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  #81  
Old 05.09.2016, 18:41
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Same for me. It is still very difficult after three years. Perhaps it is more easy to make friends in the Italian or French part ?
Yeah. Even the bartenders (supposedly the friendliest people on earth) here are cold! Unfortunately moving down south isn't an option because of work. Shouldn't it be better in Basel though?
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  #82  
Old 05.09.2016, 19:09
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Same for me. It is still very difficult after three years. Perhaps it is more easy to make friends in the Italian or French part ?


Not really.
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  #83  
Old 05.09.2016, 20:02
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

My Swiss 'friends' never hesitate to call me! - to ask for favors, borrow tools or car, etc. I'm compensated with empty promises of future dinner dates that never take place. Ask them for a favor and I get told yes but it never happens...

Oddly starting to feel like i'm getting jaded about being nice. Maybe if I charged them?

There's a strange Swiss mentality about friendship IMO. A few years back I helped a guy turn his old attic into a whole new flat. We worked together on it for quite some time. We got along well, and I considered us to be friends of sorts. When it was finished, he was going to throw a few housewarming aperos. One for the workers, and one for the friends. One day he told me about it, and said in a funny, very formal way 'and i've decided you should come to the 'friends' apero!', lol. So strange to me - like he'd put a lot of thought into announcing to me that our relationship meant enough to him that he would consider us friends. And then he just stood there, as if expecting a torrent of gratitude and a big hug.

A really nice guy, wrapped in a strange cultural mindset. Since that apero, i've invited him over a few times but nothing's come of it...
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  #84  
Old 05.09.2016, 20:45
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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I've met a few lovely Swiss people during my travels around the world and they always say to contact them when I'm in Switzerland. So I did, when I moved here (Swiss-German area). What I found is that when they return to Switzerland, they automatically become closed off again. I've contacted a few of them but they never made an effort to meet up. Same as friends I've met here. You go out, have a great time and then you cease to exist. They will "invite" you to their dinners, parties etc on the first meeting itself, take you number, set the date, then go quiet. It Kinda feels like a dating game, except in this scenario, there are no romantic involvements and the three-day rule lasts for the next decade.

I've also met a Swiss-born Greek/Spanish lady in the plane who did say the same happens to her and that all her friends are Swiss-born "minorities" and they are not accepted by the locals even being Swiss themselves.

So all in all, it is challenging to have friends who you can just call and hang out, have a coffee or a beer with anytime over here. The only social life I have is with my partner and flying back to Spain and Asia to meet up with real friends occasionally!
Yes, I think there is a difference between this kind of invitation here, or elsewhere. In some other countries, a general invitation to "our party on Saturday" means that we'll be home on Saturday, and it'd be fine if you also joined us, together with whomever else turns up then. There is not necessarily a fixed starting time, let alone an ending time, nor a format of how the evening will run. The guest doesn't have to make much of a commitment (unless the invitation is specifically issued with an RSVP), can decide on the evening, and the host doesn't necessarily go to as much trouble providing for the guests as a Swiss host would.

I've found that if the Swiss person says: "Would you like to come to place x at time y for event z?" then the invitation definitely stands, and the host expects a full decline, or full acceptance and then the guest really showing up at that specified time. The host will not disappoint the guests!

There seems to be a difference, too, in the quality and quantity of the first few meetings. In more spontaneous cultures, if you've met someone once, you can easily invite them over to your home for supper. In Switzerland this can be considered pushy, and too much In One's Face. It is much more common to meet somewhere out, neither your home nor theirs, in a café or a pub.

One of the advantages of this is that it lowers everyone's expectations, and - from the perspective of Swiss hosts who typically go to a lot of trouble for guests to their homes, and cook and clean and prepare activities - is altogether much less effort. Meeting just for a drink leaves everyone under less pressure, as both parties are free to have a litte chat, but then leave after an hour. For a Swiss person, this can feel like a huge relief. Getting away, and having time to think through the encounter, can build security. That leaves room for another meet-up again, after a few weeks, in another café, for an hour or so. On the third meeting in the same format, one can then extend the time by suggesting going for a walk, after coffee.

