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

188 posts in this topic

16 minutes ago, kielo said:

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

 

 

- very well put, Kielo!

 

Whilst the differences between us can make us generalise, I think we always have to be aware that "our" way of doing things isn't the only way, and that people from other countries can reach the same solution, but take a totally different route to get there.

 

BTW - I have never been to a Lush store, but it sounds to me like one of those that I would enter, and very shortly afterwards, leave. As a grown-up, I consider myself very capable to finding whatever I am looking for and deciding if I want to buy it, but if I decide that I need assistance, I can also ask for it.

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, optimista said:

 

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.

 

oh my god. i could have written this :D . i specially like the "insensible robot"  "yes.be rude back" (because i do it now, as a sport :)

and the last advice :

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

 

is so true. when i smile (and many friends of mine from italy for example happen the same) Germans tend to say we do not take things serously or are making fun of them. 

but i have germans friends that smile and they get the same problem. it happen even in the sbahn one german friend of mien was smiling (he is nice) and some Germans talked to him out of nothing. "why are you smiling?" and he answer "nur so" .

smiling is worse than many things, including maybe even stabbing. 

 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Petro6golf said:

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?" 

 

So true!!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a incident a few weeks ago with someone reprimanding me because I crossed on a red light. There were no children around, I was on the divider, and I needed to get the train. I waved them off and basically said there is no problem and let’s keep it that way. That’s with everyday life. 

 

However, you are dealing with paperwork. There is no way around that. You can try and try, but you won’t get very far. You just need to be firm. 

 

That is very strange that you are asked for SCHUFA for an apartment you are renting. I have never had to do that and I’ve lived in 3 apartments in Germany. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, optimista said:

 

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.

 

Thank you, this sounds like good advice!

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my humble opinion never be someone who you are not.

 

If you come from cultures where strangers smile and are polite to each other, then smile and be polite to the mean looking faced German you meet. (They don't mean to be mean faced anyway. It's just that their culture doubts well meaning strangers).

 

In short, copy and take up the good things about German culture (Like time punctuality and beer drinking). But then don't copy the part of their culture that's weird, like always being serious as if everyone even the putzfrau is developing an ICBM rocket misile in her career.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that remaining calm and being nice usually catches most rude people offguard. I admit it might be hard to take the first blow and act like it's nothing, especially if you are new to this country or your country deals with things differently, but I've seen many grumpy people (not necessarily german!) in costumer service blossom after I take their initial bullshit stoically. 

This being said, I have also told someone once I thought they were being obnoxious and that they shouldn't work in costumer service if it pains them so much. It took minutes of gramar planning in my head and gearing up to actually say it, but it paid off to see the look on the guy's face. I guess he wasn't expecting anyone to call him on his rudeness. Bottomline, be classy, but be yourself.

8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love your final sentence, Imanuxuf!:) Great advice and I subscribe to that!

 

PS: couldn´t resist looking at your profile...Dutch, Portuguese and Brazilian! What a great mixture!!

 

By the way, here in our village on Crete, famous for its poor attitudes towards dogs...jeez...one way to shut the mouths of local bigots before they put out poison for dogs and then go to Church..I´ve learnt the Greek for " God sees everything "..that shuts them up!:rolleyes:

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, john g. said:

PS: couldn´t resist looking at your profile...Dutch, Portuguese and Brazilian! What a great mixture!!

A bit of Johan Cruijff, Ronaldo and Pelé. Excellent ⚽️⚽️⚽️.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, The Vindictive said:

In my humble opinion never be someone who you are not.

Indeed. However, over time one's personality does evolve. Hopefully positively. I do have a separate Germanic persona by necessity and say things in German and with a scowl and tone of voice I would never use when speaking other languages. (I found myself having to consciously shake this off when I moved to France...) When I have something unpleasant to say to those around me who understand German, that is still the language I use. You can be firmer (nastier and uglier - I do a great barking "Nein" with a stoney glare) in German and get away with it... because that is what the recipient has been conditioned to expect. Sadly.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, The Vindictive said:

In my humble opinion never be someone who you are not.

 

If you come from cultures where strangers smile and are polite to each other, then smile and be polite to the mean looking faced German you meet. (They don't mean to be mean faced anyway. It's just that their culture doubts well meaning strangers).

 

In short, copy and take up the good things about German culture (Like time punctuality and beer drinking). But then don't copy the part of their culture that's weird, like always being serious as if everyone even the putzfrau is developing an ICBM rocket misile in her career.

 

Using values and customs from another culture is not always a good idea.  What if smiling at random people is considered creepy in the place you are living?

