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  #121  
Old 07.09.2016, 10:49
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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But have you spent all that time in Romandie?
I maintain that if you were to live in Romandie or Ticinio, your experiences will differ. Our social lives improved when our Romandie couple moved to zurich from Neuch. We suddenly were able to do things with spontaneity. Gone were the days where you needed to schedule a beer out...a month in advance.

Id wager that most people who have issues live in the north.
Yes, most of the 40 odd years in Geneva and Vaud. Some time in Sierre in the Valais. The Valaisans are really friendly and cuddly!!

I agree, i have never lived in the German part. I have visited.

I'd rather stay here!! From what i read, sounds like a gulag up there!! And i don't speak the lingo... i would be out of my depth. I'd become one of those shouting in English furreners!!

The only German i know is what i read on the labels on food, same with Italian.
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  #122  
Old 07.09.2016, 11:33
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

There are people who need to walk through the life with very positive picture of all, and they also quite often look for affirmation of this said outlook. There are reasons for this, and usually it stems from their personality deficits.

There are people who do not mind observing life with its unpleasant parts, living through, learning, sharing and laughing about it. (I suggest some books on Jewish humor, marvellous read)

Then there are people who think everybody is only out to look for themselves here.

Those mindsets obviously do not gel...so much.

But it is good to remind oneself that these are extreme views (and pretty unreal), ie - everybody here is amazing, great looking and only with good intentions and innocence, hospitality or kindness. Or - everybody here is a cranky, jealous, xenophobic or egotistic person.

I think one of the unreal, a bit delusional mindset is that mechanisms we used at home in human interactions will work anywhere we apply them. It is cute and false.

Does not one travel and move places exactly for the opposite?

Maybe stepping out a little - observing for a while is a good thing. Take the time to soak the notions in and analyse. Absorb the unfamiliarity. Deal with the unknown without needing this local support for a little. Not frantically employ the same survival we know from home (probably for egotistic reasons, anyway - integration saves cash, innit). This is not home.

I am not defending any particular culture or views here. I only think extreme way to perceive reality, absolute statements, have this uncouth tendency to thin one's thinking..to stop people from learning, adjusting well, getting the most from what they are experiencing now.
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  #123  
Old 07.09.2016, 12:01
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

I think it's down to so many factors that it's close to impossible to know how you will adapt or not to a given foreign country. Your culture, the culture you're moving into, the circumstances of the move, your personality, the people you happen to meet first...the list is endless. I also believe there are some personality traits which make it easier to adapt to expatriation (anywhere) and some that make it hard to move from your own country. It's nothing positive or negative, it just is.

I've lived in 5 countries besides my own, all had their positive and their negative sides. Switzerland is no better or worse, just different. Many people coming here are comparing their experience with the experience of being a foreigner in London or in American cities. On the other hand, I've lived in Singapore, where life is great for expats (loved it!), but getting close to Singaporeans isn't that easy. I've also spent enough time in Norway to know how tough it is to integrate there.

Personally I would probably struggle more in a culture where people are more forward in coming into your life, I would find it invasive. I would eventually adapt, but it's not really in my nature. Hence I'm very comfortable with the way things are happening in Switzerland. I meet people, they size me up, I size them up, and then we take it slowly from there.

Now about the good people on this forum. I've been here a while, I've never experienced anyone being mean with me. Sarcastic, abrasive, critical, but never mean (and I live perfectly well with sarcastic, abrasive and critical). I've received lots of very good advice, lots of more or less funny bullocks comments, learned a lot and had some very good laughs. I have strong opinions and I'm no pushover, on the other hand I've always tried to remain polite, friendly (albeit direct) and respectful of the humans on the other side of the screen, however far out I may think they are at times. When I find something I really don't agree with, I just move on; I don't HAVE to reply or get involved in the discussion even if it's there. Possibly this affects how people react to my postings and explains why I have nothing to complain about. As someone wrote earlier, after a while, you have your "personality" on the forum and people react accordingly.

Plus remember that not everyone here is a native speaker (I'm not), and the native speakers have a different command of the different language levels than we do. A sarcastic comment can easily be interpreted as mean when it's not.

Lastly there is the curse of immediate, anonymous communication, where you write all sorts of impulsive bull...t and press Submit without really thinking about what you've just wrote. People should sometimes reread themselves a couple of times, the Internet equivalent of "rolling their tongue seven times in their mouth before speaking" (as we say in French). I'm writing with the underlying assumption that I may one day meet each and everyone of the forum members (the world is awfully small), I find it an efficient filter to refrain from writing something I wouldn't dare tell someone in person.
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  #124  
Old 07.09.2016, 13:55
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Facts about expats that stop many Swiss being friends with them, in addition to their more insular nature:
  1. Many expats don't speak the local language with any proficiency despite years of living here
  2. Many expats are miserable and complain incessantly about life in Switzerland
  3. Many expats see their time here as temporary and as such make little effort to integrate
  4. Many expats are here permanently yet make little effort to integrate
  5. Many expats find it easier to blame the Swiss than acknowledge their own faults and failings
  6. Many expats are tools

That about sums it up.



