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Dealing with reverse culture shock
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15323

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have enough money you can insulate yourselves from the difficulties of mixing when you get back to the land where you grew up.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15323

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I came back to Scotland after two years teaching in Saudi Arabia in 1972 I had a bulging wallet, A few months later I was in the Psych Ward. Going crazy is easy. You can label it "Reverse Culture Shock" or anything you want.

It took me a long time to come to terms with it.
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isitts



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
Posts: 178
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:15 am    Post subject: Re: Dealing with reverse culture shock Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
**QUESTION (for anyone): Just throwing this out there...

Do you think the quality of life, level of services/products, housing quality, language barriers, etc. of your time overseas have an impact on the level and length of reverse culture you experience when you return home? For example, would someone teaching in Haiti for a couple of years have a tougher time adjusting home compared to a teacher who worked in Moscow?
.

Well, if it’s regarding things that are difficult to deal with after returning to my home country then I’d say it was because the foreign country where I was living had much better services/products, etc. The primary categories for me are food, mass transit, and (most recently added to the list after experiencing WeChat Wallet) modes of payment.

As for the primary topic of this thread, having been back to my home country for a few fairly long stints (ranging between six months and two years), there are two ways I mitigate reverse culture shock:

1. When you go “home”, don’t think of it as “going back”. You only go forward.

2. Spend time with your close friends and family (even when you don’t really feel like it) and be interested in what their doing now. Don’t try to reminisce on past experiences with them.

Anyway, cool thread. A lot of interesting posts on here.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11381
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point about "going forward" vs "going back," isitts.

Another perspective about mitigating reverse culture shock:

How to Return Home After an Assignment Abroad
HBR | October 24, 2017
Source: https://hbr.org/2017/10/how-to-return-home-after-an-assignment-abroad

Start thinking about how you want to incorporate the new cultural styles you’ve learned and come to appreciate into your repertoire back home. For example, perhaps you’ve learned to be more outspoken abroad, but come back to your native culture where such behavior is less acceptable. In this case, you have a couple options:
    • Take on a blended cultural style. Cultivate a new cultural style which represents a hybrid of the two styles — something that is a bit different from the way you originally behaved back home before going abroad, but not quite as different as you were when fully adapted to the new culture. There is no right or wrong way here. The blend will take different forms depending on your preferences, how much you did indeed adapt, and what you find acceptable back home — both for yourself and in the context where you work and socialize.

    • Create segmented cultural styles. Develop multiple and distinct cultural selves — the one you had back home and a new style consistent with what you learned when you lived and worked abroad. Rather than apply these styles in places where they aren’t suitable (and possibly getting quite jumbled in the process), separate them just as you would clothes for different occasions. For example, in a meeting at work with people from your native culture, you might act with your typical, default cultural style. But when meeting new clients from the culture you just returned from, you might adopt an entirely different cultural persona.
(End of excerpt)
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