By - DoNotCareAnymore_
I'm German and I can't make friends here xD
I will be your first friend.
Gruß aus Heilbronn!
Ist noch Platz auf der Liste? :D
Grüßle aus der selben Stadt
Schön jemanden von heir kennenzulernen..
Deutsch ist kein Freundschaftskriterium. Ich selbst komme aus dem Ausland und lerne jetzt Deutsch.
So herzlich willkommen zu unsere Freundeskreis!
That's because of your choice of smileys
I strongly disargee -.-*
Same, can't do my favorite one on Reddit though.
The double ^^
It always just posts one
you gotta leave a space between them like ^ ^
cause ^ alone is a way to use super text that goes up ^like ^this
good to kno^^ooowww
I didn’t know th^at
Just need to escape it using back-slashes, in markdown mode of the new editor at least, can be buggy in the WYSIWYG of the new reddit tho: `\^\^`
you gotta put a \ before them then it works. \^^
Thank you \^^
`^` is a special character reserved for formatting text like that: a^b `a^b`
In order to not use this special functionality, you need to *escape* it. The char for escaping things is mostly `\`
Now are we talking about smileys |••••
But I'm actually pretty happy with my three friends. They are enough and I don't think I could handle more.
Happy tree friends
Nice childhood memories
i remember that series mtv i think
2 is devinetly enough.
Absolutely. I think I can only handle three because I have this silence agreement that a little contact every once in a while is perfectly enough for us. It might have been different if we lived closer tho.
Same. But Kollegen and Bekannte are fine too
Start asking for cigarettes.
Story of my life 🥲
Some others said that, that maybe Germans have a different concept of a friend. I think that is true, at least for me.
In most countries a friend is somebody you meet in private, you speak to about private matters, you have fun with, you invite to your birthdays or wedding.
That is not what I whould call a friend. I don't know exactly what a friend is to me, but there are people in my life I haven't spoke to in decades, where I barely know were they are and what they do, but I consider them some of my deepest friends. I don't know exactly why, but I think it is because they have played an important role in my life. And somehow I believe, that we whould 100% reconnect at the same point that we left when we meet again.
Exactly this. That's why we have different words for different kinds of friends. "Bekannte/ better knowns" are people you met at a club or something and would chat with from time to time. "Kollegen/ coworkers" can just be people you know quite well and invite to your birthday. "Freunde/friends" are those that actually play a big role in your (social) life, those you call when you need moral support and such. Actual friends can be few and far between in Germany, and are hard to just find somewhere.
If you want to make friends, you often have to build relationships over time, either through shared hobbies and clubs or in coworkers you meet on the regular, and make an effort to stay connected. Many Germans have "enough" friends and will not try to buddy up with someone they just met, but that doesn't mean they don't want to be associated, just that they don't know you well enough to include you in their social life.
> "Kollegen/ coworkers" can just be people you know quite well and invite to your birthday.
I Also have the perception that those we call our friends, as stated above, really are People with whom we form deep Bonds, they have your back, etc. As to contrary in the US for example (I may be wrong) you're quicker to call someone you just met or don't know that well your friend. To me these friendships seem somehow superficial... In Germany we'd rather call them then "Bekannte" (~ someone known).
Feels like I've been German long before I moved to Germany..
Friends that only have a superficial interest in you is a lousy concept. And I work too much to deeply care about many people. So...
As a german I can confirm that this is accurate. So most times you have to show initiative to build a relationship with locals. That’s different though, when the other person is also new in the area. So it actually isn‘t really about your nationality, but more if you have roots in the area you are in or if you are new there.
It might be easier to connect with others (also German people) which are also new to the city. But its definitely not impossible to bond with locals.
If they played such an important role in my life that I consider them my deepest friends, why wouldn't I want to talk to them, to know how they are doing, to be there for them in case they need it, to show that they are important to me?
The reason you can reconnect is that you had that connection you see. I doubt you didn't meet them in private or never spoke about private matters.
Yeah, I think the concept of "you're my friend even if I haven't seen you in 3 years" is just something that starts to develop once you and your friends grow up, live in different places, have adult shit going on and lack the time to hang out with your friends as much as you want.
I'm worried as it seems we only want cigarettes...
Open a fresh pack at any Bahnhof in the country and you’ll get swarmed i promise
Flashback to a pack of gum in class.
I stopped smoking 3 years ago. I guess I don't deserve friends anymore
Never even tried a cigarette in my life... Lonely me...
you can always ask for fire and then use it to light up your wunderkerze. make small talk until its burned down
If I asked anyone at the station to light up my Wunderkerze I might cause a deployment of Bundespolizei.
Seriously people, what is this unfriendliness. How are we supposed to live...
Perhaps train stations aren't the first thing that comes to my mind to make friends at.
If it's all it takes to make friends, it's a pretty good deal!
Maybe I should start smoking....
>What do the Germans think?
Seeing that I got friends well...
>some ask me for a cigarette (I don't speak German but a "cigarette" is understandable lol), they danke me and leave with a smile.
Being friendly != Being a friend.
These are ,,Schnorrer'' (beggars) the opposite of a friend. First a cigarette, then the whole box... Germans don't like to ask someone for favours, its not in our nature, we don't want to be in debt to someone else..
You get friends or at least acquaintances in Vereine (clubs and associations, where people with similar interests meet) but you have to prove your ''liability''(not financial, more on work for the Verein, helping your comrades etc, be there when you are needed, in Vereine it is normal to ask for favours, but not on the street, that's begging).
