Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friendship boost

This has been one of the best weekends in a long while. I've been doing some activities with expats and met some really nice people the past couple of days. We bonded by sharing our personal experience of how difficult it has been to emotionally connect with the locals. This morning I woke up feeling nurtured and content. I have not felt like this in quite awhile, which makes me realize that 1) I've been deprived of friendship rapport for far too long, and 2) how crazy it is that my body chemicals respond so strongly to social validation. 

I have been going to expat events since I first arrived here, but it's mostly been casual socializing at pubs, restaurants, clubs, or even hikes, with only small talks and no real connections. This time I lucked out and was able to make some connections with some people by sharing how isolating we have all felt while living in this beautiful city.

I think if I had never moved here, I would have taken for granted the positive effects of friendship support that I get regularly back home. It is when this aspect is absent from my life that I notice how deprived I feel. 

I have been paying attention to feelings more recently, and I notice that I often make people feel uncomfortable. I think I talk a bit too fast, being afraid that people will stop listening to me before I finish expressing what I want to say. Sometimes I'm a bit insensitive to what might offend people or what topics are a bit too grim for small talks. Sometimes I'm so keen on getting out what I want to say I interrupt other people, or I fail to acknowledge the main point that they are trying to get across in their speaking.   

By hanging out with more non-science people, who seem to be a lot better at communication in general and at making people feel at ease, I hope to learn from them, become a better listener and communicator.

I think if/when I move again, it will the top priority that I move somewhere where it is easier to establish a social circle with friendship support. It's almost as important the soul as food and water to the body.

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