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

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  • KiKi III wrote: »
    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.

    Oh yes, borderline creepy. I know that they are only trying to make sales. But I just need to eat or another dress size to try, you don't need to be my best friend for that.
    It's certainly not the norm here and personally I'm glad, but I can see how it might drive someone demented if they expect and don't receive it.




  • strandroad wrote: »
    Oh yes, borderline creepy. I know that they are only trying to make sales. But I just need to eat or another dress size to try, you don't need to be my best friend for that.
    It's certainly not the norm here and personally I'm glad, but I can see how it might drive someone demented if they expect and don't receive it.

    It's also quite different to the kind of formality that you might get in say France, where "Bonjour Monsieur / Madame!" will be said every time you walk into some shops and you'll get a lot of quite rigid formality of language, but that's part of French culture, much as giving someone a kiss on the cheek when you meet them in a bar to greet them or handshakes. Some people see that stuff as robotic and overly formal. Other's find it charming and friendly. It's just cultural.

    It's fairly normal in Ireland to go straight for a first name and be quite casual with language and that's sometimes quite a culture shock if you're used to a layer of distance and formality in language. But, then if you have some guy or woman you've been introduced to you kissing you on the cheek, that's also a bit of a culture shock the other way around. Neither culture's unfriendly or rude or weird, it's just different.

    A lot of languages also have different registers for dealing with formal situations like shops and restaurants vs someone you know very well e.g. moving from Tu to Vous or Du to Sie or Tú to Usted etc etc. English doesn't and Ireland is particularly informal by even US standards.

    From an Irish perspective, US service culture can come across as grovelling or motivated by money grabbing. All the 'have a nice day' and waiters chasing tips can just be read as extremely false to your average Irish person, while on the other side of it, Ireland's informality can be interpreted as not caring or dismissive to some Americans.

    I've seen similar in France, where Americans expect to be fussed over by waiters and French people prefer the waiter to stay out of their hair and let them enjoy their dinner. In both directions that can cause a culture clash, both with French people finding US waiters really pushy and interfering and Americans finding French waiters aloof and dismissive.

    Cultures vary and it's one of the reasons why travelling is interesting.




  • looksee wrote: »
    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.

    Great advice. I have had communication difficulties with a North Eastern English friend in the past who didn't get the Irish roundabout way of phrasing things.





  • 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).

    This! Irish people relate very differently to each other than a lot of other nationalities. OP you need to make friends with people who have similar interests, socialise with workmates/your wife's broader family and make real connections.

    People outside of Ireland often have outdated, romanticised ideas of what it's like here and are disappointed when they find a modern, diverse society. I've lived in Dublin all my life and it's changed a lot, mostly for the better. It's a thriving, bustling city like any other of its sort. It's not going to be as laid back as smaller towns, but by and large I find people friendly and pleasant. Yes, Ireland has it's problems but what country doesn't?




  • Great advice. I have had communication difficulties with a North Eastern English friend in the past who didn't get the Irish roundabout way of phrasing things.

    Well the British have their own brand of understatement they have mastered over time but perhaps your friend is a simpler and more genuine soul?


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  • Great advice. I have had communication difficulties with a North Eastern English friend in the past who didn't get the Irish roundabout way of phrasing things.

    It's the same in England though. I've seen this conversation being had about English over politeness in meetings. If you've ever watched Dad's Army - See: Sargent Wilson type of indirect language:

    English guy: "I do beg your pardon, and I'm sorry for interrupting but, perhaps one might possibly consider having a the meeting on a more convenient day?"

    US guy: "Get to the goddamn point! Do you mean you want to meet on Tuesday? Well why didn't you just say that?!"

    I really don't think it's unique to Ireland. It's just a part of the social lubricant.

    French is also INCREDIBLY indirect. If you've ever read a French business letter you'd know what I mean. You get reports that read like Victorian romantic novels and they could be about the specification of a pipe.




  • My wife moved here with me in June. She thinks the opposite. She thinks people are very friendly and genuine.