She was perfectly polite, and you are the passive aggressive one, over-reacting as usual like the sensitive drama queen you are. *hands Urs Max a tissue*
Hm I love the moderation "more insular nature"... Not only they are "insulars", they also can freely do whatever to foreigners without really any consequences. For example, the "discrimination act" in the UK is not existing here. Additionally, Swiss only really opened to "others" since 2004... Or at least say that more or less since then, the migration of foreeeiiigneers (aka invaders) have increased significantly. Indeed with a set of visible problems for "them".

So yeah, I do understand that there is maybe mitigating circumstances, nonetheless the behavior of many and attitude toward legal migrants is appaling, imho.
Now as for your list:
  1. Many expats don't speak the local language with any proficiency despite years of living here. Not always valid, I do speak the local language and have issues from start. Same for a few colleagues and people I know.
  2. Many expats are miserable and complain incessantly about life in Switzerland
    Possibly, who was there first, the chicken or the egg?
    Also, is that related that Swiss people are extremely allergic to any forms of disagreement or contestation or comments against the saint rules or establish systems?
  3. Many expats see their time here as temporary and as such make little effort to integrate
    Not always true, and even for the one trying to settle, the journey is extremely difficult. Worse, one remains officially a foreigner for minimum 10 years in theory, more like 12-13 years minimum in practice (cf the Permis for Foreigners and associated rules, rights and obligations + the locals attitude)
  4. Many expats are here permanently yet make little effort to integrate
    Define integration + again who was here first the chicken or the egg?
    I would understand that some might have given up trying after being regularly reminded to do the wrong things, etc... There are some really really anal people here being extremely aggressive and tolerating any kind of behavior because some foreeeeiiigniaaaars have dared to break of the rule, even for the tiniest ones. Instead of either being relax, friendly, communicating properly, helping the invaders to integrate.
  5. Many expats find it easier to blame the Swiss than acknowledge their own faults and failings
    I do have many faults, nonetheless I still have to see any Swiss admitting their own faults and failings. Even ANY Swiss customer service, I never heard that (tax office, customs, communes, Fedex, Swiss online shops, etc...).
    And yes, I did wrote my firstname on a paper on the mailbox, I admit making a massive mistake. Was treatening me with a fine the appropriate action? Was reporting me in writing to the agency the best way?

  6. Many expats are tools
    Black and Decker?
    That would explain a few things

PS: I used many of my personal experiences here, yet I witnessed even many more of that on others. Just to clarify i'm not whinning on my own misery.
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  #125  
Old 07.09.2016, 14:09
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Hm I love the moderation "more insular nature"... Not only they are "insulars", they also can freely do whatever to foreigners without really any consequences. For example, the "discrimination act" in the UK is not existing here. Additionally, Swiss only really opened to "others" since 2004... Or at least say that more or less since then, the migration of foreeeiiigneers (aka invaders) have increased significantly. Indeed with a set of visible problems for "them".

So yeah, I do understand that there is maybe mitigating circumstances, nonetheless the behavior of many and attitude toward legal migrants is appaling, imho.
Now as for your list:
  1. Many expats don't speak the local language with any proficiency despite years of living here. Not always valid, I do speak the local language and have issues from start. Same for a few colleagues and people I know.
  2. Many expats are miserable and complain incessantly about life in Switzerland
    Possibly, who was there first, the chicken or the egg?
    Also, is that related that Swiss people are extremely allergic to any forms of disagreement or contestation or comments against the saint rules or establish systems?
  3. Many expats see their time here as temporary and as such make little effort to integrate
    Not always true, and even for the one trying to settle, the journey is extremely difficult. Worse, one remains officially a foreigner for minimum 10 years in theory, more like 12-13 years minimum in practice (cf the Permis for Foreigners and associated rules, rights and obligations + the locals attitude)
  4. Many expats are here permanently yet make little effort to integrate
    Define integration + again who was here first the chicken or the egg?
    I would understand that some might have given up trying after being regularly reminded to do the wrong things, etc... There are some really really anal people here being extremely aggressive and tolerating any kind of behavior because some foreeeeiiigniaaaars have dared to break of the rule, even for the tiniest ones. Instead of either being relax, friendly, communicating properly, helping the invaders to integrate.
  5. Many expats find it easier to blame the Swiss than acknowledge their own faults and failings
    I do have many faults, nonetheless I still have to see any Swiss admitting their own faults and failings. Even ANY Swiss customer service, I never heard that (tax office, customs, communes, Fedex, Swiss online shops, etc...).
    And yes, I did wrote my firstname on a paper on the mailbox, I admit making a massive mistake. Was treatening me with a fine the appropriate action? Was reporting me in writing to the agency the best way?

  6. Many expats are tools
    Black and Decker?
    That would explain a few things

PS: I used many of my personal experiences here, yet I witnessed even many more of that on others. Just to clarify i'm not whinning on my own misery.
Just to add balance to your post (and others), though. You repeatedly refer to "many expats" but then refer to "the Swiss" as a collective. Many Swiss are complete tools, too, but not all of them.

