Opinion / Forum Trends

Overcoming culture shock

Updated: 2014-05-21 08:04 (

Editor’s Note: It is common to experience culture shock after living in a foreign country for an extended period of time and it can sometimes result in bitter feelings toward social norms and standards of the host country. The following tips are from one of our bloggers Ariunbold, which may help you to cope with living in a new country. Please join the discussion.

1. Loose your anchor.

Anything we see and absorb, we reference with what is seen before. Information we receive in the past becomes our anchor, or reference point. For example, when we see a street full of people we might think, “oh, its similar to New York City, where I am from,” or “this staff is very rude and unprofessional, this is not how you service people back home.” In a way social interactions and expectations are anchored by your previous experiences. But to experience new things is to lose that reference point. Remember “The Alchemist,” a book by Marco Paulo? The main character’s triumph came from his fast adaptation to new culture. Most successful Egyptologists were able to decipher the old secret writing of the pyramids by completely submerging themselves in the country’s culture and way of life. It’s hard to lose what you have learned as a child, but they are the things that hold you back from becoming a new person in a new country. Once you lose your anchor, you will be much more curious and tolerable toward new things. This is why children and younger kids learn new languages faster than adults, because they don’t have an anchor to carry around.

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