What is considered awful is an overwhelming enthusiasm for all sorts of options, along the lines of we could go... waterskiing, hiking, to movies, on a language course, dancing, etc., etc., together, or suggesting any regular commitment. To a more conservative Swiss person, such things can feel like pressure, and not simply like a happy list of possibilities which could be declined or accepted freely.

In some cultures, it is fine to ask people one has only just met about their work and personal lives. "Are you married? Do you have children? How many? Oh, none... why not? Are you happy in your job? Do you earn enough?"
In Switzerland, such questions might come much later, when one has decided whether or not to have contact. It is best to start with other questions, less intimate questions. "Did you hear that they're planning to build a bridge/tunnel/building...? Have you ever been to Spain? Where did you learn such good English? Did you go to the Zürifäscht (something in the past, and not in the near future)? Could you please tell me your thoughts on travelling to Vienna?"

In fact, asking personal questions too soon, or conversely volunteering too much such information about yourself, or laying your whole life (or worse, that of your work colleagues, neighbours, siblings, parents, partner or child) out on display, can cause fear. The fear is not of you, per se, but of getting involved too quickly, and too deeply. Discretion, delicacy and caution are much esteemed, and if you are deemed to be loose-tongued, this can quickly be seen as equivalent to being untrustworthy.

Swiss people travelling abroad are often amazed at the speed with which they are welcomed and included into the lives and events of the local people. Part of that inclusion has to do with the way the other culture works, but part also to do with their being a novelty (the interesting, perhaps single, perhaps wealthy, foreigner) while they are there. When they return home, they re-adapt and - as do many people - within minutes they've slipped, as it were, through a magic door, and are immediately speaking (and in many cases behaving) just as they did before they left.

If you're making contact with Swiss people you met abroad, then go slowly. Don't ask them over to your place, don't ask to visit them. In any case, unless you have been told that it is normal and fine, don't ever visit people unanounced, i.e. without first arranging it by phone.

At the start, ask them if they'd like to meet for coffee. Be ready for the Diary Effect (diary in the sense of appointment book, not in the sense of feelings-journal), i.e. that they say "Yes, how about Thursday after next?" when you might have been thinking "this evening after work". Just take the time they say, that works for you. Make it a café near a major public transport stop, so it is easy to reach and most especially easy to get away from. Once you've met, and spent and hour or two together, thank them and leave. Wait a week, and write a mail saying how nice that conversation had been, and thanks for explaining about the ships on the Bodensee. Then wait. After two or three weeks, phone or mail to meet again. Ditto Diary Effect. Repeat.

Be reliable. Be gentle. When you see them, do not spend the time moaning about Switzelrand. Don't brag. If you earn what is known an an expat salary, don't let this be seen, as many Swiss people earn less. In fact, better not to talk about money at all.

Make sure you keep your own appointment diary thoroughly, so that if they suggest a specific time you will see at a glance whether or not you are free. Don't say: "Oh, I'm free every day of the week, any time you say," because this could hold the implicit threat that you are focussing entirely on them, while they are just wanting to get to know you slowly. The point is not to put them off before they've even gotten started.

At this Diary Effect pace, meeting three times, each for an hour or two, could take about two to six months. Eek?! Don't dispair. Remember, after all, that you can do this with several people parallel. Build each relationship slowly. Perhaps it's a bit like gardening. This way you - and they - get a chance to weed out the mismatches. And for those who stay, the flowers can be beautiful!
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  #85  
Old 05.09.2016, 20:53
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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A few years back I helped a guy turn his old attic into a whole new flat. We worked together on it for quite some time. We got along well, and I considered us to be friends of sorts. When it was finished, he was going to throw a few housewarming aperos. One for the workers, and one for the friends. One day he told me about it, and said in a funny, very formal way 'and i've decided you should come to the 'friends' apero!', lol. So strange to me - like he'd put a lot of thought into announcing to me that our relationship meant enough to him that he would consider us friends. ...
Yes, you're right. He probably did exactly that: put a lot of thought into the matter of whether or not he regarded you as a friend, whether he wanted you as a friend, and his announcement would have been a bold and earnest moment.
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  #86  
Old 05.09.2016, 21:05
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Hesse wasn't a visitor, he was a naturalised Swiss who spent most of his life here!
...
Hesse was a Swiss by his mother's family.
Only that claiming Württemberg citizenship for scholarship reasons he lost the Swiss one.


