Interested in study on introversion/extraversion by country

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Tyri0n
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02 Apr 2013, 12:27 am

Tried to find such a study and kept coming up short. I'm very curious if anyone else is aware of such a study. I personally had a good experience in China, but it's hard for foreigners to build a career there long-term.

I am interested in emigrating to an introverted country. At least compared to China, the U.S. encourages discrimination against introverts. I think it's important for aspies to be introverted in order to avoid social mistakes and have longer to "think before you talk." Introversion is how I manage not to do or say inappropriate things.



Krabo
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02 Apr 2013, 12:51 am

I don't know about any such study but the country of your dreams is Finland.

Put two Finns in an elevator. Neither of them says a word and they don't feel uneasy at all. There is mutual understanding between them that they don't have to start small talk. They don't teach us this kind of behavior at home or elementary school. It's in our genes.



Tyri0n
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02 Apr 2013, 1:02 am

Krabo wrote:
I don't know about any such study but the country of your dreams is Finland.

Put two Finns in an elevator. Neither of them says a word and they don't feel uneasy at all. There is mutual understanding between them that they don't have to start small talk. They don't teach us this kind of behavior at home or elementary school. It's in our genes.


Sounds perfect! :lol:



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02 Apr 2013, 10:13 am

This would make for an interesting study. I've heard things about people being generally extroverted in the US, but where I live many people are more introverted.


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02 Apr 2013, 10:57 am

I'd also be very interested to read such a study. I think that many Asian countries such as China and Japan are much more introvert-friendly than the west. Perhaps this is because, in those two countries at least, there is a lot of cultural focus on intellectual and career accomplishment over social accomplishment, and introversion is positively correlated with studiousness and intellectual success.

You may be interested to know that in other countries (at least in Europe - I don't have experience of other places) the stereotype of Americans is of very loud, brash people. I think this is because American celebrities in films and TV behave this way, but although I dislike stereotypes, I have to say that the few Americans I've met in person also fit this stereotype - they seemed to talk at the tops of their voices, gesticulate and move their bodies around a lot while speaking, want to attract the attention of as many people as possible, and generally be extroversion personified. Even their clothes were loud! Of course I know not all Americans are this way, but I agree with you that American culture seems to teach its children to be very extroverted and make strong displays of confidence, and discourage introversion as something "bad".

I'm British, and while different areas of the UK are very different to one another (cities vs towns/villages have very different kinds of people), I think on average mature British people are more reserved than their American counterparts because we don't have quite the same level of extrovert promotion going on. However, though it's not quite as bad here, unfortunately there is still a preference for extroversion, so I can't recommend it as an aspie bolt-hole.

I think there's a very unfortunate imbalance going on in most Western cultures, because both ways of being are just as valid and important as one another, yet we poor introverts get walked all over, passed over for jobs, bullied, told to change ourselves, etc.

I like the sound of Finland.



BenderRodriguez
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02 Apr 2013, 11:43 am

Based on my experience, Scandinavia or Germany (might depend on the area, I'm only familiar with the North). It's not usual to interact with strangers outside asking or being asked for directions, help etc, no nosy neighbours, my co-workers would not ask personal questions off the bat, such things are discussed only with people you know better, there's a door opened to friendship but nobody's pushing you towards it, not much small talk and definitely not with strangers, no feeling embarrassed by silence.

Scandinavians in particular (Germans to some extent) are often perceived by extroverts as rude and unfriendly. Less hypocritical, helpful and non-intrusive would be my view.



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02 Apr 2013, 11:58 am

How well someone gets along in a country probably depends a lot on what a person's like.

I live in Germany and it's been nothing but problems.


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BenderRodriguez
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02 Apr 2013, 12:30 pm

Sora wrote:
How well someone gets along in a country probably depends a lot on what a person's like.

I live in Germany and it's been nothing but problems.


Sorry to hear that. I wasn't saying everybody would be happy in Germany though, just mentioning it as a place where I wasn't socially punished for being introverted.

Do you work there? Do you speak German? I know how hard it can be to live in a foreign country when things don't go well, I hope it will get better for you.



Tyri0n
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02 Apr 2013, 12:45 pm

BenderRodriguez wrote:
Sora wrote:
How well someone gets along in a country probably depends a lot on what a person's like.

I live in Germany and it's been nothing but problems.


Sorry to hear that. I wasn't saying everybody would be happy in Germany though, just mentioning it as a place where I wasn't socially punished for being introverted.

Do you work there? Do you speak German? I know how hard it can be to live in a foreign country when things don't go well, I hope it will get better for you.


I think being socially inappropriate can cause problems anywhere. But I am not that way. I can be very respectful and perceptive of local customs and such, as my experience in China vs. other foreigners demonstrated. My problems are mostly due to being reserved, unemotional, and cold.



BenderRodriguez
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02 Apr 2013, 1:15 pm

Tyri0n wrote:
I think being socially inappropriate can cause problems anywhere. But I am not that way. I can be very respectful and perceptive of local customs and such, as my experience in China vs. other foreigners demonstrated. My problems are mostly due to being reserved, unemotional, and cold.


Yep, that was exactly my point, the bolded part never caused me to be socially punished in Scandinavia and Germany, as it happened in other countries. I was more under the impression that the ones who criticised the locals as being "cold and rude" and even tried to impose their own brand of manners were actually inappropriate as they made little to no effort in understanding and respecting local culture and customs. The most common complaint I've heard from expats everywhere was basically "it's not like we do it at home" :lol:



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Tyri0n
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02 Apr 2013, 6:57 pm

BenderRodriguez wrote:
Tyri0n wrote:
I think being socially inappropriate can cause problems anywhere. But I am not that way. I can be very respectful and perceptive of local customs and such, as my experience in China vs. other foreigners demonstrated. My problems are mostly due to being reserved, unemotional, and cold.


