The dos and don'ts of making friends in Dubai

Life coach Kelly Armatage shares her advice on making mates in the Middle East

Area Guides

Kelly Armatage says that to enhance a healthy and happy overseas experience, being able to attract and maintain functional friendships is paramount. For expats, relating to others can sometimes be challenging, since you can come up against behaviours that are different to yours.

Here, Kelly shares her dos and don’ts for attracting and maintaining successful friendships in the Middle East.

Let your shyness beat you. If socialising is an issue for you, just be aware of the fact that you have allowed shyness to be your comfort zone. If shyness has been practised as a habit, then the opposite habit of confidence can be practised too. Studies say it takes between 23 to 66 days to wire in a new habit. So ask yourself, ‘Would I like more confidence and social interaction?’ If so, a daily practise of confidence and networking with others over the next two to three months can create a whole new social life and relationship future.

Realise all of your great strengths. Are you loving, kind, funny, giving and compassionate? A great friend realises their amazing strengths and what they can offer to a friendship. As you have a realisation of all that you can give, you enhance your self-belief of being a ‘worthy friend’.

Have expectations of others. When we pressurise our friendships with demands, we create resentment and disconnection. Expecting someone else to fulfil conditions of yours means you’ve picked up a behaviour of controlling others to meet your requests, so you can feel ‘happy’.

Allow others to be who they are. An understanding of other people’s strengths and weaknesses is the most loving thing we can do. If they feel your energy of perfect love, a perfect love will be boomeranged back.

Be let down if others fall off your friendship path. Living as an expat will mean people come and go. For some, this might create a guarded reaction and fear of future abandonment. If others move away, we can still maintain great friendships via social media. Some friendships occur for a reason, some for a season and others for a lifetime. Working on maintaining a great friendship, despite any distance, can be achieved.

Have compassion for your own needs in friendships. Our basic needs are to be respected, supported and loved. Many of us operate from the belief that we need to over-give and sacrifice our needs. But in doing so, we attract toxic friendships that are unbalanced.

Run away at the first sign of conflict. As expats, our friends become like a surrogate family, which can occasionally cause conflict. If we have a fear of conflict, we can actually end up attracting conflict and miscommunication. Being in harmony with assertive communication can enhance our friendships and keep discussions from elevating into fights.
Kelly Armatage is the inventor of A.S.K. A Serenity Kit – a three-step subconscious re-wiring technique that promises to create a major change. The kits are available to buy at Jashanmal stores, various locations including Mall of The Emirates, Al Barsha.

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