How to Deal with Family and Friends After Returning to India

Ah, India! A land where families resemble close-knit communities, and friends, well, they are the extended version of the same family.

But let’s face it – re-entering this social matrix after living abroad for a while can feel like walking into a masala Bollywood flick without a script.

Fear not, dear returnee! Here’s your guide to navigate the emotional landscapes of relationships in India.

1. Addressing the Overwhelming Love

Packed Homes & Endless Chatter

You just landed, and suddenly, your house feels like the venue of a Big Fat Indian Wedding, minus the groom or bride. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and family pets, they all descend in a loving avalanche. Remember, it’s their way of showing excitement.

Tips to Handle:

Set boundaries gently. Maybe schedule specific visiting hours or days. But also, indulge in some of it; who knows when you’ll need a family karaoke team?

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2. The Unasked (and Asked!) Advice

From Jobs to Jaggery – Opinions Galore

Every relative suddenly has a point of view about your career, your diet, your clothes, and sometimes even your sleeping patterns.

Tips to Handle:

Smile, nod, and sometimes just let it enter one ear and exit from the other. Occasional affirmations like “I’ll consider it, thank you!” can work wonders.

3. Rekindling Friendships

Catching up or Playing Catch-up?

Your buddies might be on different life paths now. Some might have kids, others might still be in the startup hustle mode, and some, well, are still figuring out which Netflix show to binge next.

Tips to Handle:

Set up one-on-one meets. Understand where they are in life and share your journey too. Real friendships will find their rhythm again.

4. The Never-Ending Marriage Talks

From Rishtas to Reception Planning

If you’re single and of a certain age, brace yourself! The matchmaking brigade is ready with potential partners, horoscopes, and sometimes, even wedding dates.

Tips to Handle:

Be clear about your stand, whether you’re open to it or not. Set expectations. And if all else fails, find refuge in humor and Bollywood song sequences.

5. The Cultural Re-adjustment

No, You Can’t Wear Those Shorts Everywhere

India, with its myriad cultures, has some unstated dress codes, especially in smaller cities or towns. Plus, be ready for the classic “In our times…” tales.

Tips to Handle:

Observe and adapt. It’s a balance of being respectful and staying true to oneself. Maybe rock those shorts at a beach or a casual cafe outing?

6. Money Matters & Loan Requests

You’re Back, So You’re Rich, Right?

Some might genuinely need help, while others might just see you as an NRI ATM.

Tips to Handle:

Stay empathetic but also set clear boundaries. It’s okay to say no, and it’s essential to prioritize your financial well-being.

7. Re-learning the Local Lingo

Wait, What Did You Just Say?

Regional slang, trending terms, and local pop culture references might throw you off initially.

Tips to Handle:

Indulge in local content – movies, shows, music. Engage in conversations without the fear of sounding outdated. A laugh at oneself is always a good icebreaker!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I avoid being overwhelmed by everyone?

Schedule personal downtime and communicate it. Maybe even plan a short getaway after your initial return.

2. How do I handle the guilt of saying ‘no’ to money requests?

Remember, self-care includes financial well-being. It’s okay to prioritize your needs.

3. I’m struggling to reconnect with old friends. What can I do?

Initiate regular meetups, be patient, and understand that dynamics change. Give it time.

4. I’m single and not looking to marry. How can I convey this without hurting sentiments?

Honesty is the best policy. Be clear, be kind, and reiterate your life choices.

5. How can I reintroduce myself into the local culture?

Engage in community activities, attend local events, and be open to learning.

India, in all its colorful chaos, offers a warmth that’s unparalleled. While re-integrating might seem challenging, remember every Bollywood story has its set of highs, lows, dance-offs, and eventually, a happy ending.

Welcome back to the motherland! 🇮🇳🎉🎬

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