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Depressed since moving here

Dreading the year to come

refreshedsuggestion
post 14.Apr.2018, 04:39 PM
Post #1
Joined: 14.Apr.2018

Hi and welcome to my venting session!
I'm a 21 year old student from France and ended up in Sweden somehow accidentally. I went into the wrong field of study in university in Paris, and changing one's field of study is almost impossible in France, since the kids straight out of high school have the priority (which is completely legitimate) and some fields are already overflowing with students to welcome all of them in the first place. So here I am in Sweden, studying what I've always wanted to study, but I couldn't be less happy.
The first six months I spent here, I had a French best friend who I spent all my time with. The few Swedish friends I had would only be willing to go out... maybe once a month. To get shitfaced. This wasn't a problem until my friend left.

Then I found myself alone, confronted to the reality of Sweden. At first I was so critical that I told myself I was being paranoid and arrogant. But the experiences kept accumulating, all similar, all disappointing. And when I would test the waters with others, dropping a seemingly innocent comment on the nature of Sweden, they would agree wholeheartedly, and so I came to realise that I was right all along.
This place is a dystopia. This place is depression itself. Everyone is so lonely, grey, sad, always doing everything on their own. Nothing ever happens, or when it does it has to follow specific rules. The workplace is hellish and mostly inaccessible. I can't even get a job as a housekeeper or anything despite my good level of Swedish because they make you take tests to assess your core values as a person, which I don't think is necessary to clean toilets. Even relationships feel unnatural. One of the first slangs I learnt here was knullkompis because people are not willing to invest emotionally in others. The dating scene is a slaugterhouse, if you're not somebody's dream person they will not give you the basic respect that even an insect deserves (all respect to insects! They're just a bit creepy looking sometimes). Even my friends, whom I love dearly, I feel disconnected from. We see each other from time to time, we have to plan ahead all of our meetings, I feel like hanging out with a friend is a chore here. In France, you spend time with your friends at least on a weekly basis. If you're busy studying, you study together. You grab coffee, you share a smoke, you cook together, you do whatever you can to show them you love them. Anyway... Those of you disappointed with Sweden know what I'm talking about.

In my free time I've made an habit out of reading and watching videos a lot. I've become a very political and spiritual person and I know that it is what I want to be. Political, to contribute to society. Spiritual, to connect with others. And I've realised that it is precisely what Sweden isn't, political and spiritual. I guess Sweden is a wonderland for whoever enjoys loneliness, wants to start their own business, and doesn't ponder too much on the meaning of life, but I really am the opposite of those things and I feel like I'm slowly dying out. Anyone here who can relate to this?
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 14.Apr.2018, 06:07 PM
Post #2
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

I am sure there are a lot of people who share your feelings and thoughts, it is very hard to adjust to another culture...

However winter is over and sunshine abounds, get out and enjoy it...

Maybe you will feel better...
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JonG
post 14.Apr.2018, 06:08 PM
Post #3
Joined: 16.Feb.2018

Not really.
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Bsmith
post 14.Apr.2018, 06:11 PM
Post #4
Joined: 25.Jun.2009

I have heard this criticism before so you are not alone. When I was in Sweden, I was with my wife and kids so I did not suffer loneliness. The only suggestion I could possibly make is to join a club that suits your interests so that you might meet some people.
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 14.Apr.2018, 06:47 PM
Post #5
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

It is very easy to become friends with those who share the same culture/language...Find other interests that Swedes enjoy, too and try to fit in, also don't be so dependant on others for your happiness...
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refreshedsuggestion
post 14.Apr.2018, 06:47 PM
Post #6
Joined: 14.Apr.2018

QUOTE (Gamla Hälsingebock @ 14.Apr.2018, 07:07 PM) *
I am sure there are a lot of people who share your feelings and thoughts, it is very hard to adjust to another culture...However winter is over and sunshine abounds, get out a ... (show full quote)


The last few weeks have been sunny here in the south and it does make life more enjoyable. However, if people are only nice to each other when it is sunny outside, it quite obviously means they do not genuinely appreciate each other. So it feels a bit fake to sit outside with your neighbours when you just spent the 6 month long winter ignoring each other
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 14.Apr.2018, 07:57 PM
Post #7
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

Not the expected answer...

the winter "blahs" are over get out and discover your neighbors or remain lonely...
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Nordmann
post 14.Apr.2018, 09:41 PM
Post #8
Joined: 8.Apr.2006

QUOTE (refreshedsuggestion @ 14.Apr.2018, 06:47 PM) *
-----. So it feels a bit fake to sit outside with your neighbours when you just spent the 6 month long winter ignoring each other

I know the feeling & soon you will realise
that neighbours are not really ignoring you.
That's just the way it is. Swedes just mind their business.
Do not take it personally. Most are not into small chat.
simple hej and that's it.
Like you do in France,you say polite bonjour to your neighbour
or postman, garbage collector etc.
and then you are on your way.


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Lazarzero
post 15.Apr.2018, 07:00 AM
Post #9
Joined: 22.Jun.2015

Your best option is to ignore Swedes. Swedes are not real people. Real people know how to have conversations. Swedes are not interesting, either as a group or individuals. Sweden=no culture. You can only integrate into a society that gives you benefits for integrating. What is the benefit of integrating into Swedish society? You learn a language in order for the locals to become warm and friendly toward you. Learning Swedish is pointless because Swedes will be just as dull and standoffish toward a fluent Swedish speaker as they will toward a person who doesn't know Swedish. So you might as well just use English with them, since learning Swedish won't change their behavior toward you.