Anyhow, I find amazing that everybody here in this forum is so aware of all his acquaintences' origins and passports. Personally, I count myself happy that I'm able to quote those of my close friends and my family. Which is a thing I consider normal. I couldn't care less about those of somebody I met on a vacation or the guy on the other side of the street.
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Old 05.09.2016, 23:22
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Yes, I think there is a difference between this kind of invitation here, or elsewhere. In some other countries, a general invitation to "our party on Saturday" means that we'll be home on Saturday, and it'd be fine if you also joined us, together with whomever else turns up then. There is not necessarily a fixed starting time, let alone an ending time, nor a format of how the evening will run. The guest doesn't have to make much of a commitment (unless the invitation is specifically issued with an RSVP), can decide on the evening, and the host doesn't necessarily go to as much trouble providing for the guests as a Swiss host would.

I've found that if the Swiss person says: "Would you like to come to place x at time y for event z?" then the invitation definitely stands, and the host expects a full decline, or full acceptance and then the guest really showing up at that specified time. The host will not disappoint the guests!

There seems to be a difference, too, in the quality and quantity of the first few meetings. In more spontaneous cultures, if you've met someone once, you can easily invite them over to your home for supper. In Switzerland this can be considered pushy, and too much In One's Face. It is much more common to meet somewhere out, neither your home nor theirs, in a café or a pub.

One of the advantages of this is that it lowers everyone's expectations, and - from the perspective of Swiss hosts who typically go to a lot of trouble for guests to their homes, and cook and clean and prepare activities - is altogether much less effort. Meeting just for a drink leaves everyone under less pressure, as both parties are free to have a litte chat, but then leave after an hour. For a Swiss person, this can feel like a huge relief. Getting away, and having time to think through the encounter, can build security. That leaves room for another meet-up again, after a few weeks, in another café, for an hour or so. On the third meeting in the same format, one can then extend the time by suggesting going for a walk, after coffee.

What is considered awful is an overwhelming enthusiasm for all sorts of options, along the lines of we could go... waterskiing, hiking, to movies, on a language course, dancing, etc., etc., together, or suggesting any regular commitment. To a more conservative Swiss person, such things can feel like pressure, and not simply like a happy list of possibilities which could be declined or accepted freely.

In some cultures, it is fine to ask people one has only just met about their work and personal lives. "Are you married? Do you have children? How many? Oh, none... why not? Are you happy in your job? Do you earn enough?"
In Switzerland, such questions might come much later, when one has decided whether or not to have contact. It is best to start with other questions, less intimate questions. "Did you hear that they're planning to build a bridge/tunnel/building...? Have you ever been to Spain? Where did you learn such good English? Did you go to the Zürifäscht (something in the past, and not in the near future)? Could you please tell me your thoughts on travelling to Vienna?"

In fact, asking personal questions too soon, or conversely volunteering too much such information about yourself, or laying your whole life (or worse, that of your work colleagues, neighbours, siblings, parents, partner or child) out on display, can cause fear. The fear is not of you, per se, but of getting involved too quickly, and too deeply. Discretion, delicacy and caution are much esteemed, and if you are deemed to be loose-tongued, this can quickly be seen as equivalent to being untrustworthy.

Swiss people travelling abroad are often amazed at the speed with which they are welcomed and included into the lives and events of the local people. Part of that inclusion has to do with the way the other culture works, but part also to do with their being a novelty (the interesting, perhaps single, perhaps wealthy, foreigner) while they are there. When they return home, they re-adapt and - as do many people - within minutes they've slipped, as it were, through a magic door, and are immediately speaking (and in many cases behaving) just as they did before they left.

If you're making contact with Swiss people you met abroad, then go slowly. Don't ask them over to your place, don't ask to visit them. In any case, unless you have been told that it is normal and fine, don't ever visit people unanounced, i.e. without first arranging it by phone.

