Plus, the surprising and unexpected Unspoken Rule 99 is a game changer. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 64 pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about 99 Unspoken Rules of Social Etiquette , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about 99 Unspoken Rules of Social Etiquette. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 11, Monique Wallace rated it liked it.
Common Sense This is very common sense things. I suppose for some people this may be an eye opener, but I thought this would teach me something about myself. If you already practice everyday kindness, skip this book. Aug 10, Catalina rated it liked it. Common Courtesy This is a good book for everyone to read. If everyone applied these day to day habits, the world would have a lot less nastiness.
Gel Diangco rated it it was ok Mar 16, Ann Budnikova rated it really liked it Jan 16, Kelly Haskins rated it it was amazing Apr 30, In Paris I'm used to the 'attitude' which is actually based on efficiency to me. No chit chat or likewise. Just order, eat, and ask politely for l' addition are basically what it's about to me.
If one needs something signaling to the waiter and asking Monsieur politely for what is needed has been fine with me. I like the idea that once you reserve a table it is yours for as long as you wish. I've never had a waiter plop l'addition on the table in a restaurant at a cafe, yes but sometimes not even. It works for me and I wish it were like this in the US honestly. As to rudeness there are definitely rude locals, surely.
But then that's a personal problem and not something that should be thought of as anti-American. I came across some rude locals on this and past trips but I find rude locals here at home also. A couple of points. People can't read minds, or be expected to know every custom in the nations they visit. In many countries, waiters will assist tourists through the process, and understand that it may be foreign to them. Secondly, part of the job of a waiter, like it or not, is to tolerate a customer's idiosyncracies to a reasonable degree. Their job is to provide service, whether the customer does everything just right or not.
That is true in every country. Some tables need more attention, some want to be left alone, etc. Thirdly, there is really no original information in your post. It has been rehashed and rewritten a thousand times in a thousand different places. You ARE expected to make a minimum effort to understand the culture of a place you choose to visit. Failure to do so is at the root of the problem. To expect the same cultural affinities from a waiter in San Francisco and a waiter in Khartoum is not very realistic. Hence, the unnecessary friction. Interesting post and there is certainly some truth to it.
One thing that is omitted is the difference in the way Americans and French perceive dining out. Americans "go out to eat" more often than "to dine". The vast majority of French restaurants offer a dining experience, as in a 2 to 3 hour meal. Most americans like to wrap things up in 1 hour. This can lead to the american tourist being under the impression that they are being ignored as things are not moving along quickly.
Will an American enjoy their meal more fully if they are aware of the cultural diffences that you point out? However, that responsability does not fully lie on the shoulders of the tourist. Restaurants in tourist areas of Paris that have a larger percentage of tourists should be more aware of the expectations of those tourists and proceed accordingly.
Thats called meeting your clients needs. I have dined throughout France and I sometimes find Parisian waiters more abrupt. Not all of them of course and I have had many lovely meals in Paris. I dont expect them to fall all over me but when a waiter just comes up to the table and stares waiting for your order, thats rude.
I also expect them to ask me how it was and maintainy a general level of politness. I have actually been served in brasseries in Paris where the only thing the waiter says to me is "anything else? You mention making eye contact with waiters to get their attention. Parisian waiters are most artful in the avoidance of eye contact. They can walk across the entire restaurant without making eye contact. I am sure part of the abruptness is simply due to life in the big city and all of the stress that comes with it. Ambassy, I loved your post Perso, I must be French from some other life, because I find American waitstaff kind of cloying I mean, if I wanted them to join my dinner party I'd have sent them an invitation I like having my food brought to the table with good timing and Parisian waiters seem to excel at this Be outspoken, bright and quick in your opinion and answers….
For all you foreigners reading this, Holland the best part of the Netherlands…. Even habbits and behaviour are two seperate things in such a small country if you look at east and west. Joop, hope you could take the comment on this………. It is really funny to read this discussion. Amsterdammers in particular will lie, cheat, and just plainly mock you in your face by pretending to be sincere when they are not.
