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Making your peace with Sweden

How long did it take?

post 18.Jan.2014, 03:02 PM
Post #1
Joined: 8.Aug.2012

As is often advised here if you dont like it in Sweden then you can always leave but many people continue to stay for various reasons but I was wondering when people generally made their peace with the situation and started to enjoy it for what it is because actually we mostly create our own misery.
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Seamus Sean
post 18.Jan.2014, 04:10 PM
Post #2
Joined: 4.Oct.2009

Good question trumanshow, I can
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post 18.Jan.2014, 04:53 PM
Post #3
Joined: 8.Aug.2012

Sounds like my experience. I was virtually unemployed for a year, bit of praktik, a weeks work on a farm, having not been unemployed for more than a few weeks for 20 years. It can definitely eat away at you and those feelings dont go away quickly even when you find work. You have established that Sweden is an unforgiving country with unfriendly, unhelpful people and its hard to change that mindset. I think the key is to try to learn to rationalise like a Swede whilst maintaining your personality. And buy a pair of red jeans.
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post 18.Jan.2014, 05:00 PM
Post #4
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

Yes, I would think that being able to understand and speak the language and also get a job goes a long way toward that peace process. However long that takes...
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Seamus Sean
post 18.Jan.2014, 05:03 PM
Post #5
Joined: 4.Oct.2009

QUOTE (trumanshow @ 18.Jan.2014, 04:53 PM) *
Sounds like my experience. I was virtually unemployed for a year, bit of praktik, a weeks work on a farm, having not been unemployed for more than a few weeks for 20 years. It ... (show full quote)

Excellent post...especially the bit about the red jeans, got a giggle from me! biggrin.gif

And do you ever regret you didn
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post 18.Jan.2014, 07:00 PM
Post #6
Location: Uppsala
Joined: 9.Jul.2006

I can't say that I've totally made my peace with the country, but I'm as close as I'll probably ever get.

I was definitely lucky in that I moved here for a PhD student position, which meant that I had a salary from day 1 and I didn't know anyone to start to resent once the homesickness kicked in.

The frustrating things (accommodation, getting access to language lessons, sorting out my PN and right of residence) was just a list of challenges and though they might have been things I faced without the support of the university (seriously, they're apparently great with undergrads and Masters students, but once you're past that you're on your own) I'm not the type of person who gives in easily. After 2 years I bought my own flat, I'm interested in my research and I'm STILL trying to sort out the social thing. I'm not fluent in Swedish, but I'm not completely daunted by SAS.

The key for me was maintaining support systems in my family and friends back at home, and remembering that everyday I have the choice to pack my bags and leave but what would I have there? I'd still struggle getting a job, I'd still have crappy winters and I'd still long for long summer holidays.
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post 18.Jan.2014, 07:06 PM
Post #7
Joined: 16.Aug.2010

It takes a while. It's not easy. Some people seem to settle in instantly and love it to bits and others never do and go home. Everyone's road is different.

I was really negative and pretty naive when I moved to Sweden, I got a bit panicked after I had read a lot of posts on these forums of people who were unemployed for years etc. Honestly, I think I cried every day for the first 6 months. I was pretty lucky and got a job quickly, but everything was so hard. I misunderstood so many things and went from a person who really didn't make any mistakes to effing everything up all the time. I felt really isolated, my husband's friends were not welcoming or helpful, the boys tried to be nice but the girls virtually snubbed me (later I learned because they were not confident in English and were embarrassed). The first year I went to SFI and I tried REALLY hard to learn Swedish but it took much longer than I expected and I always felt set back every time someone changed to English on me. People would always compare me to someone they knew who had learned perfect Swedish in like 6 months and I felt like shit because it didn't happen for me like that.

I met my best friend after about a year (she's Canadian) and she had very similar experiences to me and we have a similar personality. That really turned things around for me, she had been in Sweden 12 years already and been through it all and offered very helpful advice.

After you start to understand Swedes better and settle in it gets easier. The language helps a lot too.

My only advice is don't compare yourself to others and be proud of everything you accomplish.
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post 18.Jan.2014, 11:44 PM
Post #8
Joined: 13.Aug.2012

I have reached the point where i just shrug my shoulders and move on but havent made (and might never make) complete peace with the place. I think reading the posts here at The Local were both helpful and detrimental - helpful in that it made me realize im not the only one and that there is nothing wrong with me but detrimental coz you slowly develop a defeatist attitude.

Yeah i guess i need a pair of tight red jeans converse shoes and those horrible cleavage t-shirts and i will feel at home laugh.gif
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post 19.Jan.2014, 12:06 AM
Post #9
Joined: 17.Oct.2012

I'm not there yet.

