It gets a little tiring trying to teach them subtly, since I, like so many others, am usually all about the avoidance of conflict. Sometimes I want to just grab them and shake them and ask them if they are really listening to themselves, to what they are saying, to how negative they sound about everything. No, things are not perfect here, but I challenge you or anyone else to find someplace where they ARE. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Uh huh, I thought so.
I'm not saying there isn't plenty to vent about here in Sweden, anymore than anywhere else, but I sometimes feel that people should be awarded a bonus point for every POSITIVE thing they add to the negative things they say without hesitation. Sadly, I don't think there would be a lot of bonus points awarded. I sometimes feel like a hypocrite because when someone is going on and on about how cruddy this is, and how bad that is, and how terrible things are, I try to refute it by saying, "well sometimes"...or..."well, not in my experience"...or..."really? I never thought so" but after repeated assaults I usually give up and just stay quiet. I doubt that they are hearing anything past the negativity that is spurting out, and the funny thing is the few times I have called someone on it and mentioned how negative they are being, they are always genuinely surprised and affronted, because they don't see themselves as being negative. *sigh*
I really like my life here. I like my job, I like my home, I like my family, I like my friends. I have a good support circle, and meaningful (if occasionally overdemanding) hobbies. I'm comfortable in Sweden, and I know I would probably be able to be comfortable most anywhere. I think energy spent worrying about and bitching over the little things that go wrong or aren't perfect or aren't the same as they were back home are pointless, because I'm HERE and I think it's more worth the effort to make the best of it. To find the positive. To make a difference with MY good attitude and my outlook on life. I wish everyone shared my perspective, but I know that's not the case.** I can't change that, but I can refuse to kowtow to it.
Reading things that people write about their life here in Sweden is always interesting to me since it's a shared experience, but I have to admit, I prefer the ones that are positive or at least are fair. I am not saying that I don't want to read or hear rants or vents, I just want a fair balance. And I'm very grateful and appreciative of the friends I've made and the people I read who DO spend their energy finding the good things, detailing the positive, opening other's eyes to the nice and the pleasant and the interesting things about living here.
There are such good things about being in an expat club like the AWC, that it's often a shock all over again to me, when I realize that for some, the chance to get together with other expats is often an excuse to rag on Swedes and Sweden. I need to be more upfront about my position, I guess, and make it clear that I just really don't want to hear it, if all a person has to say is negative.
Good grief, was that a RANT?? ozswede, you're finally rubbing off on me.
Thank you to gale_storm and brief_therapy for being the right kind of good company. :)
In other news: Pussywillows! Greening budding growing things! Daffodils and their bobbly heads!
**Although, if I ruled the world, THINGS WOULD BE DIFFERENT AROUND HERE! hahaha!