Updated: Jan 24
In one of my coaching groups through MeetUp in Stockholm, we spoke of creating intimacy versus the need for more space, starting physically and how this can differ among cultures. It is commonly known that different nationalities tend to express themselves using more or less body-language. In our language our sense of identity also falls into place. Or out of.
In certain cultures it is common to sit close and share private things even with strangers, whereas others shy away from even say hello at times. This naturally also depends on each individual person - how she or he chooses to approach others and how to respond. This is however not always so easy as we try to adapt and adjust into our new setting. And how much should we adapt and adjust? It is a matter of dependence, to dare say no and set firm boundaries while still needing others to create a sense of safety. With each circle, a safety wall can be created by our family, friends, colleagues and finally community. Either by the add of our nationality or globally based on trust and respect, on interest and common rules and goals. This all require us to communicate with awareness, something that increasingly becomes blurry in the era of online speaking where our natural tone of voice and body-language can become lost behind posing in front of the camera, with or without direction. Life is a stage but we are all on it. Some to socialize, some to work and others to seek.
What happens then with our increased migration? I have noticed a shift in how my generation used to go abroad for a year to study, travel or be an Au-pair with the goal to return and use these newfound skills and knowledge back into our home-country, whereas the new generation (25-30 yr olds) tend to go directly abroad for their first job or even study somewhere, work somewhere else and not know where they end up. What are they then representing? Thus, all they bring is themselves, becoming internationals. But no species can ever survive in the long run without adapting to its environment (and culture) wherefore the need for integration is just as imminent today as it was 20 years ago, whether for language or for access to food and living, we need to collaborate and identify new ways of freedoms. With this said, it should be allowed, according to my opinion, to choose where one wants to live, which culture one wants to belong to and which language one wants to speak - where it is spoken.
What are your needs of intimacy and space and how do you satisfy these?
How do you communicate with others when you are relaxed and safe, in comparison to stressed and uncomfortable?
* Become aware and set boundaries when you are intruded upon.
* Set your own time limits and make your own invitations.
* Recognize your comfort-zone, protect it first, then dare to explore what's outside of it step by step.
* Grow it larger or keep it smaller until you find your circle. When you find it within as a member of the collective heart, you soon will recognize the others who also have chosen to belong.
And then we can become an extended family of a sorts. Integrated based on a shared space.