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A “Party Foul” is an act committed at a party that’s considered impolite, inappropriate, or both and results in negative consequences.
Don’t show up empty-handed. Don’t double-dip in the spinach bowl. Don’t drink too much and make an ass of yourself. These are examples of a universally well-known faux pas to avoid at social gatherings.
By virtue of their circumstance, accompanying partners experience unique party fouls against them at work functions, school events, and other festivities. These decorum blunders, whether intentional or accidental, leave them feeling invisible, uncomfortable, and inadequate.
This week, I’m joined by a few individuals who’ll share examples of when they’ve found themselves on the receiving end of party fouls… The occasions when people turned away mid-dialogue once they realized these accompanying partners were unemployed… The jabs at how nice it must be to have so much “free time” on your hands.
If you’re someone who’s committing such party fouls, then listen-up and learn about the hurt these avoidable oversights bring, how to stop making them, and what to do instead.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Conversation etiquette 101
- Scanning the room for someone more worthwhile
- Replacing empty topical questions with provocative ones
- Traits that naturally make expats great party guests
- The myth of being lucky
Listen to the Full Episode:
COVID-19 hasn’t slowed down the fun and camaraderie that’s happening in Expats on Purpose. In fact, it’s made us lean on each other even more for hope and connection. If you’re a globally mobile individual who’s looking to fit in with a group that “gets you,” then join our buzzing online social gathering today.
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Featured on the Show:
- Thinking of joining the Expat Coach Coalition? Don’t hesitate to apply here.
- Clair Hauxell’s Blog: My Theory On Blooming
- Episode 145: Unconscious Bias with Isabelle Min
- Episode 75: How You Introduce Yourself Says Everything
- Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, it is 7:00 am in New York, 1:00 pm in Johannesburg and 6:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I’m a solution oriented coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations and I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
The word “Party Foul” is a noun and its definition is any act committed that has negative consequences. Any act that’s considered inappropriate in a group party setting.
This week’s episode of Expat Happy Hour is exposing party fouls against accompanying partners. And to do that I have asked a few people to join me.
But let me back up here. What’s a party foul against accompanying partners? If you are an accompanying partner or one of the terms I hate dearly, a trailing spouse. You already know what I’m talking about. Party fouls are things that happen in social gatherings where you are made invisible, an accessory or not seen as someone who has value.
To go a little further with this, because this is a hunch I’ve had for many years watching what happens in social settings. I invited a few accompanying partners to chime in on what party fouls they’ve experienced. I have a few special guests today. First of all, we are going to be joined by Claire Hauxwell, she is the author of the blog My Theory On Blooming, and she’s been an accompanying partner for over ten years. If you don’t know My Theory On Blooming, check it out. Because in her blog she has this wonderful way of pondering her offbeat lifestyle and the trials and tribulations of her life abroad with her husband, her multilingual children and her two crazy dogs in tow. So check her out. She’s an amazing writer.
I’m also joined by accompanying partners who have chimed in on a few questions I asked independently of this interview. So what I did is I asked a handful of people to answer five simple questions.
The five questions were this:
- Tell me about a party foul? What happens at social gatherings, work events or school functions that really gets on your nerves?
- What do people think you do all day? What do you actually do all day?
- What do people say or ask that drives you crazy?
- What do you wish people knew about life as an accompanying partner?
- What should people start, stop or continue when it comes to engaging with accompanying partners at a work or social gathering?
You’re going to hear their spontaneous, unedited answers. And what they have to say obviously isn’t representative of everyone, but it does give you a sample of things that people are experiencing. For example when I asked one accompanying partner Noel to just give me spontaneous answers and not think about it too much, this is what he said.
Noel: The point is you ask is to not over think about it, but I need to tell you that it’s impossible because you think about this question almost all the time.
All right, so this is on people’s minds and I’m going to let you listen in on these party fouls so you can either see yourself or learn something new.
Let’s kick it off with Claire.
Sundae: Alright, Claire, welcome to Expat Happy Hour. I’m so happy to have you here.
Claire: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here myself.
Sundae: So we are both self isolating in Switzerland.
Claire: I self isolate there anyway, pretty much.
Sundae: So whenever you’re hearing this recording just know that that’s during the sort of the coronavirus hunker down time.
Claire: It’s like day 11 and I’ve homeschooled for many of those days and fractions are going to be the death of me.
Sundae: Oh my God, sixth grade math is so hard. I can’t even handle it.