    Are you in Dublin? Or the proper Ireland? :pac:

    Sorry, I see others made the Dublin part. I don't think it's because people in Dublin are a-holes. Some of the nicest people in my life are born and raised in Dublin. It's just that it's a large city and things move faster there. New York, London, Paris, Berlin etc. all have reputations for cold, rude people...it's just the rat race in a city.

    My wife is from the US. She doesn't find people rude...

    Ok, I read through more of the replies about things like immigration services. My guess is the OP is American. There's a very different pace to life in Ireland. If you don't get something right away or if someone doesn't answer the phone, it's not them being rude. As others have pointed out, when you walk into a shop or even go through a drive thru, no one's going to give you the over the top "IT'S A WONDERFUL DAY AT CHICK FIL A my name is Abraham, what can I get started for ya!?" Ireland hasn't been a service based industry for a long time. You're also in the midlands which is certainly not a haven for tourists.

    I suggest you spend some time in Galway. See if you notice a difference. Maybe that would be a good compromise for you and your wife. The only thing though, don't expect speedy service or the over the top stuff anywhere but the quality of service is a bit better there than in the midlands and you'll be more likely to have the chat with people than in Dublin.

    Also, a word of note. We don't treat people who work in retail or the service industry as lower stock like they do in the states. If you are asking for help or need something be courteous. Don't just say "Hey, where's the toothpaste!?"




  • 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.

    You haven't experienced Spanish supermarket staff then.




  • I agree with other posters that it would be helpful to know where you're from but you seem reluctant so maybe instead you could tell us what your ideal scenario of politeness is?

    As others have said, would you like a "hello, how are you today and have an amazing day" approach?

    When you ask for things do you use direct or indirect speech?

    If we have an idea of your measurement of manners it would help. What's friendly and polite to someone can be dismissive and rude to another.




  • The funniest one I encountered was in London. A guy from the US Midwest I worked with started asking me whether he looked sick and getting paranoid about the dark circles under his eyes (he'd had a late night).

    It turned out that he was just confused because people had been saying "You alright mate?" "Alrigh..?" etc ..which translates into US English as : "Hey there bud!!"

    The correct response being "Alright mate!" They're NOT enquiring about your heath or thinking you look unwell.


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  • It's possible that the Irish way of life is just not compatible with how the OP wants to live their life.
    I've been to places and while I acknowledged that they were indeed nice places, I just would not want to live there.
    And if I had to attempted to live there would end up with a large list of things that annoy me.




  • tuxy wrote: »
    It's possible that the Irish way of life is just not compatible with how the OP wants to live their life.
    I've been to places and while I acknowledged that they were indeed nice places, I just would not want to live there.
    And if I had to attempted to live there would end up with a large list of things that annoy me.

    It's completely possible and nobody has any expectation that you have to love Ireland. Maybe they just don't like the place or the culture and there's nothing wrong with that. Horses for courses and all that!

    I mean, I find NYC absolutely draining but I don't go on New York forums slagging them off.




  • Have noticed you have ignored the questions about where you are from!

    Irish people, when in company of someone new, having made introductions next part of conversation is normally 'where are you from', even if the other person is Irish. It's our conversation flow, not rude, not being nosey, just being conversational. It's our ice breaker and opens up a world of conversation etc.

    If in everyday life you ignore these little icebreakers you could be missing out and seem distant and frosty to others.

    Cultural differences exist between us all, many European countries find our constant please and thank you strange.




  • It shouldn't matter where the OP is from!




  • 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.
    Jasus op chill out and stop trying so hard! Wanna go for a pint?




  • juno10353 wrote: »
    Have noticed you have ignored the questions about where you are from!

    Irish people, when in company of someone new, having made introductions next part of conversation is normally 'where are you from', even if the other person is Irish. It's our conversation flow, not rude, not being nosey, just being conversational. It's our ice breaker and opens up a world of conversation etc.

    If in everyday life you ignore these little icebreakers you could be missing out and seem distant and frosty to others.

    Cultural differences exist between us all, many European countries find our constant please and thank you strange.