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some written rules people here are obliged to follow (even though it damn stupid). Here, are the examples, 

-Asking SCHUFA from a person who never worked (it is very clear from the valid papers he or she holds)

-Asking people to get a certificate validating their foreign degrees (you need to send it to a weird center in Bonn, and get a certificate)

-Asking German documents of your marriage certificate. And then, the city officials will recognize the marriage (Here, you should note that, the translator have no idea about your document. Why the hell there is no system to verify directly with the other country)

-Never ending paper work even for people legally came to Germany and paid taxes every month for 10 years (never claimed any unemployment benefits)

Over the time, you will used to this type of idiotic habit based patterns. Most importantly, you will inherit some of the patterns later on (sure, if you live in one country for more than 5 years, you are going to get some good and bad habits from natives as well). 

Try to be reasonable. And live to the hour and beyond. My friend!.Give that damn, SCHUFA and get used to the culture of providing any document they ask for.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Anton anonymous

What makes you think this is different for immigrants elsewhere ? I spent a not-so-delightful time in the US, having to have the good standing with my employer confirmed every time I left the country.

Or those comedy moments I had when trying to get a UK national insurance number.

Or not getting even getting a debit card due to the lack of credit history, just a card to get cash from the machine. Despite paperwork and providing my last three addresses as useless as it was.

I had to laugh at the title of this thread. What do you do if a non-German person is rude to you ? Is that somehow different ? Is it worse if an "exuberant" American is rude to you ? What about a Brit ? Are you aware that any "sorry" uttered on the London underground actually means: "You stupid cow" (cow her is gender neutral) ?

 

US customer service was on of the biggest disappointments of my stay in the US. Finally I thought the customer is king. What I got is "was "No can do, have a nice day". Somehow I always stopped listening at "No can do".

 

 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just sharing my experiences:

In initial months, we faced these type of experiences and suffered ourselves for some time.
Nowadays, we habituated and ignored if someone is rude unreasonably.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Marianne013 said:

@Anton anonymous

What makes you think this is different for immigrants elsewhere ? I spent a not-so-delightful time in the US, having to have the good standing with my employer confirmed every time I left the country.

Or those comedy moments I had when trying to get a UK national insurance number.

Or not getting even getting a debit card due to the lack of credit history, just a card to get cash from the machine. Despite paperwork and providing my last three addresses as useless as it was.

I had to laugh at the title of this thread. What do you do if a non-German person is rude to you ? Is that somehow different ? Is it worse if an "exuberant" American is rude to you ? What about a Brit ? Are you aware that any "sorry" uttered on the London underground actually means: "You stupid cow" (cow her is gender neutral) ?

 

US customer service was on of the biggest disappointments of my stay in the US. Finally I thought the customer is king. What I got is "was "No can do, have a nice day". Somehow I always stopped listening at "No can do".

 

 

 

IMO it is definitely different across culture. Each culture have different norms and patterns of communication that is hard to deal for an outsider. For example, this table is very useful to navigate through UK:

what-the-british-say-and-what-they-mean-

 

It's supposed to be a joke but has a lot of truth in it. In Britain, you have to understand people expect you to pick up these sort of hidden meanings.

 

The point of this thread is how to deal with the German equivalent of such cultural complication, where rudeness is much more accepted than the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, dampstew said:

what-the-british-say-and-what-they-mean-

 

 

I took note of your opinion. If you know what I mean... :lol::lol::lol:

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@mannes @dampstew@Marianne013 Thanks for the light notes. I remember, when I tried to apply for 2000 euro loan in US. The Bank asked my credit history (I had no idea). They told, without credit history, you won't get a loan despite crediting my salary in the same bank. The funny thing is the following. I took a job and moved to US just two months prior to this incident. So, in principle I did not have any credit history. Finally, a friend helped. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I often state, 'a social scientist I am not'; however I do have a thought or two on this.

 

In certain daily dealings, like with anything government (police, council, etc.), doctors, lawyers, tax advisors, estate agents, it's always a stuffy setting.  There is rarely a smile or joke.  It is always down to the matter at hand and addressing each other with Frau, Herr or Herr / Frau Doctor and of course 'Sie'.  Not all, but definitely most.  What I call the 'stick up the bum lot'.  In all my years living in Germany, I have encountered one person at the local council who was wonderful.  We laughed and we chatted about non-business things.  This was when I applied for my Gewerbeschein.  And she is regarded locally as being a lovely woman.  More should follow her example.

 

When I deal daily with shops, other hand workers and the like, this is a much more friendly group.  At least here in the Oberallgäu, near everyone says 'du' to each other and there is much more chit chat.  More smiles and more laughing.  I even see a Heilpraktiker on occasion and when we first met, it began with 'du'.  

So, me non-social-scientist take is I do wonder if it comes down to the use of the formal form of German that makes things overall more stuffy and less friendly?  I doubt it, but perhaps to a degree.  But how difficult is it to still be friendly and formal?  Not much, but the 'formal-ness' does place an automatic barrier of sorts.

After 7 years of seeing the same GP, we are finally on a first name basis.  I no longer need to say, Herr Doctor to him.  Of course he is an odd duck, not unlike me. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now