Discovery Phase: Social Impact

Social Impact is the measure of psychological readiness of everyone impacted by the move. We are essentially asking two questions in this process; is everybody on-board or at least aware of your move, and are these same people prepared to manage affairs after you leave? The measure begins with you and extends to your family, friends and groups that you belong to.

The Social Impact portion of the Decision Process does not address the psychological stress of the move, rather it looks to measure the preparedness of everyone that may undergo that stress. Once you’ve made the decision to start your move see the Assimilation Phase to learn how to deal with psychological issues.

  • You and your spouse: are you really prepared to begin this adventure? You’ll be starting over in many aspects once you move to a new area. You will be leaving old friends and making new ones, possibly even switching careers. It's quite stressful leaving your home, familiar neighborhood, restaurants, clubs, doctors and other groups. Be honest with yourself. Are you ready?

  • Children: a move in one way or another will impact children of any age. They are the most emotionally vulnerable of anyone in this process and their acceptance to move will vary by age, involvement in school and other activities. To better understand their concerns, put yourself in your child's place to measure the impact of his or her emotions when leaving behind a best friend, girlfriend, favorite shopping mall or varsity team.

  • Extended family: families are becoming increasingly reliant upon one another for assistance. Weigh the impact of caring for an elderly parent or family member that you leave behind. In addition to psychological concerns, physical assistance may be needed at some time in the future.

  • Friends: don’t under estimate the impact of losing that face-to-face contact with friends and neighbors. They will be impacted by the change as much as you will. 

  • Pets: a socially evolved pet, like a cat or dog, may undergo emotional distress as well. Fortunately, they are fairly resilient and will quickly adapt to their new surroundings, as long as there are familiarities for them in the new home. The worst part of the move for your pet will most likely be the trip itself.

  • Volunteer and other groups: charities, religious groups, clubs and other groups that you belong to will be impacted by your move. If you are an active member of a board or committee be sure to give them plenty of advance notice to help in transitioning your role to someone else.

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Confronting Stress

Family and Spouse StressCoping with stress is arguably one of the most difficult parts of a move. Professional studies have shown that moving from one geographic location to another is in the top five most stressful events in life.*