How Moving to a New Place Changes Your Personality

A lot of things change when you move to a new place. Of course, you get yourself a new address. You have a different set of neighbors to get along with. Your kids will go to an unfamiliar school. You may even find yourself wide-eyed in the middle of the night, feeling a bit uneasy about your new home. But there’s another change that people are not too conscious about when they relocate: personality. If you are the type to crave some peace but become more outgoing when you move to NYC, then you’re one of those real-life anecdotes the 2017 study from Journal of Research in Personality validates.

What the Research Says

The psychologists explain that people tend to adopt different personalities as they adapt to their new environment. In the report, the researchers studied the dominant traits in distinct geographical locations concerning attitudes toward relationships. For instance, they found that people living in New York are among the most anxious. Other studies support that New Yorkers tend to be less agreeable. They are quite the opposite of those residing in Utah, who are more pleasant and more engaged in building relationships. These labels may sound like stereotypes, but the researchers say that a lot of them are validated. When people move to new places, they tend to catch such prevailing traits, given some specific conditions.

There’s the “migration pattern” factor. When a place gains popularity for a specific thing—for example, being the go-to hub for creative geniuses—people who have the same bent relocate there themselves. This further reinforces the dominant trait of that place and encourages someone’s inclinations at the same time.

There’s also the influence of the environment. When a place has a long history of infectious diseases, people tend to adopt a more introverted personality to avoid catching people’s sickness. The typical weather and temperature in the place also influence the personalities of people living there. Of course, peer pressure is also a driver in personality changes. You embrace the temperaments of people you’re with all the time.

How to Get Ready for the Move

packing cardboard box

Moving to a new place entails not only contacting long-distance professional movers and relocation specialists. Your preparations should go beyond decluttering, packing, and loading boxes. You need to get yourself ready for some socio-emotional changes. You might experience culture shock as you meet personalities a lot different from yours on your way to the grocery or subway in your new city. It’s best if you can spend half a day in the neighborhood you’re moving into before the actual relocation day. Go to the local cafes and restaurants. Watch people. Talk to your future neighbors. You can also volunteer for some community events. These will all help make your transition, at least the emotional aspect, a lot easier.

A move does not only involve a new address or a different set of neighbors. It may change your personality, too. As you welcome that change, keep your mental and emotional health in check.

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