Are Germans miserly?

123 posts in this topic

 

In these days of equality where we need to be macho, sensitive, strong, able to listen etc.. blah blah why do we always have to pay for the drinks etc... theres ALOT of tight women who always expect a free ride..

 

us men get a raw deal

Why do you put up with it?

 

There are many women who don't expect a "free meal." (I tongue-lash any woman who talks about a date that way.)

 

If a man initiated a date and it goes really badly, I generally cut it short but pay for both. Germans tend to take this as a signal things went well. Now I don't have time for dating, other than the occasional blindsided-date, but if I did, it probably wouldn't involve Germans. I feel like they expect women to pay ALL the time, and they get cranky about inexpensive fun.

 

My xFIL thought I was stingy 'cause I didn't buy my ex a Haus. That's what the women in their family do.

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I don't expect to be paid for when I go out with a guy. However, I find the principle nice that, one time he pays, the next time me and so on. It takes away that awkwardness of dividing up the bill at the end of the evening and gives the nice feeling of one person treating the other to something (regardless of the fact that the next time the other person should pay).

I don't see what could be wrong with that...

 

On the other hand (not necessarily related to dating, but more general) I also apply this prinicipal to general life. The same as if somebody did something nice for me, I would try to make sure that I do something nice back for them. The majority of my German acquaintances seem completely oblivious to this basic sense of manners, and are simply happy to take and take and take without ever doing or giving anything in return.

 

**Disclaimer** Of course it is not my opinion that every German is like this, nor am I trying to tar all Germans with this brush. I am just commenting from my experience as a whole.

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On the other hand (not necessarily related to dating, but more general) I also apply this prinicipal to general life. The same as if somebody did something nice for me, I would try to make sure that I do something nice back for them. The majority of my German acquaintances seem completely oblivious to this basic sense of manners, and are simply happy to take and take and take without ever doing or giving anything in return.

Same here. At some point I tried directly requesting help in return (w/o calling it quid pro quo - just trying to get some fairness) and was amazed at how fast and with how little empathy I was shot down, for things far less significant than I'd done for them in the past.

 

I used to think that this was b/c they have these clique systems, within which I presumed balance existed. Then that theory was busted.

 

In Aristotle's treatises on virtue, ethics etc, he explored gratefulness and whether gratefulness should be in proportion to the benefit to receiver or to the cost to the giver. In my experience, North Americans who've received a thing or benefit generally "err" on the side of inflating both the benefit to them and the cost/effort to the giver. In my experience in Germany, generally I've observed that Germans receiving DEflate both their own benefit AND the cost or effort of the person giving/providing.

 

This has bothered me enough that I've had conversations with some of the more self-aware Germans I know:

 

One German told me the fear of not being able to repay makes it better to downplay the benefit and sacrifice to something manageable.

 

Someone else said that she's noticed that she feels the compulsion to treat someone badly when they show vulnerability. Being generous just makes people look stupid to her. Even though she experienced life in the states and in her head prefers the system of everyone contributing, she says she slips quickly into feeling on some gut level that people who are that open deserve to be taken advantage of.

 

Any other theories on why this is?

 

By nature and upbringing, I'm hugely generous. There's the sense that there's plenty for everyone, and if we team up, there'll be even more. Living in Germany has forced me to put a lid on this. Sad, really.

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The average German wouldnt spend christmas...we dont need to discus this for hours !!

 

Just look at the tips they pay in restaurants or ask anyone who works in an irish bar.

 

Then again the 'insel affens' are the clowns for blowing hard earned cash !!

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Haha, Eagle, you're from Cavan for Christ's sake! The place where a man learns at an early age to peel an orange in his pocket for fear of having to share it with someone.

 

Paddy Reilly was peeling wall paper off the wall in his home in Ballyjamesduff when Hughie Smith arrived to visit.

 

"Ah Paddy, Decoratin' agin?"

 

"No" says Paddy, "I'm movin' out to a new house in Virginia"

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True enough lad...but how many times did we pick up tabs in bars for 'Germans' who left certain events and never paid for their beers...???

 

I will again say 'the avergage German would not spend Christams' and will tell it to their faces. No issue on that.

 

Ever see a german buy their round?

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Eagle, most of the occasions on which I picked up other peoples tabs they were expats just like you and me. Well, obviously not as good looking and fabulously wealthy as you and me, but expats nonetheless. As to rounds, come on lad, you know well that we generally don't do rounds here, regardless of which nationalities are involved.

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One more for ya, Eagle...

 

Mickey Reilly from Cavan town stood up Saturday night after the news and weather. "Right missus, get your coat" he shouted to the wife.

 

"Great" she shrieked, "are we goin' out?"

 

"No you're not! I'm going into McBrides for a pint and i'm turnin' the heating off!"

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Same here. At some point I tried directly requesting help in return (w/o calling it quid pro quo - just trying to get some fairness) and was amazed at how fast and with how little empathy I was shot down, for things far less significant than I'd done for them in the past. (...) In my experience in Germany, generally I've observed that Germans receiving DEflate both their own benefit AND the cost or effort of the person giving/providing (...) Any other theories on why this is?

