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I am new to this country and want to know why everyone is so rude.



  • Agree but am finding it harder and harder hence me reaching out on a forum for Irish answers, you have helped don't worry. Thank you. It all helps, even the haters make my resolve stronger.

    My husband is not Irish . He found people here friendly , helpful and welcoming . Maybe it was his personality or the fact he made an effort or maybe we just are surrounded by nice people ?

  • You don't have to try so hard to know about the Irish and Ireland.

    If you're in a position to take up a new hobby then go and do something that you really enjoy just for yourself, you'll be guaranteed to meet likeminded people with a common interest and hopefully things will improve from there and you might change your opinion.

    Thank you @Lee Repulsive Necktie

  • Wow, hard to know what to make of your posts OP. After being asked multiple times for examples you eventually revealed that a lot of your misgivings arise from interactions with Gardai, ticket sellers at the train station, bank personnel on the phone etc. Personally, I wouldn't really categorize those as social interactions. I will admit that customer service in Ireland is not particularly polite, especially compared to the superficial politeness of these encounters in the USA where I live.

    By the way, why do you seem so reluctant to mention where you're from despite having been asked numerous times? It's highly relevant. If for instance you are American, you are going to find that Irish people just don't practice that superficial "have a nice day" approach that a lot of Americans do in casual encounters. I do find the phone manner of customer service here to be a bit craptastic, the banks are some of the worst for this. It's just the way it is and really not a big deal.

    You received a great response from another user above who pointed out that Irish people are very tight knit and tend to have a close group of friends and family that they rely upon for their social interactions. If you go into a pub you aren't going to find a ton of people sitting around just waiting to chat with you cause they've generally got others present that they are out to see. You are going to find this especially true since you say that you are "middle aged" and most people in this country are fairly settled by that point in their lives.

    I live in the States myself and have done for a long time. It's very different here, people are much easier to strike up conversations with if you go into a pub or restaurant a lot of the time. However those interactions are pretty superficial and sometimes tend to be fairly insincere too. They are also virtually always one offs. Same applies to Australia too I feel (having once lived there for a year).

    I'd be genuinely perplexed if you were having this experience having come here from the UK. Despite what people might tell you our cultures are very similar and I just wouldn't expect a Brit to be that surprised by people's manner here.

    Ultimately, I don't agree with you at all that Irish people aren't friendly. I find them to to be quite the opposite, with exceptions obviously. The level of vitriol in your posts makes me feel you're going through a bad time on some more personal level and you are projecting some unhappiness onto the "friendliness" of people in this country. Endless demands to know "WHY ARE PEOPLE SO RUDE" are not going to receive satisfaction since most on here don't agree with you that we actually are rude.

    Again, would love to know where you're from cause it's relevant to compare cultural attitudes with the country you've left.

  • bubblypop wrote: »
    Who am I brown nosing??

    Implying it's the entire Nations fault one person doesn't like it here and that we're all a bunch of racist yokels. That brown nosing

  • OP has said this is their first time overseas so has no other experience to compare with other than their own country which they seem reluctant to reveal for some reason.If OP is actually genuine and not on a wind up, then can only be from US or maybe Canada.

    As someone who has travelled a lot and lived in other countries, Ireland is more friendly and less rude than most places. US is only place I can say would be friendlier, but I have had bad experiences there as well. I have lived in the US and found the people to be very open and optimistic, whilst Irish people are by nature more cynical. I know when I first moved home, I struggled to deal with that cynical/begrudgery streak in Irish people, but definitely not a rude or unfriendly nation.

    This honestly seems like a wind up.

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  • OP's country of origin seems to be a massive mystery.

  • Thank you for your reply. Yes I agree, I am taking it too personally, I wish I had the skills to not do so. I'm not a dick, too nice is probably more like it, Irish people seem to detest manners.

