• Sweden edition
 
The comments below have not been moderated in advance and are not produced by The Local unless clearly stated.
Readers are responsible for the content of their own comments. Comments that breach our terms and conditions will be removed.
3 Pages V   1 2 3 >   Reply to this topic

How can I meet people/make friends?

New in Sweden and feeling isolated!

lolberrybush
post 25.Sep.2012, 09:38 PM
Post #1
Joined: 25.Sep.2012

Hi,

I moved to Gothenburg 7 weeks ago and have a 5 week old baby. My local BVC haven't been very helpful in general and I'm a little afraid of the woman I see there! I'm worried about going to 'mummy groups' because my Swedish is limited and I know people don't always like speaking English. So basically I'm worried me and my son will be ignored.

How did you make new friends when moving here from England? Any advice would be appreciated! It's scary being in a new country with a new baby and relying so much on my other half and his family!

Thanks!

Laura
Go to the top of the page
+
Garry Jones
post 26.Sep.2012, 05:30 AM
Post #2
Joined: 20.Feb.2005

> How did you make new friends when moving here from England?

Blimey you really are new here aren't you dear...

Well let's say if you ever find out then you can let us know.

I have lived here for 25 years. I have ZERO friends. Absolute ZERO.

Of course I know a lot of people but a real mate? Someone that you can rely on? Someone to watch your back? Someone to be willing to give and take an equal amount from a friendship? No. Never found that. Been let down plenty of times though. My take on the Swedes I've met would be at best "Timid Fence Sitters", at worst "Backstabbing Snides".

And I've put myself in the mix. I am president of Dalarna Cycling Federation. I spent 4 years on the board of the Swedish Cycling Federation. I've spent years travelling around. Is it just me? Well, these last 6 years I have been going to Misano, Rimini in Italy. I get invited home to people more there than ever in Sweden. I have some great friends there. I left my job in the UK in 1988 but I still have more work mates there than I ever have had in Sweden.

I have nigh on 1000 Swedes as Facebook friends. (Not that I am famous but a lot of the Swedish cycling world keeps in touch and I've been a key person within the recreational cycling scene). So you'd think I'd have some to go out with, to take a coffee with. Been there done that. They will meet for a coffee, eventually, after putting it off for a while. But then you'll find that you are doing all the chasing. The proposals will be from your side. They won't be returned. When you "test" to find out if they are as into the friendship thing as you are and refrain from calling/texting don't expect your inbox to light up like an Xmas tree. Unless one of them wants a hand moving. They're good at that. I used to fix computers and bicycles. When I suggested a game of darts in my living room they stopped coming here with their punctures.

Most (all?) expats from the Uk will tell you the same story. It goes "I used to be mates with a Swede once but..." I do have drinking mates down in Sthlm and a few dotted around the country, all of them are expats like myself.

Sad but true, stick to Facebook. And remember - The faster you learn Swedish the faster you are going to understand what these plebs actually say to each other. Sweden - and the Swedes - was Utopia for me in the mid-80's before I got the lingo.

But hey, Good luck, maybe you can break the mould...

And good luck with your baby. Make the most of it. Mine are 23, 20 and 16. People told me when they were younger "that you have to make the most of it". I know what they meant now. It goes real fast. Alarmingly.
Go to the top of the page
+
Hamsterdam
post 26.Sep.2012, 06:50 AM
Post #3
Joined: 25.Mar.2012

That's sad Gary but I understand.

I have always found making friends easy, really easy. In fact much of the time I have to push people away because I don't need new friends. However, when in Stockholm I saw exactly what you are talking about. Time wasters, people who let you down, weak tossers. Even the expats were brain washed into social ignorance.

However I moved to Gothenburg and although I knew some guys before, they have come up trumps with being good mates; Reliable, friendly, helpful, trustworthy but to name a few. In fact they are to some degree better than my British mates back home

So all is not down to being Swedish, For Stockholm men who are generally weak, brainwashed, feministic playthings then yes. Elsewhere I think it is different.

To the OP. I have no advise, sorry/
Go to the top of the page
+
byke
post 26.Sep.2012, 07:28 AM
Post #4
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

After those 2 posts, I honestly fear the backlash response and most probably posts looking to criticise or attack their characters etc.

#RunForestRun
Go to the top of the page
+
skogsbo
post 26.Sep.2012, 07:29 AM
Post #5
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (lolberrybush @ 25.Sep.2012, 09:38 PM) *
I'm worried about going to 'mummy groups' because my Swedish is limited and I know people don't always like speaking English.

Women with babies are rarely ignored by other mums, it's a genetic thing where are programmed to oooh and arrh over them, then moan to each other about sleepless nights and us men not changing nappies!

Most of the mums will be 20-30 and have a reasonable, up to very good grasp of English. They are new mums and just as awestruck as any other first time parent. Catch them whilst they are also vunerable with new babies and you'll probably bond quicker and get a few friends for life. Depending on the style of group, take a pack of biscuits or something along.. you get the idea.

Remember than just because you don't share the same mother tongue it doesn't mean you don't have anything in common. It will be great for the kid too, as it will grow up hearing Swedish and if you stick with it, develop playmates as they progress through the early years.