Okay, we’re gonna dive into this idea of party foul. I invited you toExpat Happy Hour to talk about party fouls. And party fouls are those things that go on as accompanying partners and social gatherings, at work events or school functions. That most people don’t understand really get on your nerves if you’re an accompanying spouse.
So Claire, I would love to hear an example of a party foul that you’ve experienced or what really gets on your nerves.
Claire: Um, let’s see. Well, there’s a lot probably. But I would say is, if like you’re at a party with colleagues of your husband or wife or whoever. You’re there and you start having a conversation with somebody and they assume that you too are also a professional. And then they hear that, “Well, I’m married to XYZ.” And they’re like, “Oh, oh.” And then they start getting that glossed over look, like “You don’t have a job. You’re here just drinking gin and tonics and like doing whatever it is you do.”
This came up in almost every response people struggle with engaging when you’re not the one who is there for a work assignment?
Carolyn Question 1:
What really gets on my nerves is that when we arrive at a function or a party and we introduce ourselves, people just assume that I’m the woman therefore I’m not working, that we are in this location because of my husband’s job. And yes, we are actually. But then the conversation just goes on to talk about him and his job. And whoever we meet they never ever turn around and ask what I do.
For those of you who’ve been here, you know how isolating this can feel and you can feel invisible. Here Claire shares more that illustrates this when people find out that it isn’t her who has the assignment.
Claire: I’m very short. So they start looking over my eye line. Because I’m a pretty small person and my stature unless I’m wearing stilettos. They can’t really see me, I’m not looking at them eye to eye. And then I’ve started noticing where people will start gauging the room. Like, “Where do I go next?” Because I’m not going to either help them in their career or they can’t talk to me about whatever. And it’s like “Listen, I don’t really want to talk to you either but I’m not a jerk.”
Sundae: So party foul is Looking above the eyes scanning the room. Excuse me. Oh my God.
Claire: It’s been like one of those situations, it’s like, “What the fuck just happened here? It’s really rude.
Sundae: And what it’s basically doing is saying is, “You’re not important enough to talk to.”
So now that you’ve heard Claire. Here’s a party foul of an accompanying partner we will call Lorena. She suggested it isn’t just that you’re not important enough to talk about, but rather it could be something even worse.
I went to be with my husband for holidays organized by his job. And were on a private jet, like a little airplane. And there was the hostess of the plane and we started speaking about politics and life and the condition of the women in the world and everything. And after, when we arrived she asked me “So what’s your job for the company?” I’m like “No, I’m just the wife of this person.” And she was like, “Oh really? Oh, that’s incredible because we could have such a good conversation about so many things.” And I was like, “Yes, I’m not stupid.” Yeah, that’s what I say. You know, I couldn’t really reply and I was like, “Okay.” That’s it.
So when these party fouls happen, you can be left feeling unimportant or even worse, leave people with a miss assumption that you have nothing to offer.
Claire continues by exploring what they might be missing.
Claire: Absolutely I’m not in their eyes because what am I going to do for them in their career? I’m not going to do anything for them. And they are failing to realize that I’m this really awesome person. And you know, maybe I don’t have anything for you. But you know, maybe you might go, “Oh but my wife, she is a writer.” Like there might be connections that you can make from people and they’re just failing to realize that the human connection is not just about “What do you do for a living?”
Sundae: I hear that all the time, that can we please go beyond “What do you do?” And go towards “Who are you?”
Claire: My purpose in life is not to just do something for everybody else. I want to do something for me, too. I mean we can have purpose outside of the home to work and have a job but there’s also other things that we enjoy. And if we can find commonality in those things that’s the human connection. So like let’s just be real here.
The trouble is that for some reason people feel unprepared to go deeper, beyond work.
Carolyn shares more.
Carolyn Question 2:
I think the people, as soon as they understand that you have kids and that the kids are at school. They assume that you’re a stay-at-home mom. And basically you look after the kids, you look after the household, you walk the dog and that’s what you do. That’s your life. And obviously you meet up with other moms and have coffee.
I think that’s what people think you do and they don’t ask if that is what you do. because I think they don’t even want to, they don’t even know how to talk about it because they don’t know if they would have any follow-up questions. Let’s say you do say “Yes, I’m a stay-at-home mom.” Then they don’t know what to say. They say things like, “Oh that must be stressful.” Or something some stupid comments.
