Doctor Love: Go Slow, or Go Home?

Monday, May 25th, 2020

Dear Doctor Love,
I made friends with a woman who moved here about seven years ago and she becomes unhappier every day. She has grown hyper-critical of everything and everybody. If something happens that she doesn’t like she begins a rant about how it should have been done. This involves talking down to people and really treating them badly, especially clerks and tradespeople. Electrical outages, water shortages, limited availability of imported items, parking, traffic—any slight inconvenience sets her off. Very often I’m put into a situation where I have to apologize for her attitude and I worry that people will think I feel like she does.
I want her to see that no place is perfect and that living in Belize is not like living in Florida. How can I help her understand that the world will not change to accommodate her and that her problems do not make her special?
/s/Go Slow

Dear Go Slow,
Not everyone is cut out for life in Belize and it’s possible that your friend falls into that group of people. Seven years is plenty of time to adjust to the little aggravations of living in a country that is still developing, especially as keeping up with the influx of tourists and newcomers means an over-stressed infrastructure. It’s not perfect by any means, but the little aggravations are nothing compared to the unique qualities that makes Belize so amazing. If she is finding it more difficult to accept the daily ins-and-outs of life down here it might be time for her to rethink her choices there because it doesn’t seem to be the right place for her. Some people genuinely cannot just ‘Go Slow’.
If you want to get to the bottom of her angst you will have to make her dig a little deeper. There is something bigger affecting her personality and it may help her to understand what she is really upset about. Fear is often the underlying cause of aggression. Is she worried about her future—like her healthcare or finances? Is she depressed or lonely?
Once she is honest about what’s really bugging her, she can look at the problem and change her approach to it. Her attitude would change and she can again enjoy life in Belize.
If she can’t fix the underlying problem she should consider repatriating back to her homeland.
In any case, you don’t have to apologize for her and if her rude behaviour continues you might want to rethink how much time you spend with her. Toxic people tend to spread their venom and you don’t want to start feeling down yourself.


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