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  • Michelle Bernard

How to: Help a Friend Navigate Reverse-Culture Shock

Here’s an idea that’s a little out of the box… but as a coach sometimes you need try something different and see how it lands. I’m going to use pistachios as an analogy to give some ideas on how to help a friend navigate reverse-culture shock.

Sometimes when helping your friends return home or walk through reverse-culture shock you might feel like you have to break through their "shell" or walls they've put up protecting their heart and emotions. I want to encourage you to stay with them through it!

Here are some ideas on how you can care for them:

Ask them questions about living abroad like...

  • big moments or mundane days & routines

  • the culture & people they met

  • things they appreciate about their home abroad


Take time to...

  • look at their pictures and videos

  • hear their stories

  • ask what they may need during this time


Try to...

  • cook a favorite meal of theirs and share it with them

  • go to a restaurant that serves food where they were living abroad

  • learn to cook food together from the place they lived abroad


Anticipate...

  • what they may need- if that's space, a listening ear, a fun activity, etc

  • they won't be the same as they were before and assure them that's ok and normal

  • they will need time to grieve what they are leaving abroad

Save this post or share with someone who is walking through reverse-culture shock with a friend or loved one.