Bullying and lying - behaviour by adult Germans

192 posts in this topic

Nah Eugene, you can't do that either. That's just generalising in a positive way as against Bumblebee's negative generalising.

 

Ah go on so, yes we're fabulous, every last potato eating, bog trotting, muck chewing one of us.

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As Canadian I can say that mostly we are very un-aggressive and trusting. So bulling and lying for majority of Canadians is exceptional and stressful situation.

I see meditation classes and a lot of deep breathing in my nearest future.

Absolute bollox. I worked for Canadians for 12 years in Toronto and found aggressive behavior and bullying just like any other nationality, mostly cloaked in an attitude of "Hey, we're Canadians so bullying isn't in our nature". Have a look at your own posts - you've isolated half of TT with your exclusion of other nations and you've only just arrived.

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I noticed that if I express a contrary opinion - be it a working environment or with mothers on the playground - that an intense discussion follows or someone tries to convince me why I'm wrong. It's direct and sometimes argumentative, but I wouldn't call it bullying.

Chalk it up to cultural differences, toughen up and call people on their shit if you think it's necessary.

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Well said. That's exactly how I feel about it but put into words better than I did.

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Ithink what you call bullying isn't really that. It's just the german default attitude when dealing with perfect strangers. Agressive, mistrustful, self-centered and unemphatic. (They liek to call it direct but its rather tactless and conterproductive) Oddest thing in this country is that once you've broken the ice they turn out to be ordinary human beings. I still well after a decade find that strange, and it accounts for half of the cultural problems from getting of public transport to just simple general enquiries. I haven't quiet worked out if our hosts have ever actualy been tought how to be polite and show respect and empathy with strangers in public, but if the did it must be a very very short lesson on the last day of the term before christmas. Needless to say I drive my boys mad with constant instructions on how they are to behave in public. And communicate to people.

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a few deep breaths. give as good back as you get.

The boy's right. Don't get mad, get even. I got well and truly stuffed by the most arrogant little kid markler you would ever have the misfortune to deal with back in 2001. Me and a mate went round after dark and turned his Smart onto its side. Clever? Probably not. Satisfying? Defo. :D

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like said above, can not generalize a nationality. Some professions related to real estate, relocation do not have good reputation here in Germany (in other countries, eg UK you would not 100% trust your friendly real estate agent either).

 

In our case in Germany the Makler who showed us our apartment had vivid imagination, described how the treppenhaus would be painted in beautiful red and cream etc... and it turned out to be a lie. So yes there are real estate agents who lie, but they have so low reputation here in Germany that no German believes them (and makes sure all important points are in the contract). The professional clean was 6 cleaner turning up with ladders, vacum cleaners etc and cleaned for 8 hours. It was amazing, felt like a lab afterwards.

 

What helped us is to speak about our experience with people in similar situation - regardless of their nationality - and laugh about it over a good beer/wine. it is normal to be sensitive when you move to a different country/culture, you do not know many people, dont know how things work here etc

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I totally agree with Batson Creek... To say that Canadians don't bully is just silly - I live in canada... there's sude and abnoxious people here, just like everywhere else. i've spent a year there when i was 18 and I know it's as bad as you make it to be. If you really dislike it that much and think that people are impossible to deal with, i will gladly take your spot. Let's trade - I am desperately trying to land a job in Germany and leave Toronto behind.

 

cheers

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I don't know if I'd say people here are bulliers and liars, but they definitely have some customer service issues.

 

Landlords are the worst. Consider yourself lucky if you get any of your security deposit back.

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I don't know if this is considered bullying. But I was on line a few weeks back at a large hardware/home supply store and my boyfriend went to get something last minute and out of nowhere this old man is behind me. Impatiently hopping around and the next thing I knew he was literally on my shoulder. I kid you not, his face was on my shoulder. I remained calm and called my boyfriend on his cell to come back immediately. I know as a "North American" I need some personal space. It seems some, not all, Germans, don't like waiting on lines??? Impatient? This is the kind of thing where I'm from that can get you slapped, pushed or punched.

