The Ultimate Guide To Handling Culture Shock

Culture shock is that feeling of anxiety, confusion, or fear you may experience when you move to a new environment that practices a culture different from what you are used to. Culture shock isn’t the result of a single occurrence; instead, it is the accumulation of a series of events, and the adjustment phase of culture shock is usually fairly intense, especially when you move from a rural area to an urban area, go to a different state for business or study, marry into a different culture, or relocate to an entirely new country. However, as you become more familiar with the place, the people and the food, it dissipates with time.

How to Handle Culture Shock

Just in case you haven’t explored that city you’ve always dreamt of because you are afraid of how detrimental the culture shock may be on you, here are some tips to help you overcome culture shock so you can explore life as you want.

Be Open-minded

It never hurts to be open-minded. Give that new culture a chance to present itself to you, and try to see the reason for the cultural differences. That way, you will understand why the people there behave the way they do.

Don’t Compare

One depressed person stands lonely, apart from the group, with the words Can’t Fit In on his chest, symbolizing his rejection from the clique

Comparison steals your joy, so don’t compare. Don’t try to look at how different the new environment is from home because this will only make you homesick and deprive you of getting acquainted with the new culture and its environment.

Don’t Steal Yourself Off

Be active and socialise with others; don’t lock yourself inside or try to stay isolated all the time. Come out of your shell and get involved by participating in activities, joining in festivities, grocery shopping at the supermarket, or just working. The more you face the new environment head-on, the faster you can get over the culture shock.

Be Honest

The truth will always set you free, so come clean about your confusion and disorientation. Talk to the locals about your issue, ask questions, and seek clarifications for the things you aren’t sure of. That way, you will understand things better, and your adaptation process will happen smoothly.


Communication is a two-way process, so as you learn about the new culture, talk to them about your cultural background, too. That will help them understand your angle and point of view and explain certain behaviours you may display to them. This will not only reduce misunderstandings but also foster acceptability.

Ijeoma Ezeanyika
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