No social life after 9 years in Germany

57 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

I'm just wondering how common it is for expats in Germany to have no social circle / life even after almost a decade of living here. First of all, I am an introvert so I spend most of the time by myself (outside of work hours), but would still like to have some genuine social circle around me. Germans are very closed with their social environments and do not let anyone in it seems. I have specific interests / hobbies that are not ones of sports/group activities, so that doesn't bring much into that either. And of course because I didn't grow up or study here, I don't have social circles that would relate to that either.

How is everyone else that might have the same issue dealing with this?

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Quite normal I think.

 

My situation was similar. Five days at work, lots of contact with people/colleagues, sometimes too much.

 

I think 51% were unpleasant, some were really nasty, but I had some friendly colleagues, in particular a few from Poland. We were quite different but had a big thing in common: both half German😉

 

At the weekend I went cycling or on a train trip one day, the other day I stayed home.

..

Got much better when I retired and moved to a small town. Joined a society, got lots of contacts but no confidant, but I do not need one.

 

I like to visit the free book exchanges (old phone boxes) where I often get chatting to someone.

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I’m in Germany for 11 years and find socialising very difficult. In the UK, my front door was never locked during the day. Several neighbours came over every day. I’m quite introvert so it doesn’t bother me all too much here. Usually as a parent, other parents are friendly. However, in our case, other school kid’s parents were openly hostile toward us as newcomers. At the first parent/teacher group meeting that we attended, several parents challenged the head mistress for accepting our child into the class as a then non German speaker. They expressed that it was unfair that our child may receive additional attention from teaching staff. We were horrified and thereafter, only met teaching staff privately.

 

Several neighbours told me that they avoided me for years assuming I couldn’t speak German and their English wasn’t good. Little did they know, I am German and can discuss anything despite some incorrect grammar. 

 

My German husband has the same issue…..many years in the army with no fixed abode. His current colleagues are approximately 95% unpleasant. 


I’ve found that of the people I’ve met here, animal and nature lovers are the nicest. No firm friends though, just nice acquaintances. Sweeping the street usually results in nice short chats with neighbours. 
 

All the best.

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Back in the day, when the meetups threads were active on TT, I met many people like that. Some, I befriended and some I just saw at the meetups. Most of that went the way of social media some years ago which I don't have. Munich Curry Night on Wednesdays is still a regular meetup and a couple of others.

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There are clubs and associations for almost everything in Germany.  Have a look at the "Vereinsregister" at your local court ( most are registered there for tax  benefits). Odds are that you'll find one that matches your interests. Or check out your local Volkshochschule. Also a good option to come to know like-minded people.

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4 hours ago, St0rMl0rD said:

I'm just wondering how common it is for expats in Germany to have no social circle / life even after almost a decade of living here.

 

Acquire a dog & go walkies...

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14 minutes ago, HEM said:

 

Acquire a dog & go walkies...

Better still, go to a Tierheim and volunteer to walk dogs 😊

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I think you are going to have to break the mould and acquire an interest that is served by being in a club. A Verein. It s just the Germanic way. After 16 years in Germany I left, but left no real friends behind, just a lot of people I knew superficially.

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1 hour ago, optimista said:

I think you are going to have to break the mould and acquire an interest that is served by being in a club. A Verein. It s just the Germanic way. After 16 years in Germany I left, but left no real friends behind, just a lot of people I knew superficially.


I'm into music, but the only Vereins around here are for brass orchestras and crap 

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8 hours ago, St0rMl0rD said:

 the only Vereins around here are for brass orchestras and crap

That's hard to believe. No freiwillige Feuerwehr, Deutscher Alpenverein, hiking club, Technische's Hilfswerk, sports club? To name just a few that jump to mind.

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Join a choir. Men always in short supply. You just haven t found your niche yet.

What is your instrument ? Genre ? Have you advertised ? Can you create your own posse ?