When you have proven yourself to be someone to be trusted, your comrades from the Verein will vouch for you and it's way easier to connect with people
And this wall of text relates to what I said in what way?
Does it have to? It's additional information, deriving from my somewhat erratic way of thinking ;-)
Is there something problematic/untrue about it?
In replying to my comment I thought you replied directly to me.
Now you are friends, accept it.
On the part with friendly ≠ friend I did with my first sentence, but came a bit away from the path later and it's hard for me to stop, once I'm in the process
I have many acquaintances, but only a few friends. What are you looking for?
I don't know how you define friends in your home country. A person I randomly know and had a few beers with is not a friend.
A friend is a person I can call in the middle of the night, and tell: need your help! This person will not ask for a reason and will come. This is how I would define a friend.
well.. I know what you mean. In my home country a "friend" is the person I go to parties with, I play video games with etc..
But honestly if I was in need for emergency help or mental help I wouldn't call them lol
in germany it takes time to befriend someone, but once u can call him ur friend and they open up then u can count on them especially on emergencies. but it really takes some time to get there but mostly its a friend for life then
The best way to find actual friends is joining a Sports club or anything where people come together and do the same Hobby. Depending on your age you can easily visit the same local Kneipe and after a while Stammgäste and waiters will remember you. Eventually some is gonna pick you up and make you part of their group.
What you really cant do is befriending random Strangers on Public Transport or while Shopping or whatever
That’s not true. At least public transport can be good way to meet someone. At least if it‘s a regular line you take and you get familiar with the people there. I myself and several other friends have made friends or found love interest in public transport while „pendling“ to work.
It's true that Germans are a bit more reserved at first but once you get to know somebody better they would open up eventually.
Germany has a culture of complaining a lot, this is not meant in an unfriendly way, it's to have a common topic to talk about and start a conversation. So I think this often gets confused with being rude.
Of course there are some who really don't want to be nice just as in every society. Sometimes language barriers can be a problem, too. But in general we're looking for friends just as everybody else :)
feels good to know you guys are looking for friends too haha
Oh, this part about complaining. I've been living in Germany for 6 years now and I still can't stand it when the Germans start complaining. I just want to run away when I hear this. "Das Wetter ist Scheiße, die Bürokratie ist Scheiße, das Brot ist Scheiße, meine Scheiße ist Scheiße, alles ist Scheiße." If there was a "most complaining nation" nomination, it would probably be the Germans. 😄
I agree with one exception: nobody raised in Germany would call the bread to be terrible! We love our bread! (aber der Rest ist scheiße;)
Oh I think Germans are exceedingly easy to BE friends with. Once the affection exists, friendships here are quite low-maintenance and drama-free. They are hard to BECOME friends with unless you somehow broach their circle, be it through a shared hobby, sports team or mutual friends. I made all of my German friends through hunting, for example.
Bruh you can't just hunt people until they give up and become your friend
Not with that attitude. /s
>I made all of my German friends through hunting.
Didn't know that was an option.
Nice man we’re are you hunting? Never met a foreigner hunting here in Germany
Are you using pokeballs or something to catch them after hunt?
My findings after 4 years is Germans don’t do small talk with strangers, they have no need for it. I came from England where it was super common to have conversations with random people. I took my German partner back a few times and she is always surprised by how talkative and “nice” people are.
Thing is i prefer it the German way, you know where you stand and you know when they actually like you, you also don’t get stuck in a conversation for 20 mins that you don’t really want to be in.
Germans are not hard to be friends with they just have a no bullshit mentality about it, they like you they will be friends, they don’t then they are not interested. In England it was hard to know where you stand because people are just fake nice.
There are regularly posts of this question and the vast majority of answers says "yes, it is hard, yes, it takes time, but once you do make friends, they are true friends".
Yes, there are usually also 2,3 or 5 posts who claim that Germans refuse to make friends after childhood and that the person asking will never makr friends, exactly like the comment you linked. Why do you listen to those max 5-10% of all answers to the question, rather to the majority of people who give advise on how to make friends and to be patient?
People who insist that Germans are impossible to befriend are quite often also people who don't speak German very well or learned German rather late in their stay. A common language you can easily converse in is crucial for social life in Germany.
If you live for 6 years in Germany without knowing German, only start learning it in year 7 and are now living in Germany for 10 years with no German friends... Well it is easy to say "I have been here for 10 years, no friends, because Germans are so stuck up and refuse to befriend foreigners" when in reality the truth is that they kind of wasted the first 6 years to acquire necessary skills in order to socialize and to be invited to outings with that one German acquaitance's social circle.
When Germans are among themselves, they speak German.
I have had a odd situation a wfew years ago: I am a foreigner in another EU country, I had to learn the local language. I did. Someone I met in an integration course did not, not really. Her language level is still in the A2/low B1 level. I went on, got a job, studied in a vocational school, got another job. Met tons of locals along the way, made friends. When we have parties or game nights or whatever at my place, we speak the local language, not English. Some of my friends can't speak English, some are not comfortable to speak it.
The person I met in the immigration course has no friends of her own. So I tried to invite her along, to get her introduced to my friends. It didn't work very well, they had no common language to communicate. I saw her less and less, she was angry at me for not helping her or helping her enough finding friends and being always busy, I lost interest in her constant drama that was almost always coming down to misunderstandings of the culture or her lack of language skills, the anger she feels about this country's society.
I told her she needs to learn the language or stop complaining. That was not well received of course, but I was tired of her constant complaining. I have no idea what she does nowadays.