    So far I've traveled Ireland, read books and watched as many documentaries as I can, I work with Irish people in Dublin, I've taken an Irish language course at nights for 3 months, joined Irish clubs, listen to Irish social commentary each day etc. I'm trying and not just whinging. I've 5 books next to me all Irish related to try better myself.

    I moved home to Ireland in 2015 after 6 years abroad in 3 different countries, and I don't share your experience of Dublin being rude/ awful. It was my first time ever living in the capital and actually I'd say much the opposite. I think people are very friendly.

    I know people are saying "maybe it's you" in a smartarse way, but in a more genuine way it seems like you may need counselling or something. Having moved from wherever you came from you're having trouble adjusting, and instead of looking at your own issues, you're blaming your environment.

    I'm guessing you're American?

  • Fair point, this has definitely added to my negative mindset which I know it shouldn't. Lots of places (not just Ireland) have poor public transport - I know Dubliners find it rough also and 'give out'. See, I know some Irish.

    Try find a like minded soul amongst your wife’s friends, or a work colleague perhaps, I lived away too and loneliness certainly plays a part in turning everything dark, the time of year doesn’t help either.

  • I could write a book of my experience. From an 'immigration' department that doesn't even answer the phone and write reply emails )as a government organisation) as one-liners, to Garda that don't report to the front desk as they are off doing whatever, to people in shops not acknowledging you at the counter and throwing your items across the counter without saying thank you, from people cutting you off and yelling at you in the street for no reason and abusing you, to taking 10 minutes to serve you a pint because you're not local. From people at the train stations saying "the ticket machine" angrily when you bring a faulty ticket ti their attention to seeing taxi drivers almost mash people on the roads and people almost getting into fights over the most dumbest ****. It is top level from government, right down through the social strata, shops, pubs, websites, public service sectors and industry. And the people in the street who do NOT say hello and can't wait to edge in front of you for no reason at all.

    This is the strangest thread... I lived in many countries and interacted with dozens of nationalities and really only Brazilians and Filipinos can be more social than the Irish in my experience. I cannot complete a transaction at a newsagents or in a pharmacy without exchanging three or four thank yous and by-byes. You thank a bus driver! A lollipop lady says good morning to me every morning and I am only passing her, I don't have kids in her school. It's hard to spend five minutes at a bus stop without someone striking up a conversation. I left my phone behind a few days ago and had to borrow a phone from the security staff on the Luas to make a call, he couldn't be more helpful.

    OP let me guess that you're an American and you're used to the all over you customer service you have over there, and the constant positivity everyone displays whether they feel it or not. Not a big city slicker either, surely you wouldn't last a month in New York? I'm sure it doesn't help that a lot of your exposure is rush hour Dublin, a phenomenon in itself but hardly representative. There's a good chance that the weather, long commutes or some life decisions are making you depressed and colour your perception because the description above sounds completely off. I have never had anyone throw my shopping at me like that, not once. And waiting 10 minutes for a pint is normal at busy times, you're not being picked on. Services are lax and timekeeping is poor, it's a topic in itself and if you had the opportunity to live elsewhere I agree that you find it grating (on the other hand, you don't need to rush your own work either) but again they are not being hostile. It's like going to live in Spain and complaining about the siesta.

    You need to do what everyone else does this time of the year and go on holidays to Tenerife... you need a mood lifter in the sun.

  • So far I've traveled Ireland, read books and watched as many documentaries as I can, I work with Irish people in Dublin, I've taken an Irish language course at nights for 3 months, joined Irish clubs, listen to Irish social commentary each day etc. I'm trying and not just whinging. I've 5 books next to me all Irish related to try better myself.

    That's your mistake, Irish people actually don't care about Irish culture!
    They complain all the time about being forced to learnt their own language!
    They definitely don't like any Irish literature etc!
    If you watch the upcoming election, you will see plenty of Irish whinging....
    Just find something you ate interested in, don't worry too much about it being 'Irish '
    You will find nice, interesting people that you will get along with.

