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Is Poland good for expats with social phobia?


Michel88
17 Oct 2020 #1
Would Poland be suitable just for a chatty expat? I have social phobia so I'm extremely shy and need assurance/smiles/others breaking the ice to feel accepted. A quote from an Irish lady in Poland:

" Being Irish myself, I tend to be very chatty and I've found out all about their families, their children, grandchildren, their boyfriends/girlfriends, what they're making for lunch today etc. Lately I've been discussing Christmas cooking with people and have been given lots of kindly advice and tips. I even know where some of them live and what their pets are called :)) The funny thing is that my husband who is Polish finds it mildly embarrassing. He doens't like accompanying me into shops where I'm 'known'. He says 'do you have 'friends' in here? Ok, I'll wait outside.'! He says that kind of thing might be normal in Ireland but it's weird in Poland :) Then he just laughs and says 'you and your Irish ways'."
Ironside 49 | 10,621
17 Oct 2020 #2
No, if you have problem Poland is not the cure. If you don't have family or friends you will just die in the dich by yourself and not even a lame dog would care.

Sure there is a slim chance some stranger took pity on you but why would you burden a perfect stranger with your problems, don't you have any kin or friends?
pawian 173 | 13,530
17 Oct 2020 #3
The funny thing is that my husband who is Polish finds it mildly embarrassing.

Hmm, there can be multiple explanations for his attitude. E..g, he might realise that his wife is only pretending vivid interest in other people`s stories and lives, but actually she doesn`t really want to hear them - if she does listen or even asks question, it is out of pure courtesy as the Irish are known for their immense politeness. The husband is a bit tired of it coz he thinks it is a waste of time.
kaprys 3 | 2,466
18 Oct 2020 #4
Moving to a different country always includes getting to know its reality including the beaurocracy, social and cultural nuances etc so it always includes some sort of culture shock, even if a mild one.

And you need to meet new people who won't be always smiling. So if you have a social phobia you need to take care of it in a well known environment first with the support of people you can count on.

There's a difference between being shy and having a social phobia. In the latter case it'd be good to consult a professional.
Atch 17 | 3,305
18 Oct 2020 #5
his wife is only pretending vivid interest in other people`s stories and lives

I'm the chatty Irish woman referred to by the OP ;-D

I can confirm that I am actually genuinely interested in people - but in a casual way. That's an Irish trait. We are interested in you but that doesn't mean we want to be 'friends', if you get my drift.

Would Poland be suitable just for a chatty expat?

Of course not. But you won't get the smiles, small talk etc. that you're seeking for reassurance. Poles don't crack a smile to strangers very often. On the other hand, if you are introduced to them by somebody they know and trust, then they will be very welcoming and the hospitatlity can be almost overwhelming. If they decide they are going to befriend you, then it's a real friendship, not a casual acquaintance. Of course you don't have to be specially introduced. You could become friends if you work together or are both members of some group like a sports club or a choir. They would gradually get to know you and once they issue an invitation to join them for something, then that's the start of a friendship.

Also, bear in mind, that as Poles are not very chatty and smiley to strangers, they won't expect chat and smiles from you either, so the fact that you're shy won't be a major problem. But the other poster, Kaprys is right. If you have a phobia or anxiety disorder, you need to address that separately.
pawian 173 | 13,530
18 Oct 2020 #6
I'm the chatty Irish woman referred to by the OP ;-D

Oh, really? hahaha funny coincidence.

We are interested in you but that doesn't mean we want to be 'friends

Yes, that`s perfectly all right. So my supposition about the wife was wrong,.I am sorry. :):)
OP Michel88
18 Oct 2020 #7
Well I do understand Poles being a bit melancholic. Heavy history, being surrounded by evil neighbors and having a brand of socialism worse than that of say Hungary. I just hope Polish people do not snitch on you like Germans are used to do.
pawian 173 | 13,530
18 Oct 2020 #8
they won't expect chat and smiles from you either, so the fact that you're shy won't be a major problem.

Yes, I wanted to say it before but forgot. Sclerosis.

Yes, people will sense it after a while and after being considered shy, he will be looked upon as a weirdo.
OP Michel88
19 Oct 2020 #9
Anxiety is not curable though, no? Pills only mask the problem.
jon357 63 | 15,538
19 Oct 2020 #10
Anxiety is not curable though, no?

Perhaps not always curable, though certainly treatable.
OP Michel88
19 Oct 2020 #11
Ok but are most Northern countries like Poland filled with introverts? Aren't there extroverted Poles? I think it's to do with the weather. Bulgaria also had a turbulent history yet they are jolly and all small talk and giggles, very extroverted.
pawian 173 | 13,530
19 Oct 2020 #12
Yes, there are but most become celebrities who have gone to the top so you have no contact with them.
OP Michel88
19 Oct 2020 #13
Maybe a shy southerner would appear as more of an extravert?
pawian 173 | 13,530
19 Oct 2020 #14
I think it's to do with the weather.

Yes, exactly. In warm climate, people worry less about food, clothes and shelter for winter time. In colder countries, people have to accumulate proper supplies to survive freezing seasons.
Atch 17 | 3,305
20 Oct 2020 #15
are most Northern countries like Poland filled with introverts?

I don't think so. Ireland and the UK are northern countries and the people are not introverted. English people are definitely more reserved but they are courteous and polite as a rule. That's not always the case with Poles. They are not only reserved with strangers but can be very rude and brusque. On the other hand I've met some really lovely, friendly and chatty Polish people. People are people, regardless of nationality or culture, you will always encounter people with good social skills and those without.

Anxiety is not curable though, no? Pills only mask the problem.

Anxiety can be considerably reduced and improved with therapeutic treatment, where the sufferer learns to manage their condition. Bascially you need a good cognitive behavioural therapist. If you can't afford one or don't have access to one, I'm sure there are plenty of books, if you do a Google search.
johnny reb 28 | 5,047
20 Oct 2020 #16
Some drugs including marijuana cause acute anxiety.
Just saying ;-)
OP Michel88
20 Oct 2020 #17
Well everyone seems to have different experiences. Some say Germans are nicer than Poles, others the opposite. At the end I'll go there where I find a job. It's been hard to find one in Poland so far.


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