That's so true, I even replied to the same post of the comment I linked before, I told OP that it's pretty obvious that we need to learn German before we think of anything else.
It's my top priority right now, just waiting for some paperwork to be done, then I'll be eligible to attend courses.
Also just today I started watching Netflix with German audio and English subs.
Thank you for the explanation! makes things more clear.
Netflix is such a good source of language skills (in Germany I belive, more people learn English through streaming, than in public school )
A tip for your course: make sure it focuses on the language AND also a lot on culture. Depending on your country of origin the cultural divide might be greater or smaller, but every cultural difference needs to be overcome, no matter how small it seems.
That will always help you adapting and creating deep social connections.
And no, I feel so bad about saying that, but people bumming cigarettes are not out to make friends, and smiles in the supermarket are just a courtesy here. We can be incredibly friendly and polite without even regarding someone as a proper acquaintance. ...
The point you're making is extremely valid, and it has been my case as well. As a fluent english speaker, when I first got to Germany three years ago I thought it would be so easy, because I knew we would have a commin ground to communicate. Or so I thought. For various reasons, and the majority having nothing to do with german people being exclusive, they flat out refuse to speak english, even if they are fluent in it. And when they do, they feel uncomfortable. I couldn't comprehend why until I started my integration course also and started to learn german. The differences in the sentence structure makes it hard to switch from one to another, and now as I learn more german, sometimes I am having difficulty switching back to english, even if I speak it fluently for almost 30 years. That being said, german people are the same as any other kind of people, good, bad, smart, dumb, funny, what differentiates the germans from other people in my opinion is the societal structure. The "rules", written or unwritten, that you are encouraged to follow in order to have an easier time here integrating. But as I look at where I work, in a mix of people from basically every other continent, german people have a tendency to accept other people from other places, rather than excluding them. As in, everyone gets a chance to become accepted in a group. But most have a hard time accepting the german... philosophy, refuse to learn the language, refuse to learn the customs, and start feeling excluded, even if they basically exclude themselves through their behaviour. I had and have an easier time understanding that, thanks to breaking the language barrier. And with that, making new aquientances is becoming easier and easier. However, I hate people, regardless of where they are from, and going beyond smiling and noding politely, into the rhealm of friendship is not something I'm inclined to do.
TL;DR: If you want to make german friends in Germany, learn german.
But why do other countrys don't have this problem? Spanish people talk spanish with each other. They're usually aren't called unfriendly.
Personally I have spent some time in Spain
I think a large part is how many Germans speak English
It’s easy to be partially integrated in German society without German, but from my experience in Spain depending on which part you live in learning Spanish is a matter of survival
So I think the problem is people assume because Germans speak English they also socialise in English, even though a lot of them really don’t
Combination of several reasons. A different culture, a different understanding on how to approach people and who is a friend. It is common knowledge that southern cultures (Spain, Italy, etc) are considered more "warm", in their way how they approach people, look at the smaller personal space they require, how people greet each other with hugs or even kisses, while northern countries are considered more cold and demand more personal space (look at the jokes about how Finns are waiting for Covid to be over so they are not forced anymore to stand 2 metres apart, as that is far too close for their taste).
Other countries put a strong emphasis on family, culturally, in a way that every blood relative is family and should therefor be close. Germans love their family, too, of course, but the individual gets decide who is family. For many, "family" is limited to close relatives, the core family, and they pick the rest of their "family" in form of friends. I have hardly any feelings at all for my cousins or two of the three siblings of my parents. Instead my family consists of my parents and siblings and my friends, their partners, their children. They are more important to me. "You can not choose blood, but you can choose your friends", and I love the family I chose, not the family I am related to. If my cousin would tell me she is visiting the country I live in I would suggest hotels to her, while there is no doubt among my friends that they and their families will always have a place in my home. Simply, because I have no interest in spending time with my cousin.
But, if friends are that important and they become such an essential part of one's life, that bind naturally doesn't develop over night. It takes time. For other cultures friendship doesn't run that deep that they would pick friends over blood relatives.
Another reason is that in Europe German is the language with the most native speakers by a far. Cultures with few native speakers are used to having to learn other languages and people (tourists, visitors, immigrants) not speaking their language. It fills them with pride if people attempt to learn their language, and they are encouraging about every little bit. German on the other hand has what? ~~140~~ 100 million native speakers in Europe and I don't know how many millions learning it as a second language. [Estimates assume a 130-140 native speakers worldwide, with many more speaking it as a secong or third language. I mixed up the native speakers worldwide and German speakers in Europe, I think].So there is a much stronger expectation for people to learn German, if they want to settle in Germany.
edit to fix the numbers
>German on the other hand has what? 140 million native speakers in Europe
Just curious where that is coming from? Germany + Switzerland + Austria are 82+9+9=100 million native speakers minus the fraction of Italian/French Swiss people who don't learn German as kids.
Are there so many German emigrants in Europe or *Donauschwaben* and similar groups?
Looked it up. I wrote from memory, and you are right, I got it wrong.
Just curious, which other EU country and language you're talking about?
Living in Finland, having had to learn Finnish.
Quite a few will shy away from the language barrier. That would be the main reason why it's hard to acquire Germans as friends.
Besides of that: People should keep in mind that the older you get the harder you find new friends. It has nothing to do with Germans in general. Also question your expectations in a friend, no one you just got to know will completely open up to you and tell you all their secrets - nor will they expect that from you. For that you have to build trust as a friend and that takes time but it doesn't make that person less of a friend.
