ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Work Abroad: The Social Challenge

Updated on December 31, 2014

Whenever a person changes their setting settling into a new location can be difficult. Figuring out the lay of the land is always a process and finding a new group of friends is sometimes tricky. Frustration, sadness, loneliness are only a few adjectives to describe the feelings of being alone in an alien place. This challenge of socially starting from scratch without any formal direction is one I've found myself in before. The struggle of feeling isolated from familiarities by an innate desire to travel abroad is something I deal with. Sometimes I feel the difference that comes from not knowing the native language of the country, knowing but not understanding the native customs and being engulfed by the national problems of the country that affect every sphere of life. These differences have caused me a lot of confusion, pain, anger and many other feelings, but it has also without a doubt made me a stronger person.


Due to such varying differences between those around me my social skills have grown exponentially. Working in a foreign country with a foreign language can improve your social skills by increasing abilities to be socially open, assertive and to speak a new language.

Becoming Open

In school it was very easy to find like minded people with similar backgrounds and interests as myself. Transitioning to an abroad work setting where there weren't many people who shared those aforementioned things was a difficult challenge. Before living and working abroad, I wasn't as open to talking and being receptive to everyone. In an unaware way I would put people into boxes of those I would want to talk to and wouldn't want to talk to solely based on pre conceived notions and surface level information. Now, I recognize basing friendships in that way is obviously shallow and limiting. Due to language, the amount of people I can have a functional conversation with has dramatically decreased. Living abroad I've realized that I have to be open to different people just to even be social. Building satisfying relationships in the real working world has forced me to be open and willing to talk to all sorts of people and not just those who I think are cool.

Becoming Assertive


It's obvious that any type of good friendship takes a certain amount of effort by two or more people. However, the level of effort has to increase when there are certain hurdles in the way. The reality of distance, availability, energy, money, language and other factors play into people being able to form healthy friendships. Living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, a city of 2.9 million and the largest city in the Caribbean by population, I understand many of the hurdles that are in the way of forming friendships.


Emotionally, initiating friendships in a diverse work atmosphere can be very draining, because of the type of effort necessary. People have lives outside of work and aren't always or sometimes never going to reciprocate your desire to be more than work acquaintances. To form solid healthy friendships at work it takes patience and a certain level of vulnerability. In my own journey I've had to learn not to be offended when people have ignored my calls to get together. It's difficult to accept, but important to understand that when one door closes another one will probably open. If you allow your heart to become cold and offended because one, two or three people said no to your offer to socialize then you'll never ask that fourth person who may say yes. Forging work friendships is not always a walk in the park and calls for an assertive effort.

Learning A New Language

One of the great opportunities of working abroad has been picking up a new language. The process of learning a language can sometimes be a roller coaster of emotions. There have been numerous times where I wanted to express something, but simply was unable to because of the language difference. These times are very frustrating and can even cause a feeling of loneliness. However, there have been times where I've been able to express myself or show a small command of the new language and I get a real feeling of satisfaction.


As an American I feel like learning other languages is not emphasized to such a high degree as in other regions of the world. But obviously being open to and immersing yourself in a new language widens your horizons in many areas including socializing

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)