At the start, ask them if they'd like to meet for coffee. Be ready for the Diary Effect (diary in the sense of appointment book, not in the sense of feelings-journal), i.e. that they say "Yes, how about Thursday after next?" when you might have been thinking "this evening after work". Just take the time they say, that works for you. Make it a café near a major public transport stop, so it is easy to reach and most especially easy to get away from. Once you've met, and spent and hour or two together, thank them and leave. Wait a week, and write a mail saying how nice that conversation had been, and thanks for explaining about the ships on the Bodensee. Then wait. After two or three weeks, phone or mail to meet again. Ditto Diary Effect. Repeat.

Be reliable. Be gentle. When you see them, do not spend the time moaning about Switzelrand. Don't brag. If you earn what is known an an expat salary, don't let this be seen, as many Swiss people earn less. In fact, better not to talk about money at all.

Make sure you keep your own appointment diary thoroughly, so that if they suggest a specific time you will see at a glance whether or not you are free. Don't say: "Oh, I'm free every day of the week, any time you say," because this could hold the implicit threat that you are focussing entirely on them, while they are just wanting to get to know you slowly. The point is not to put them off before they've even gotten started.

At this Diary Effect pace, meeting three times, each for an hour or two, could take about two to six months. Eek?! Don't dispair. Remember, after all, that you can do this with several people parallel. Build each relationship slowly. Perhaps it's a bit like gardening. This way you - and they - get a chance to weed out the mismatches. And for those who stay, the flowers can be beautiful!

Sounds like a lot of effort which is one-sided. I rather spend the time and effort with people who respond as well. Seems kinda desperate if you're (you - in general, not specific) the one who's always making the first moves even after meeting a couple of times. Friendships, like relationships, require constant communication, and a "friend" who just contacts you if they need something or feel obligated to meet up isn't worth the effort.

When I invite someone over to my place for a meal, I will always send a message a day before to remind them or to see if there are any changes. It's just common courtesy, which I do expect the same from people, no matter what their nationality. It just feels like empty promises here when they invite you, no follow-ups, nothing. Probably the next morning, thinking to themselves ' "Oh Sh!t! I only extended the invitation because they were seating on the same table as the people I invited. I hope he/she doesn't remember and doesn't turn up!".

It just isn't the same here, with them pre-judging, judging and post-judging before they decide if you're worthy enough to be a friend. It's like one has to succumb and act they way they want you to act just to be accepted.
I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here I hope. Just giving my honest opinion on this exact situation and the difficulties faced by friendly people who just want an easy-going social life with no pretense.
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  #88  
Old 05.09.2016, 23:36
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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It just isn't the same here, with them pre-judging, judging and post-judging before they decide if you're worthy enough to be a friend. It's like one has to succumb and act they way they want you to act just to be accepted.
I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here I hope. Just giving my honest opinion on this exact situation and the difficulties faced by friendly people who just want an easy-going social life with no pretense.
You're right, it isn't the same here. That is part of the difference between "here" and "there".

Where on earth do you get ideas about exactly how and when the Swiss are judging you?

I'm sure you feel relaxed and unpretensious. Does this help distract you from how judgemental you are?
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Old 05.09.2016, 23:52
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Same for me. It is still very difficult after three years. Perhaps it is more easy to make friends in the Italian or French part ?
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You're right, it isn't the same here. That is part of the difference between "here" and "there".

Where on earth do you get ideas about exactly how and when the Swiss are judging you?

I'm sure you feel relaxed and unpretensious. Does this help distract you from how judgemental you are?
Hey, you seem pretty aggressive and offended. Please, before calling other pretentious, look up the meaning of pretense.
Am I judging them? No, if you read properly, I am giving my opinion on mY experience with the Swiss people I had met over the year. Again, scroll back to the other posts and read carefully before calling others out. Don't be s keyboard warrior for experiences you have not personally had and then being all macho about it.

Here = Switzerland as you will realize, looking at the main topic of this thread,
There = Other countries where we have not felt alienated.

Happy reading!
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Old 06.09.2016, 00:05
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Hey, you seem pretty aggressive and offended. Please, before calling other pretentious, look up the meaning of pretense.
Am I judging them? No, if you read properly, I am giving my opinion on mY experience with the Swiss people I had met over the year. Again, scroll back to the other posts and read carefully before calling others out. Don't be s keyboard warrior for experiences you have not personally had and then being all macho about it.

Here = Switzerland as you will realize, looking at the main topic of this thread,
There = Other countries where we have not felt alienated.

