What is the best response when Germans are unreasonably rude to you? Or reasonably rude?

188 posts in this topic

Back on topic, it sounds to me like Dampstew started to get bad feelings about having a business relationship with this person, and did not step away early enough.

Whilst it might be difficult for a Brit to turn around and say "er, I thik I will go and find myself another estate agent", by not having done so, he has indicated being happy with the current situation and wanting to continue to do business with said person.

Sure, it might be a bit unusual to ask for the wife to come along to viewings or even for a copy of her Schufa, but if the estate agent were any good, he would have calmly and clearly explained why he needed them. This one did not - apparently, he started to get angry, which should have been a huge red flag...

Go and find yourself another estate agent, one that you feel good about working with, and I am sure you will have a nice place to live in no time!

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14 hours ago, dampstew said:

Concrete example.

I went to a real-estate agent. Apparently he wanted that I come with my wife together, and he went on and on about why I could possibly think it was ok to come alone.

Later, we progress with the deal, and he tells me he needs Schufa for both me and my wife. I ask him if he could just do with my Schufa since my wife doesn't work and she is very new in Germany, hence there can't be much in the Schufa report anyways.

 

He goes: "I need BOTH. If you want to rather save 30 EUR, the apartment will go nowhere"

 

Like, there is no reason to be pissy. In any other country I've been, people would say something like "Sorry we need both" and be done with it. Here it appears many people react pissy for very little reasons.

 

How is one supposed to react in such situations? So far I've been trying to hit back since I don't want them to walk all over me, but this isn't very pleasant for me for obvious reasons. Do you just ignore? What is the best way to deal with this?

 

I have moved several times here in Germany, and being the wife I understand the estate agent completly. When you are married both of you are responsible for finances. If your husband is in debt or wife etc, both are responsible. Me and my partner always go to the viewings together as it is a decision you make as a couple.

 

However, there was no need for the estate agent to be rude. Once we were unable to view the property together as my partner had to work late so I asked the estate agent if I could view it and if we could make a separate appointment together. The estate agent was friendly and this was not a problem at all.

 

I think though as well it is a culture difference. I have had many times where I have thought this person was being rude, but they were behaving perfectly acceptable for German standards. They even call us English speakers "Scheissfreundlich"- Shitty friendly. I have been here 20 years and yes it does still get to me sometimes. I just have to basically realise I am not dealing with my culture but rather their culture, and when in Rome etc etc...

 

I have noticed estate agents in other countries really go to an effort to sell and rent properties but in Germany this is not the case. Just remember if you really like a place and want it, that is what is important.

 

People in Germany are very well protected by laws. This means there is a massive problem with what they call "Mietnomaden" basically renting nomads. People who move in, never pay a penny in rent, leave the place in a mess and make it a living hell for the landlord to get them out. Hence the need for Schufa/blacklist report. In some areas where propery is scare you even have to apply for a flat/house/apartment much like you have to apply for a job.

 

I have friends in London, who say it has now become like this there as well because properties are so scarce!

 

 

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3 hours ago, robinson100 said:

Back on topic, it sounds to me like Dampstew started to get bad feelings about having a business relationship with this person, and did not step away early enough.

Whilst it might be difficult for a Brit to turn around and say "er, I thik I will go and find myself another estate agent", by not having done so, he has indicated being happy with the current situation and wanting to continue to do business with said person.

Sure, it might be a bit unusual to ask for the wife to come along to viewings or even for a copy of her Schufa, but if the estate agent were any good, he would have calmly and clearly explained why he needed them. This one did not - apparently, he started to get angry, which should have been a huge red flag...

Go and find yourself another estate agent, one that you feel good about working with, and I am sure you will have a nice place to live in no time!

 

My honest struggle with this is that it's so frequent that I can hardly avoid it. Sometimes I can afford to just walk away. But often I can't (when the rude person is my landlord, neighbor, if the property is too good to miss, or at work).

 

So far the advice seem to be "remove yourself from the situation", but if that's not an option, what do you do? I'm imagining Germans must have some sort of pattern of how to act in these situations. Are you expected to push back and "counter rude"? Or is that counterproductive? One German claimed to me that's exactly what you should do. He was in a Kneipe in Berlin, and the bartender goes "Was guckst du denn so", and then you are supposed to counter "Was guckst DU denn so", and then you get all friendly. Is this like the accepted social interaction?

 

It's just a very alien situation to encounter for me that I honestly don't know what to do.