They do this especially when you are not from Amsterdam or from a different social class, it is some sort of sport. This will hardly ever happen to you in other parts of the country. On the other hand when Amsterdammers are really sincere it can be heartwarming. This is the kind of sincerity that will sometimes happen to you on the street, at the market or in cafes, and the sincerity and directness in that case has a certain tenderness which I really like.
Hi I was born in Hengelo O. My aunts and uncles are this way also to different degrees I try to curb it but just comes out with well meaning advice and it fall flat sometimes. So true, Joop. I married a Dutch man and lived in Kampen for ten years. Rude, and offending were the order of the day. I was learning Duch, and not fluent, but could understand them. Now that we are living in California, they visit us all of the time.
Hate us? Not sure, but it was a reason we moved back to USA. Sorry to hear you moved back because of Dutch rudeness Barbara. In our defense I have to say though that Americans can really puzzle me and my friends. Americans seem all open and inviting, but the problem is they do not show their limits, they do not show what they do not like. As a result we as Dutch people can be totally surprised by a totally unexpected shocked or angry response from an American.
The limits of what one can discuss and especially joke about with Americans is a mystery to me, even after having worked alongside many for a long time now. They can be surprisingly prudish and old-fashioned, from a European point of view, but they often seem to think they are culturally superior. A certain openness from both sides seems necessary to avoid situations like yours, where you feel you have to leave because nobody understands or respects you. I can assure you this was not the case. Most Dutch people will not visit you, even as a cheap holiday option, when they do not like you at all.
Sensible comment. Cannot agree more. Well Joop, I agree with you. I believe anyone can be honest and direct without being rude and mean. People from other countries will want to stay away. Presumptuousness, incidentally, is hardly unique to the Dutch! Frankly, both the Germans, even the English, can come awfully close in speaking the first thing that comes to their lips, regardless of the often hurtful, potentially psychically damaging, consequences:- lol.
If you are direct and it hurts a persons feelings and you know that then that is being rude. Telling the truth requires some degree of tact and diplomacy. Even if you are Dutch! Having a point of view on any and everything is a good Dutch trait. I totally agree. I would never say to someone your haircut is ugly even when I think it is maybe not all that flattering, even Dutch people would leave those things unsaid.
But when you give a speech e. You are the example of the American way. If something is great, you will also get a confirmation. All though some people are offended by it, it is a very efficient way of communication. It gets rid of frustration and stress. Some people assume that Dutch people are angry when they tell it like it is.
In my experience, people from Brabant and especially Limburg are less direct and form closed communities. And convenient economic milk cows to boot; for Amsterdam especially. Another dichotomy was religious: Brabant and Limburg, south of the grand rivers Maas, Waal and Rijn, being overwhelmingly Roman-Catholic — in contrast to the overwhelmingly protestant West. The very attitude is still reflected in many contributions in these pages and other sections of this blog. Also worth considering is that, after the Armistice end of WW 1, in , the then Dutch government narrowly escaped punishment for allowing German army units to cross Limburg, on their way to what were to become the Flemish killing fields — in spite of neutrality solemnly declared, some four years earlier.
Accordingly, the Dutch were ordered to hand over the province of Zuid-Limburg to Belgium. A successful appeal ultimately called the whole thing off — if I remember correctly. Enough to irritate the living crap out of me. If the truth hurts, prepare for pain.
If you speak your mind you will inevitable hurt someone. Should this shut you up? In debates any thought should be expressed, not surpressed. Personally I prefer an honest opinion. Being hurt, or hurting someone, is not necessarily a bad thing. It might help you or the other to grow or take things less personal. Not ruddeness is the flipsight of this coin, but only listening to your own opinion, and inflexibility in thought.
