Saturday, September 27, 2008

Making Friends...

As soon as I came to Switzerland I didn’t really know many people here and was very keen to make friends, especially as I came here alone without family. So I started going for many random events just to get to know people. But recently I found myself thinking… I’ve been so busy running around trying to get to know more people, but can I really call them friends, I often go to one of these events and talk to a number of people for a few minutes and often have forgotten even their names by the time I leave the party. I think that out of fear of being alone I have just gone to the other extreme, going for every event and party organised to make sure i meet new people, but not paying enough attention to the friends that I already have...

When we say 'How are you' do we even stick around for the response, do we really care how the other person is, or just asking mechanically? I recently found myself saying 'I'm good and you?' in response to 'Hi' that was when I started to think about how mechanical this has become!

To make real friends, you have to listen, pay attention and remember what the other person has said and build the relationship, so similar to improv... not just say something like a reflex action while thinking of many different things. Otherwise these friendships (can I even call them friendships) are on the surface and not deep, I've often wondered why I don't make the kind of close friends that i used to make at school, some of whom are still my best friends. .. I guess one major difference is that in those days we said what we mean and meant what we said…today we're so busy and we are often pre occupied...There's the TV, Radio, thinking of other things, we're bombarded with so much information...

So I decided that I should try to give more time and effort to my existing friendships, and really get to know the friends that I have made recently rather trying to meet so many new people, but not really know any of them.



Blogger Turtle Guy said...

I agree with some of what you've said - asking people how they're doing without really caring is a programmed action we all get into, sometimes even here in the blogosphere.

I disagree with the notion of putting a cap on meeting new friends just so that you can enhance relationships with old ones.

You can never have too many friends.

There's a blog you should read - Jennifer writes at Expatraveller on my blog roll - she's great, and has a wonderful connection with Switzerland. Take a read!

Glad to hear you're doing so very well!

Dave - that's my name in case you've forgotten! ;)

4:51 pm, October 12, 2008  
Blogger ipm said...

the other interesting bit are those dying to tell you all about themselves, but rarely ask about you...

nice post...

6:02 pm, October 12, 2008  
Blogger smiley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:11 pm, October 12, 2008  
Blogger smiley said...

Hey Dave, nice to hear from u after some time, ofcourse i haven't forgotten your name. Actually you've miss understood me, i'm not going to put a cap on new friends, just going to focus more on the existing ones!

I'll check out Expatraveller. Thanks.

Thanks IPM, yes i've come across a lot of those too!

6:20 pm, October 12, 2008  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Oh I see Dave recommended me.. Firstly, check out some of my expat links. You'll find that making expat friends is far easier than making Swiss friends, unless they are well traveled.

Swiss people in general do not accept outsiders into their lives. You must work at it for years before you are accepted into their realm of friends. This reason is mostly because many never move more than 20km from where they grew up. They know the same friends all of their lives and don't need to meet new ones..

Which canton do you live in?

I'll be sure to read a bit more..

Best of luck and thanks for stopping by!

6:45 pm, October 12, 2008  
Blogger smiley said...

Thanks I'll check out the links, I've met a lot of people through Glocals.
Actually i live in Geneva, but try to travel around as much as possible as it is such a pretty country.

6:48 pm, October 12, 2008  

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