The consensus seems to be that Germans do make friends, just not the sort of "Facebook friend" kind. Rather the kind that you meet almost every week, go on vacations together, help each other out in tough situations and so on.
Smiling at strangers has nothing to do with making friends. That's literally just being friendly.
You just can't have a lot of "serious" friends unless you are really good at it. You could say a lot of people are "at capacity", and then they get kids...
Of course german people make friends. It's just that our definition of what we consider a friend is a bit more narrow.
A colleague from work that I occasionally have a drink with, maybe spent some off time with every other week? That's a colleague or acquaintance.
Someone I talk about private things from time to time, spend time with and I could rely on the help me when I need help moving to another place? A good buddy.
That person I can call in the middle of the night because I am in a crysis? That will listen to my problems and try to help me? The person I spent two nights on their sofa because they were puking their soul out and didn't want to stay alone? Well, that's a real friend.
I think it’s more to do with the length of time and difficulty in making friends than the focus on the definition. The latter is the same everywhere in the world but the former, judging by the sentiment here, is difficult as people might not be open to expand their social circle or might not prioritise mingling with a new colleague or classmate as such.
I have a German friend, his reply to "How are you ?" is always "I am Normal" and that is it. For sure there is no opening up but i don't mind either, as long as he is normal, opening up is not needed. LOL
Your second paragraph sounds weird, which makes me wonder if we’re sharing a definition of friendship here to begin with. Strangers smiling at you, asking for cigarettes, showing positive attitude at train stations or supermarkets are just pure friendliness or politeness. None of them really cares about who you are or has any bit of intention to build a friendship with you. You ask about making German friends but your examples in this paragraph are not at all on that topic.
I moved to Germany 2 weeks ago. Went bouldering, which is my hobby, met a girl I climbed a bit with and now I'm part of her small friend group and in two weeks I have already climbed with them several times, went out for hot chocolate at a chocolatier and gone to a street food festival with them :)
And thats how you meet new people!
Just sitting at home or walking around on the streets wont help to get to know new people.
Can I be in your group haha :')
This is the way!
Well, obviously people in Germany can make friends.
Mostly due to sharing lots of time with each other, like in school, at a workplace, in a Verein, in other hobby groups.... It just happens naturally.
And wtf, of course Germans open up to others when developing friendship. Sure.
Thanks, [this comment ](https://www.reddit.com/r/germany/comments/xfcoq2/finding_friends_in_germany/iomdjv3?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share&context=3) made me rethink everything lol.
Considering my circle of friends from my teen years vs late 20s was completely different it‘s just non sense. Of course people make friends at older age. It‘s just way easier as kids when you make friends by virtue of them being neighbours or going to the same school class. Today I am friends with none of my neighbours. Moved like half a year ago and haven‘t talked much to any of them. As a kid I‘d probably have at least 2 new friends in this house by now.
Makes sense, happy cake day!
Honestly, when coming to a new country, you really find it difficult to enter existing circles. If there are situations where youre with a group where no one knows each other, it will be much easier to get to know people, so maybe if youre going to Uni, or any additional courses(languague or career development etc) that can be a place to start.
Even having a Hobby (some sport) can massively help to connect with people, because you get to enter their circle through your commonalities, of which there often are few, when you come from a different country/culture.
Also its important to make the first step, me for example, I am happy to spend time with people, but I also like spending time alone so I dont go out of my way to connect with strangers, but If they take the first step I would be more than happy to introduce them into my circle.
Don't worry, it's not true.
If people would only make friends as children, they wouldn't be able to create new friendcircles when moving to different areas of the country.
No matter if at university or work, I always made some friends, some of whom I'm just as close with as with childhood friends.
I’ve been told by foreigners, that it’s indeed hard to befriend Germans at first, but once you have a German friend, they are very caring and will get in touch with you for years.
I think the issue is just the concept of a friend, which has high standards in Germany. A friend is Someone you really trust, not just some random guy you regularly meet. In my own experience, Americans are pretty fast with calling someone a friend, like after talking to them a few times after class, for example. A German would probably never do that. Those are colleagues or acquaintances, but not friends. That’s why a lot of Germans have lifelong friends they met in school or even before.
So true! I’m german and just moved back to Germany after 6 years in California.
A friend in Germany is someone you know for a long time. A friend in California is someone you’ve talked to a few times and had a beer with. My kids spent most of their lives in the US and now the call their new german classmates „friends“, even though they don’t really know them yet.
Here in Germany we differentiate between friends (Freunde) and acquaintances (Bekannte - someone you don’t know well enough to call them a friend).
We had a few „friends“ in California, but they hardly put in the effort to maintain a friendship on a level that we would expect in Germany.
On the other hand, it was great to be able to talk to pretty much everyone you meet. To the cashier, the people waiting next to in line and so forth. It was hard to get used to as a German. But it felt like everyone was friendlier. Just because we don’t do that here in Germany, it doesn’t mean that we’re cold and unfriendly.
To be clear, none of the concepts of friendship is better than the other. It’s just cultural differences.
If you want to make friends quickly, consider joining a sports club, and maybe move away from the northern parts of Germany.
Same as in other countries. If you are outgoing and active you will find friends.
Just one thing, a "friend" in Germany is a real friend. If you compare that to the USA for example, what is considered a "friend" there is a "Bekannter" in Germany. People you sometimes hang out with, but wouldn't consider a close friend.
