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Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being blunt, being direct… you will have to deal with it a lot when interacting with Germans. If you do not want to know how a person feels, don’t ask them “How are you?” If you try to fish for compliments, make sure your appearance or accomplishments are complimentable. This is not to say that you will not encounter perfectly polite Germans, or those who do not want to hurt your feelings. Just fewer than in the US or in Britain. Germans often pride themselves on their ability to “think critically”, and, unfortunately, this ability tends to be carried over from areas where it is suitable (philosophy, political thought, engineering) to areas where it is highly problematic (interpersonal communication). Yes, I can keep my thoughts to myself. Just don’t ask for my opinion if you cannot deal with the consequences.


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