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De-bunking the Myth of the Perfect Expat Woman

Oct 7th 2015 at 11:31 PM

As an American expat psychologist, I see many expat women online who are living around the world. A familiar refrain I often hear is, ‘everyone else has it all together except me.’

The perception they share is that other expat women seamlessly manage their children’s perfect behavior, the social schedules of their husbands, their own active lives and look fabulous in the process!


Needless to say, I’ve yet to meet one of these women, but the myth dies hard. Expats in general seem to be died –in- the- wool Type A personalities. Expat jobs are typically extremely stressful and demanding, and perfectly suited to Type A people. Furthermore, research has shown that Type A personalities marry other Type A’s. And Type A’s not only want to be successful, they wantothers to see them as successful.

Many women, who are following their husband’s careers, have given up their own careers to live abroad. They may channel the same energy they brought to high-powered careers to their families and their life abroad.  They may appear busy, active and all knowing, yet inside feel they are not really valued.

Myth # 1:  Everyone has it all together except me!

Myth Buster:  No one feels like she has it all together.

The best way to bust this myth is to ask! Try asking another woman if she feels like she has it all together and you’ll see for yourself. And you just might make a new friend in the process.

 Expat Counseling and Coaching

Myth #2:  There’s something wrong with me.

Myth Buster:  Nobody is perfect.

As humans, we are by nature imperfect beings.  The problem comes when we expect ourselves to be perfect.  There’s nothing wrong with self- improvement, as long as we don’t judge ourselves. Try coming to yourself with a little bit of acceptance, even in your imperfect state.

Myth # 3:  I have to compete with the women around me.

Myth Buster:  We all have something unique to offer.

Slow down, take some deep breaths, and journal about what is unique to you. There are some ways in which you shine. This is true for everyone.  Focus your energy on one of these areas, and share your gifts. You’ll feel better, I promise!


If you’d like to book a free 30 minute consult with Dhyan, please visit

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