I sometimes (okay, often) feel like I was forced to give up my previous (happy) life to move here to what was supposed to be a happier life but doesn't feel like it yet. And yes, I chose to, the choice was mine. Doesn't make me less resentful.

I'm trying really really hard. I'm learning the language and try really hard to be friendly and nice to people, but then I'll find out I wasn't invited somewhere, again, and it really hurts. And Opalnera was spot on, I've slowly had the same epiphany, that for many of them, its a matter of not speaking english very well (and me, swedish) and frankly, its hard to be good friends with someone who you don't feel you completely communicate with. I understand that. But I still don't have any friends.
My partner has some awesome friends though, and they are lovely and we hang out, but I'm used to having more friends than I can handle and some days I just wish I had someone to meet up with for coffee or a beer. sad.gif

I live in BFE Stockholm and I moved from an amazing location in an amazing, vibrant city to...here...crickets...

And I was lucky enough to move here with a job lined up, but I've gotten more and more disillusioned with the way this field functions in Sweden and so I am changing fields soon. And since I am not fluent in swedish yet, I expect to be unemployed for (hopefully) a short while.

I try to be very vocal about what I like about Sweden and I try and see the good aspects, and there are many, so I hope I start feeling more positive about Sweden and about moving here, soon.
It is a state of mind, like trumanshow said, we create our own misery. I hope this means its going to get better soon. I keep telling myself its darkest before dawn.
...I might try the red jeans trick...
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Ivor stephé
post 19.Jan.2014, 12:26 AM
Post #10
Joined: 20.Aug.2013

QUOTE (cherrybubble @ 19.Jan.2014, 12:06 AM) *
I live in BFE Stockholm

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post 19.Jan.2014, 10:38 AM
Post #11
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

On a good day I'm here until my kids are grown & on a bad day can't wait to get out of here.
Live in Stockholm & have a token Swedish friend, wouldn't trust the rest of them as far as I could throw them. Otherwise have a good network of various foreigners.
Generally have a new theory on Sweden every 6 months or so (must be into double figures now). Latest is that there is no right or wrong in Sweden - just Strong & Weak. That's why everyone is so obnoxious - if you slip over there's plenty of people waiting to kick you when you're down.

"Illegitimi non carborundum"
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post 19.Jan.2014, 10:56 AM
Post #12
Joined: 17.Oct.2012

QUOTE (Mo @ 19.Jan.2014, 10:38 AM) *
Generally have a new theory on Sweden every 6 months or so (must be into double figures now).

HA!!! I do that too!

Man, this thread makes me feel less alone.

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post 19.Jan.2014, 12:43 PM
Post #13
Joined: 22.Jan.2013

What a great thread to start! I can definitely relate to pretty much everything everyone has posted about. Am I at total peace and acceptance, no, but I'm still working on it and try to just remain positive. I've been here 3 1/2 years now, so maybe my peace and acceptance is what it will be forever or better yet maybe it will keep getting better...I don't know but either way I'm going to continue to try.

I've also tried to limit my time on TL. It does sometimes get the better of you and your thoughts, especially if you have a 'down day', so limiting my time here helps, lol.
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Model T Ford
post 19.Jan.2014, 04:05 PM
Post #14
Joined: 31.May.2013

I made my peace with Sweden about a decade ago - after I realized I was never going to really fit in, and feel really happy there, but i still did things and had things which kept me quite occupied, and fairly content.

But even that eroded over the last four or five years, making my departure more and more advisable and necessary - what I finally did a year ago.

Cannot say that I am any happier back here in the States, but I am doing things and have gotten involved in doing new things which make it acceptable.

Believe that the world has become so unstable, violent and unpredictable that nowhere is ideal any longer as everywhere has its problems, and wherever you live, you experience much the same problems because you have brought the same baggage wherever you are.

Just stop thinking that there is a real solution to it all when it is only partial fixes.
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post 19.Jan.2014, 04:07 PM
Post #15
Joined: 6.Feb.2013

This is really interesting, and just what i needed.

I have been here since May last year (2013), from London originally, and am still going through my "Journey" of making peace here. had the honeymoon period where everything was new and great, but now i feel there is something missing.

So to the others that have been here longer, whether you have yet made peace or not, can i ask did any of you feel a loss in confidence whilst going through this?

I was working in london, all doing very nicely, very confident and self assured, and an optimistic guy knowing that whatever life threw at me, that i would have a pretty good chance of dealing with successfully. However, at the moment, on many days i feel like a new kid at school, asking teacher for permission to take a leak.

I have a job (alot more junior than what i had in London, but its a job, so happy with that),,am learning swedish, but know pretty much nobody yet.
In the Uk i had a large group of friends, here i just have my swedish fiance.

I know "taking charge" is all in the mind of the holder, but wondered if others felt a drop in confidence also and how did you address it.

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