It’s just strange. It’s like there’s a lack of etiquette and knowledge how to talk to an accompanying spouse and find out what they do. Because not everyone is a stay-at-home mom, a stay-at-home dad. A lot of them do a lot of other things. And it’s just simply not part of how we talk that we explore and understand and are curious about what this spouse is doing. Because I think people just think they’re staying at home and they are rather boring.
What they’re missing out on though, is what these people are really about. In this podcast alone were hearing from financial investors, published authors, triathletes, professional designers. Just to name a few of the facets of their talents and abilities.
Sundae: I think, also it could be people just don’t know how. It’s their own discomfort. Like they don’t know how to connect with people who aren’t doing the thing that they’re doing. So if they’re very career-oriented or sort of corporate or nonprofit or whatever directions are in. They don’t know how to connect with people who are doing something very different. Which is ironic because as expats, we live cross-culturally all the time and we should have intercultural competencies to dig into our curiosity and get to know people and find how we’re similar in the different. So it’s like we’re actually not using a skill set that we inherently have built into us based on our experiences.
Claire: But I actually, I would have to say I would go a step further and I would say accompanying spouses probably do that even better than a lot of professionals because they’re the ones having the lived in the culture. They’re the ones having to meet other parents. I don’t just go to the office and have a meeting with Bob from accounting. I’m having to figure it out. And they just, everybody probably speaks the same language in the office and everybody doing the same culture of the company and all that stuff. So I think accompanying spouses we dig deeper and look for that culture or have to overcome the cultural differences and make connections.
Sundae: But you’re not going to find out if you don’t ask. So, what do you think? What do you think people think you do all day? And what do you actually do?
Claire: I’m sure people think I like shop and work and lunch and you know do nothing, watch Netflix. Which are things I would love to do. I mean a girl can dream that would be her life, but it’s not. Because I literally wake up, I mean this morning I woke up at 5:30 so that I could work out before this so that I could be on after we’re done so that I can go and homeschool my kids. I mean, I’m a multitasking master. I am a taxi. I’m a chef. I’m an administrator. I mean, I do insurance claims for hours and hours. It is the most mind-numbing experience of your life, but I have to do it because there’s lots of money waiting for me to get it back. And who’s going to do it but me. My husband doesn’t have time nor even know where the app exists. So it’s me.
Sundae: You’re also a writer, you haven’t even mentioned that yet.
Claire: I know, I haven’t gotten to the stuff that I want to do. I mean, these are all the things I have to do. I’m a tutor. I’m a caregiver. I’m a buyer of all things. I’m a planner of all things. I’m a language student, I’m learning German, it’s terrible and I’m so sucky at it. And I’m a dog walker. And then when I do all that other stuff that has to be done then I am a dishwasher. I am the housekeeper.
But then I’m the writer and that is, I tell myself. I’m a moonlighting writer because I don’t find time to do it until the sun goes down at this rate.
Other accompanying partners mirrored the sentiment that people think they do nothing all day.
They also share a few questions that drive them crazy.
Lorena Question 2:
Okay, what people think I do all day, probably because I live on an island in the middle of the Pacific. They always say to me, “Oh, but you are always on the holidays.” No, I go really rarely on the beach. I do the things that everybody does and I work in the morning and I take care of my family. So no, I’m not always on holidays.
Lorena Question 3:
So questions that get me mad. “So what do you do all day?”
Second, “So you gave up your life to follow your husband?”
NOEL Question 2:
What the people think I do. I think probably nothing, but I do a lot of things. I take care of the house, I cook, I pet your dog, I walk a dog and I also do my stuff, which is what I’m trying to say to be an athlete. And I do triathlons, so I run a lot. I swim a lot. I cycle a lot and this is fun and keeps my mind working. So this is what I do.
NOEL Question 3:
People think that to be at home is easy and they always say “Oh, I want to be like you, you are so lucky.” Okay. I’m lucky. I know I have a wonderful wife. I have a really good life. But it is not easy. So when they say that I am so lucky. I totally disagree. I can be lucky in a lot of different ways, but it’s not easy to be at home, to get lunch alone every day to do a lot of things that I’m not used to doing. So it’s different. So when they say that I am lucky I say, “Okay. Yeah.” I just smile and move on.
Carolyn Question 3:
What people say or ask me that drives me crazy? I don’t think it’s what they say or ask. I think what they don’t say, what they don’t ask, that drives me crazy. Because they’re making you invisible by not asking, by not saying things. And that drives me fucking crazy. That it’s like I don’t count, like I’m just like an accessory. And Oh My God how frustrating that is.
In my interview with Claire I also shared my own frustration.