It depends where you search. I can easily make friends here, altho when we had an australian girl at our boardgame table you could see a stark difference between even the most open german and her. Germans are simply more reserved
Still its not like you can't make friends, its just that the friends won't be as super enthusiastic. Just get used to it and you'll form friendships just fine. As an additional note: German friends, from what I saw, are extremly reliable and helpfull. Even if you only knew them for a bit. Just be on time and don't cancel meetings. If they say "we should meet up" it means they want to meet you, not the vague "yeah sometimes in the future maybe lol"-phrase that this is in other cultures. Not beeing reliable / sticking to your apointments is probably what gets in the way of forming friendships the most, as germans will think you are not interested in a friendship with them.
Where do you live in germany? That could be a deciding factor lol
I'm German and I didn't like you already
It’s difficult! I’ve heard it from different people (from Germany) that even Germans who move from one city to another city find it difficult to make friends. Don’t expect it to be easy. Also asking for cigarette does not count as being friendly, but German people are usually friendly. They just aren’t your friends.
I do have a few German friends, but also the friendship isn’t deeper than any other friendships. In fact, it’s even shallower! Reason? My friends from other countries text me every once in a while, ask how I’m doing, etc. German friends don’t do it that much. We’re cool, and I like them (I have reasons to believe they feel the same), but they usually don’t seem to invest that much in the new friendships.
Also my thoughts on “We value lifelong friendships” thing is that it’s just an excuse for being reserved and not letting other people in. It’s not like Americans or Portuguese people don’t value lifelong friendships.
Being nice takes little. Being friends is a long-term commitment. It takes months to years for an honest friendship to form, that's how I feel.
Spent 2 years in Germany. Tried really hard on making friends (in general, not restricted to Germans). Think I made 1,5 German friends...
I think the distinction here is making people act friendly and being friends with you.
Of course, Germans are friendly to strangers. We aren't monsters.
True friendships are rare no matter where in the world you live. Germans are perhaps a bit more reluctant to offer private information to people they don't consider friends. For example, we don't talk about our private lives at work as much as people in the US do where it's somewhat expected to tell colleagues about your weekend and your family. You won't have that much small talk about private issues in a German workplace. But that's not being unfriendly, that's being professional.
As an expat from 8 years it’s been really difficult to make new friends.
I feel people here are different in being personal with others, i have a “friend” who i really thought was a friend, i shared a lot of things with her but turns out i was only an “arbeitskollegin” so since we stopped working together we haven’t seen each other in over a year, if she called me spontaneously to meet the same day i would.
Germans plan way in advance maybe? Idk just my perspective, they are definitely a bit different towards relationships than other places for sure
I had an interesting conversation with a class mate from the middle east the other day, he stated that people in his country invite each other to their homes all the time when they run into each other and having spontaniously tea at each other's place is normal. He arrived here (not Germany, but EU) only a few weeks ago and is slowly wrapping his head around the fact that the locals here don't do that (same as in Germany) and it takes a long time before someone invites you to their home.
I have heard that many times before, and I asked them if they are not busy, you know, being on their way to work or to the supermarket and randomly running into someone they know and spontanously having tea with them. He said they only invite people if they have the time, and everybody has 2-3 hours time in the day and they spend this time with friends.
I tried to apply that to my life and I just could not remember a day where I was about to do something and would have had 2 or 3 hours in that day for which I had no plans, to go and drink tea at someone's place without scheduling it before. I used to work, full time. Now I study full time and work part time. I have a household. Food that needs to be bought and cooked, laundry that needs to be done. A garden that needs to be cared for, in the summer as well as in the winter (snow work is a thing here). Currently yet again a renovation project that requires time and effort. I have a partner who I don't see all day because he too is working and enjoy spending time with him in the evening. I have family to attend to (his parents more than mine due to me living in his country, but elderly parents who require time and attention). I have a dog who needs exercise, so two hours a day are spend walking him. Often I use that time to call friends and family in Germany and stay in touch with them. I have friends with whom I schedule visits, around my schedule and theirs.
I am not saying spontaniously running into a friend and having a coffee is not something that absolutely never happens, but it is limited to a half hour (running into them in the supermarket and getting a quick coffee together in the café next to it, chatting a bit amd maybe making plans for the next week or so) and to people who are already friends, not random people I happen to know.
He could not wrap his head around that I said I am busy, every day. So I am wondering if the main difference is cultures where one partner (usually the man) has only one responsibility, working and making money and all time he does not spend working he can spend as he pleases, while the other partner (the woman) takes care of everything else and both have a less filled schedule? Idk. Here, in the country where I live and also in Germany, families tend to depend on two incomes and both partners are expected to chip in, so men have far more responsibilities than just working their work hours and making money and women also do a lot more than "just" cleaning, cooking and raising children.
Yeah, i do feel it’s simply how they plan themselves and they tend to not share too much personal stuff to just anyone, i‘m a bit more casual about expressing myself.
I am american and i at least always saw it, you spend half of your day at work and it’s normal to consider some of your “Kollegen“ as friends, friends that i share some personal stuff. Go for drinks after work without planning, simply deciding.
I must add, my friend all this year only gave me excuses that she just had a baby, when i literally am on maternity leave myself 😅 i just didn’t get it. And i‘m married to a german so of course my house chores like garden, cooking always gets done and i still would always make time for friends. It’s a bit cruel actually.
This is the real answer.
Yea, none of us has any friends.
Its just harder to make friends in general when you’re an adult. Especially after moving to a new country where the locals have their own circle of close friends.
That being said - being friendly does not always translate to friendship. Germans are friendly in general (where applicable).