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1 minute ago, dampstew said:

So far the advice seem to be "remove yourself from the situation", but if that's not an option, what do you do? I'm imagining Germans must have some sort of pattern of how to act in these situations. Are you expected to push back and "counter rude"? Or is that counterproductive? One German claimed to me that's exactly what you should do. He was in a Kneipe in Berlin, and the bartender goes "Was guckst du denn so", and then you are supposed to counter "Was guckst DU denn so", and then you get all friendly. Is this like the accepted social interaction?

 

 

You have a couple of options, you ignore it, you run away or you return it.  People use a mix of those strategies.

 

Id say that the most common is to wait until the person in question has left, possibly still within earshot, and then complain about them

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10 hours ago, JCrichton said:

The article is complaining for the sake of complaining, nothing else.

 

yeah and the regular rants about how "germans are so rude" sound quite similar.  Get it?

 

I don't think you do.  Your version of "politeness" is *actually* seen as "exaggerated friendliness" by many from other cultures.  Which is exactly what someonesdaughter is pointing out.

 

I do think there is a component of that to dampstew's problem.  Which is to say that unless Hamburgers have an extra level of aggressive brusqueness that's lacking in Bavaria, it is highly unlikely that *everyone* is so terrible to deal with.  It sounds more like lack of understanding and/or weariness with the cultural gap to me.

 

anyway in a service situation, I don't really care if the person is less than "nice" - so long as the job gets done I don't sweat it.  It's quite rare in my experience here that someone is overly unpleasant, but when it does happen I ignore it, and if I have actually done something to inspire some impatience (like not providing info or action which is required of me) I correct that.

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2 hours ago, dampstew said:

 

 

So far the advice seem to be "remove yourself from the situation", but if that's not an option, what do you do?

 

Get used to it. He wasn't rude for German standards. He asked you to come with your wife, for whatever reason you did not want to. He said you need a Schufa of both (there are legal reasons for it), you argued why you do not want to bring. He must have figured that you do not want to bring it to save money. Many Germans wouldn't find any rudeness in his answer. 

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There ARE polite and friendly Germans out there - promise. Walk into any "Lush" store, for example :-)

 

Admittedly, I think the staff are force-fed Prozac, but never mind.

 

I never understood why The Golden Girls was ever a TV hit in Germany. Everything Sophia EVER says would be "na, logisch" for a German :-)

 

It's a reason why the noughties UK TV hit "Grumpy old women / men" would never work in Germany. Again, na logisch...

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10 minutes ago, paulwork said:

There ARE polite and friendly Germans out there - promise. Walk into any "Lush" store, for example :-)

 

Admittedly, I think the staff are force-fed Prozac, but never mind.

 

that's so funny - I hate going to Lush as they are all over me as soon as I walk in the door - like running into a den of golden retrievers "lemme help...lemme help...wag wag wag"  gah!  why am I so addicted to their shampoo?

 

but yeah, if that's what you're missing, it's definitely a great place to get a fix

 

eta:  but there are plenty of decent middle of the road places to find good service.  In Munich I would include places like Konen (where they will gladly go get other sizes/styles for you while you're in the changing room) or even most of the department stores. People working in those places - actually in most places - are quite knowledgeable and very happy to help, but they are not in your face about it.  I just ask and normally I get a very positive response, but it's not over the top.

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I actually had some fun during a recent trip to UK.

 

I had a salesperson wanting to know my email address as I paid at the cashier. I gave them pushysalesassistant@avinal_arff.com - they actually typed it in too :-) :-)

 

Sometimes its just easier to shut them up by fake complying rather than getting into a discussion about why its none of their business.

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It's not "Germans" who are being rude to you, rather rentier capitalism.

 

They know they can bully people in the current scarce property market.   The bullies and exploiters always move to the places they get to bully and exploiters.   Bees to the honey.  The magnetic attraction of human nature.

 

Capitalists knows usually blame people for their nationality, poverty, gender etc of course though, and so they get away with it.

 

That's in no way, blame the victim.   You will find the same in most tight property markets and you may need to be aware that it might be just the start.  Many landlords certainly won't give a toss about your hurt feelings, and also may be harsher.

 

Sometimes, the best strategy (and self-protection) is simply "avoid".  A simple "OK, goodbye" (or less) :ph34r:.   The last agent I used (2017 in Berlin so in the current feeding frenzy) was v pleasant and accommodating.   Find one of them. 

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6 hours ago, dampstew said:

It's just a very alien situation to encounter for me that I honestly don't know what to do

 

You do realize that you are the alien?

 

If this fairly innocuous situation leaves you in a paralyzed quandary, you are in for a rough time here (or for that matter, anywhere).

 

Like said elsewhere, I too hate it when Americans are friendly or polite.  I guess living in a multicultural country with all the ethnic, social, religious, sexual orientation differences that abound, trying to get along with each other should be more combative.  Shooting each other is more to my liking; at least that's an honest expression.

