Most people who have lived in a foreign country for any extended period of time have, whether consciously or not, experienced at some point what is known as culture shock. Culture shock can be defined as “a state of bewilderment and distress experienced by an individual who is suddenly exposed to a new, strange, or foreign social and cultural environment.”
The degree of “shock” that a person will experience depends on a variety of factors, including the degree of difference between home and host culture, length of stay abroad, tolerance for ambiguity, and prior experience living and traveling abroad.
There are a number of “stages” to culture shock, and different sources point to anywhere from three to five stages or more. Most seem to agree, however, that you first go through a so-called “honeymoon stage” where everything is all rainbows and sunshine. But once the honeymoon stage starts to fizzle out and you take off your rose-colored glasses, you’re left with what’s commonly labelled the rejection phase, and that usually means you’re in for a hard landing.
Below you’ll find 15 signs you’ve likely reached the rejection phase — or, as it’s more commonly referred to, culture shock.
1. You question your decision to move to this place
2. You can’t understand how a country can get by without speaking your native language
3. You frequent only one bar, and it’s the one full of expats
4. You tell yourself that you’ll learn the local language… some day
5. You start idealizing your own culture
6. You feel entitled to special treatment
7. You throw a tantrum at every minor irritation
8. Going to the supermarket is an overwhelming experience
9. You can’t help yourself but remind everyone of just how great your home country is
…and you begin every sentence with “back home…”
10. You have a food meltdown
11. You start looking at locals with deep suspicion
12. Your mood changes faster than the London weather
… at other times you’re not sure whether you should be laughing or crying
13. You develop hypochondria
14. You constantly complain about everything
15. Your life has gone virtual
Displaying any signs of the above symptoms? Yep, chances are that you’re suffering from what is known as culture shock.
Got some experience in dealing with those? Share with the rest of us, in the comments section below, tips to overcome that phase.
Source of images: Giphy