Expat Emotions  

ROLLER-COASTER EXPAT EMOTIONS  

« When we push aside emotions to embrace false positivity we loose our capacity to develop skills to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be”. Susan David 

Hello everyone 

Today I wanted to share about something it took me a while to name and I finally found someone who named it! It is called Toxic Positivity or False Positivity.  

Susan David’s work helped me with this when I watched her Tedtalk https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_david_the_gift_and_power_of_emotional_courage 

I have noticed this in the Expat experiences (it works in many other cases but let us talk about a topic I have been experiencing in the past 20 yrs).  

I find that the Expats have kind of an omerta when it comes to expressing the feelings or emotions one might experience when you live abroad. Omerta towards their family and friends stayed back home, after all it is your choice (but isn’t everything a choice?) and omerta amongst Expats themselves (maybe also because it is a choice) but that can create situations of real discomforts for some people who cannot share what they are experiencing in a group who is supposed to understand what they are going through. My now 2020-2021 response when I am asked “How is it going in Dallas?” (where I moved a year ago) is to ask: do you want an authentic answer, or do you want the social answer everyone is expected to give or prefer to hear? … and in general, this leads to a more genuine conversation as people express their feelings and that it can also be hard no matter how you chose to live the abroad experience.  

False positivity feels a bit like life with Instagram lenses. It creates a lot of discomfort and makes you feel bad or even more depressed because you dare not to share negative feelings or emotions as this is not the “moral correctness”.  

I am so with it when it comes to accepting the negative emotions, acknowledge them, welcome them to learn to be more acceptant of who you are … which helps you in the journey to happiness! 

“Emotional Agility is the ability to be with your emotions with curiosity, compassion and especially the courage to take value-connected steps” 

I have not read the book yet but I find it interesting and will dive into her book about Emotional Agility. I did not know she is a SA-born woman. I love it already 😊. 

So, how is it truly going for you ?  

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