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Old 10.11.2014, 19:01
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Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

This, posted by Dougals Breakfast- on 'that' interesting thread, has got me thinking.

So who is an 'insider' or an 'outsider' - as I am just not sure what I am any more. Have I now become an outsider everywhere because I've spent significant periods of time in more than one place? Discuss (thanks).

Last edited by Odile; 10.11.2014 at 19:12.
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:11
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

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This, posted by Dougals Breakfast- on 'that' interesting thread, has got me thinking.

So who is an 'insider' or an 'outsider' - but I am just not sure what I am any more. Have I just become an outsider everywhere because I've spent significant periods of time in more than one place? Discuss (thanks).
I'm English. People say the English drink far too much. They do. Fair comment.

We should do something about it.

The French criticised our food. But it was awful. We did something about it.
Now it's great.

I say Americans eat too much. They'll think that's unfair though and I should keep my comments to myself.
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:14
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

'The Outsiders' was a cult book, when I was at school.
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:31
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

As a furiner married to a Brit, and mother of 2 British kids, speaking English more or less fluently- at what stage would I have been perceived as 'allowed or entitled' to criticise anything about England- 10 years, 20, 30. Once I'd got a UK Degree from a UK Uni and taught in UK schools, or never

Tom, now you live in Switzerland- are you abble to criticize some aspects of Swiss life without being 'jumped on' by the locals?
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:36
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

When I have to introduce myself every time I start a new French class, everyone oooo's & aaaaah's when I say I'm American. I feel like a novelty. One person even told me she prefers the American accent over the British one ( as if their is only one).

But at my son's kindergarten, I am definitely an outsider amongst the moms.
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:38
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

I have lived here for 41 years, as a Brit/Irish, i was at school here, i speak the lingo, i have worked here, i was married to a Swiss.

I am still a foreigner. People ask me silly questions about my upbringing etc. And it is a drag to explain and explain etc. over and over again.

When i go to Scotland where the family now live, i feel like a foreigner there. I almost get run over by cars, if i say thank you in a shop i get the evil eye, I walk down the street and say Hello to someone they look at me as if i am going to mug them.

I'm an inbetweener - I love this country with a passion, i stand up for it when idiots say stupid things to me about it. I also love my family and where they live and love to visit, but never to live there. And stand up for Britain when idiots say stupid things about it.

In fact reading this forum - i didn't realise it was so hard to get a work permit. I got mine at 18. I just thought they were easy to get. Sorry to all those trying.
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:38
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

But how long have you been here Amanda? I am talking about long-term here- as I lived in the UK for 39 years, totally and absolutely integrated there in almost every way.
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:41
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

I don't think you can just say you're an outsider.

Everybody is an outsider. Everybody is an insider. It just depends which way you're looking.

I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:48
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

I don't worry- I am interested though.

Immigrants so often feel as Patsy described- neither in nor out. You get used to it- but at times, it grates. In my case, the added 'complication' that after 39 years in the UK, I've now come back to my roots- and I often feel like an outsider here- as my life has been so different to theirs. And yet in England- where I had become more or less an 'insider'- having now left for 5 years, I've sort of become an outsider again- and yet ...with daughters, grandchildren, family and friends there... I still feel very much like on the inside, but from the outside. It gets quite complicated

Could you imagine what it would be like, Patsy, if you actually moved back home, rather than just visit for holidays?
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:53
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

Odile- I have been here just over a year. My point was that most people are really nice to me here, but the school moms won't associate with me.
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Old 10.11.2014, 19:56
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

I don't see it this way. I think that everyone is "entitled" to criticize, because what is criticism really, other than sharing one's opinion of something? Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

I believe that it is change that must come from within. Change can be a result of an individual or group recognizing on their own that the change is necessary or desirable; the recognition that the change is necessary or desirable can also be a result of criticism offered by another party.

So who cares how long someone has been someplace or whether they are "qualified" to criticize? The answer to whether the critic's criticism is valid or not is subjective itself; at that point the hamster wheel has turned a full circle.
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:03
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

Criticism imho is fine as long as it is positive and not negative.
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:04
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

Odile, no way.

It has been discussed in my family. My mother is 85 and lives on her own and is getting on great. And doesn't want me there..

Can you imagine a 51 year old woman who has lived all her life in Geneva going back to live with her mother in a flat in Edinburgh where you have to get the bus to the nearest shop? Let alone a pub.

We would be at each others throats after a week...!!!

Not forgetting, i would have to forge new friendships etc. Start all over. And even with the bravado of writing on here. I am quite shy.

You know that i am on the benefits system here. I'm not giving up on re-starting my life here. If i went there i would have have to start all the crap of being on benefits there, and it would probably take a long time. Especially with an Irish passport. I'm a foreigner!! In Scotland.
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:05
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

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Criticism imho is fine as long as it is positive and not negative.
isn't that praise?
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:14
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

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I don't see it this way. I think that everyone is "entitled" to criticize, because what is criticism really, other than sharing one's opinion of something? Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

So who cares how long someone has been someplace or whether they are "qualified" to criticize? The answer to whether the critic's criticism is valid or not is subjective itself; at that point the hamster wheel has turned a full circle.


Whoa now!


Are you proposing that a newcomer to this forum may have an opinion worthy of and equal to that of a "legend"?


I bet you think the Earth is round too...
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:17
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

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isn't that praise?

it can be but it is more when you criticise something and you can offer a solution.
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:17
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

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Criticism imho is fine as long as it is positive and not negative.
A bit of an oxymoron.

What do you mean exactly?
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:19
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

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it can be but it is more when you criticise something and you can offer a solution.
Ah, with my initial post:

Criticism: You Americans eat too much.

Solution: Try to eat less.

Is that what you meant?
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:19
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

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Criticism imho is fine as long as it is positive and not negative.
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isn't that praise?
I guess he meant constructive criticism/feedback.
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Old 10.11.2014, 20:24
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Re: Nobody likes to be criticised by outsiders. Criticism has to come from within.

Outsider/insider. Expat/local. I think the lines are far more blurry than that - and criticism can sting if you feel it's aimed at you, no matter where it comes from.

I feel like an outsider here, and after 12 yrs in CH, I'm an outsider back in the UK. I'd love to be able to say that I've gained worthwhile cultural insights that enrich my existence - and maybe I have - but most of the time I just feel tired out, unable to hit my stride due to frequently mis-stepping. I speak the language(s), have local friends, but still read 'that' thread with much interest.

Some people are sure to find this 'in-between' feeling invigorating/character-forming, which is great. I just miss feeling at home. If I have learnt anything, it is that I probably need to sort that feeling out, rather than try to move away from it. I have a feeling that 'home' is what comes from within.
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