When we first announced we were going to write a blog about our experiences as expats, a friend, and lady we admire greatly, laughed and said, “ You’re going to be so hated with all your pics of your fabulous lifestyle, I can’t wait for the comments!”
Well, to be honest, I couldn’t wait for the trolling to begin either. I love a bit of a trolling, I’ve been trolled by the best in my time, even by Jesus – or someone who said he was – and that was the day I thought I had truly reached the pinnacle! But sadly we haven’t had any fun with trolls so far, except for the repetitively boring copy-and-paste, doom-and-damnation, we-save-our-own-souls-if-we-post-this, god-botherers. Sigh.
Funny how human behaviour works. What our fabulous friend was really saying was: ‘Some people are going to be really jealous of you and your lifestyle, and they’ll have an emotional reaction and take it out on you because they can’t deal with it themselves’.
I’ve spoken to loads of expat wives who get this response from friends and family back home, or even from other expats. Passive aggressive comments like, “So you must all be rich now then?” (Well I would be darling if it wasn’t for school fees, brunches and the latest gym gear), or, “Have you come home to buy another house?” (Yeah, because with as previously mentioned honey, the school fees, brunches and gym gear hasn’t dented our saving plan at all), or, “When will you settle down back home, surely you’ve had enough of a holiday?” (Sun’s still shining here sweetheart).
All ways of saying, ‘I’m a bit/lot jealous and you need to stop doing what you’re doing because it’s making me feel insecure.’
And with the comments from other expats ‘living the same dream’ as you, it’s still jealousy but also a way to relieve the boredom. And gossip is the weapon of choice to relieve boredom. If it’s not gossip, it’s alcohol, and if it’s not alcohol it’s the gym.
So you’ve either got a toned mouth, liver, or body.
One of the reasons we decided to write this blog was to share the experiences we had as expats in a new country, how we felt, what we did, what the challenges were, what were the wins, so other potential expats could see what things were like to avoid/try/experience for themselves. Throw in a bit of parenting of kids in their early tweens for entertainment value, and you have Expat Wives, Busy Lives.
So here’s my advice on how to deal with the green-eyed monster of jealous cats:
1. Ignore them. This is my number one go-to. You have to remember whatever you are doing has triggered an emotional response in someone else and they want you to deal with it. It’s not your problem to deal with. It’s theirs. When you engage with these trolls it’s like wrestling a pig, you both end up covered in shit. And the pig likes it. Ignoring is not always easy I know, so…
2. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about your success and support you. They can be your comfort blanket, your bitch-session besties, your non-judgemental sponges. At the same time…
3. Surround yourself with busy people – they’re too busy doing their own thing to be jealous of what you’re doing. Be busy being busy. And finally, if you’ve really had enough of them…
4. Confront them. Jealous people are like bullies, and the last thing a bully likes is to be confronted about their behaviour. Be prepared for some cold-shouldering or for the end of what you thought was a friendship. But that’s probably a good thing. Am I right?
If you have some other coping strategies that work for you comment below, it’s good to share.
Or if you have some fun trolling stories, let us know about them. We’d love a laugh.
Until next time.
Love, Kat xxx