They look like long, skinny, unhealthy ghouls. Compared to other countries Dutch people do not smoke that much weed. I live in London. And I love being direct cos that means that I have got nothing to hide. If you call directness speaking without thinking, then I agree that the Dutch are direct. If you call directness getting to the point and speaking your mind, then I have to disagree. Speaking about directness and rudeness. How easy it is to insult in text. Look in the mirror people and see how trustworthy you are.
When you are direct, you want to get to the point, and if you have the ability to do so in a not completely rude and disrespectful way, you should definetly be proud of that. This utter conviction of the universality of their world views and the missionary zeal with which those are trumpeted all over the globe usually leaves little room for different ideas. One internationally notorious example of the latter was a government minister called Jan Pronk.
The Americans especially regarded him as the proverbial pain in the backside. And because of this level of fanaticism displayed, the Dutch government as a whole got a bad name. This word is still in the dictionary, I believe. Not every Dutchman is a Pronk. You should look into the differences between what is objective and subjective. Like some other commenters said, there is a fine line between being direct and honest, and rude.
I hate being rude, and I apologise when I am. But I hate unspoken thoughts littering what could be a nice and open atmosphere. Taking one idiot Dutchman and basing your entire view of the Dutch people on him. Maybe you should think things over and calm down before you write such rubbish like you just did. I have a Dutch nurse. She thinks she knows the truth. I think she is a semi-literate jackass. I have already sent a couple of complaints to the Editor of the Toronto Sun. I look forward to a dialogue, and the paper can put it on the front page.
As for her employer, i shall be drafting documents, like a good retired University of Toronto lawyer should. I shall also read them out loud, preferably more than once. This is a bigger project.
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Okay, but is her problem or.. John Harvard. To be honest: your story sound weird and I feel sorry for the nurse having to deal with you. I agree! I am Dutch myself, having lived and worked abroad a lot, I am always wondering where this proudness of being rude comes from. I have many expat friends, and they still make fun of my directness, eventhough I think I am not that bad.
They tell me they do think it is refreshing, but hey, they know how to sugarcoat their message; I think there is something to say for honesty, but I agree with many people above, sometimes it is better to leave things unspoken. You can still sugarcoat a message a little and I we think we do this most of the time too. If a friend wears new pants that makes her ass look fat, I will wisely shut my mouth. I would indeed tell her that I think that I have seen more flattering pants on her and that she should probably look for a model that covers up her love handles of something along that line.
Furthermore, I think the perception of Dutch rudeness is strengthened by the language barrier. Most Dutch people do speak reasanably good English, but lack the finesse, which makes my fellow countryman sound even more rude than we really are.. In English, this is an absolute rude way to communicate. So please forgive me and my fellow countryman for the perceived rudeness, but praise us for the honesty and good intentions..
That party makes up for all things wrong about NL. My Grampa Bylsma was a sweetie pie but I loved Gramma very much, and wanted to please her. All she really should have done was be as direct with praise once in awhile!! This is by far the most rational, honest and kind remark I have ever road amongst the exchanges of opinions. Very succinct, but with a heart.
No trouble at all being direct, but the manner how it is said matters. Of course some of the dutch are happily married and some are not. This directness also reflects in taking things literally. Seriously, folks, being Dutch myself, with a father from Rotterdam…. Narcicicstic 2. A brief comment and set of samples by anonymous wives. Oh God thank you for saying this. I have to disagree with your comment as well! Germans have gotten into LOTS of battles over the centuries, usually of their own making!
Christiaan, yes you are right. I am originally Irish-British but have lived almost 40 years in NL which I now consider my own country. How many times have I been stabbed in the back by the British! Can we talk about it? Of course, directness should always be tempered with politeness and diplomacy.
There are ways and ways of saying things. The British are not honest in what the say compared to a lot cultures. Way to go! I have often found I have got on with South Africans and I am wondering if this is the Dutch influence. Maybe I really should emigrate, I have been in the wrong country for too long! Bob: absolutely agree, about most British being backstabbers and I am originally Irish-British myself. The Scots are the only ones I feel I can trust. In many ways they are a lot like the Dutch. Why not focus on these good qualities instead? The english are very petty they pretend to understand your opinion but eventually they spite you and talk about you behind your back and then they treat you bad.
