Friendships Through the Eyes of an Expat – When Friends Suddenly Disconnect
One of the hardest things around being an expat is the making of new friends. It's not always easy to make new friends when you move to a new country. It takes a lot of time, patience and effort to find your tribe of the people who you truly connect with. And when you do find them you really learn to appreciate and nurture those friendships however possible. It really means something to have good friends close by to hang out with, share experiences and develop genuine bonds.
Yet, in the world of an expat, people are constantly moving around for various reasons leaving you to start all over again in the search for your special tribe. This can leave you feeling lonely, sad, disappointed and frustrated with your life abroad. How can you find a balance within your social circles when they are constantly leaving?
As an expat we have an understanding that friends will come and go, we get it. It's just the nature of the lifestyle. We move around! Many of us try to uphold those friendships even after one or the other moves away. So when someone suddenly stops communication and pulls away without reason, it can be very hurtful. This is what perplexes most expats, the disappearing act.
Not only can your immediate circle of friends, in your new home, affect your mindset but your long standing friendships back home can also be a part of this frustrating situation. This can be even more hurtful and disappointing where disconnection is concerned. The friends you have had for most of your life, maybe even since childhood, can suddenly change and even fizzle away without you even knowing what happened. This can be devastating.
When friendships back home start to shift, and reach out less and less, I think of it as a transitional process that needs to take place. This is where using empathy can really help you along your own process.
There you go, you have moved away, starting this new wonderful life abroad getting a chance to see another part of the world where your experiences are going to be amazing! Could your friends be feeling jealous, envious or betrayed? How would you feel if it were them who left you to live this amazing life around the world when you have to stay home maybe feeling stuck and less fortunate? Not to say that what they feel or think is your fault or problem in ANY way! But giving yourself the chance to empathize fully with your friend will give you a better understanding around it so that you can move forward with love and kindness.
More Tips on How to Cope with a Loss of a Friendship
Acknowledge the hurt and pain and move through it however it calls to you. Give yourself the time to be hurt, sad and angry. This is important because if you avoid those feelings, or push them down into the sub conscious, they will stay with you. You will take those feelings into the other aspects of your life and relationships and you will suffer from the outstanding effects. Losing a friendship needs to be grieved, allow yourself that process.
Learn to accept what you can't control. Try and see the situation with a much lighter heart and think of it as the Universe closing a window to open up a new one. People will come into your life and some of those people will move their way out, simple as that. Holding peace with it is so important to how you allow your life to unfold with love and kindness. These beautiful people showed up (and maybe left) to show you something that's important for YOU. Where can you show up differently next time? What is it that you need to do for your inner peace and happiness? Could it simply be the chance to make your life a little better, a little stronger, a little wiser? Something to think about. Accepting what you don't know about the other person's life, feelings and thoughts is something that will truly guide you to your own peace.
It's Never Personal
One thing to take away from this post, if anything, is to remember that it's never about you! What other people do, say or think is never really about you. Even when it's directed right in your face, it's not about you. Learning to understand how projection and blame work around people who are struggling with themselves can be very helpful in understanding more about your own thoughts and behaviors. What they project is really about themselves and what you project onto others is really about you. No one is responsible for the other, you are only responsible for yourself. Accepting someone's negative opinion or reaction is your choice, so choose wisely. Which choice will serve you with love and kindness?
Trust me, I know the pain of losing a great friend. It's never easy, especially when you don't know the why. But knowing that you have the control of how you process the loss, understand your responsibility and learn from what the experience is trying to show you, then you can start to find more peace and happiness around yourself.
One of the most powerful sources around this is a little book called, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. You might have heard of it or even read it! If you haven't read it I highly recommend it, you can get it on Amazon in the link below (I also attached a link to his daily affirmation cards, they're awesome!) This book truly changed my life in how I differentiate my inner world from my outer world. If you have read it, read it again! :) My book is always close by for those days when I really need to take a step back and reflect.
You are an amazing person with so much love and potential for making a difference. Remember that and give yourself the chance to expand on your knowledge and wisdom that's inside of you. You totally got this!
Giving anyone else that power would be the greatest loss of all.
With Gratitude x