While I would agree that many/most Germans appear to be less "generous" than people of certain other nationalities, I also get the impression that Germans are more reluctant to ask/expect help from others. They don't give so freely and readily, but they also don't take so freely and readily, and generally feel quite uncomfortable about taking. In that sense, it does seem balanced to me. Beats me why you had the experience that people frequently took advantage of your generosity. Either they didn't really want the generosity in the first place (i.e. not "deflating" what you did, but simply not wanting/appreciating it to the extent that you thought they should), or you were unfortunate enough to run into the "wrong" kind of people...? (of course there are always loads of those, here and elsewhere...) :unsure:

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The Turks (in Turkey) call reluctant givers 'German style.':)))

would that be the Turkish version of a "Dutch treat"?

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Bread and rucola salad. Dead easy: Wash and slice the rucola, slice and dice a couple of tomatoes (removing the seeds), dice a couple of onions, mix all in a large bowl. Mix vinegar, salt, herbs (oregano, basil, tarragon) and olive oil, dribble over the salad.

dead easy? If you take along a dressed salad, it will just be dead. You cannot go around suggesting people take a salad somewhere, without mentioing that you don't really want to tip acid on it before serving. Pff.

 

As to "miserly", or as modern people who do not live in Dickensian England call it, "being a tight pikey bastard", yes Germans are blatantly guilty. All of them. Screw how much a coffee costs at your work canteen, it is easy to see German thrift everyday, in every supermarket. God the sueprmarkets here are sooo bad.

 

 

tarragon

- good luck on that one in your local Lidl. Somebody should start a thread on how difficult it is to get Tarragon in Munich, and how Tesco should open a branch, they would make so much money etc.

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I also get the impression that Germans are more reluctant to ask/expect help from others. They don't give so freely and readily, but they also don't take so freely and readily, and generally feel quite uncomfortable about taking.

Not my experience at all, except for the "they don't give freely" part. I do know generous Germans, but in my experience, they're the exception.

 

 

Either they didn't really want the generosity in the first place (i.e. not "deflating" what you did, but simply not wanting/appreciating it to the extent that you thought they should

In the many cases in which they rang me up in the first place then berated me for declining to comply, I imagine they did indeed want what they were requesting.

 

Back in the states, I once agreed to help a German biologist brush up for part-time-job hunting. She was incredibly whiny and demanding - at some point, her (American) husband told her she should try to be open to my pointers, and should see if she could do something for me. Her responses: well, she hasn't gotten me a job! And: I guess I could correct her German - it's terrible!

 

Have seen this happen with "friends" of my exH, too.

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I know what you mean:) Last year, I was travelling back to the UK and the guy sitting next to me on the plane was a well dressed German corporate lawyer going to visit his gf in London.

When we arrived, near the luggage carousel he appeared upset and I asked him what was wrong. Apparently the gf wouldnt answer her phone and on ringing her sister, it seemed she was out of town.

He said it was hard for him to find anywhere to stay for the night (it was the latest Lufthansa flight that day) and on impulse I invited him to stay with me and my mother. We have a spare room and he didn't seem like a dangerous maniac!

The next day he had free (was Sunday) and we took him out for coffee, then a nice pub lunch and so on. Eventually my brother drove him back to Heathrow airport.

At no time during the stay did he offer to buy any of us coffee etc of even attempt to pay for himself. As he was going to the UK anyway of course he must have had pounds sterling on him. My relatives really remarked on this.

It is only one example of many but after having lived in Germany for 2 years I have to say that in general (of course there are always exceptions) there is a reason for them having the 'miserly' tag.

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There is no way I would have paid for his pub lunch... in fact he should have bought you lunch!

 

I have never had a problem with treating the unemployed, students and people who earned significantly less than me, but I don´t like being taken for a ride.

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The next day he had free (was Sunday) and we took him out for coffee, then a nice pub lunch and so on. Eventually my brother drove him back to Heathrow airport.

At no time during the stay did he offer to buy any of us coffee etc of even attempt to pay for himself.

Out of curiosity, why did you take him out for coffee, lunch, etc. and always paid for everything? And after he refused to pay for anything, at the very least you could have told him to take a cab back to Heathrow in the end! Sounds like he's just a jerk, pure and simple... :blink:

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Yup, there are always people who will take advantage of good nature. Doesn't matter what country they come from. You allowed this to happen. Driving him to the airport after you and your family were annoyed by his behaviour was just daft.

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Someone else said that she's noticed that she feels the compulsion to treat someone badly when they show vulnerability. Being generous just makes people look stupid to her. Even though she experienced life in the states and in her head prefers the system of everyone contributing, she says she slips quickly into feeling on some gut level that people who are that open deserve to be taken advantage of.

 

Any other theories on why this is?

god my ex had this exact same trait - it is an ugly ugly thing in my view, and lowers my estimation of germans

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If you're an open person whose default position is to trust/help people until they prove they don't deserve it, you'll bring out the worst in some wherever you go. They sense it and see you as easy prey. Had a couple of very unpleasant experiences that way in my time... the worst being with a Tunisian. I'm really not convinced that's specific to Germany at all, though taking advantage of someone is a different issue to being tight in general. That I do think is very pronounced here and I just find it utterly repellent. Fine, watch the pennies if you really need to, but when you earn three times as much as someone and still feel the need to split the bill for two stamps... that makes me want to stuff a very large bundle of banknotes down your throat.

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