Happy reading!
You claim that your opinion is without pretense. I am aware of the meaning of the term. You are judging them. Judging is ok, just be honest enough to admit it.

I am not questioning your experience, but rather your interpretation of what it means.

It has nothing to do with macho.

You apparently expect Switzerland to be like where you come from. I didn't, I tried my best to meet Switzerland on its own terms. It is different from where I come from. Not better or worse, just different.

Switzerland is not everyone's cup of tea, and it is by no means without it's problems.

I can and have read your, and others, posts. You can be unhappy anywhere, the easiest way to achieve this life goal is to choose to be unhappy by constantly using the idea "wrong" where "different" would be more apt, at least for the first year, until you have the slightest idea of where you actually are.
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Old 06.09.2016, 00:12
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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You claim that your opinion is without pretense. I am aware of the meaning of the term. You are judging them. Judging is ok, just be honest enough to admit it.

I am not questioning your experience, but rather your interpretation of what it means.

It has nothing to do with macho.

You apparently expect Switzerland to be like where you come from. I didn't, I tried my best to meet Switzerland on its own terms. It is different from where I come from. Not better or worse, just different.

Switzerland is not everyone's cup of tea, and it is by no means without it's problems.

I can and have read your, and others, posts. You can be unhappy anywhere, the easiest way to achieve this life goal is to choose to be unhappy by constantly using the idea "wrong" where "different" would be more apt, at least for the first year, until you have the slightest idea of where you actually are.

You really are a troll. If you can't read that last line right, then there's no point in telling you how.

Again, did I mention in any way how Switzerland is not like where I'm from? You don't know where I've lived to judge. I don't expect Switzerland to be like other countries, I expect the people to be friendlier. Please stop reinterpreting other people's comments just to make yourself feel better.

No one said they were unhappy so, go to sleep old man and wake up happier!
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Old 06.09.2016, 00:19
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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You really are a troll. If you can't read that last line right, then there's no point in telling you how.

Again, did I mention in any way how Switzerland is not like where I'm from? You don't know where I've lived to judge. I don't expect Switzerland to be like other countries, I expect the people to be friendlier. Please stop reinterpreting other people's comments just to make yourself feel better.

No one said they were unhappy so, go to sleep old man and wake up happier!
So, you tell me I should read your post, which I did, and also responded to it. But since you don't like dissent you seem to think that you can quell that by calling me a troll etc.

You expect people to be other than they are. and you make this judgement of how they are after how long? How fluent are you?
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Old 06.09.2016, 01:06
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

@kikenz
I think of it as a socioanthropological exercise. Without knowing the specifics of those cultures, I presume that if I were in, say, some Asian countries, I might need to learn not just one but perhaps several different forms of greetings, just to be polite and show respect. If I immigrated to an Inuit territory, I'd need to understand when to do a certain type of kissing which I don't (now) think of as appealing, if I lived in a rural African village I'd need to learn the correct way of approaching the royal family just as I would if I were to visit Queen Elizabeth.

Of course, I'd automatically bring along my best version of my own good manners - as far as I think they're polite and friendly. Still there's a high chance that even though I meant well, I'd very soon discover that my particular version of what I considered obvious, natural good manners caused upset or offense within the new cultural context. And if it also caused people to avoid me, well, then I'd be interested in knowing what I was doing "wrong" in their eyes, and which aspects of my behaviour and speech I could learn to adapt.

My motivation would be partly so as not to be rude to or offend others (given that different standards apply than those I'd thus far thought reasonable, friendly, easy-going and acceptable as polite) and partly because I would like to find ways to be accepted and welcomed. Cracking that code is the way to start building meaningful relationships across cultures.

It is not obligatory to modify one's behaviour, and certainly quite possible to survive on the periphery of a culture. Many expats prefer that zone, and socialize there with other expats, with whom they spend at least some of their time comiserating about how unfriendly the locals are. Unfortunately, that just perpetuates the feeling of not fitting in and not being wanted or appreciated.

On the other hand, making just enough changes to ensure that, at the very least, one causes no offence, can open doors to really good experiences.
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Old 06.09.2016, 01:09
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So, you tell me I should read your post, which I did, and also responded to it. But since you don't like dissent you seem to think that you can quell that by calling me a troll etc.