    Basically, find your own interests, you will make friends :)

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  • OP has said this is their first time overseas so has no other experience to compare with

    I think the OP said they had experienced other countries

  • I haven't had time to read the entire thread but I find that the OP does make some valid points and asks some pretty reasonable questions, if a tad judgmental, and we Irish shouldn't get so touchy in our replies.

    I travel a fair bit and have lived abroad and sometimes view my fellow Irish people with an objective eye and there's no doubt that we're nowhere near as friendly as we like to think we are or were in the past. And it's true that we're all pretty stressed and always in a rush. The Celtic Tiger and subsequent crash ruined Ireland.A workaholic, greedy and cut throat work culture came in during the former, leading to crazy working hours and got a lot worse in the recession as jobs became scarce and employers could do what they liked. And the Irish got used to money and to walking over collegues,friends,neighbours to get ahead. Begrudgery, resentment, naked selfishness all became very apparent in the first two decades of the 21st century and look here to stay.

    But is that so different to other countries? Are people in other countries any less greedy or individualistic? Human nature is human nature after all.

    But I do agree with other posters that it largely depends on place. There are still towns and villages in Ireland where people are lovely,just as there are parts where people seem obnoxious and anyway up to what point can we generalise with accuracy?

    As for manners, I think that overall Ireland is a fairly civil place. I've certainly come across places in other countries that are much worse. And Irish people are by nature quite traditional and conservative and generally settle down into their own networks and communities which can be quite insular. But again I've also seen that abroad.

    I do hope, OP, that you'll have better experiences here and get to see the good side of the Irish and of Irish life.

  • Don't let the door hot ya on the way out there op.....

  • Thank you for your reply and what you have written. Thank you for being polite. It's is nice to hear. Agree with your points, my wife says similar but she is only starting to see things from a non-Irish perspective which is hard for her too - hard for an international couple both ways I guess. To live here, I am basically thinking that I need to stop having feelings for fellow humans, start being rude and drop manners, and use dark humor as a way of connecting with people in meaningless conversations at a pub with a bunch of alcoholics hating on the world - and Ireland while watching English soccer.

    All Irish people have traveled, usually extensively. Everyone has non Irish perspectives

  • All Irish people have traveled, usually extensively. Everyone has non Irish perspectives

    Yet they consistently are immune to learning from other places on the planet...

  • All Irish people have traveled, usually extensively. Everyone has non Irish perspectives

    Well that's not true!
    Just read the thread on travelling!

  • Also, just to offer a different perspective, the first time I went to the US I *hated* how chatty the salespeople and servers were.

    It was very clear to me that their “friendliness” was directly to do with their commission/ tips; completely insincere.

    But if that’s what you’re used to you might miss it.

  • In traffic people can be extremely rude and obnoxious, there's plenty of threads on it in the transport forum. I imagine that's common to any major city though.

    Re shop staff - I find myself during periods when the economy is doing well staff can be less helpful - I was in one 'high end' department store not so long ago and roundly ignored by the assistant for the whole time, who was having a chat with her friend who had dropped in.

    In general though I think the Irish aren't unfriendly. They'll have a casual chat to you no problem 9 times out of 10. It can be hard to translate a superficial relationship to a more meaningful friendship though.

  • bubblypop wrote: »
    I think the OP said they had experienced other countries

    Yes, that could be correct. I reread the post and it said there first ever overseas trip was to Ireland, which is clearly not the same as being their only overseas experience.

  • If you think Ireland is rude spend some time in France or Poland or Jasus anywhere in Europe. Ireland and UK are very tolerant and friendly in general, maybe you're the problem buddy.

