me tell you that foreign land can be another state in your country!
The prospects are equally enthralling, and you can’t wait to see what it holds for you.
So why are you feeling disoriented with the new way of life? Why does it feel like going back home is not such a bad idea after all? What is this gripping loneliness and sadness that just won’t let you be? That is merely culture Shock!
A very normal feeling that everyone starting a new life, in a new environment goes through, culture shock can merely be described as an experience that someone has when he/she is living in a culturally different environment than from their own.
Even the most open-minded and travelled individuals have experienced culture shock at one time or another – no one is immune, and there is no correct way to prevent it altogether.
Culture shock complications include language barrier, homesickness, information overload, skill interdependence, technology gap, even boredom among others.
The Four Phases Of Culture Shock
Different individuals are culturally affected differently. However, most individuals go through at least one of these four distinct phases of culture shock: honeymoon, frustration, adjustment, and mastery.
A couple of notes to remember here, everyone is different, and some people go through the culture shock phases like a process, some find specific stages hit them more than others.
The honeymoon phase is the fun phase, oh yes there is a fun phase! Everything is new, lovely, excellent and exciting. You are mesmerised with the differences; enthralled about their food; look forward to meeting new people; gaze at different architecture for hours on end; enjoy doing new things, and even loving your new job. This phase can last days, weeks, up to three months. And, for some people just like the real honeymoon, this period does eventually end.
The honeymoon is over, and you are now beginning to notice the slightest differences, and usually not in a positive way!
You’ve just about had it with the food and crave food from back home; you have had it up to here with people’s attitudes; the glaring differences in public hygiene; language barriers; the traffic; life is too fast or too slow for you at this point, and things are definitely so much better at home.
As you continue to experience events that you perceive as strange and perhaps offensive to your own culture, don’t be surprised if you feel irritable, anxious, sad, frustrated and even angry. No doubt this is a severe stage of culture shock and a phase where you do compare everything to what you already know!
By the time you hit this phase, you are deciding whether you will surrender to the negativity or negotiate past it to make the most of your experience. You are now slowly learning to understand the new way of life.
If you remain confident and open-minded about your unique skills and experiences, then you will begin to regain your perspective, sense of balance, and even humour, catapulting you to move on to the next phase successfully.
During the mastery phase, you have grown accustomed to the new culture and are developing your routines. In most cases, you know what to expect in most situations, and your fresh home longer feels new.
You begin to live again and develop problem-solving skills. You have accepted the new culture for what it is and reduce your adverse reactions to the new culture.
Accepting the way of life is an essential stage of culture shock. You can not change the place, and it's norms. You can only change your outlook and reactions. If you can successfully become a mastery, then you will start to feel more confident, tolerant and in some ways flexible in your new home.
Contact me today to book your FREE 30-minute discovery call.