You expect people to be other than they are. and you make this judgement of how they are after how long? How fluent are you?

Being friendly isn't a bad thing to expect from others, Mr. Adam Kerr. Stop being grumpy and trying to nitpick on someone else's experiences.

"It takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone and make a first impression.[11] Research finds that the more time participants are afforded to form the impression, the more confidence in impressions they report.[11][12] Not only are people quick to form first impressions, they are also fairly accurate when the target presents him or herself genuinely. People are generally not good at perceiving feigned emotions or detecting lies.[2] Research participants who reported forming accurate impressions of specific targets did tend to have more accurate perceptions of specific targets that aligned with others' reports of the target.[4] Individuals are also fairly reliable at understanding the first impression that he/she will project to others.[13]"

That being said, I spent much more than a mere second with Swiss people to type out my experiences here.

And my first impression of you is that you spend too much time on the computer. I don't think you're a nasty man, just someone who likes attention online. You could be a sweetheart to your wife, a good friend and a great teacher, but love to vent out your frustrations behind a computer screen. That's fine. Be you and have a good life -online and offline.

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@kikenz
I think of it as a socioanthropological exercise. Without knowing the specifics of those cultures, I presume that if I were in, say, some Asian countries, I might need to learn not just one but perhaps several different forms of greetings, just to be polite and show respect. If I immigrated to an Inuit territory, I'd need to understand when to do a certain type of kissing which I don't (now) think of as appealing, if I lived in a rural African village I'd need to learn the correct way of approaching the royal family just as I would if I were to visit Queen Elizabeth.

Of course, I'd automatically bring along my best version of my own good manners - as far as I think they're polite and friendly. Still there's a high chance that even though I meant well, I'd very soon discover that my particular version of what I considered obvious, natural good manners caused upset or offense within the new cultural context. And if it also caused people to avoid me, well, then I'd be interested in knowing what I was doing "wrong" in their eyes, and which aspects of my behaviour and speech I could learn to adapt.

My motivation would be partly so as not to be rude to or offend others (given that different standards apply than those I'd thus far thought reasonable, friendly, easy-going and acceptable as polite) and partly because I would like to find ways to be accepted and welcomed. Cracking that code is the way to start building meaningful relationships across cultures.

It is not obligatory to modify one's behaviour, and certainly quite possible to survive on the periphery of a culture. Many expats prefer that zone, and socialize there with other expats, with whom they spend at least some of their time comiserating about how unfriendly the locals are. Unfortunately, that just perpetuates the feeling of not fitting in and not being wanted or appreciated.

On the other hand, making just enough changes to ensure that, at the very least, one causes no offence, can open doors to really good experiences.
@doropfiz

Thank you for your insights and I understand your logic, however I would like to point out what I meant. I am with you in adapting to the local customs, as when in Rome do as the Romans.

What I see is that, even in other countries, they welcome you, make you feel accepted an are warm and friendly even if you may have offended them slightly. Especially in Asian cities, it's very easy to find a nice group of friends within the first week. They will call you out to join them or just check in on you every week. Of course, being arrogant, rude and having a superiority complex just won't get you anywhere around the world.

In my personal experiences, some of the Swiss I know, had visited me when I was living in Asia, introduced by a mutual friend. My friends and I make it a point to welcome them, show them around and eventually become friends. However, we are all in the same town in Switzerland now and I've only heard from one of them,with me making the first moves always. The others don't even bother. After the hospitality that I'd shown them, I am now a complete stranger. I'd even hosted dinner when I moved to Switzerland but that's not enough gratitude from them to consider me as a friend here. A few others I'd met were the same, we go out, have a great time, they take my number to invite me out and that's it. Zilch. Even when I do text them back to say it was nice meeting them. i guess maybe it's because I don't text again after that? But I do not want to be the one who keeps texting like a desperado.

I would like to make Swiss friends being here, but, it is tough as I mentioned above. You see where I'm coming from now?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 06.09.2016 at 18:07. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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  #95  
Old 06.09.2016, 02:36
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Hesse wasn't a visitor, he was a naturalised Swiss who spent most of his life here!

