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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?

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  • Go to agirlingeneva .'s profile

    Are Swiss racist?

    posted by  agirlingeneva . in Switzerland forum 

    discussion going on here
    https://www.facebook.com/worldradioswitzerland?ref=stream&am
    p;hc_location=stream

    I've given up making friends with Swiss people. They are totally reserved and I feel some insecurity on their part.. like they are so scared all the foreigners will steal their jobs, future husbands/wives, cows, whatever... It's much easier making friends from any other country which is sad.

  • Go to Nati Per****'s profile

    I think that ...

    posted by  Nati Per**** in Switzerland forum 

    Hey to all,

    I read some of your comments. Maybe it's hard to get the situation if you're a swiss person like I am but it seems that some people are just really frustated and can't get over it. I think it's true that it isn't the easiest thing to make friends in Switzerland. Mostly because most swiss are reserved people and not as outgoing as maybe southamericans or other cultures are and this can be difficult but has nothing to do with being rude. Also I experience that it took me years to build a really deep friendship but I know that this friendships will last for a lot of time. Swiss people often like to hang out with this really good friends that they made and not go out in really large groups like in other countries. They value the quality and not the quantity of friends.

    So that are the reasons why in my opinion it is difficult to make friends here and it has (most of the time) absolutly nothing to do with rassism or being rude. I think it is easy to get into a group if you are in university ore schoolexchange here ( I never heard of someone who had difficulties to make friends in this situation) or maybe at work ( but it always depends of the team that you have). Otherwise if you are planing to spend some time here in switzerland I would recommend to start a groupsport or join other activities that give you the possibility to meet the same people for more than 2 o 3 times. By just going out and talk to people you'll get company for an evening or some hours but I doubt that this will get you friends that last.

  • Go to Jim Jackson's profile

    Clin, are you a white south african?

    posted by  Jim Jackson in Switzerland forum 

    Clint,

    you seem to be a frustrated while south African person . Who cares if you do not like the US!
    The US did indeed helped remove a white president from South Africa and helped Mandella !!

  • Go to canuck s's profile

    no obligation to be friendly

    posted by  canuck s in Switzerland forum 

    Ok, so now it's been mentioned that the swiss shouldn't feel obligated to be friendly. But why not? Wouldn't the world be much nicer if people were nice to each other and gave each other a genuine smile instead of the customary and in my opinion ingenuine "gruezi"? I'll give you all a concrete example of a situation that happened to me just last winter. The post lady buzzed (I live on the third story) and called me down to sign for the mail. I told her through the intercome "chumme grad" ad buzzed her in, in case she wanted a few minutes respite from the cold. No bad intentions, it is in my (canadian) nature to be friendly, it' what we do in Canada too. Once at the bottom she started reeming me out that she was not a delivery service (?ok...) and wasn't going to walk up the stairs. I explained I was just trying to be nice and wanted to give her the chance to warm up if need be. Oh, it's not that cold out, she snarked, (cold being a matter of personal persepective...and i see many Swiss complaining when it's minus 5) that's just an excuse you lazy foreigner. So she was not ONLY being xenophobic but also blatantly racist. Keep in mind there is a fine line and it's pretty easy to jump from xenophobia to racism. I told her again I was just trying to be nice, but she obviously didn't believe me. I've been here 5 years now, I think I pretty well know that I have to go downstais to get the mail. I am not an idiot, I speak both languages, high german and swiss german, and I told her in her own god damn language that i would be right down. This is just an example, a stupid trivial one, but nonetheless. Now you say the (Post) man is not obligated to be friendly, but wouldn't it have been easier for her to say in a kind tone no that's ok, i didn't need to warm up? But no, Swiss people are rude and prejudiced and always see the bad in foreigners. The Gemeinde even once told me that Canada "sollte sich anpassen" to Switzerland because Switzerland has the larger population.......now if you don't see the error in his statement, you are beyond help. We could also talk about train boarding ettiquette, Swiss are so damn afraid the train is gonna take off without them they have to push to the front, I take a step back to allow the lady with the baby carriage through, only to get stepped over by 4 other people. Seriously, maybe Canadians are TOO nice, but the Swiss don't have to consistenly be such a bunch of inconsiderate asshole. BUt that has nothing to do with making friends, so I digress.

