Originally Posted by Insomnia
I am trying to think of a way to phrase this nicely, but I am struggling not to sound HORRENDOUSLY xenophobic, but there is something very different about the Eastern European social skills that gives the "**** off and die" aura. And I'm sure that everyone from those parts doesn't mean me ill, but it definately seems that way (apart from Polish people, they tend to be ridiculously smiley and friendly from the get go). Its strange because when you get to know most Eastern Europeans, they are really friendly, but they don't seem to be willing to extend that when they first meet you. Where I work there are three hungarians, and they really do give the patients the wall of unfriendliness treatment when they come in, despite all being really nice (to their friends). And when I went to Budapest, it seemed such a struggle to get anything out of people. Like you'd ask if they knew where something was, they'd say yes. So then you'd have to ask how to get there. And they'd say walk. And you'd say, but where etc etc.
Basically, I think you just need to be what seems to be horribly superficial. Smile a lot, be really apologetic if you don't know something, don't try and do things quietly and out of people's way, because they will just construe that as that you don't like them/think you are above them.
Well, I get your point. And I'm not Hungarian, but close...Romanian. Basically, the way I was brought up was to sit quietly and do what I'm supossed to work on. The thing is that I was always told not to "kiss people's ***" and those girls who used to do that back home..my mom taught me they were *****es. They were the type that laughed and joked a lot, which was not really the prototype.
If you ask me for directions, I'm the type who not only shows you where to go, but takes you to the place. So, I'm helpful in that way. I just don't feel comfortable doing the "cheap talk" thing and be superficial like you've said. I'll try to be more friendly (like I'm not the type who hugs and kisses anyone) even with people that I don't know.
The thing that worries me, however, is that I've been around for a while and still didn't change.
I have class now, but maybe I'll write some more later on.
You are helpful!