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  • I'm guessing he's American too. I've lived there too and the other poster correctly stated how everyone in hospitality and customer service are super friendly in a superficial way over there. They all want you to "have an awesome day" and when you walk into Gap or Old Navy, the greeter on minimum wage is absolutely delighted you set foot in the door and beams a "welcome to Gap" greeting. If you say thanks 5 times in a conversation, they will respond "you're welcome" 5 times in a cheery sing along tone. In restaurants, the waiter announces his name and how he is delighted to be serving you this evening. All of thAt is fine but superficial. An American not getting that level of hyper enthusiastic customer support from Irish staff may view them as bring rude.

    OP, also trying to ingratiate yourself into all things Irish based on all that research and Irish club joining you did is not the way to connect. You might as well hang out in Irish Carroll's gift shop all day if you think that will make you more "down with the Irish". If you loved tennis, soccer, darts, singing, cooking at home, they are the club's you should be joining here as your personality will shine and connect with other club members that way when you're doing something you naturally enjoy.

  • grogi wrote: »
    Yet they consistently are immune to learning from other places on the planet...

    Such as????

    When you travel and live abroad you meet lots of people, and they all complain about their own countries the same as the Irish, but when you read the threads here, it feels like Ireland is the only country that has issues. Every country does. We just dont hear about it as much.

    I am in no way super patriotic or nationalistic, but the level of negativity toward Ireland here is ridiculous. The only thing I really dislike is the weather.

  • Irish people please give your opinion.

    Things I have noticed as an outisider visiting and living in this country as a middle-class white, educated, middle-aged man, Irish are NOT friendly or funny despite an outdated reputation, everyone is selfish and in a rush, will take everything they can get, hate manners and social etiquette like hello, please and thank you, love English things more than their own Irish culture, think that WE are rude as nice, polite outsiders, have no accountability and love to whinge at the pub about everything (a reputation given to the English funny enough).

    Please enlighten me, give me something, i have completely lost my love of this country and am now just beginning to hate it which I don't want.

    Why does no one want to help anyone here, or have meaningful, progressive conversations? Why is hating on everyone, being angry and rude ok but then call anyone else who cares arrogant?

    I think at this stage we need to know more about you. Where are you from? What area of the city do you live in? What area do you work in?

    Capital cities the world over can seem cold and brutal places, there's a survival of the fittest mentality and it can be harsh. I lived in London for 3 months it wasn't my cup of tea I moved on.

    Another factor is our expectations and personal rules about what politeness is and we have to recognize that not everyone has those strict set of rules. My German friend was afraid I'd find German people cold and rude because Irish people say sorry all the time, the same goes for my spanish friend who says that people back home don't say thank you as much as Irish people.

  • Arriving in Ireland is like adjusting to a new job and has three main phases ...

    Spring lamb phase ...Everything new

    Apathy ... Discontent slowly arriving

    Madness .... My advise is don’t fight it, embrace it. Welcome to the asylum OP

  • ongarboy wrote: »
    If you loved tennis, soccer, darts, singing, cooking at home, they are the club's you should be joining here as your personality will shine and connect with other club members that way when you're doing something you naturally enjoy.

    This. OP the encounters you list with 'Irish' people are not encounters in normal social situations where you are seeing people in their best light.
    You are encountering rush hour rat race commuters and bureaucrats.

    I mean, look at the other threads on
    You'll find Irish people complaining about the rudeness of other commuters, or downright dangerousness(!) of other rush hours drivers. I expect the equivalent in London or Paris is the same.
    Here we go:

    You'll find Irish people complaining about their encounters with bureaucrats in the Irish public system. I think the politeness - or lack of - of bureaucrats is a running joke in most countries e.g. America's DMV.

    You'll find Irish people complaining about bad experiences with staff in shops, restaurants, pubs... I think finding ALL of them rude though suggests a cultural misunderstanding \ friction however.

  • I've been to France and Germany and wouldn't say I got anything near a warm welcome.

    Any I know that have come here are as tight as trying to get into a 1foot man hole....

    They don't spend anything and I really do wonder how the economy actually does ok as often see they share drinks, order 1 meal and share etc and these would be people I know for sure aren't short a few quid.