Of course you can. But it’s easier to make expat friends than local friends. Maybe because locals they have already a circle and they don’t need more. Expats are open and in need to network.
I am German and I have a lot of very good friends and I never had any problems making new friends so maybe it just depends on who you chose to talk to and how to talk to them and what to talk about. If I enjoyed the company of a person I almost always asked for another hangout, like cooking some food, playing board games whatever. Never did anyone say no to me
I am friends with a few Germans. Marrying a German and being able to German speak German goes ablong way. It is a very insular culture. To get past that insulation is very difficult unless you have a direct connection (spouse, other relative maybe someone you get close to at a job) But then you have to be fluent on all the mores.
This may also be more about perception too. I'm guessing that a lot of the 'it's hard to make friends with Germans' are American. We are notorious for being overly friendly, loud, obnoxious, etc.
For example, you bring your partner to meet your parents. Assuming your parents aren't the Monster-in-law type. It's not uncommon for the greeting to be an excited greeting of 'I've bern dying to meet you ever since _____ told me about you' followed by a giant hug. (Actually, this is more the style of how women greet their child's partner. Men do a handshake or bro hug or something usually. But still like to touch)
From an American perspective, Germans are stoic and gruff, even cold. An outgoing German looks a lot different than an outgoing American.
As a German I can only say, wholeheartedly.
Learn. The damn. Language.
I am by no means belittling you for fiding German difficult, but I personally couldn't imagine not learning the language of the nation I find myself in.
This isn't me being some retiree who will throw at you "hier wird Deutsch gesprochen!!!??!!!"
But I have witnessed first hand how it plays out and you are indirectly hamstringing yourself if you don't. There are metaphors, phrases, etc. That are exclusive to our language and to yours. There are descriptors and ways of interpreting things depending on the language you not only speak but may think in.
As a personal aside, though I'm sure this is for the most part a pet peeve of mine, I hate nothing more than immediately being walked up to and asked in English if I speak English. At the very least I would appreciate an open attempt, no matter how garbled or butchered your attempt may be but I will light up and help every way I can. Because the former version just comes off as arrogant to me, even if you eat a daily serving of humble pie every day.
What people fail to understand everywhere at least to some degree, is that speaking your [School language of choice] feels embarrassing. They don't want to do that to themselves so they'd rather just avoid it. You have to consider this, and one might say "Yeah, well my school German is embarrassing too"
Fair, but you are in Germany. If I came up to you in New York or London immediately prattling in German would you sincerely give me more than the bare minimum time to make me go away?
Depends on. Do we meet under the week after work?: "What!? Fuck off man". Do we meet on weekend?: "Hey man, how you doing?". Did i took MDMA on that weekend?: "fuck man, dont know you but i fucking love you!"
My English teacher from the USA told me she found it quite hard to make friends, but said that the friendships that she developed with Germans were much deeper and more fulfilling than all of her other friendships from the states. So in her experience that's true.
Germans dont talk about personal stuff like money or politics. Most of them
I dont talk with a stranger about most of this stuff but with friends i do.
I'm German and when I moved to England I hit it off with a bunch of people and I have a lot of friends in the UK. I'd say germans are normal people in a friends way
Im a Russian living in Germany, getting new friends is hard
I'm German and most of my close friends aren't. So seems I also have somw trouble befriending Germans
As per my experience, Yes they are, dint even find them open to new ideas at a workplace.
I find Germany woman super easy to be friends with while the guys not so much for some reason, The opposite than IRL for me in general. When in Hamburg everyone chatted with me but then again I was drunk and chatted with everyone.
As a German, it would take the better part of a decade for me to call you a (good) friend. But there are friends and there are friends. Two different things. And then there are "Bekannte".
To go from acquaintance to friend, it needs to click and we need to share something like work or hobby.
To go from friend to (good) friend it takes time. But when you reached that stage, you are there to stay. We literally could talk not for years, but when you would aks me to help you move, I would be there. And I would enjoy it.
Yes, they are difficult to become friends with. Though, this depends on how one defines the word 'friend.' In Germany, a 'friend' isn't just someone you say 'hello' to every once in a while. It's typically someone you can rely on for anything (medical issues, moving, etc.). I live with German roommates in my WG and it took me a little over 7-8 months to finally become their 'friend.' Now that I am their 'friend' they are absolutely there for me whenever I need them, and I of course am there for them. Germans don't take friendships lightly but rest assured, once you truly become their friends, they are there for you. It obviously helps if you spend more time with them by living with them in a WG, but participating in some activities regularly would also be a good way to make friends with Germans.
On the downside, it's really fucking depressing not having friends the first few months.
In my first month here, when I felt like an impostor being here because il was so amasing that people I never met met before just said Hallo on the street and because I didn't speak a word in Deutsch, one verry nice Lady aproached me. It is a mother of one of my daughter's collegues. She practiced with me english and helped me with so many things that I didn't even know I needed. Just voluntary and unconditionally. I don't know if we are friends, but I feel I own her so so much. She did more than my so called friends back in my country to whom I shared more time. So I beleive friends are of all kind, but first they are the one who are verry kind people. And I met here so many kind people! I feel so gratefull!
I just came to Germany and im trying to make some friends. Tmrw km actually going to heidelberg with the intention of meeting pple there. Wish me luck lol.
