Wednesday 16 March 2011 - Starting to feel the reverse culture shock
When I run my sessions “Living, Working, Networking in Sydney”, I always talk about the different stages of cultural shock. I thought I would need to go back to France to feel it but no, I can already experience it when I talk to French people who have been less than two years in a different country (note that living six months up here and up there doesn’t count. I am talking about establishing a new life on a continuous amount of time). I truly believe it takes you a year to get out of that tourist phase and an additional year to start to think like local people. I shouldn’t do this but I tend to filter the people who could become my friends on the following time criterias:
1/ I am filtering by the length of their stay (i.e more than six months?),
2/ I am filtering by the number of years they spent overseas. Something like two or three years. (My golden number tend to be three, but that's a personal choice)
And the weirdest thing is that I start to make that sort of comments to people “You think like a French” to a French person... Well, what should I expect from a French person who has never lived anywhere else than France? But I do believe my comment makes sense, because I can see where the people are coming from (it is not a surprise what they say to me and it used to be the only way I was capable of thinking), but I still hold to my point because my first thought is not the true blue French one anymore.
Example: I was talking to that French guy about relationships and he started to mention things how the girl who would be hurt if he would do this or that since he was leaving, so on and so on. First think I thought “Wow, you’re thinking too much” ... Well he was thinking too much from an aussie perspective, because here I truly believe it doesn’t cross the normal aussie man’s mind ... Why ? Aussie women don’t even show emotions and barely talk about feelings and relationships. So I believe aussie men have no idea whatsoever is happening in one female’s brain; and this is in addition of the fact that most aussie go to same-sex schools. Also I realized that I wasn’t moved or thinking “Wow he is such a great guy, so sensitive and bla bla bla” which would have been the expected true blue French girl reaction. No, I was just thinking “Wow, you´re just giving me a headache. You think waaay too much"
So I felt I’ve shifted. Does it mean I’ve reached the point of no return? Or am I just getting older?