    It's only in case you know someone from there! I mean, we usually do.

    "So where are you from?"
    "Denmark"
    "Oh what part of Denmark?"
    "Aarhus"
    "Did you go to University there?"
    "Yeah, I did."
    "Do you know Jacinta Murphy, she did Erasmus there in 1997"
    "Jacinta! Ah sure we used to go out".

    (It's just in case that happens)

    Sure you'd never know! I mean I randomly bumped into a guy I know in Beijing once and I've in-laws both living in and from various countries around the globe.

    Not unique to Ireland though. Same thing in Spain sometimes and France.

    Sure I got a taxi once in Bilbao and it turned out the taxi driver's son worked with me in Dublin and he was from the Basque country - no Irish connections.




  • juno10353 wrote: »

    Cultural differences exist between us all, many European countries find our constant please and thank you strange.

    This is true, I've head especially so with the Dutch. For example accidentally bumping into someone in the street they think it's weird to say sorry because to them it goes without saying that it was an accident. You would only say something if you were trying to start trouble.




  • Moved over to Ireland from Yorkshire back in mid 2017. Found the Irish to be friendly, and very welcoming. Made lots of good friends, and have good social circles.

    Sorry you have had a bad experience, I suggest getting out of the big cities and exploring the West of Ireland.

    Not to sound as blunt as a spoon, but could it be you? Doubtful that everyone you've encountered has been gruff with you.




  • I've one word for you OP, Sarcasm. We Irish are masters of it. If you cant deal with Sarcasm, you're in the wrong country. It's part of our culture. The English language is like a brick wall to us, and sarcasm is our hammer.




  • OP was expecting a bunch of leprechauns jumping around yelling " top of the morning to ye"


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  • bubblypop wrote: »
    It shouldn't matter where the OP is from!
    Not sure if you are onn the wind up but of course it matters. There might be a cultural barrier that the OP need s to cross to understand how irish people interact and where he is from is totally relevant to this.




  • bubblypop wrote: »
    It shouldn't matter where the OP is from!

    Of course it matters. It aids in understanding the cultural differences.

    In Chinese culture for example it isn't rude at all to ask someone how much they earn, whereas that would be quite rude to ask someone here.




  • dontpanic wrote: »
    Of course it matters. It aids in understanding the cultural differences.

    In Chinese culture for example it isn't rude at all to ask someone how much they earn, whereas that would be quite rude to ask someone here.

    It might not be out of bounds, but you can really open yourself up for some touchy topics. I know China fairly well.

    The one that I've noticed in France though with Americans tends to be that Americans will ask you 'so what do you do?' and it can be interpreted in France as 'why is this guy so nosey!?'' or 'is he trying to judge me by my income?' ... I don't think Ireland's all that different either. It can be a controversial one if someone's not wanting to talk about their job, career, etc. I'd generally recommend avoiding discussion of money here. Other than giving out about how expensive pints are. That's welcome!

    Generally in Ireland (and most of this applies to England too) : Don't comment on wealth, income, house size, car value, AGE (absolute NO especially with middle aged people and older), personal appearance, weight etc..




  • acequion wrote: »
    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.

    We were never really that friendly imo. In the past when we got the reputation for being friendly and welcoming it was nosiness rather than friendliness. People wanted to know who these strangers were coming to an Ireland that was a complete sh*thole back then.

    In fairness to the OP we have a disproportionate number of pig ignorant people in this country. Still only a small minority though. But i think if the OP has become a little depressed he is probably noticing this cohort a little more than he might otherwise do.




  • Xertz wrote: »
    It might not be out of bounds, but you can really open yourself up for some touchy topics. I know China fairly well.

    The one that I've noticed in France though with Americans tends to be that Americans will ask you 'so what do you do?' and it can be interpreted in France as 'why is this guy so nosey!?'' or 'is he trying to judge me by my income?' ... I don't think Ireland's all that different either. It can be a controversial one if someone's not wanting to talk about their job, career, etc. I'd generally recommend avoiding discussion of money here. Other than giving out about how expensive pints are. That's welcome!