 

Also coming back home, I had to wait on an airport transfer line and again a whole family of four were literally on my back. This time I was impatient with them, and I told them to back it up. I felt kinda bad afterwards, but you know if they're coming on the same flight to NYC or wherever, they better learn fast that is not acceptable behavior.

 

So my problem so far has been monkeys on my back. I can laugh about it now, but when it is happening, I am beyond annoyed and often shocked that they are doing this. :unsure:

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Actually let me check myself. All humans need personal space. Not just North Americans. :P I won't generalize but I am not going to put up with people pushed up on my back because they can't wait to be next. Anybody has any tactics I can use should this problem arise again?

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jazzie, yes everyone needs personal space, but just how much is needed is indeed a cultural concept and Germans on average tend to keep and need less personal space than North Americans. That is why Americans in Germany are likely to encounter a lot of people "invading" their personal space (though to the invaders it is absolutely normal to keep this distance.

You could always ask people (nicely) to take a step back, or get used to it. Whichever you prefer. Of course some people really do get too close even for German standards, and if you are that uncomfortable, either say something or avoid the situation (i.e. leave).

At any rate I would try to stay calm and nice about it, because that is a cultural difference and as a foreigner in the country, you will likely encounter many differences and it would be better to get used to them, lower / change your expectations, than to be upset and miserable every time people do not meet your North American standard. It does not make them any more rude than Americans, they just hold themselves and are held by other Germans to a different standard than they would had they grown up in the States or Canada.

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You could always ask people (nicely) to take a step back, or get used to it.

The latter works for me unless I'm tired/stressed ... in which case it =really= gets on my nerves and I revert to the former. Big smile and "you're going to think this sounds absolutely crazy, but I'm not from here and there's a difference in space needs of about 20cm, mostly I can deal with it but today I'm really on edge. Would you be able to move back a bit? It's really nothing personal, I'm just really worn down blah blah." Just to get me to shut up and stop apologizing (and maybe b/c I keep describing myself as about to blow a gasket) most ppl move back.

 

When I'm just a little annoyed, I bring up the difference at the meta level, and some people have then asked if they were too close.

 

It's funny - with people of lat. or med. origin, the space thing doesn't bother me at all. It's the small diff. with Germans that really gets me.

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I don't think it is a North American thing per se. As a New Yorker, I am telling you that type of behavior can get you knocked out. I've seen it.

I'll figure it out. Maybe I can even make a joke out of it, if I could joke in German.

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Thanks MollyB. Some great suggestions.

I'm Latin and I don't mind getting close, but the airport thing was a little too much.

There's always a time and place.

 

I'll see what new experiences come about when I come back in few weeks.

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I like the Irish

I don't particularly. They may be my ancestors, but their skin is as thin as an Irish potato and the mooks seem to be all mouth. They bark loudly, but I don't think they are much for fighting. Funny that considering Notre Dame is the Fighting Irish. What can you say? In the words of Jim Carroll, they are Catholic Boys afterall.

 

 

I noticed that if I express a contrary opinion - be it a working environment or with mothers on the playground - that an intense discussion follows or someone tries to convince me why I'm wrong. It's direct and sometimes argumentative, but I wouldn't call it bullying.

Exactly! Simply express your opinion back and move on. The lowest critter on earth is the one that thinks they won because you moved on and didn't bother to come down to their level and answer their lies. It happens here on TT just as much as in the real world. If I had a dime for every time that happened, I would be richer than Bill Gates.

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If you're going to hide behind the "I'm from Canada, I'm nice" thing, it's time to get over it. It's BS anyway, we all know that Canadians are tough assholes hiding behind sweet smiles. Now that you live here, you're going to either learn who you really are and present THAT to the world, or you'll run whimpering home -- no better for the experience.

 

Germans are direct, and I respect that. I had an interesting conversation with a colleague who confessed she was a bit anxious when she first started working for me. Because of what she'd learned about North American culture, she needed to be sure that when I said was said I was pleased with her work, that I really meant it. From that perspective, it doesn't put our countrymen in a flattering light. We have a lot to learn from German culture.

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What do the Fighting Irish have to do with Notre Dame?

I am putting that into the post of the Century. :lol:

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