So much for being civilized society. Love this site but I must say this…. Using their directness to be indirect is an art. Only one or two did hear what I really said…. Well lets not exagerate here. I think the difference between the Dutch and the more southern and eastern cultures are that those cultures experience some criticism as an attack on their manhood or pride or something. Giving it is all good and well…but can they take it? Can they handle the fact that Dutch music is crap, that their food sucks big time, their supermarkets are shite I have been worshipping at the Temple of Waitrose for many years, so I know what an ace supermarket is , that the dress sense of the average dutch person would have people gasping with disbelief in most hip europan cities….
Music is one of our biggest export products. But if you are pointing at our schlagersingers and pirate artists I couldnt agree more with you. In fact in the music scene thats more hidden like jazz, ska, reggae, blues were quite good but that kinds of music never surfaced into the mainstream.
I agree that our kitchen is crappy. A big reason for this is that the houseschool we once had in the time that only men had jobs, they simplified the recipes for the cookbooks so a lot of ingredients were written off the chart and started a downfall of the dutch cuisine. Not that it was ever very great but it was a lot better. And lets not forget the deep fried snacks everyone loves here like frikandellen, kroketten, kaassouffles, bitterballen, nasischijven etc etc. And our beers have world fame. Every dutchman falls in love with the very huge supermarkets in France so believe me we want them here also.
But there is a kind of supermarket war going on and oh well. I dont really care. Well and about the dress sense. I dont know. I think every european city is the same. Well one thing is that most women in Holland dont like that their women so if you mean that I will agree with you.
There are way too many fat women in Holland. I dont care if that is sexist or not.
Too many of them think they can get any guy they want by just looking plain and never wearing a nice dress or something like that. I had holidays in Prague and Krakow and most of the women there had a good figure, nice tan. Same goes for Croatia and Serbia. Seems women there like the difference between men and women. I think both sexes could dress up a little more. Also are Dutch women more often fat and fatter than men? And Dutch women being fat? No, since the Dutch are the tallest people around, the women are big too. But bottom line is that the Dutch are behind when it comes to fashion.
And also on cuisine, and super markets, and partially on music too. Greetings from a dutch guy! I totally agree with Anna!!! I have lived and been in many places in the world,…. And I have to say alot of times when I wear a dress and high heels.. I feel overdressed cos most women here in Holland dont go all dolled up!
I dont mean the British way.. And one more thing…exactly what Anna said…dont you think loads of men here in Holland think its cool to have a beer belly…boys that are 17 years old have little beer bellies…dont expect a Victorias secret model when ya no Calvin Klein model yourself ….. Women are not just there to look at. You should be ashamed of yourself, women are human beings with a lot more to offer than just looks. Excuse me for rather spending time on getting a good education than doing my make up.
Let me just sit here and ignore everything you say untill you can prove to me that you are in fact a supermodel who wears a suit everyday. Now you are being rude as opposed to direct! I agree that Albert Heijn is nothing like Waitrose but then again Waitrose is really quite expensive. Is AH really that bad or is it just not what you are used to? Not everything can be the same as in your home country so you should show a little open mindedness..
Or if you live in Amsterdam or Haarlem then Marqt might be something for you? I am thinking of moving to Holland.
And I am very short. Would I fit in there? Even the men take great care of what they are wearing and how they are wearing it… in general that is, of course there is always the exception to the rule. The Dutch are still wearing trends that Americans and Brits were wearing back in Crap music? I agree with the palingsound and kampermusic being crap. We can take it if it is said in a normal way.
Not in the way written above. You are free to leave the country anytime, how about yesterday? Love it! You people get over it, why are we bad-mouthing Holland all of a sudden, So not what is was about. We are direct, take it or leave it! Jim Fashion is an outer layer, an exposure. Your food is shite for other cultures. Some cultures like to eat maggots, dogs, snails, testicles of a bull, termites, whalet etc..