Not only that, but where did all those Americans come from anyways?

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6 hours ago, dampstew said:

..."remove yourself from the situation", but if that's not an option, what do you do? I'm imagining Germans must have some sort of pattern of how to act in these situations. Are you expected to push back and "counter rude"?

 

1. Remove your FEELINGS from the situation. Distance yourself from the insensible robot in front of you. This is called integration.

2. Do not expect to enjoy the dealings. It is so rarely a pleasure. Feel yourself lucky if you come away not having been mauled or shouted at.

3. Yes, be rude back. Works a treat. It's what they are used to. Mild manners and a pleasant demeanour can really discombobulate them. (Try holding doors open for people instead of letting them swing in their faces. You will soon get my drift,)

4. Learn to stop smiling and greet them with a poker face. It is what is expected.

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1 hour ago, optimista said:

Do not expect to enjoy the dealings. It is so rarely a pleasure

 

Oh, this. My trip to the Bürgeramt to Anmeld was turned into a total nightmare by the type the OP is finding difficult, and I wondered how I would ever go back into the place, but it had to be done, and then when we all visited the Einbürgerungsamt, it was an actual pleasure. We had fun. The lady was an absolute nutter, in all the best possible ways. Who could possibly have foreseen that :D

 

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Yes, I had a similar experience recently.   I did do what I advised earlier, thinking about it - just walked out, and put in a complaint through the authority process.      I'm not gonna have public slanging matches.   That first person was absolutely livid when I didn't rise to it.   (I got the whole hog -  Saying nothing led to a predictable sarcastic shouty "oh goodbye then, nice weekend" attempt to humiliate, totally unprofessional, but of course, straight in my complaint).

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I am American, maybe I might seem  overly polite to others. I always say hello, thank you and goodbye. I hold the door open for others and always offer my seat on the train to the disabled, elderly and expecting. I don't care what country I am in or how uncaring/rude the others are around me. I wasn't raised to behave that way,  and it goes against my character and sense of 'good.' I believe that the way you behave does come back to you. I wouldn't want my daughter to stoop to a rude low just because others do.

 

This doesn't mean that I am a pushover. I understand the OP's frustration. I had an experience once with a bus driver who rambled on and on ('mansplained') about life in Germany and how I wasn't doing this or that right. For the most part I spaced out and kept polite. 

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If this is the only rudeness you experience in Germany then you have won. I generally find people here are so rude its comical. At least every week I find myself thinking "did that just happen?" 

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1 hour ago, swimmer said:

 I'm not gonna have public slanging matches.

If a German yells at you "Fick dich ins Knie" (fuck your knee), then just reply in a quiet tone "Entschuldigung, ich bin nicht von hier und weiß nicht wie man in Deutschland Sex hat, aber woher ich komme, gibt es kein Knie im Spiel." (Excuse me, I'm not from here and don't know how you have sex in Germany, but where I'm from, there is no knee in the act.)

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5 hours ago, catjones said:

 

You do realize that you are the alien?

 

If this fairly innocuous situation leaves you in a paralyzed quandary, you are in for a rough time here (or for that matter, anywhere).

 

Like said elsewhere, I too hate it when Americans are friendly or polite.  I guess living in a multicultural country with all the ethnic, social, religious, sexual orientation differences that abound, trying to get along with each other should be more combative.  Shooting each other is more to my liking; at least that's an honest expression.

Not only that, but where did all those Americans come from anyways?

You hate it when Americans are friendly or polite?Is it just with Americans or do you generally hate people who are friendly or polite? Where does your hate come from?

Would you hate it if you were on holiday in El Salvador and people were friendly and polite towards you?

Or is it a hidden political/ideological agenda?

Methinks...

 

PS: catjones.. you would really hate me! I´m friendly and polite and I´m neither American nor from El Salvador!:lol:

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This thread is interesting because I’m a Frenchman living in London and I find German people  friendlier overall.

 

Customer service tends to be better in the UK but I still can’t get used to people asking me how I am doing and then quickly moving on without leaving me time to answer. I also find It interesting that someone mentioned Lush as a place to go to meet friendly Germans because I hate what I going there precisely because it feels so fake to me.

 

All this to say that your rude can be other people’s normal and what you consider friendly may make others uncomfortable.

 

I find that being very firm with rude people and stating the consequences of their actions helps a lot. Recently, a woman at the German embassy was being extremely rude for no reason so I politely told her I did my part and followed the procedure and she was being rude and that I would have no choice but to file a complaint should she persist. 

She looked pissed but decided to stop being a pain. 

 

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