Sundae: So I’ve actually been at a party where I was talking to somebody who I honestly thought got what I did. And we were talking about the work and he said something to me like, “Yeah, it must be so nice to have so much free time in your day.” And I just looked at him, “Like what? Like I run a company full time. What about what we’ve talked about makes you think that I just like do an hour a week or something?
I just don’t get it. People don’t understand what it takes to do your thing. And you’re doing your thing, but you’re doing it, like you said moonlighting. You’re doing it at night because of all the other things that have to be done.
So what do people say to you? So we’re doing this interview in the coronavirus time or whatever. But this too shall pass and let’s keep the big picture. You’ve been abroad for over 10 years. What do people say or ask you that drives you crazy? If you’re at a party and you’re having a conversation, what is it that drives you crazy?
Claire: I think there’s two scenarios with this that kind of drive me crazy. There’s the one scenario where you’re with people who are not expats. That might be coming in and they might be traveling through. And you’re at an event with someone. They’re like, “Oh my gosh your life is so interesting. You’re so lucky.” And I’m like, “Karen, I am not lucky all the time, this is not easy. This is hard and you sure as hell wouldn’t be able to handle it.” Like that where people just think we’re on vacation all the time. A perpetual vacation.
Sundae: I had a leader, a CEO of a company I used to coach. I came back to the organization and just said hello when I was living in South Africa and came here to visit. And they were like, oh no, this is actually when I was in Burkina Faso and came for a semester here and we were going to move to South Africa. And the CEO goes, “Oh, it must be nice to go on vacation.” It was like I just left after three major crises. I didn’t even know what a coup d’etat was until I was experiencing one. I thought, “You have no idea. Have you seen my son cry his eyes out when my husband has to leave in the taxi because we are living on separate continents? Do you want to think that’s a vacation?” They have no idea.
Claire: They have no idea. I mean so it’s like yeah when we lived in Africa, I mean people will be like, “Oh my gosh, you like live where there’s like zebras all the time.” Like, “No, I don’t, I’m not Sundae. I don’t have kudu in my back yard. I also don’t have zebras just roaming around the neighborhood either.” So like I do think people that are not aware of what expat life is, truly is, they don’t get that. And so when they ask those kind of questions, that’s when I’m like, “Okay, I need to stop this conversation because I can’t go into this.”
Sundae: But what about an accompanying partner, like you’re at a party and maybe it’s a work event or it’s a social gathering around the school or something and fellow expats. What do they say or do that drives you crazy?
Claire: I think it just becomes more like the mundane stuff like “So are you taking German lessons?” Or “Where are you working out?” It’s like how about “Do you have any projects that you’re working on?” Like don’t ask these just little tiny questions. Like let’s go a little bit further. Like, “What did you used to do for a living? Well, how do you plan on doing that while you’re here?” Like I think when they just ask you those like super topical questions, they’re just talking to you because they don’t really have anything to say to you or they’re not sure what to say to you.
Sundae: I get it all the time. I think we really need to do a better job at going deeper. Like everybody’s operating on a script. Especially as expats. If you’ve been abroad for multiple rotations, you’re just so tired of the script. My husband always says, “I’m so tired of telling the same story over and over again.” Like “Oh right right here and then we were there.” But what if we just all collectively agreed we’re going to do it differently. We’re going to stop the surface stuff and go deeper or ask more provocative questions.
Claire: Yeah, I think it’s definitely like if I’m talking to someone and they have a French accent. Okay, I can probably assume you’re from France. So I don’t really need to go into that like in the conversation you can say, “Well I’m from Paris originally but like when I open my mouth I sound like I’m from America.” I mean, it’s pretty obvious. So like you don’t have to go “You’re American right?” Like “Yep. I am American.” You can tell I am loud and I smile a lot and I can’t help it. This is just me.
I just wish that people would go deeper in their conversation. And that could be accompanying spouse to accompanying spouse. It’s not just my husband’s colleagues. I mean, it’s the spouses that are afraid to make a connection unless you’re somehow connected by language and or nationality. And that just puts you in a silo. I like having friends from all over the world and you don’t understand the other cultures. Sometimes you get where you feel like you’re not able to connect with people in those spaces. So, it would be really nice if we could.
Claire isn’t alone in wishing people would go deeper. Here’s what Noel and Carolyn had to say.
NOEL Question 5:
And I think people should stop and try conversation. To try to at the beginning of the conversation ask you about your work. Well, I’m not just what I work. I do a lot of things and this is different. Things can be very interesting too, so it’s a different kind of work. It’s a different kind of life, but this is also not so different. So let’s try to just talk about life, not about work. This is my point.