    In closing I'd rather have a few superficial friends that I could go to coffee with and at least have a chat than waiting 10 years for my friend for life. I hope I can make it out of there by that time, anyone who would like to donate to the cause feel free. I've met tons of people here, but they are all too busy with their own village clique and are unwilling to invest in new friendships and aren't willing to travel more than 5 minutes to meet someone. Close minded village attitude. You can say what you want, but it's the truth. Isn't that why the Swiss even call themselves "die klein karrierte Schweiz"?

  • Go to Clint Bem's profile

    agirlin..

    posted by  Clint Bem in Switzerland forum 

    "And Swiss people don't seem to like Swiss people.. if this is not the case, how do you explain the large percentage of Swiss people married to non-Swiss people?"

    Doesn't this go against what your (or certainly Jim's) whole argument is?

    Also, I think what you say about it being hard to make friends besause of the meeting once thing is absolutely true for most places. My wife was there with me but didn't work (was writing) and, when I think about it, all but one of the good friends we made were through me. But then she became very good (lasting) friends with our neighbours.

    By the way. I think you are all using the term "Racist" when you mean "Xenophobic".

  • Go to Clint Bem's profile

    Friendliness Requirement

    posted by  Clint Bem in Switzerland forum 

    Also, I must ask the question, is there any good reason that the Swiss should be so friendly to foreigners (unless at least you attempt to be one of them)?

    Things seem to work pretty well for them. They are rated in the top five of virtually every best quality of life, etc survey. No matter what you believe, they are really not an unhappy people from their own perspective (certainly not more so than any nationality). As I said, things have been good there for a LONG time. Chances are that foreigners might well mess that up (at least if they don't properly integrate).

    It's probably best to go there with the acceptance that they are under no obligation to be friendly. I also had pretty darn bad experiences with immigration, etc. but isn't that often the case virtually everywhere?

  • Go to Clint Bem's profile

    .

    posted by  Clint Bem in Switzerland forum 

    Yes, I am friends with several Swiss. One who I consider one of my best friends since I met him / worked with him when I lived in Germany. Several who I keep in contact with from when I stayed in St. Gallen (mostly through work, or who I met through people I knew through work). Another two good Swiss friends who live here in South Africa and who I met through old friends here.
    I suppose the fact that I was based at a university there might change things a bit. But there's no way it's as different as what some of you, especially Jim state. At least not if you try - which I really did do.

    Oh, there was another guy who's whole group of friends I became very friendly with while I was there (have lost contact with them since). I literally met him in a bar. I was on my own, had just got there, and just started talking to him out of the blue. Next thing I had a whole group of friends inviting me on motorbike adventures, skiing, etc. - which I gladly accepted.

    Maybe I'm just really lucky!

  • Go to agirlingeneva .'s profile

    .

    posted by  agirlingeneva . in Switzerland forum 

    Well if you think the Swiss are so great why don't you share some of the ways you've befriended one/some? Are you married to one?

  • Go to Clint Bem's profile

    .

    posted by  Clint Bem in Switzerland forum 

    It has to do with:
    (a) The Swiss people are possibly the way they are (significantly different to Americans) because their culture has developed in a very different manner; one that has been successful over centruies without much aid from the sources I mention the US has had aid from.
    (b) Switzerland and the US seem to have been repeatedly compared in this thread and I thought I'd add my opinion.
    (c) Maybe it is Americans who should be learning from the Swiss, and adapting to a more Swiss type culture rather than expecting it to be the other way around.

  • Go to agirlingeneva .'s profile

    .

    posted by  agirlingeneva . in Switzerland forum 

    What does that have to do with the topic?

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