Just make friends with other international people, not just people from your home country. Go to a Turkish restaurant and befriend the native Turks. Join an expat group on FB. There used to be a great Spanish expat group in Gothenburg. There's also literary clubs for expats in Stockholm. Just be around foreign people, ignore Swedes, and put in tons of effort into leaving Sweden and things will work out for you.
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Svedallas
post 15.Apr.2018, 09:58 AM
Post #10
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (refreshedsuggestion @ 14.Apr.2018, 05:39 PM) *
Hi and welcome to my venting session!I'm a 21 year old student from France and ended up in Sweden somehow accidentally. I went into the wrong field of study in univers ... (show full quote)


Most people have had friends for many many years. So getting a new person in the circle is almost impossible. Also sounds like you are more of an extrovert, which is not "Swedish" per se...this is an introverted culture. Swedes love their space, to be on their own, or with their own family.

Try Denmark, there are much more open minded...But if you a problem now, it will always be a problem. Good you see it early on, not everyone is meant for Sweden...either you like it and adjust or you dont.
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Bsmith
post 15.Apr.2018, 12:22 PM
Post #11
Joined: 25.Jun.2009

QUOTE (Lazarzero @ 15.Apr.2018, 06:00 AM) *
Your best option is to ignore Swedes. Swedes are not real people. Real people know how to have conversations. Swedes are not interesting, either as a group or individuals. Swe ... (show full quote)



Words of "wisdom" from the most unfriendly sad sack on the forum.
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intrepidfox
post 15.Apr.2018, 12:34 PM
Post #12
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 18.Jul.2012

QUOTE (Lazarzero @ 15.Apr.2018, 07:00 AM) *
Your best option is to ignore Swedes. Swedes are not real people. Real people know how to have conversations. Swedes are not interesting, either as a group or individuals. Swe ... (show full quote)



The last post you made you stated that you will never comment on this site again. Why are you moaning again. Is the south of France so bad???
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Svedallas
post 15.Apr.2018, 12:48 PM
Post #13
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (Bsmith @ 15.Apr.2018, 01:22 PM) *
Words of "wisdom" from the most unfriendly sad sack on the forum.



QUOTE (intrepidfox @ 15.Apr.2018, 01:34 PM) *
The last post you made you stated that you will never comment on this site again. Why are you moaning again. Is the south of France so bad???


+1!!!



HA! No one wants advice from the most miserable fool in the community.
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refreshedsuggestion
post 15.Apr.2018, 01:08 PM
Post #14
Joined: 14.Apr.2018

QUOTE (Gamla Hälsingebock @ 14.Apr.2018, 08:57 PM) *
Not the expected answer.... the winter "blahs" are over get out and discover your neighbors or remain lonely...


Of course I'm doing this! I wouldn't be complaining if I weren't trying to seize as many opportunities to socialise as possible. It just feels a bit pointless, and yes it would be easier if I had a stronger sense of self but it's just not the case. I easily interpret people's neutral behaviour towards me as rejection and moving here probably wasn't the best choice to make for someone like me.

QUOTE (Svedallas @ 15.Apr.2018, 10:58 AM) *
Most people have had friends for many many years. So getting a new person in the circle is almost impossible. Also sounds like you are more of an extrovert, which is not " ... (show full quote)


Yes, 100% of the Swedish friends I have came from other Swedish cities and had to make new friends AND have a lot in common with me to begin with. I respect the fact that somebody who already has friends doesn't feel the need to have more, but I also think it wouldn't hurt to be friendly with people beyond the prospect of developing a long-term friendship. You can have a very beautiful and life-changing conversation with somebody you will never see again. The funny thing is, I was absolutely convinced I was an introvert before moving here, and that it wouldn't be hard to integrate, but I was obviously wrong. You're right, on the bright side this is a great opportunity to get to know myself. I love Danes more indeed, they're more similar to the French. Plus we can bond over the fact that we speak some of Europe's weirdest sounding languages.
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vexzg
post 15.Apr.2018, 01:47 PM
Post #15
Joined: 9.Jun.2017

Been in sthlm for 5years, moved because of career, we have a settled family life/careers and most of things.

my experience: Getting Swedish friends is hard work, with many failures and expectations of "friendship" not being met. Generally not worth it if you move here after some age, I came when I was around 30, perhaps if I moved here to study it would be different. Locals keep to themselves, seek no help and offer mostly none. No spontaneous events. There can be months between seeing some Swedish so called "friends".

FYI "maybe" means "no" because typically Swedish are to shy/coward to say "no directly"

I (we) have given up on trying. By trying we mean, inviting over, inviting somewhere else, inviting to have a party, do stuff together, offering help to natives etc.

The only thing which sort of works is to get to know locals through your joint interests/clubs/hobbies etc. But if this interest ceases so does the friendship.

If I was here without family no money in the world would keep me here. Can't imagine falling in love with a local native. It seems many couples split when the relationship is requiring some compromise, which is too much for self centered people valuing their independence above all else.

My diagnosis would be that local culture values independence and love towards oneself above all else.

Watch the movie "Swedish theory of love" and good luck.

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