Carolyn Question 5:
I wish that when you meet a couple or people at a gathering, I wish that yes, of course you look for immediate things you have in common. Like your kids go to the same school or someone works at the same company or whatever. But I mean, I wish there was more curiosity and that people kind of had a more relaxed language and interest on finding out what the spouses are doing.
And I mean, I’m also struggling. I admit that I struggle with how to phrase it so it comes out right when you want to find out about someone else who is clearly not the person whose work hasn’t been what has made these people move. But I just wish that it was more open and people were showing more genuine interest in people as people. Not only which company they are here with or how long they are here or where did they come from before and which grades are your kids in and blah blah blah blah blah.
But how do we do that? How do we connect differently?
Here’s where Claire and I left off.
Sundae: And there is this discomfort. Like how do I connect? What do I ask? And if we just learned how to do it differently if we were able to break free from these scripts we could go a lot deeper.
And here’s an example. I had the situation where I had a swim meet at the school and I had to rush from a client call to get there. And I realized when I got there I was actually an hour early. “Ah I could be working, why am I here an hour early?” And then I went and got a coffee in the parent room. And there was all this parent room complaining that I just thankfully don’t have to experience very often. But they were totally complaining about this and that. I thought, “God save me.” So I grab my coffee and I rush out of the parent room. And I stumble upon a group of women. And it was someone from India, someone from Israel, someone from the US. It was like four or five totally different countries and cultures. And the conversation, I asked I was kind of like late to the conversation. I said, “What were you guys talking about?” And they said that someone’s parent just passed away and of course you give condolences. And then we started talking about what are the grief practices in everybody’s culture? And we realized how similar these vastly different cultures were in terms of their grief practice. And then which ones were very different from that. And it was such a deep conversation which connected us. And that potential is there all the time we’re just not using it.
Claire: Yeah, I just think it’d be nice if we could all connect a little bit deeper with colleagues or otherwise. I find here, which is interesting, and maybe this is something that you might find interesting. There are a lot of female expats here that have brought their families, but they are the working spouse. And it’s interesting because those female working spouses will connect with me on a deeper level. Because I think we have that commonality of being a woman to woman. And that we probably have, I don’t know I like can’t stop talking. So that having the ability to talk to one another and to be connected by being moms or common interest or whatever it happens to be. I don’t find that to be the issue with female working expats. I find the experience is much more with male working expats right for and that’s me.
Sundae: There’s a gender divide, there’s the role divide, there’s role assumption. And you know what I also find with my clients? They are amazingly talented individuals and it’s all like secretly happening in the background. Nobody knows about it. I did a podcast episode about the way you introduce yourself says everything about you. And it’s like be proud of what your talents are, what you do and how you spend your time. And I also think it’s not just the obligation of the people who have the assignment to get curious about accompanying partners and ask better questions. I think it’s on the accompanying partners to also do a better job at sharing who they are and what they do.
And one of the things I’ve always said, I will not be an “accessory.” I hate it when you go to a party and the people do the things that you’ve mentioned. They ignore you. They don’t ask you questions and you feel invisible. And everyone’s, well depending on what kind of function it is. I’ll watch people and I’ll take them off guard like they’ll say “So what are you doing in South Africa?” And I’ll say “Well I have a location independent company and my husband works for ….” I’ll lead with that and I watch their eyes to see what they do. It’s up to us also to show up differently and create those conversations.
So really quick we’re going to do something called start, stop and continue. I’m going to kind of put you on the spot. Okay, I want you to think about what should people start, stop and continue when it comes to engaging with accompanying partners or as an accompanying partners at work and social gatherings. So what comes to mind when I say what should people start?
Claire: They just need to engage with them more. They just need, their accompanying spouses are so much more than just spouses. They are total badasses. And if we just gave them a chance to tell us who they were they would probably find out that they could either be really good friends with this person or that they can tap them as a resource. There’s so much more to people than we think and we don’t give ourselves a chance to get there. So I just think that they need to dig a little deeper.
Sundae: Totally and I would say the accompanying partners need to start showing up differently and sharing more about who they are and what they do and what lights your fire, no matter what it is. I don’t care if it’s “I love hanging out with my kids and baking something.” Like, I don’t care but just be proud, own it.
What about stop? What should people stop doing?