Music, the same, based on personal opinion. All the things you mention are basically based on personal opinion. This is not even a normal comment, just a list of things you hate. If you want to say so: fine with me. Feeling better now? Jim, where are you from?
And how long have you lived in NL? If you actually do live here? Why are you only focusing on negative things as YOU perceive them? A lot of Dutch music is excellent but you have to know where to look. Canto Ostinato by Simeon ten Holt is fabulous. I admit that the way they run their restaurants does leave a lot to be desired, but after all the French are the only Europeans who really know how to cook and enjoy good food by Europeans, I mean that in an ethnic sense to include Europeans in the diaspora.
Especially Marqt! The customer service of my internet service provider called earlier to fix some problems and which led to a simple request of them calling me back tomorrow for an answer as I simply cldnt call them because they have a centralized phone system with long voice systems in dutch, , hence, they gotta call me.
I said what for? She probably meant it well, because when you call, it costs you money where as if they call you, you wouldn have to pay a penny. I would say typically NON-Dutch. Yes, that sounds like a procedure. Not much the agent could do about that.
Working with many foreigners and being Dutch i see the complaint about the Dutch voice systems a lot. On the other hand, Dutch is the language we speak here. Never had a Dutch voice system when I was abroad as well. But always found somebody who was willing to help me. Most Dutch people do speak a little English and are happy to help you out.
Just ask for some help.
Hoi, Draske! Zou ik maar in het Nederlands of in het Engels antwoorden? Seems pride goeth before the fall, and many Dutch are soooo proud of their school English, they enjoy rubbing our noses in it.
The Dutch speak perfect or at least, excellent, English and foreigners are almost afraid of telling the absolute truth. So you live in the Netherlands and expect a centralized phone system in English? Think about it…. What is wrong here? I found that for the most part customer service was just lacking in general. To me rudeness is when I am left standing there with a shirt in hand to buy and you sit there on the phone chatting to your friend.
Do I think they can dish it out as well as they can take it? I had one too many experiences with that!! Same with a lady in the store, interupting my personal conversation with someone having it in English she told me to speak Dutch. She had no idea who I was or if I lived there or was a tourist. Yep, very recognisable. Esp in Amsterdam. No service whatsoever in bars or restaurants for example. Prob because they have a set salary, and are not dependend on tips? I know places in Amsterdam where the service is good and staff is friendly.
In the US I found the service seemde good, but was hardly sincere. I always felt it was the tip, not the customer they cared for. Once you had payed their inyterest was gone. This guy is a typical Dutch xenophobe who thinks his culture is superior to other cultures unfortunately there are a LOT of xenophobes in The Netherlands. I personally like the directness but not the rudeness.
And a lot of Dutch people are borderline rude! The Dutch are very direct and people from other nationalities might be a bit more or a bit too sensitive and when those two are mixed it seems like all Dutch are rude. Or at least that goes for all the people I know. Have to agree with Jeroen on that, with Adriana hating Queensday, Sinterklaas, and the Dutch directness….
You are right about the shoes, but it has nothing to do with the dutch culture. He might have been outspoken about how his parents raised him. Especially when directly after that, you go on calling most Dutch people the same thing? Hope you know what I mean. Directness is also often to prevent people from doing something stupid a second time. But yes, we can go too far. When he was gone again I told him to get back to school and do what he said he would do,, he told me I was rude.. I mean, is that just dutch rudeness too? So when someone has a really bad haircut, I try not to say anything.
But if they would ask.. So we always have a nice mix of stuff and people btw. If the hair is cut in a wrong way we both blame the hairdresser! To T I think you were right when you told your classmate to get back and do what he said he would do. It is not wrong to call people out when they are not living up to what they said. That is not rude. If someone asks your opinion then it is right to give it…honestly AND gently. I think people are put off with directness when it is not asked for. Lastly, your english is pretty good. Also he felt that most of the time my family just argued when in fact we felt we were having a nice evening with a lively political debate.
