Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beating Your Head Against The Wall? 8 Points on Why You Shouldn't

Beating Your Head Against The Wall? Eight Points on Why You Shouldn't

Have you ever felt like you're beating your head against the wall? Like you're alone against the crowd?

That's how I felt this Tuesday. It was my first day at language school (which by the way in general was pretty cool!). I "met" so many different nationalities there! There were people from Poland, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ukraine, Philippines, China, Germany, Armenia... It was strange though that I hadn't really met any Russians :)

Anyway, this Tuesday I suddenly realized how differently people see their lives here in Denmark, in a country new to them (even if they have been living here for over 2 years), how different their ways are to cope with some problems and misunderstandings here. Some complain and even express their anger and irritation regarding Denmark, its culture and its people. They feel rejected and pressured. It all looks black to them. And it's quite hard, if not impossible at the time being, to make them look at the things otherwise. I heard about it before, and any
expat-oriented resource writes about it, but I've never seen it before. It kind of hit me! And I thought, Oh! That's so so so....

And that's where I couldn't find the right word. What is it?? Anger, lack of self-confidence, uncertainty? Or is it just easier to blame others? AND why do some foreigners not feel this way? Why are they open, happy, satisfied and easy to talk to, even if their lives here might be harder than of those complaining and whining?

Well, I'm not sure if I could answer all of these questions but I have definitely made some conclusions out of those conversations. I'd like to share them here, so that you could keep them in mind in case you'll come across something or someone of a kind (which you'll most probably do when you're surrounded by lots of people with absolutely different backgrounds). So here what I kind of highlighted for myself:

1. STAY OPEN AND CURIOUS! Stay open and curious. And again stay open and curious. If you are, things do not seem so black, they are just different. And yes, sometimes they are very different from what you're used to but that's what makes them interesting. And this is where you should stay curious. Learn new things, look at them as at something you might apply. Think about it - if you had had to move to another school when you were a kid, or to another city in your own country. Would everyone embrace you and see you as one of them right away? In 99% of the cases the answer is "no". I myself changed class one time and school one time, once again I changed University and later moved from one city to another a few times. I'm 100% sure that my openness and curiousity helped me a lot! even when I was a teenager and changing school was not that easy...

2. DO NOT go into arguments. Do not beat your head against the wall. It only winds people up and they come up with thousand complains more, and you feel like you're swirling down a hole of negativity (look to the right /please). You may try to tell these people what helps/helped you to overcome these things or not to think about them. But do it without trying to lecture them, just share your own experience. However, if you feel the "hole" coming close, simply stop the discussion and inside yourself wish the people to overcome this stage they're stuck in.

3. DO NOT let this attitude drag you down. You are not one who thinks negatively. Things might be hard indeed, but show me a place where everything is perfect!..

4. THINK BACK ON ALL THE POSITIVE things you've experienced here. There are certainly lots of such moments which you might have not even noticed. Thus you'll make the negativity pass by.

5. LEARN from each situation, from each conversation. It doesn't mean you should go around and think about it over and over again. Just make your conclusions and try to never repeat the negativity pattern.

6. DO NOT judge such people. They might have not found their way yet but they're just as human as you're. It's just a phase they're going through.

7. If YOU are the one who is STUCK in this phase, just REMEMBER IT IS TEMPORARY. Again try to think about all the positive things you have here, and try to be surrounded by open and positive people.

8. STAY OPEN AND CURIOUS. Yes! Once again, 'cause it is extremely important! Nothing will shake you if you're positive, if you stick to your beliefs, if you're open. 

What would you do? What's your 9th point?

BTW!!! All the people I've met at school are nice and great! Some of them are just stuck in this phase. But I'm sure, they'll make it through :)

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