Nothing to lose, everything to gain!! Some of our best friends in the UK are other parents we met at those silly NHS child birth classes etc.. Think of it as networking, be it social or even longer term future employment.
Go to the top of the page
+
skogsbo
post 26.Sep.2012, 07:33 AM
Post #6
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (byke @ 26.Sep.2012, 07:28 AM) *
After those 2 posts, I honestly fear the backlash response and most probably posts looking to criticise or attack their characters etc.. #RunForestRun

Sorry to disappoint Forest, but life is a box of chocolates you know. smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
+
byke
post 26.Sep.2012, 08:16 AM
Post #7
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

To bad certain responses or places are like diabetes.
Go to the top of the page
+
Mahmoud.Suleiman
post 26.Sep.2012, 08:20 AM
Post #8
Joined: 16.May.2012

Meanwhile, I think that "Swedes" are ones in a real need of friends. They lack sociability. Back in my country when a man walk down the street, he used to know & greet every single person with the name, maybe he know the names of his children and parents. Everyone gets to know everyone, that results in establishing a huge & solid base of friends, real friends I mean. While in Sweden, I do not know the name of my next door neighbor, because he always acts busy when I'm around. Well, I don't mind being around with no swedes' friends, it's eventually funnier if you know what I mean. PLUS I have my family after all.
Good luck to you finding friends mama.
Go to the top of the page
+
byke
post 26.Sep.2012, 08:39 AM
Post #9
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

My only advice to the OP is to make sure you are yourself.
I wouldn't advise trying to speak broken Swedish in an attempt to make friends ... actually quite the opposite.

Embrace your natural persona and be yourself.

Now in regards to your son, and being able to participate in social groups.
Its very different than that of England, So you need to be observant and see how things work if you are to have any chance of wedging a foot in the door. Irrespective if its a door you want to wedge.

But I would warn you, from the picture you have painted of being a new mum and being so far away from what you are used to. I really fear its going to add stress to a level you really dont need.

Can you get any family or friends to come over and make life more pleasant?
As otherwise you will end up having no happiness, only being told after X amount of months along the line that you should farm out your child to some state system at 1 years old and that going to look for work will help you get into swedish society and learn the language ... blah blah blah

Parenthood is something you should enjoy to the large part ... not a stepping stone to more peer issues forcing you to assimilate.

So put your thinking head on your shoulders.
How can you solve this?
Instead of looking for mothers groups, how about looking for people first to help build your confidence and happiness.

British stores, expat hangouts and so on ...

The very best of luck to you.
Go to the top of the page
+
missninja
post 26.Sep.2012, 09:11 AM
Post #10
Joined: 26.Sep.2012

It is a bit lazy but it is easiest to find expat groups. Once you have made a couple of friends there you can then move on tackling the swedes. They aren't so bad, you just need to be persistent.

I appreciate that you don't really have swedish as a language yet but there are many opna forskola (excuse spelling) that run singing and play activities, ask/check around. I know a couple of aussie mums who have headed along to these groups and now a mum or 2 that they can coffee with.

Non-kid related things ... what hobbies do you have time left for? Would you be interested in joining an english reading and speaking bookclub that meets about every 2nd month? We have few busy mums so we give enough time for everyone to read the book before we meet for coffee and chat (sometimes we even discuss the book).

Good luck
Go to the top of the page
+
William Sachsen-Coburg-Go...
post 26.Sep.2012, 09:50 AM
Post #11
Joined: 16.Apr.2010

You could join this forum: http://www.mumsinsweden.com/
Go to the top of the page
+
skogsbo
post 26.Sep.2012, 10:01 AM
Post #12
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (byke @ 26.Sep.2012, 08:39 AM) *
My only advice to the OP is to make sure you are yourself.I wouldn't advise trying to speak broken Swedish in an attempt to make friends ... actually quite the opposite.So ... (show full quote)

She is not insecure, she wants friends, don't cast your own issues on others. smile.gif

QUOTE (missninja @ 26.Sep.2012, 09:11 AM) *
It is a bit lazy but it is easiest to find expat groups. Once you have made a couple of friends there you can then move on tackling the swedes. They aren't so bad, you just need to be persistent.

A negative response or attitude, will always bring like results. (well 99% of the time).

Imagine the opposite in your home country and go from there.
Go to the top of the page
+
Meatball
post 26.Sep.2012, 11:03 AM
Post #13
Joined: 28.Apr.2010

I was in a similar situation about 5 years ago when I moved here. My youngest was 2, and not enrolled in any preschool, so I took him to 'Öppna Förskola', just google where in your area you can find one. Normally at a church or a school, it's basically a free play area for the kiddies but the children are of all ages, even babies. I have met mommies and daddies from other english speaking countries and even though I did not keep in contact with them, I am in contact with other people they introduced me too. Also like someone said, the mothers that have babies now are in their 20's and 30's, so they quite enjoy speaking english, you just have to be the one to break the ice and talk to them first. No Swede will come up to you and start talking to you, it's up to you to do the talking I'm afraid.

Swedes are notoriously hard to befriend, I have a couple but that's only because I went to school with them...

Good luck to you! It can't be easy with a small baby in a strange country!
Go to the top of the page
+
MTBB
post 26.Sep.2012, 11:21 AM
Post #14
Joined: 24.Aug.2012

shit i have to get out of this country
Go to the top of the page
+
John.Smith
post 26.Sep.2012, 11:26 AM
Post #15
Location: Sweden
Joined: 12.Sep.2011

QUOTE (byke @ 26.Sep.2012, 08:28 AM) *
#RunForestRun

just saying... It 'aint Twitter.
 
Attached Image
 
Go to the top of the page
+

3 Pages V   1 2 3 >
Reply to this topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

Swedish Down Town
Consulting & Productions

We are an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish authorities, Swedish language practice, and general communications.
Call 0731 004 781 or visit:
swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business. If you want to stop, we can help.
Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
aa-europe.org/sweden
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply