Aren't stereotypes unfair? Like how the Americans are stupid, the French are rude, and the Spanish don't know how to read a room? If you want to make friends with people from other countries, especially if you're traveling to their homelands, you have to throw all your preconceived notions out the window! This is very important in Switzerland too. Don't just conclude that the Swiss are snooty and snobby just because of stereotypes you've heard from others and seen on TV or in movies. There are actually ways to interact and socialize with them in order to avoid such treatment!
Know That The Swiss Are Introverted
First and foremost, you have to understand that the Swiss are not snobby. Don't think of them as affectionate as the French
, as touchy-feely as the Italians
, or as passionate as the Spanish
. The Swiss are simply more introverted than other Europeans. They prefer to keep to themselves instead of being the life of the party. Many of them are also shy, unable to approach others due to their timid personalities. So when you feel like you're being left out, know that it's simply their introversion coming out. It's better if you approach them yourself if you want to get acquainted.
Respect Their Personal Spaces
When you do approach the Swiss, remember to keep a safe distance during your first introduction. It can't be stressed enough how introverted most Swiss are. If you act too strongly, there's a good chance they'll get turned off and you'll leave a bad first impression. And getting the chance to leave a second impression would be much more difficult. Instead, as Swiss social customs
dictate, simply say hello and offer to shake hands. Look them straight in the eye and offer a gentle smile to let them know that you simply want to become friends.
Be Patient With Them
Again, going back to how introverted the Swiss are, you'll need some patience when making friends with them. The Swiss tend to be guarded, especially with people they don't know yet. If you really want to get acquainted with someone, you'll need to approach them more than once. But at the same time, you wouldn't want them to think you were stalking them or anything like that, so when it comes to encounters, keep it in moderation if you can. Another great tip would be to learn their language. Since German, French, and Italian are all spoken in the country, you might want to brush up on the basics of all of them before you go here.
Do you know what will really help you get close to the Swiss? Sharing in their hobbies! If you have a certain interest, hobby, or passion you're pursuing, join clubs! The easiest, of course, are the sports clubs and leagues where you can play and bond over your favorite game. For social groups, you can find some on social media too, especially on Facebook! In this regard, it's good to start with fellow countrymen who are also in Switzerland. Then move onto international groups that speak English. Once your network is big and stable enough, it'll be easier for you to meet and socialize with the Swiss.
Go To Gatherings You're Invited To
Speaking of building your network—which is a great way to also find work in Switzerland too!—it's also smart to go to gatherings you were invited to. Whether it'd be brunch, dinner, or an elegant soirée, these sorts of events are your best chances to meet and socialize with Swiss people. When you do get invited to such gatherings, however, always arrive on time! The Swiss are particular with punctuality, and they're the same when it comes to social events as they are in business settings
. Never arrive later than ten minutes after the set time!
Give Gifts Properly
A major plus on your mission to socialize with the Swiss is to give gifts. When you're invited to someone's home, don't forget to bring them something as a form of appreciation for their invitation. A bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine will do. As a rule of thumb, don't give gifts that cost more than CHF 100.00. Although Switzerland is wealthy, giving luxury items as gifts can often seem gauche, as if you're flaunting your personal wealth. Now, when you invite someone over to your home, on the other hand, it'd be nice to give your guests a piece of your home country too. They'll remember that unique item and might want to get to know you better because of it!
Socializing with the Swiss is no easy task but it's not impossible! If you work hard in getting acquainted with them, you'll find that they're not as snooty and snobby as unfair stereotypes have made them out to be!
Do you still have problems socializing in Switzerland? Star practicing all these tips in your luxury home