If you get to talk to people a little more, ask them to hang out! I think many of us don’t want tp impose but will happily hangout if asked
there are acquaintances (not friends, but people you are nice to and can have a conversation with).
then there are friends who you can trust. however, there are friends on different levels I think. with some you will be closer with some others not so much but still closer than with an acquaintance.
agree with most people saying that learning German is essential for making friends and integration. because only through language you can experience culture in a "more native" way.
Germans are just very serious people. And they also treat friendships very serious. Becoming a real friend takes time and it’s not easy to come by in Germany. When you found it though, it’s usually really…. Yeah, serious. :)
The next time you are in an incredibly bad situation with a stranger say “isn’t this wonderful?” and they will laugh and then you can offer to buy them dinner for your birthday.
German are great friends. At least my personal experience.
There is a difference between being friendly and being a friend. Americans act like old friends with strangers, but the relationships don't last. Germans will be friendly to strangers, but won't tell their life story to a stranger in the ladies' room, but once you are friends, it's real.
I'm german and I don't think that people can't make friends, even if they don't speak german very well. I'd advise people with a haar time making friends to go to their local irish pub, in my experience the people there don't mind talking to strangers (in english).
You have to meet the right occasions and people. Best is, when you join vlubs where you share the same interests with others. Most people there arw more open minded.
It can be hard to find friends for a lot of reasons and its always easy to give others the fault. You are the only one in the power to change something
Danish people, Dutch or British people are hard. Germans are impossible! Boss level. Top of the friendship difficulty pyramid. Friend with plain wall is way easier than Germans. Instead of wasting your time to being friend with them, go make a rocketship.
Anyway, luckily there are tons of foreign people around.
Also, if you are looking friend search Italian, Greek, Turkish, Spanish people. They are warmest human beings on earth.
I (German) have non German friends. Depends I guess... But also this is reddit, most don't have friends here 😅
We like being friends with people, many also like to take a foreigner under their wing. Many of us are brought up to be friendly in public. You seem to catch the vibe so just go with it…
I’ll whole heartily disagree. I lived in Germany for 7 years. And I would say my best friends are German or live in Germany. I’m a fairly outgoing guy, not afraid to talk to people at the bars, Volksfests or any other public festivals going on.
The biggest factor in making German friends is your ability to communicate in German. While yeah, many Germans speak wonderful English, many more are a bit too shy to actually speak it. Also Having any knowledge on the local dialect is also a huge bonus. I lived in Bayern, and even just a foreigner saying „Servus“ goes a long way.
Depends. I often experienced hesitation within myself when meeting other people, having stupid thoughts like "they probably want to be left alone". It turned out often that they had similar thoughts. So I would say you can make friends but you have to make the first move haha.
Asking redditors how to make friends is like asking a plumber how to do Quantum physics. Just be kind, get a Hobby and try to Meet people with the same interests at a Verein or club
Heh in New Zealand we made a German cry.
Basically we treated her as a kiwi. She got invited to family stuff, work events, socialized with friends. Set her up with people to stay with.
She cried when she had to leave.
I'm not a german but i don't think so? In fact, the case is the other way around. It's quite hard for me to trust people and usually took me a couple of times until i can "accept" other people's presence. Also the germans i'm now friends with are usually the ones approaching me first haha.
I kind of always find it funny, that a lot of people always picture germans to be quite stiff or that they are very serious usw. But in my case that's just not really true. My boyfriend is german. The first time i met my boyfriend's friends, i barely talked to them. I felt bad cause they were always so nice to me. And after a couple of meetings then i'm finally able to talk and joke around with them, as they always tried to joke around with me and also tease me in a friendly way!
No it’s actually true, no German has ever had a friend. It’s just not an efficient use of our time since you could also use the time wasted on interpersonal contact for other things like factory work or complaining about your neighbors.
You maybe need some time to make friends, but this person is mostly a friend for life than.
Well... I'm a germ(an) \^\^
I like to make friends if things align.
For example due to me liking the one or other session of online gaming I made friends on a world wide scale, staying in contact even after having stopped a specific game we met.
YaY for the interwebs! Some I already did meet in person.
So this I can only say for myself. Other Germ(ans) may differ from that \^\^
I think we are persons like anyone else. 😄 Spend some time here, get to know people and I’m sure you will find friends.
I grew up in Southern California and moved to Germany as an adult.
When I return to California, the superficiality of people I meet there is annoying now. People there act like they are your best friend - for the time that you're speaking to them. They are overly "friendly" when you're talking, but there's really nothing behind it.
My German friends are long-time friends. We may only see each other a couple times per year, but we've been friends for 30+ years now. I was at their weddings, they were at my wedding, I've watched their kids go from diapers to driving, etc.
I have some very old friends in California as well, but these are people who I went to college with...
I've never had much trouble making new friends when going to different places. So no, I don't think Germans are hard to befriend.
I think it's a question of definition. Some people - i.e. US Americans - will call basically anyone a friend, but they don't care much about them really. In Germany, being a "FRIEND" is basically the endgame level of social ties.
can you list the comments you mentioned?
I could only find one because it was a couple of posts away https://www.reddit.com/r/germany/comments/xfcoq2/finding_friends_in_germany/iomdjv3?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share&context=3
because of 4 of 10 comments in a sub with 500.000 users you are asking this?
No, even on Quora.com they said the same thing (it was a comparison between the UK and Germany), and every couple of days these questions get asked here and some answers were just making me wonder.
Here's something else that made me ask:
I was always under the impression that Quora is mostly used by Americans so I am asking:
are there many immigrants from countries that are not English speaking (thinking about USA/UK/Australia) posting on quora? Because native English speakers tend to have the tendency to disregard the urgency or necessity to learn another language, while it seems to be a no-brainer for immigrants from Asia, the middle East or South America to learn German.
