Posts Tagged With: culture shock

2016 – A short review

The year of 2016 has been a year full of surprises ! Good one but also bad ones!

I would like to have a thought for those we have lost this year, they have brought us joy and happiness, have been great examples for me and will be dearly missed. That was one of the worst part of my year 2016, but as we say, life goes one, and we need to deal with grief and move on.

2016 was also very surprising, Britain has voted to leave th EU and follow through with Brexit, Donal Trump was elected the president of the United States of America, and the conflict in Syria doesn´t seem to come to an end and many civilians, especially children are dying. All of us have been shocked, there is no doubt about it, and have dealt with these events in their own way. Racism has risen quite strongly as well unfortunately, for those of us living in the UK but also throughout the world, it felt like a betrayal, but at the end of the day, we are living in the UK and even if we believe it is not the right thing to do, to leave the EU, we accept the decision of our hosts and will make sure that we continue to contribute to the UK economy.

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 One thing which is clear is that all of this is pointing to a much bigger problem, acceptance of one another, respect of one another and problems on a much larger scale.

I don´t know if some of you have felt the same, but work has been more scarce this year, already it started declining when the announcement of the referendum here in the UK was made, but it seems that globally, we are going through a tough phase. There are always tough phases, and that is what enables us to think outside of the box, look at things from a different perspective, reflect ! I took the opportunity to do a course in nutrition for example to help coach people to live a healthier life, this kind of follows what I do as a whole, helping people adapt, live a purposeful life and a happy life wherever they are in the world.

I am positive that 2017 will bring new ventures, projects and will be richer in projects than 2016 was, hopefully cultural consciousness will become a topic of interest to all, and most importantly in politics, at work and in daily life. And hopefully we won´t lose loved ones too, we know it is part of life but that is a very tough one.

So to resume, a not so great year, finishing on a positive though, and looking ahead to a new year where people will take interest in one another, resolve conflicts and hopefully more cultural consciousness and acceptance in the world. 2017 will be about building bridges !

Thank you and wishing you all a lovely holiday,

Please share you reflections with us.

 

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Culture Shock after Brexit Decision

This week-end, after the results of Brexit, must have been a very difficult week-end for a lot of People, and I would like to share not only what I went through but what some of my fellow European and pro Remain British friends may have gone through too.

I am Intercutural Consultant and I help expatriate and global managers adapt to their new environment. By helping them adapt we always mention the Culture Shock curve that has five stages: Excitement, Denial & Depression, Culture Shock, Acceptance and Acculturation. The last time I went through the Culture Shock curve was when I moved to Singapore 10 years ago !

Over the course of this week-end I went through the first two phases and am heading towards culture shock.

The excitement Phase was before the Referendum results, I think most of us were positive that the UK would vote remain and thus demonstrate that we are a strong Europe and that Europeans are part of the British folk. When the results came down on friday morning, and I woke up at 5:30am to see the results, I couldn´t believe that Brexit had passed, I was in complete denial, I just couldn´t wrap my head around it although I had a feeling that it might happen but again my excitement at the time was stronger. I accepted in a  way the decision of the British public as I live in their Country and I need to accept their wishes but trust me I still felt a bit out-of-place especially going out for dinner in the evening. The atmosphere felt colder than usual, but then I just put that on the account of my own projections.

The rest of the week-end was the depression phase, waking up in tears not knowing what the future will bring, especially working as a freelance Consultant and delivering Trainings to mostly European expats as to how to integrate in the UK, so that was a big shock ! What will I do ? I thought I would spend the rest of my life here, I have friends which are now my Family, I have a home that I bought, i have a car, what will that mean? What does the future hold?

I also had a few talks over the week-end with a few Young British People and asked them what they thought of Brexit and a lot were shocked and angry. They said they were “Europeans” and not British citizens, what will happen for their future and their kid´s future? They won´t have the opportunity to have work experience abroad, travel, learn languages and go abroad to train themselves, so Overall a big shock.

When I spoke to European friends and colleagues most felt betrayed, stabbed in the back, not welcomed and are also fearing for their future.

We all know that nothing major will happen over the next two years and that as Europeans we will be able to stay, what will be the conditions after though? I think the acceptance phase after the shock is that one way or another if there are no Jobs, I/ we will have to move back to Europe, and I think this is what our culture shock is about, leaving a beautiful country, our friends, our lives.

For now however we need to wait and see and try to get out of the shock phase to get on with our lives.

I would love for fellow colleagues, Europeans or British citizens to share their view and how they coped with the Brexit decision.

Best

Nadege Welsch

Be-a-chameleon

Categories: Culture Shock | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

„People don´t understand me“ syndrome

When coming back from your expatriation, have you ever thought that people around you in your home country had changed? That to get a pen or some paper in your company, it takes time and you need to go through a lot of paperwork before you get it? What happened, why is it that people don´t understand you?

People haven´t really changed, the one who may have changed is you. Indeed, you have been living abroad for a certain amount of time, adapting to your host country and incorporating some of your host culture´s values and customs. Let´s also not forget that whilst you were abroad you had probably more freedom in your job, you could make your own decisions, direct your own team and get as much paper and pens as you wanted!

Coming back may seem like a culture shock for you because the people you have left behind, whether colleagues, friends or family, have in reality not changed, they have continued to live their lives as before, keeping to their work habits, getting together habits and have kept their usual hobbies. It may seem strange to you and you may feel as if you were the odd one in the group. What you project onto people is actually projected onto you as well; they see you as a different person: you have been away for so long, you have seen different countries, cultures, have picked up new hobbies, have escalated the hierarchy ladder, so for them you are different and that is why they probably do not understand you.

To get back into your home culture smoothly, think about what you have experienced, what has changed in your value system and in your customs, what was important for you in your culture that you didn´t forget on your assignment and think of how you can build a bridge between you and your friends, colleagues, family to enable a smooth repatriation and re-adaptation.

When coming back from your expatriation, have you ever thought that people around you in your home country had changed? That to get a pen or some paper in your company, it takes time and you need to go through a lot of paperwork before you get it? What happened, why is it that people don´t understand you?

People haven´t really changed, the one who may have changed is you. Indeed, you have been living abroad for a certain amount of time, adapting to your host country and incorporating some of your host culture´s values and customs. Let´s also not forget that whilst you were abroad you had probably more freedom in your job, you could make your own decisions, direct your own team and get as much paper and pens as you wanted!

Coming back may seem like a culture shock for you because the people you have left behind, whether colleagues, friends or family, have in reality not changed, they have continued to live their lives as before, keeping to their work habits, getting together habits and have kept their usual hobbies. It may seem strange to you and you may feel as if you were the odd one in the group. What you project onto people is actually projected onto you as well; they see you as a different person: you have been away for so long, you have seen different countries, cultures, have picked up new hobbies, have escalated the hierarchy ladder, so for them you are different and that is why they probably do not understand you.

To get back into your home culture smoothly, think about what you have experienced, what has changed in your value system and in your customs, what was important for you in your culture that you didn´t forget on your assignment and think of how you can build a bridge between you and your friends, colleagues, family to enable a smooth repatriation and re-adaptation.

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