Yep, that was exactly my point, the bolded part never caused me to be socially punished in Scandinavia and Germany, as it happened in other countries. I was more under the impression that the ones who criticised the locals as being "cold and rude" and even tried to impose their own brand of manners were actually inappropriate as they made little to no effort in understanding and respecting local culture and customs. The most common complaint I've heard from expats everywhere was basically "it's not like we do it at home" :lol:


Yes, I observed the same happening with two very wealthy/pampered Hispanic Americans from LA; they both got fired from my job for not respecting Chinese culture or getting along with our introverted Chinese co-workers (the north of China is very introverted). I got lots of raises and bonuses, and my boss begged me not to leave for law school.

Fast forward to now, I feel very depressed, incompetent, and isolated in Austin Texas. It's all about the environment, regardless of what NT's say. It really is.

We can't adapt to a hostile environment as well as NT's can, so it is much better to find an environment more adapted to us.



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02 Apr 2013, 7:46 pm

Tyri0n wrote:
Fast forward to now, I feel very depressed, incompetent, and isolated in Austin Texas. It's all about the environment, regardless of what NT's say. It really is.

We can't adapt to a hostile environment as well as NT's can, so it is much better to find an environment more adapted to us.


I agree to a great extent. Except for a few issues not related to environment for which I found coping mechanisms along the years, being able to choose where I live and what kind of people I deal with was crucial for me. Paradoxically, I socialise a lot more in introverted cultures, where I'm not feeling so worn out and invaded. I might not be your regular Tom, Dick or Harry, but many NTs aren't either and people don't usually perceive me as "defective". I see the same thing with my son, who wasn't diagnosed as a child and didn't grow up with the idea that there's something "wrong" with him, so he's more receptive in finding ways around his impairments instead of giving in to frustration. But we're both rather "mild", I'm not talking about the steeper end of the spectrum.

I hope you find your way out, I respect your determination to be what you want to be against all odds. What you're trying to do is possible and worthy.



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02 Apr 2013, 8:26 pm

BenderRodriguez wrote:
Based on my experience, Scandinavia or Germany (might depend on the area, I'm only familiar with the North). It's not usual to interact with strangers outside asking or being asked for directions, help etc, no nosy neighbours, my co-workers would not ask personal questions off the bat, such things are discussed only with people you know better, there's a door opened to friendship but nobody's pushing you towards it, not much small talk and definitely not with strangers, no feeling embarrassed by silence.


I'm ethnically Norwegian and I live in Norway (have my entire life) and I can assure you that
- we do have nosy neighbors here (and I live in a big city, it's worse in smaller places)
- you will encounter colleagues or others who will ask you questions you think are too personal, or are pushy in other ways
- there is definitely a lot of smalltalk here


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BenderRodriguez
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02 Apr 2013, 8:35 pm

Skilpadde wrote:
BenderRodriguez wrote:
Based on my experience, Scandinavia or Germany (might depend on the area, I'm only familiar with the North). It's not usual to interact with strangers outside asking or being asked for directions, help etc, no nosy neighbours, my co-workers would not ask personal questions off the bat, such things are discussed only with people you know better, there's a door opened to friendship but nobody's pushing you towards it, not much small talk and definitely not with strangers, no feeling embarrassed by silence.


I'm ethnically Norwegian and I live in Norway (have my entire life) and I can assure you that
- we do have nosy neighbors here (and I live in a big city, it's worse in smaller places)
- you will encounter colleagues or others who will ask you questions you think are too personal, or are pushy in other ways
- there is definitely a lot of smalltalk here


Yes, such things exist everywhere. They are much more prevalent in some places though. For instance, I had one rather crazy and very intrusive neighbour while living in Copenhagen. I had almost exclusively intrusive, insidious and gossipy neighbours while living in a smaller city in England. Luck can also play a part and I made it quite clear I'm only speaking about my own experiences.

People (at least those who aren't xenophobic) also tend to cut foreigners more slack, not hold them to the same standards and often attribute their differences or quirks to "being foreign", especially if they're not offensive or inappropriate.



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03 Apr 2013, 2:18 am

BenderRodriguez wrote:
Skilpadde wrote:
BenderRodriguez wrote:
Based on my experience, Scandinavia or Germany (might depend on the area, I'm only familiar with the North). It's not usual to interact with strangers outside asking or being asked for directions, help etc, no nosy neighbours, my co-workers would not ask personal questions off the bat, such things are discussed only with people you know better, there's a door opened to friendship but nobody's pushing you towards it, not much small talk and definitely not with strangers, no feeling embarrassed by silence.


I'm ethnically Norwegian and I live in Norway (have my entire life) and I can assure you that
- we do have nosy neighbors here (and I live in a big city, it's worse in smaller places)
- you will encounter colleagues or others who will ask you questions you think are too personal, or are pushy in other ways
- there is definitely a lot of smalltalk here


Yes, such things exist everywhere. They are much more prevalent in some places though. For instance, I had one rather crazy and very intrusive neighbour while living in Copenhagen. I had almost exclusively intrusive, insidious and gossipy neighbours while living in a smaller city in England. Luck can also play a part and I made it quite clear I'm only speaking about my own experiences.

Fair enough. I don't have any basis for comparison as to how it is elsewhere; I've only been out of Norway for short vacations. I just wanted to clarify that we have those here too because you made it sound like they were practically non-existent here and sadly they are not. I wish! Here's to all of them emigrating! :lol:


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