 

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6 hours ago, catjones said:

 

but, they have friends and you don't

 

At first sight. I am in half a dozen groups... plenty of really nice people know me, but I still don t have real friends. It is hard to get beyond the casual. Maybe to do with age. Or gender. It is very male for the most part. Somtimes to do with being an outsider. And cultural differences. I put some of it down to the war. Seriously. There is a lack of trust generally, borne of bad expériences and being raised by traumatised parents. Yes, I really do believe that.

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10 minutes ago, optimista said:

 

At first sight. I am in half a dozen groups... plenty of really nice people know me, but I still don t have real friends. It is hard to get beyond the casual. Maybe to do with age. Or gender. It is very male for the most part. Somtimes to do with being an outsider. And cultural differences. I put some of it down to the war. Seriously. There is a lack of trust generally, borne of bad expériences and being raised by traumatised parents. Yes, I really do believe that.

 

Don`t you live in France?

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So what ? I am in the teutonic bit just across the Rhine. Where they still speak an allemanisch dialect. Last generation to do so dying out fast, I may add. Culturally and socially the outlook is pretty Germanic.

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17 hours ago, emkay said:

However, in our case, other school kid’s parents were openly hostile toward us as newcomers. At the first parent/teacher group meeting that we attended, several parents challenged the head mistress for accepting our child into the class as a then non German speaker. They expressed that it was unfair that our child may receive additional attention from teaching staff. We were horrified and thereafter, only met teaching staff privately.

Quite sad, but entirely understandable if it's a case of dumping non native language speakers on teachers without any special support. If they spend most of the time teaching the language, the foreign kids are effectively holding back the native speakers. When there are a lot of such children, I can imagine a lot more time being spent on basic German which the other kids have already mastered.

 

I am surprised also they blamed the head mistress. It should not be up to the school how this is handled. Otherwise you end up with ghetto schools and schools for natives. That's doesn't lead to a good social outcome later on. Surely every school should have an allocation of children based on distance etc.

 

Does Germany not have an special program for foreign kids? A Ukrainian family I know, who were evacuated to a rural city in France, had special additional classes for learning French. With the huge influx of mothers and children recently, what happens when kids go to school? Surely there is a special program here to help them learn German? Even in the UK I remember we occasionally had families who moved and the kids were given extra English classes after school.

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1 hour ago, scook17 said:

 

Does Germany not have an special program for foreign kids? A Ukrainian family I know, who were evacuated to a rural city in France, had special additional classes for learning French. With the huge influx of mothers and children recently, what happens when kids go to school? Surely there is a special program here to help them learn German? Even in the UK I remember we occasionally had families who moved and the kids were given extra English classes after school.

 

Of course there is a program, it is called the "Welcome Class".  However it only makes sense in big cities where there are tons of immigrants.  They can't make a special class in a village in the middle of the nowhere with just one foreign kid.

 

But still the "impact" on the other kids can be discussed, throwing the foreign kid in the normal class was the norm before 2015 and it was tough for the kid who had to take the normal classes, the special support was AFTER hours.   Yes, maybe on the day to day at the beginning the teacher had to explain something important to the kid in front of the other ones but it was not the normal situation.  And the kid might get a partner kid assigned to help him to navigate the normal school hours.

 

And even nowadays, a foreign kid in a big city might be thrown in the normal class instead of going to the Welcome Class.  Why?  Because some (white) foreign parents do not want their foreign kids together with those foreigners in the class for foreigners.

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1 hour ago, Krieg said:

Yes, maybe on the day to day at the beginning the teacher had to explain something important to the kid in front of the other ones but it was not the normal situation.

 

Provided the teacher spoke the kid's mother tongue.

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27 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

Provided the teacher spoke the kid's mother tongue.

 

Normally teachers do not speak (or do not have to speak) the mother tongue of the kid.    It is the same when you take German classes in any decent language school, only the language you are learning is used.

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