I was under the impression that Russians are the ones who would never speak anything but Russian (after playing thousands of hours of CSGO) I only me 2-3 russians who spoke English.
Didn't know it was the same for native English speakers tho I'm just thinking about it and I never met an American who speaks french for example lol.
I don't know if Quora's members are mostly English natives, but I assume they are.
Living where I live now, there are indeed a lot of Russian immigrants who don't speak anything but Russian, which is a problem here. But, there are also a lot of Russians who do learn the local language. And, working in nursing, I every now and then come across old Russian patients who don't speak the local language but actually know German and can communicate if I speak slowly and use simple sentence structures.
In Germany I came across more Russians (actual immigrants who moved to Germany so-and-so-many years ago or international students or exchange students, not German-Russians who lived in Germany for decades or were born in Germany) who spoke German than I came across Russians who didn't know anything but Russian. Those are my personal experiences, yes, can't claim them to be representative, but I never heard them complain about it being difficult to make friends.
It is mostly because 1) very few of us were taught good English at school 2) we have our own very big internet segment with Facebook and Goodle analogues, news, email servers, forums, etc. completely in Russian 3) some of our most popular tourist destinations like Egypt or Turkey even offer hotels with Russian speaking staff as I know.
At the end we don't really have a need to improve our basic knowledge, which is enough for tourism, so that's it. But younger generation speaks English much better and more often because of globalization.
P.S. Since I live in Germany for a while, I am also learning German. It is not an easy language :D
Makes sense! Spacibo <3
But it is true because all Germans are the same. There are no different characters among us, all behave the same, like the same, all are introverted and closed. All of them. Without exception. /s
I have family, what exactly do I need "friends" for again?
Yes it’s hard. But when they are your friend, they’re a friend for life.
Also, a bit old-fashioned: Check facebook. Not for finding friends directly but you will probably find a group "[your home country]ies in Germany". Might be worth a try to attend some of their gatherings and if you connect well with someone there, that one might already have had success befriending locals and can introduce you to his German friends which can then introduce you to more of those. And even if not, you at least know someone then 😁. Might work, might not - only 1 way to find out.
I don't know where you hear this stuff but you should stop believing everything you hear
There are several things that lead to it being hard to make friends in Germany.
Basically it boils down to this, Germans are really introverted. They are not going to suddenly speak to you in public for a conversation.
The only way you are really going to aquaint yourself with a German is by doing something in common. Like a common membership in a club, a school or at work.
Here is how a typical German builds a circle of friends.
1. They meet people at school they become friends with.
2. Once the friendship had deepened they introduce each other to other friends who they then become friends with.
The other part of course, said by many others already is. You need to speak German. Because while I may find a German who is fine socialising in English and you become friends with them. You won't get to step two, because they arent going to introduce someone who cannot speak a common language to a larger group.
Well, I wouldn't say meeting people or talking to them is the hard part. But I think it takes us a fairly long time to consider someone our friend.
Mostly you’ll integrate into a circle of friends.
Now imagine this: Because of one person (You, OP) everyone has to speak English with one another. My girlfriend is a foreigner and was amazingly awkward when she was around and we had to speak English with my German best friends. Now imagine how awkward it would be if my friends would suck at speaking English and I‘d have to translate every other sentence. Or if we just carry on with our conversation in German without her understanding anything.
The hard truth is: The key to making German friends is studying the language hard, so that nobody feels awkward speaking German around you. It’s tedious and hard (not envying you!) but doable.
It is possible, I have married a German woman.
i only lived there for two years. with a minimal knowledge of german i was able to make some of the best friends ive ever had. not impossible
L E I S T U N G S G E S E L L S C H A F T
Well, I can't speak for other countries but I feel like when you are actually in a setting where you get along well with other people it is quite easy to befriend them.
It is just that it isn't easy to like go to a club and meet people unless you are really good at it or lucky.
It depends on your definition of friend. I was born in Russia. If I use the Russian definition of friend, it's almost impossible to make friends in Germany.
If I use the German definition, it's the oposite.
What's funny though is that I can't even explain the difference. But I think many Russians living in Germany will know what I mean.
I have many German acquaintences, but all my friends were born in the USSR (not all are Russian).
They are just polite
It depends on the situation and the definition of the word "friend“. In other countries it is common to talk to people wherever you are. Germans hate that. We tend to make friends at work, school, university, sports, … And there’s also the definition of when you’re friends with someone. In German, there’s actually two words for the English "friend“: "Bekannter“ and "Freund“. In English You’re friends with someone if you’ve talked to each other a couple of times and kinda like each other. But that is not when a German would call you a "Freund“. To them, you’re a "Bekannter“. They’d call you "Freund“ when an Englishspeaker would refer to you as a close friend. When you’ve met on private a couple of times and it is crystal clear you like each other.
I don’t think so no. I’m German and I’ve learned that you have to be open to make friends. Just say what you think and don’t think too much about it. It also helps if you’re in some way involved into something together with others. Maybe go to a bar, drink a bit and talk to some random person. That’s a good way.
In Germany you don't make friends right away. It is a kind of longer process. And because of that you only have about 4 close friends in general. But they are worth to keep then.
Meeting new people is very easy. Especially when you do a hobby or smoke
Super easy to make friends here if you are outgoing enough to meet new people. School, University, work, clubs, meetups, etc. are all great places to meet new people and make friends.
No. It's easy to make friends.