Claire: Just stop treating people like they’re invisible. That’s that. I just don’t like it when people treat anybody like they’re invisible. I mean that is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to, like you see a new mom walk in the coffee morning and she’s just standing there all by herself. Go talk to her, she is probably new. Or when you see somebody standing in a cocktail hour at work and they’re all by themselves, go talk to them because they’re uncomfortable, like that’s just not kind. So let’s try to include people in the conversation.
Sundae: And what should we continue doing?
Claire: I think we just need to continue to try and be open and willing to try new things. Which means to engage with other people. I don’t know. I just think it’s all about the same to me. I guess start, stop and continue is just it’s all connected somehow. And I think that we really just need to be aware of what’s going on in the conversations that were engaging in and be much more conscious of how we’re making other people feel. How the conversation is going. And if you can do that maybe maybe you won’t make people feel like they’re not somebody that nobody wants to talk to at the cocktail hour.
Sundae: I mean, here’s the thing. I’m going to just be really straight about it. This is beyond party fouls. This is about how are we showing up in our community? How are we connecting with others? What does this mean from a gender socialization perspective? What does this mean when it comes to power dynamics? And an invitation to say let’s do it differently. Another thing I have to say is, as expats we often feel isolated. You see some memes going on right now because of the coronavirus situation where people are saying “Hey the next four years, I know how to self isolate.” I’ve got this, this is my jam.”
Actually because we’ve been through other crisis situations before I can say how important relationships are. And relationships are so important to building resilience. So we need relationships that are beyond the surface. We need relationships with depth, we need them just because we’re human, as expats we need them for our mutual success, I might know someone that can help you be successful. You might know someone that I can help become successful. There’s so much potential because we are international and so networked. Why aren’t we using it better? I see people who do it really well and I see people who don’t tap into that potential. So especially during times of crisis those relationships that have gotten deeper, where you have connected on a deeper level are exactly the people that are going to be there to support you or you can support in meaningful ways.
Claire: Yeah, and I just thought of something that would be something that I would want to continue, which is probably much better than my original answer here. But you want to continue to treat people with respect. So if the roles were reversed and this, you know Bob from accounting was the accompanying spouse and he was being treated like nobody wanted to talk to him. I think that we have to treat people how we would want to be treated, period. I mean we teach our children that every day. And if we can continue to treat people with respect that is gonna get us deeper into our conversations and to open up and create community and make something bigger than just those topical conversations. So I really think respect has to be part of it.
Sundae: And it’s something cognitive that we know but are we living it? Are we living it in our everyday thing? And I called myself out on other podcast episodes about, I was with Isabel Min in a podcast episode where I shared a story of how I resonated to people like me rather than going actively out and engaging with people who are different from myself. And after that conversation with her I was able to do it differently at the next event. So, we all know this, it’s about doing it. So as soon as everybody is stopping this whole exhalation. I encourage you to go out there differently. And the party fouls are just a way to talk about it lightly. I would also get curious about how these social interactions feel differently when you go in with the mindset of “I’m just going to go one layer deeper this time and see what happens.” So that’s my invitation to everybody about that.
Claire, thank you so much for coming on Expat Happy Hour and sharing your perspective.
Claire: Thank you, I have enjoyed it.
Sundae: You’ve articulated things that I think people really resonate with and I think the one thing that pops out across all feedback that I’ve heard from people is: One; we need to move away from these scripts and ask different questions. Two we need to make sure that our behaviors are not creating invisibility, whether you are the one who is not seeing someone or if you’re the one who feels unseen and you remain silent.
So there you have it. Party fouls made against accompanying partners. If you’ve lived this, much of this will not be a surprise. If you’re on the other side of the gin and tonic. Maybe these things are sounding familiar and make you want to do things differently.
So that’s my challenge to you. Mix it up. Ask different questions. Share more of yourself. Take a few risks. And jeez, let’s get beyond the scripts.
And I want to hear from you. I want you to tell me about your party fouls. Because these are things we need to talk about. We need to be aware of them so that we can change them.
So this whole episode has been about party fouls. It is just a taste of what real life is like for expats. Maybe something new to you. Maybe something that you know all too well.
If you are interested in supporting expats deeply. Then I want to remind you that now is the time to apply for Expat Coach Coalition. We are a mighty but small tribe of individuals who are helping uplevel how you approach your clients professionally. And the tools that you offer them as they go through the ups and downs of expat life. Check it out in the blog notes. I would love to have you.
You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Bean. Thank you for listening.
I’ll leave you with the words of Bruce Mau “The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.”
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