    I've never been to China but my Chinese friend explained to me that they ask what you do so they know how much you earn and what your status is (obviously I could have picked this up totally wrong - you know China better than I do).

    In Ireland, if I ask someone what they do it isn't to glean info on the income or status, it is, as someone else said, an icebreaker.




  • dontpanic wrote: »
    I've never been to China but my Chinese friend explained to me that they ask what you do so they know how much you earn and what your status is (obviously I could have picked this up totally wrong - you know China better than I do).

    In Ireland, if I ask someone what they do it isn't to glean info on the income or status, it is, as someone else said, an icebreaker.

    VERY much depends on the context and who you're talking to in China. All I'm saying is while it's not a taboo topic (where as it would be here). It can open up a thread of conversation that could turn quite awkward. Also, some people in China are quite idealistically egalitarian and would see it as crass to show off money, even though it's commonly done now. It varies a lot. China is a VERY big place with a lot of cultural differences.




  • dontpanic wrote: »
    I've never been to China but my Chinese friend explained to me that they ask what you do so they know how much you earn and what your status is (obviously I could have picked this up totally wrong - you know China better than I do).

    In Ireland, if I ask someone what they do it isn't to glean info on the income or status, it is, as someone else said, an icebreaker.

    The Chinese tend to crowd you too. Not very aware or respectful of private space but it's obvious as to why and you just have to get over it.

    The Japanese then have some similar traits to the Irish like letting the next car into their lane when there's traffic and someone trying to get over plus the wave of the hand and flash of the hazards.

    Which, I think someone said you won't meet nice people commuting. True for the most part, people have the head down and just want to get through it but if you're driving in this country you see how amazing most of the people are.

    Flash of the lights to warm of a speed trap up ahead. I made a point of pointing that out to my wife. Who else does that?




  • Wompa1 wrote: »
    Flash of the lights to warm of a speed trap up ahead. I made a point of pointing that out to my wife. Who else does that?

    The French do that too, especially down the country and the police are quite irritated by it. It's not technically illegal, but they frown upon it quite strongly.
    I wouldn't say it's uniquely Irish tbh.

    'Tooting' the horn can be quite a cultural thing though. In Ireland and Britain it's generally interpreted as an aggressive act, in traffic anyway (not if you're waving at someone) whereas in the US it can be somewhat more normal to do. I remember a US friend of mine blasted the horn in traffic in London because a car didn't move off quickly enough and the woman driving it got out and more or less challenged him to a fist fight. Whereas apparently in NYC it's normal enough to just vent your frustration by tooting the horn.

    All of these things, and use of formalities and different registers of language and so on are all just cultural differences at a local level. You have to be somewhat open to accepting that different places are different, because they're different places. If you expect everything to be exactly the same as wherever home happens to be, then you will find the world a very stressful place.




  • My wife is Asian, from Thailand specifically. She's lived in Europe for about 10 years and ireland for 6 years. She says Irish people are one of the friendliest she's ever met and she's been to a lot of countries. She's got lots of Irish friends at work too.

    Thais are also very friendly even if they might ask you how old you are as soon as they meet you, they just want to know how to address you. They also have no problem telling you if you're fat etc, they don't really see it as an insult, just very matter of fact.

    I've been to a lot of places and obviously people vary. People that stand out as being very friendly to me are the Portuguese, but I've never been to a place where i thought the people were repulsive like the OP seems to think about the Irish.

    Maybe OP is having some sort of culture shock even though he refuses to let us know where he's from, how rude of him.


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  • Xertz wrote: »
    The French do that too, especially down the country and the police are quite irritated by it. It's not technically illegal, but they frown upon it quite strongly.
    I wouldn't say it's uniquely Irish tbh.

    It's great! In Galway the city switched from hourly charges at most of the public car parks to a flat charge of 5 euro. So if you only need to park for an hour, it's 5 euro. All day? 5 euro...

    If you go there in the afternoon and park up, inevitably someone will run over to your car and give you their parking pass.

    People's soundness is killing the city council's revenue 😀


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