I know it's a small detail but I think this is where some of the misunderstandings and friction occurs. "The Swiss" are not one organism and I'm sure expats would be popping a vein if they were labelled as "all expats do xyz", or "none of the expats ever learn the local language".

Everyone's experiences are different. I've had people in services who steadfastly ignored the problem or wouldn't admit blame whereas others have been the first to approach me with an "oops, sorry, by the way...".

It just makes me cringe a bit when I see people referring to "the Swiss" as if it's some enormous ant colony with no mind of its own.
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  #126  
Old 07.09.2016, 14:24
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Just to add balance to your post (and others), though. You repeatedly refer to "many expats" but then refer to "the Swiss" as a collective. Many Swiss are complete tools, too, but not all of them.

I know it's a small detail but I think this is where some of the misunderstandings and friction occurs. "The Swiss" are not one organism and I'm sure expats would be popping a vein if they were labelled as "all expats do xyz", or "none of the expats ever learn the local language".

Everyone's experiences are different. I've had people in services who steadfastly ignored the problem or wouldn't admit blame whereas others have been the first to approach me with an "oops, sorry, by the way...".

It just makes me cringe a bit when I see people referring to "the Swiss" as if it's some enormous ant colony with no mind of its own.
Fair enough,
I explained earlier "many"...
It's true it's not the entire population, and it's also true that I keep saying no to stereotypes, generalizations, read my previous posts about that.

I admit maybe in that specific post I was not repeating again any of the above, quick shortcut, wrong impression, my bad.

Say I have observe these behavior from too many different Swiss people, including Swiss admins, Swiss services, etc...

So Yeah it's not every Swiss citizen, yet I have observe far too many, everywhere in most social interactions (admin, transports, bills, bars...).

Something which, in the UK, was much less visible, or more restrain to few people. I never heard any UK officer calling me an invader for example.


So even if it does not concerns every Swiss citizen, I am convinced from observations and experiences (mine and others) that there is a problem with locals anyway. Or to turn things around they can (and should) do better.

Right I have to rush now, it's possible I did not say everything correctly above, you get the overall idea.
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  #127  
Old 07.09.2016, 14:31
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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It just makes me cringe a bit when I see people referring to "the Swiss" as if it's some enormous ant colony with no mind of its own.
It's "them" for the Swiss.
It's "The Others", foreeeigniaaaars, straaangers daaangers, invadaaaaairrrrrs, "expats", etc... for the legal migrants. I don't even know how my call myself here, im not a local citizen, not really a migrant, etc...

its simplier in the UK, you're just another citizen with different origins, and the nationality thing is only relevant for limited admin tasks.

Here it's like a tatoo and needs to be constantly reminded. I should wear a red/white/blue armband to be clear

Yeah anyway, I agree about generalization, read again, I'm also against that. A quick mistake, it happens. I won't refer again to the Swiss as a whole and not as a colony of wasps
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  #128  
Old 07.09.2016, 15:19
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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In fact, I find that there are a lot of users here who show patience, giving out sympathetic answers, writing out tips and suggestions of how others might try to make their own situations happier or safer or more comfortable.
.
Yes, and the list is not short.
I'm just wondering, why our filters don't work online too?
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  #129  
Old 07.09.2016, 15:43
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Yes, and the list is not short.
I'm just wondering, why our filters don't work online too?
Greenmount, do you mean filters as in: learning to filter out the parts one doesn't want to read? Or some other kind of filter?
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  #130  
Old 07.09.2016, 15:55
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Greenmount, do you mean filters as in: learning to filter out the parts one doesn't want to read? Or some other kind of filter?
I meant filtering out those posts that are so obviously not meant to help (rather push some buttons) and focus instead on those who offer tips for adjusting, good humour and of course, a different perspective on all the drama. That is, of course, for people who can admit they were wrong when assuming certain things such as "things work like home here", and look for a solution to something that kept annoying them - i.e. not having Swiss friends.
So no, I didn't mean the parts that one doesn't want to read (unless they are very rude and unnecessarily hurtful).
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  #131  
Old 07.09.2016, 16:23
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

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Just to add balance to your post (and others), though. You repeatedly refer to "many expats" but then refer to "the Swiss" as a collective. Many Swiss are complete tools, too, but not all of them..
It was me who repeatedly referred to "many expats". He was quoting and responding to my tounge-in-cheek post.
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  #132  
Old 08.09.2016, 00:30
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Re: Making friends and influencing (Swiss) people

I suppose in the end none of this really matters. Just the other day I realized that I've never met all of my neighbors in the states and there are no barriers at all to speak of. After almost 10 years of home ownership I guess I only need to look in the mirror to see who is responsible for such low effort.

I had great friends in CH. Sadly i never had coworkers because I could never find work. I still cant get over the fact that in the states my line of work is rather in demand and commands a lot of respect. In CH...it was a useless novelty. Im sure if i had the opportunity to work in a real position, things would have been rather different.

My point, social isolation causes perception to get rather wonky.
I admit it openly.
But in all honesty...CH is not one of the warmest places ive lived.
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