3 Key Tips for Introverted Expats 

16 December 2021

Stereotypes of expat lifestyles usually involve plenty of after-work social activities and networking events, but many expats may be introverts. 

Being an introvert doesn’t have to have a negative impact on your expat experience though, there are many ways for an introvert to thrive when on assignment. 
  • Introverted expats can be more approachable in social situations which means being an introvert can actually help you make friends faster.
  • Introverts are usually much more open minded which is essential when moving to a new location. Being open to new cultures, beliefs and experiences can help you to have the best expat experience.
  • Introverts often process information internally and think before they speak. This means they are often good listeners and observers that speak with intention.

That said, it is good for introverts to venture outside their comfort zone once in a while. Be it to make friends, to network with other professionals, to progress in their roles or to enjoy more life experiences. Here are some tips for introverted expats to make the most out of being on assignment.

Don’t pressure yourself into attending every event, visiting every attraction, or speaking to every person you meet in your new location. Instead set small goals for yourself that you can comfortably work towards while still reaching outside your comfort zone. These goals could be:

- making small talk with colleagues
- attending an event
- making plans for after work socialising
- presenting at work

These goals will be different for everyone. The important thing is that you are taking small, regular risks to improve your level of self-confidence that will help to enrich your expat life. 
Discovering a common interest or cause can help you to create a deeper connection with others. Do some research on events happening near you and become a member of a community of people as passionate as you are. Consider taking up a hobby you were already doing when you were back home or try something you’ve never had the chance to do before. This will give you the chance to interact with like-minded individuals and grow roots in your adopted home.

Having quiet time and spending time alone is important for some introverted people – it gives you a chance to top up your energy tanks so that you can be present in the different areas of your life. If you’re an expat who identifies as an introvert, it makes sense to take your time before you begin opening yourself up to others. Find the balance between your need to spend time alone and your need to make connections in your destination.


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