If you have ever moved to a new place, even one only a few miles away, then you may have personally dealt with culture shock. Even if you have been on vacation somewhere new, culture shock may have left its mark on you. We live in an amazingly diverse world where people live their lives in ways that may seem strange, shocking, and even threatening. When we are exposed to these cultures, which are different from our own, we experience culture shock. So, what is the best way to deal with culture shock? Lets find out.
Culture Shock Can Happen Anywhere
Within the United States, culture shock can happen when moving throughout the country. Those on the west coast of the US for example are very different then those in New York City, Texas, and even Utah. In addition, many people experience culture shock when they vacation outside the United States and see people with significantly more hardship struggling to make it. Culture shock can bring up feelings of insecurity, fear, shock, and anxiety. It can also be the best tool to truly learning about the world around you.
Coping With Culture Shock
Culture shock is all about context. What will shock you may not shock someone else. Even a neighbor from your street will not be shocked by something if they have experienced it before. The best way to cope with culture shock is to understand why it is so shocking to you. For example, if you have moved to a new part of the country, then try to understand why things that are meaningless to you have meaning for them. Take the time to see the world from their eyes. As strange as it is for you to be watching them, you may be equally strange to them.
Take the time to understand the culture. Instead of putting up boundaries, try to embrace the culture that shocks you. See the benefits, see the downsides, and even question your own culture. As long as you keep judgment to a minimum, you can use this as a sure fire way to deal with culture shock.
Work on a sense of what is important to you, and allow that to be separate from the culture you are seeing. Use this sense of what is right to bring about change in the culture that shocks you. Introduce them to new ideas, treat the culture with respect, and try your best to function well within the guidelines provided by them. Though the culture may be shocking at first, there is always the chance that it will become familiar and even friendly to you if you work at it.