One of the first things The Frau noticed upon moving to Switzerland was how quiet the Swiss were. They were quiet on public transport. In the office. And even on the streets.
Once, The Frau and an American friend even got yelled at for being “too loud” while talking with one another at a tram stop in Zurich—even though they were only talking in normal American voices.
|Quiet, peaceful Switzerland. |
A great place for American introverts.
It took awhile for The Frau to realize this, but a quiet and reserved culture like Switzerland does something really amazing for quiet and reserved people: it allows them to be themselves—especially in the workplace.
Those who live or have lived in “loud” America might understand this to a larger degree. Because if you’re an introvert in America, you are told from a young age that something is wrong with you. Never mind that about 50% of the population is just like you. Quiet is taught to be loud in America. Because in the U.S., loud is rewarded in both work and life.
So at any time, there are a lot of introverts pretending to be extroverts in America. The Frau used to be one of them. But after moving back to the U.S. after living in Switzerland, The Frau learned that her personality should be respected too. So now, as she recently wrote about for Salon.com, she is an unapologetic introvert.
Has living in Switzerland (or another culture) made you realize something good about your personality?