Back to Switzerland forum

Why is it so hard to make friends in Switzerland??

Posted in Switzerland forum

Is it just me or is it really hard to find some people in Switzerland who are willing to make good friends with you (especially to foreigners)??
I've been there for only 6 months and I heard you need at least 3 months to completely settle down there so maybe I've been there just too short...what do you think?

Go to 's profile

Deleted user

  • Claudio Enggist

    posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    Vanessa, I don't think you have to worry, if you are willing to give it time and to learn German. But be aware that we speak Swiss German in Switzerland which is considerably different from the German spoken in Germany. Why is the language so important? Let's face it. Whoever comes to the UK without being able to speak English will have a lot more difficulties to make friends than someone who speaks your language.

    Swiss tend to be much more reserved than many other Europeans. This very often comes across as cold or unfriendly. However, I think it has more to do with modesty and a big need for privacy. You do not want to stick out of the crowd in Switzerland. If you do, there must be something suspicious about you. Hence, people rather hold back. They might first observe you a bit, before they start a conversation. If people feel inferior, they might less likely talk to you. This is a strong generalization, of course. At the same time Swiss also don't want to show their weaknesses. Hence, if a Swiss does not speak English well (and many Swiss believe they don't), they will be much more reluctant to talk to you.

    One way to get to know Swiss is to get active in your community, in an association, sports club or whatever interests you. Getting to know people at work is more difficult, as Swiss tend to separate work from their private lives quite a bit (again, this is often true, but not always). However, for all these activities, you need to know German. Hence, get started now to learn German.

    It takes a lot of time and energy to get to know Swiss. But once you do, you can make great friendships that can last for a lifetime. Once a Swiss opens up to you, it is because the trust you and they like you. That might perhaps be a lot different from what you are used to.

  • Go to Sonia smith's profile

    posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    I agree with Agostino. Swiss people are known to be un-friendly and cold. I think it is because they are not open-minded and they dont like change so they have a hard time dealing with foreigners in their country.
    A simple greeting can go a long way, many swiss refuse to do this. I have experience in my short stay here, that when you greet people they watch you like shit. In my country greetings are normal.

  • posted by Deleted user in Switzerland forum 

    Hi Matthias!
    Besides my personal experience, it's just what you hear all over the world! I don't know why Switzerland (and Germany too, you're right ;)) have a quite "bad reputation", with being described as cold and unfriendly and everything. It's a shame, as I think that most people who say such things, haven't ever been to these countries...

  • posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    Youre sure about that ????
    I mean , normally germany leads such rankings :) But Maybe not so many peoples visit germany and want to live there... not that I can understand this... but ... semms to be a little strange ;)

  • posted by Deleted user in Switzerland forum 

    Yes, maybe it's only a stupid prejudice, but you hear more negative things about the people from Switzerland than from any other European country! I wonder why it's like that...

  • posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    hmm.... its the second time for me in switzerland and I'm not having a lot of problems in that area, I mean its not cuba or mexico but its not such a great problem :)
    Be nice and patient;)

  • Liliane M

    posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    Hi Agostini! I heard the same story from many foreigners in Switzerland, so you're not alone ;o). Give it some time and some patience. The Swiss are not exactly open-minded when it comes to meeting new people, but ones you do get to know them you can makes friends for a lifetime!

Post a reply