Tuesday 7th August 2012

Post Immigration Syndrome in expatriates

According to the Vancouver Sun, a new expression is doing the rounds in the world of expatriates: Post Immigration Syndrome (PIS). Apparently, the major signs that an expatriate is suffering from this condition are a propensity to criticize the culture and way of life in your host country while simultaneously struggling to say anything positive about your home country; basically, if you suffer from this disorder nothing pleases you.

According to the article author, people who are suffering from PIS can be described as “eats well all the time, lives well all the time but complaints all the time”. These expats appear to be unable to find anything meaningful in their new lives overseas and, in the face of boredom and discontent, choose to voice their complaints at every opportunity.

Does this sound like you? If so, now is the time to try and get rid of negative attitudes and embrace your new life in your host country. Negative attitude will only serve to weigh you down and continuing to see the worse in every situation over a prolonged period of time could lead you down a much darker path. But how do you overcome these feelings are start to live a happier life?

You should start by actively trying to change your frame of mind. Become a part of your living environment. Whatever your reasons for being in the host country, chances are you are planning on remaining there for some time. Instead of thinking of yourself as a foreigner in a strange country, view the city as your new home; that’s what it is after all. Try and resolve any identity conflicts you are experiencing by making a conscious effort to assimilate with the local culture and people. Instead of criticizing from afar, you may just find that you start to appreciate and enjoy it.

Equally important is the need for you to acknowledge your mental state. The sooner you recognize the effect that your propensity to complain is having on how others perceive you, the better. People just don’t like to be around moaners. Everyone has issues in their lives but it is the ones who get on with it with a smile on their faces that are appreciated and favored. If you are continually criticizing and complaining you will find it hard to make friends and this in itself will make it harder for you to fit in. Yes, it’s fine to have a whinge every now and again, but don’t let your woes take over your personality.

Change the things you don’t like. If you’re in this state of mind then there’s every chance that there is a huge list of things that are annoying you. Some of these may be unavoidable and an intrinsic element of everyday life in your host country. However, others may be avoidable. Make a list of all the elements of life that are making you miserable and try and identify those that are in your control. Hate the long commute to work on an unreliable transport system? Move closer to your workplace. Feel that your friends are bringing out the worse in you? Get out there and try and make friends with people with whom you have a little more in common. Feel like you are struggling to communicate and connect with people? Start to learn the local language. Of course all this can be easier said than done, but it is your life and it is important that you recognize that you are the one who is responsible for it. Don’t dwell in an endless pit of despair; make the effort to make yourself happier.

Moving overseas is difficult, but it is also what you make it, with a little effort and the determination to take control of your own life, it need not be a continual miserable struggle.

Read the full article: http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/07/29/post-immigration-syndrome/

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