Concept of Shock
Hello, thank you for your interest in how to adjust to Culture Shock. The goal of this post is not to avoid Culture Shock, but to identify symptoms and meet it head on by taking different steps. Since each one of us deals with our emotions in different ways, I will show you what steps you can take to make the transition much smoother. We will find ourselves confronted with the rough edges of change, which will happen more in the beginning of our journey. The concept of shock is used in different contexts; medical is the most common, unless you’re a farmer of a cornfield. We’re going to break down the concept of shock and I’ll show you where it relates to the journey. Yesterday, I explained what happens when someone enters a new culture. There’s an overload of the senses, and the brain is trying to figure out what to do with all this information. Entering an unknown element, will knock you off balance. Which can lead to fear, anxiety, and doubt in your ability to deal with the situation in a rational way. You may have heard that emotions aren’t rational, and I tend to agree sometimes. But I can assure you, that the emotions that are involved with shock, are real. They need to be acknowledged. Ignoring your emotions will only dig you deeper into a feeding frenzy of those emotions I mentioned above. It can also lead to other sorts of issues, both physical and mental. That’s what I’m trying to help you avoid, the unnecessary ones.
Since there are thousands of different cultures, not to mention thousands of different sub-cultures. Some of the coping mechanisms can be used in both scenarios. Today, I’m going to focus on moving from one country to another. Sometimes we may not have a choice when we move. We’re forced out under certain circumstances; job, loss of job, or natural disaster. This is not an exhausted list, but I can fill a page with hundreds of events that can trigger a move. How can we possibly prepare?
I said yesterday that there isn’t a kit for something like this, but there are ways in which you can prepare yourself to ease some of the shock your about to endure. I prepared myself, going over to a different country, but I failed to prepare myself to come back. Granted, my circumstance may be different, but the effects on the mind and body are similar. Understanding what your about to walk into, is a great way to prepare yourself for possible changes. It’s not only about the culture, it’s about how we adjust internally.
Scenario with Helpful Information
Here is one scenario, which allows you to access information through books, internet, and any other resource that you can get your hands on. Learning about customs and traditions is a great way to start your research. If you’re a religious person, you may want to see if they have a Liaison, that can meet, and give a tour of the city or town. Ask them questions about others who are in the same situation. Some people may only research half of the question. What is it like where I’m going?
The other questions that’s a “must ask”; what internal changes I can expect, or ones that are possible. Most of us have an imagination, and it’s free. Playing scenarios of “what if”, can be used as a benefit. By placing yourself in situations that are possible, allows you to analyze and find the best actions to take. There should be multiple scenarios, with different actions. Back-up plans. This leads up to the question, how are you going to face it internally?
Experiences of others is a way in which you can grab some different ideas to specific events, but remember, what works for someone, may not work for others. That’s why the imagination is important. It wouldn’t be right, if I didn’t show you the downside to the imagination, and I won’t leave you without ways in keeping it in check.
I will start by saying, Pride Can Be A Double-Edged Sword. You will say that you got this, or you thought of everything. Now if you’re a proud person, this will sting. You didn’t and you don’t. Just to point out some of the different character traits that reinforce the pridefulness flaw; gender, that means men (know-it-alls), age, and narcissist. If you don’t know that you’re a narcissist, there are plenty of blogs out there that give descriptions. Ok, let me get back on track. Since pride can be a downfall, it may stop you from asking for other points-of-view. This is a mistake. Not swallowing your own pride, can set you up for a rough transition. It’s not about getting the best answer but changing the habit. Just from my own experience and gender, which I’m working on daily by the way. We can’t do this alone. One person didn’t build society, it was a collective action. Practice asking for help.
I’ve showed you some ways where you can prepare yourself for the shock you’re about to endure. I think it’s important to understand both sides of the fence. It’s much better to enter the situation with an arsenal of tools. If you’re someone whose imagination spins out of control with worry. Write it down. Take a break, because it will be stressful. Find something that takes your mind off that scenario. Then go back and read it with a clearer mind. Mindfulness is a great way to center yourself. And once you’re grounded, grab someone you feel comfortable with, and ask them what they would do.
I hope this post helped in some way, and tomorrow there will be other ways in which you can work through “Culture Shock”. And if you have any questions, comments, or scenarios you’d like to run by someone, don’t hesitate to contact Free-Word. Thank you.