It’s the holiday season and whether you’re at HOME or at home, you’re bound to be put into uncomfortable situations. Being an expat is similar to being around family you haven’t seen in many years — it seems familiar, yet you keep asking yourself how you really fit it. You wonder who these people are, you perhaps don’t make the most of the time and possibly regret it later.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this video epitomizes how it feels (and if you do, you must take 1.30 minutes to watch — you might recognise yourself).
Regardless of the time of year, many of us get plain scared in unfamiliar situations or in situations when we feel like we’re being forced to participate in something we don’t want to. Here are some tips to survive these difficult circumstances (as is evidenced in the video as well):
- Go with a person you feel safe with
- Bring food or something to share
- Reserve your judgements of others as much as you can
- Recognise that the other people may be nervous too
- Ask questions and share stories
- Smile if you can — it makes you feel confident
- Breathe (you usually take it for granted and fear limits this normal function)
- Avoid overindulging in alcohol or food
- Focus on the bigger picture, why you’re there in the first place
- Be open to being surprised
In the video you’ll notice the shock, surprise, delight and gratitude that the poor couples being set up have on their faces. Sometimes taking risk has great rewards. May you experience this for yourself over the holiday season and beyond.