|User:||la_vie_ooc (posted by heil_hans)|
|Subject:||Dealing With Germans|
Found this online - they're not all necessarily true for every German, but I did bold the ones that seem to apply to Hans.
Rules for Dealing with Germans
1. Remember that Germans really hate rule breakers!
2. Germans and Americans do not think and act alike in social and business situations - especially first encounters. Get over the myth that "we're all basically alike." It sounds good, but this mind-set is counterproductive.
3. Germans tend to be blunt, frank, and - to Anglo-American eyes - tactless in certain situations. They tend to correct you when you don't want to be corrected. That's because they are primarily concerned with exchanging facts and information, not "warm fuzziness." Since they also do this with other Germans, try to understand that you have not been singled out for special treatment.
4. Germans aren't into "idle chatter." They don't really care if you "have a nice day" (an expression they view as a symbol of American "superficiality"), and they don't want to talk about (a) their jobs, (b) their kids or family with a stranger . Such conversation is reserved for close friends.
5. Both the German language and the Germans draw a clear line between Freunde (du/ihr) and Bekannte (Sie), between private (home) and public (work). You are a Bekannte(r) ("acquaintance") and on Sie terms until your German counterpart says otherwise. This is one of the most difficult rules for easygoing, just-call-me-Bob Americans to truly grasp and internalize.
6. Germans have been known to smile, but unnecessary smiling is frowned on. A German needs a good reason to smile. In fact, excessive smiling for most Germans is an indication of weak-mindedness. Don't overdo smiling around Germans. At heart, Germans are pessimists, and they enjoy their pessimism. Don't deprive them of that pleasure. Corollary to Rule 6: Never try to tell a joke in German. Leave this to professionals like Harald Schmidt (a well-known German night-show host) or Germans who have had too much to drink. Germans have a sense of humor, but is has no resemblance to either the American or British variety. It takes many years to delve into the German sense of humor.
7. Learn and accept Rules 1 through 6. Don't think you can (or should) change people. Learn to adjust to them rather than expecting them to adjust to you. If you react with indignation or anger, even privately, then you are displaying a profound lack of understanding of the culture in which you're trying to function.