He over it now and we made him an honorary Dutch person!! I sometimes miss the directness and trying to figure out where you stand with people I feel, living in England, can be pretty tough. Since no-one is really like the Dutch. Just the way I like it! My british friends often complain about the dutch rudeness and how improper some habits are. The rest of the evening I have to listen to them complain how pissed they are, go figure. Not positive but a fact reality. The dressing up or lack of it derives from the past.
A dutch millionaire buying a ferrari is not necessarily perceived as cool — a Dutch millionaire drive a volkswagen brings more respect. Supermarket-wise, very true that they make look products better then they are in fact. Having lived in Tokyo for a while and traveling a lot , I have never seen such high quality level in any other country. And if you want to pay for it, you do have access to relatively high-end products Marqt or much better, buying straight from wholesalers The multi-cultural nature of Holland does enable you access to the best foreign cuisine e.
Try some Dutch lobster or shrimps, they are considered the best quality available in the world. I understand some of the arguments and fine with me! However, I do feel more comfortable being surrounded with honest direct people around me to know what they really think opposed to bla-bla. The good side effects of this behavior is that the Dutch seem to be an out of the box thinking nation. If you think you have a better idea than your boss, you just say it.
The Dutch speak their minds. OMG I thought it was just me! Dutch girl in Oz. However it tends to create awkward moments and an impression of arrogant behavior. Please keep in mind that there are a lot of Dutchies that do not understand you completely and do not speak english on a regular basis.
A lot of them only hear it from Hollywood movies and even intent to use the same lines used in said movies, complete with the F- word and S- word a lot! Nothing personal from their side, incredibly rude to your ears. Give an example.. How else can they live with each other? Still having discussions laugh in bars and like each other..? Usually you feel like its arrogant, because the other party might be coming over as strong confident person within discussion. That might be seen as arrogance but its not…I even bet that a dutchy dont even think about being arrogance.
Its the perception of the other person who is dealing with dutchy and have difficulties with the directness. What non-Dutchies consider too close to being a tactless asshole, the Dutch themselves are used to and brought up to be. Our line lies further ahead than it does for you. And well, how can I say this without sounding like a tactless asshole to you.. I also believe that Dutchies who are proud of being direct, can handle the directness in the opposite direction from other Dutchies. We believe you should get what you give and give what you get. Non-Dutchies tend to get offended by the directness, so we get offended when they return the favor too, where a Dutch person can say just about anything to an other Dutch person.
Oh and when faced with a non-Dutch person trying to return the directness, there is also the slight problem of that person not getting the tone of voice, gesture or choice of words right. Holland consists of many different subcultures, religions, believes. Within km by km you will find extreme differences.
These conversations probably take place in every country but I am kind of getting sick of people making complaints here I work in an international work environment. If it sucks here, sure — fine, your opinion, but then just leave!! Pointing out things that most expats and foreigners dislike is really far away of saying that The Netherlands suck!
I have heard it so many times already to the point of being annoyed myself. Dudes, assume it,in every country there are good things and bad things. Yeah, being a masochist might have to do something with it sometimes …. But not everyone reacts the same. Not every Dutchie is the same. Maybe you stayed in Amsterdam? Ignoring the fact that the attraction to tourists lies in the beauty people from way back created there.
There is a lot of influx from other regions in Amsterdam, maybe more than elsewhere. As soon they live there they tend to become chauvinist pigs, hahaha.
Btw, I live in the area of Rotterdam. I now live in the city but was born 30 miles away. In both places people attribute all kinds of nonsense to the people in the other place. They can be direct but cannot take the directness from others towards them. Of course it is not all of them!
So why should this one be any different? During my first few months here i had doubts on what i should think about some people I met. I really wonder if some of them have the slight idea how rude they are.