    Wife's mum always somehow gets stuck with people her son invites over, they stay a week or 2 and pay for nothing and give nothing but the mother in law brings them out to see things, out for lunch or dinner different days even out for breakfast or does all above for them at home other days, out to the pub for a few and mother in law and father in law get stings buying drinks.

    I actually couldn't believe it until over the years they were all the same and it then dawned on us.

    Been out in pubs etc and you see groups where you know they're visiting but again buy one drink and share between 2 or 3 etc.....

    What a miserable life but then I suppose isn't it great to get some mug to pay ones way....

  • Above is more of the same, anyone with any actual ideas welcome instead of the same drool. Gwen thank you for your words interesting you found it nice, I am curious how anyone can have a nice experience here I really am, genuinely. Going to any shop and asking for anything here is the rudest I have experienced anywhere in the world.

    I've lived in quite a few countries and I am genuinely baffled as to where you're actually going that you're getting this kind of reaction.
    Even just taking my experience of the last few days, I have probably been in maybe 10 or 15 different shops, cafes, petrol stations and so on and I can't think of any point where people were rude to me. One or two may have been a bit brusk and not talkative, but others were fairly friendly, made small talk and were very helpful. They also represented a wide cross section of Irish society from people who were very definitely always local to people from continental Europe, Britain, Africa, Asia and so on and I can't really think of a single incident of any of them being remotely rude or anything but pleasant to deal with.

    In my local shops (in a major city), where I'm a regular they would even know me by first name and I know them by first name too and I've had plenty of chats about all sorts of random stuff.

    You mention things like manners. Those are quite different from country to country and even state to state in the US and city to city. Irish people don't tend to call people 'sir' or 'mam' or grovel with pleases and thank yous all that much, but they're not being rude by not doing that. There's very little formality and some of that stuff will be interpreted as stuffy or false here.

    I am just honestly puzzled as to how you're having all these horrendous encounters as we are clearly experiencing very different Irelands.

  • Sorry I've not read all this thread(perhaps that's rude :P)

    But OP, is your problem with all of Ireland or just one area such as Dublin?

  • The OP is obviously a native speaker of English and North American would seem to be the most likely so I agree with the others about the whole culture shock of finding that not everyone will hope that you 'have a nice day' at every opportunity.

    Either that or its someone we may have met before (no idea) who is on a bit of a wind-up.

    However this is Humanities so there should be a bit more of a ... what? Academic? approach to this question. First OP you are asking us to agree with you that 'all Irish people are rude'. Just on the general law of averages not everyone in the country is rude. In fact the vast majority are not, quite the reverse. Especially if you happen to have an accent that could be construed as Tourist $$!!

    Have you considered that maybe your approach may be considered rude? The Irish approach to conversation, even with officialdom, is to phrase your question in a roundabout sort of way, kind of approach the topic from the side rather than head-on. So you don't say 'what time is the train to Wherever' you smile and say 'I wonder would you happen to know what time etc' or 'could you help me please, I need to get the train to X, what time would that be, do you know? Ok I am laying it on a bit thick, but the general idea is there. If you are used to snapping demands then you might expect to get snappy replies.

    I came to Ireland some half a century ago, and I will admit that it took me just about 5 years to fully realise that just because we were all speaking English it didn't mean we were all speaking the same language. Life got a lot easier after that.

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  • tuxy wrote: »
    Sorry I've not read all this thread(perhaps that's rude :P)

    But OP, is your problem with all of Ireland or just one area such as Dublin?

    I think we're even being a little unfair on Dublin. I've never found Dublin particularly rude. In fact, I find most of the time you'll get plenty of chit-chat in shops and cafes. I was in a random branch of Insomnia the other day and the staff were asking me how my day had been and telling me all about theirs and just generally being human.

    Maybe the OP has just had some very unlucky run of experiences or something, but it's just not at all reflective of the experience I've had in Ireland.

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