What is the recipe for long-term happiness? One crucial ingredient cited by many people is closeness in their social relationships. Very happy people have strong and fulfilling relationships. But if we feel rejected by those who are closest to us – our family and friends – it can sour our attempts to master the recipe for happiness.
Bi-cultural people, who identify with two cultures simultaneously, are particularly vulnerable to this kind of rejection. A person can become bi-cultural by moving from one country to another, or if they are born and raised in one country by parents who came from elsewhere. For example, for a child born and raised in London by Russian parents, Russian will be what’s called their “heritage culture”.
Research has shown that being bi-cultural is a tremendously beneficial trait because it makes us more flexible and creative in our thinking. But bi-cultural people may experience their upbringing as the collision of multiple worlds. They sometimes face criticism for stepping outside the bounds of what’s normally acceptable in their heritage culture. This experience of rejection from one’s heritage culture is referred to as “intragroup
In the author’s ongoing research, they are looking at ways that people can cope and overcome experiences of rejection from their heritage culture. To understand this painful experience, other research has looked at whether personality traits, such as attachment style, can make a person more likely to feel intragroup
Insecurely attached bi-cultural people tend to report greater
Research has found that people who have a more fluid sense of
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