15 Signs You’re Experiencing Culture Shock

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

Did I just do that question decision

No God No why did I do this

2. You can’t understand how a country can get by without speaking your native language

Baffled can't understand

3. You frequent only one bar, and it’s the one full of expats

Frequent only one bar expats

4. You tell yourself that you’ll learn the local language… some day

Time to be productive - nevermind

5. You start idealizing your own culture

Idealizing your culture

6. You feel entitled to special treatment

Feeling entitled

I'm kind of a big deal

7. You throw a tantrum at every minor irritation

Temper tantrum rage

Throwing a tantrum going crazy

8. Going to the supermarket is an overwhelming experience

Going crazy in supermarket

9. You can’t help yourself but remind everyone of just how great your home country is

I love this country so much

…and you begin every sentence with “back home…”

10. You have a food meltdown

Food meltdown disgust

11. You start looking at locals with deep suspicion

Looking at others with suspicion

12. Your mood changes faster than the London weather

Mood swings

… at other times you’re not sure whether you should be laughing or crying

Laughing or crying not sure

13. You develop hypochondria

Hypochondriac people make you sick

14. You constantly complain about everything

Complain roll eyes

15. Your life has gone virtual

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.

By Lingholic

Source of images: Giphy

3 thoughts on “15 Signs You’re Experiencing Culture Shock”

  1. I moved to Korea but I’m only about 6 of these. The language is hard and my job can be difficult at times, but other than that I love it here.

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