Speaking of visitors, you forgot Napoleon!

Tom

Als Sohn eines deutsch-baltischen Missionars war Hesse durch Geburt russischer Staatsangehöriger. Von 1883 bis 1890 und erneut ab 1924 war er schweizerischer Staatsbürger, dazwischen besaß er das württembergische Staatsbürgerrecht.[


by Swiss law he was fully Swiss but also Russian
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Old 06.09.2016, 02:44
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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After the hospitality that I'd shown them, I am now a complete stranger. ..I would like to make Swiss friends being here, but, it is tough as I mentioned above. You see where I'm coming from now?
anecdotes:

OH and I had our neighbor and his GF, whom we'd never met before, over for dinner. A pleasant but unremarkable evening. Months later we were out at a concert. Looked up and my eyes met with those of the GF, on the other side of a large, crowded room. Before I had a chance to smile, acknowledge her presence, etc. - she'd uneasily looked away.

Invited to same neighbor's house after first having moved in, was introduced to his WG housemates. First thing out of one of their mouths as we shook hands - 'I don't really like Americans.' I asked if he knew any, or had ever been there - no and no.

At a bday party for good friend of OH, introduced to another woman they grew up with in their small town. With a stern look on her face, she asked me what I thought of Americans. I told her my opinion honestly, starting with the bad and ending with the good. Then I asked her what she thought of the Swiss - blank stare, no response, end of conversation.

In each case, these were Swiss who would consider themselves at the far liberal end of the spectrum - but the reality is about as insular as it gets.

There's nothing like a Swiss welcome
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Old 06.09.2016, 02:49
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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anecdotes:

OH and I had our neighbor and his GF, whom we'd never met before, over for dinner. A pleasant but unremarkable evening. Months later we were out at a concert. Looked up and my eyes met with those of the GF, on the other side of a large, crowded room. Before I had a chance to smile, acknowledge her presence, etc. - she'd uneasily looked away.

Invited to same neighbor's house after first having moved in, was introduced to his WG housemates. First thing out of one of their mouths as we shook hands - 'I don't really like Americans.' I asked if he knew any, or had ever been there - no and no.

At a bday party for good friend of OH, introduced to another woman they grew up with in their small town. With a stern look on her face, she asked me what I thought of Americans. I told her my opinion honestly, starting with the bad and ending with the good. Then I asked her what she thought of the Swiss - blank stare, no response, end of conversation.

In each case, these were Swiss who would consider themselves at the far liberal end of the spectrum - but the reality is about as insular as it gets.

There's nothing like a Swiss welcome
If you give it 30 years and "integrate", you will be accepted for fondue in a local restaurant. Bingo! You made it!
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Old 06.09.2016, 09:21
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Hey, you seem pretty aggressive and offended. Please, before calling others pretentious, look up the meaning of pretense.
Am I judging them? No, if you read properly, I am giving my opinion on mY experience with the Swiss people I had met over the years.
Kikenz, thanks for your posts. Don't take it personally, I too find many posts here very aggressive and rude but I guess it's cultural - some Anglo-Saxon strange quirks.. I would have 0 friends back home if I talked to people the way EFers communicate with each other..
But hey, there are also tons of informative, funny, even interesting contributions once you get used to it. Nothing is perfect. Please, do come back and contribute more. :-)
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Old 06.09.2016, 09:52
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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When I invite someone over to my place for a meal, I will always send a message a day before to remind them or to see if there are any changes. It's just common courtesy, which I do expect the same from people, no matter what their nationality. It just feels like empty promises here when they invite you, no follow-ups, nothing. Probably the next morning, thinking to themselves ' "Oh Sh!t! I only extended the invitation because they were seating on the same table as the people I invited. I hope he/she doesn't remember and doesn't turn up!".
So you don't show up without a reminder?
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Old 06.09.2016, 10:27
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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It just isn't the same here, with them pre-judging, judging and post-judging before they decide if you're worthy enough to be a friend. It's like one has to succumb and act they way they want you to act just to be accepted.
I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here I hope. Just giving my honest opinion on this exact situation and the difficulties faced by friendly people who just want an easy-going social life with no pretense.
Exactly my thoughts... especially 'the way they want you to act' thing. Pretending to be deaf.
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