Immigration guilt hits a lot of immigrants after they have made their international move and as they struggle to settle into their new environment, make new friends and find a job. What are some of the tell-tale signs of immigration guilt?
Did I Make the Right Decision?
Just about everyone who moves abroad to another country will ask themselves this question at some point in their lives. However, if you find yourself asking yourself this question over and over again for months on end, you could be suffering from immigration guilt, which is a very powerful emotion.
How Will My Elderly Parents Cope Without Me?
This is one of the most obvious tell-tale signs of immigration guilt that many people have to deal with after they move abroad. Even after they have spoken at length to their parents about their decision and they have made up their mind to still go ahead with the international move, some niggling doubts remain. If you have been the sole carer for your elderly parents, leaving them behind as you embark on an international move can be especially hard.
I Made the Wrong Decision!
Deciding partway through an international move or after you have arrived and settled in that you have made the wrong decision can mean one of three things. First, this is a common sign of culture shock, as you adapt to a new culture, language and country. Many immigrants go through a lengthy period of adjustment and one of the stages of culture shock manifests itself in feelings of “I made the wrong decision”, in an attempt to make sense of the move.
Another reason why many immigrants feel that they have made an unwise decision is because of homesickness, which is closely tied in with culture shock. It is only natural to have a longing for home. This is a phase that usually passes over time. Third, coming to the conclusion that you have made the wrong decision to move could be because you have indeed made the wrong decision. If you have not taken the time to properly research the country you have moved to and if you have faced trouble with housing, employment and other issues, then this will impact your quality of life in a foreign country.
Immigration guilt is a sad reality for many immigrants who move abroad. Fortunately, immigration guilt is not insurmountable. Read How to Overcome Immigration Guilt to learn some coping strategies that really work if you, or a loved one, have been afflicted with immigration guilt.