What Germans think they are good at

YouTube comments:

“After having lived for 4 years in the US I learned to appreciate some German traits. What comes to mind is efficiency, being detail oriented, having a long attention span, being direct and mostly honest, and – very surprising for me – compared to the US the relation to your superior is much more on an equal footing (okay not everywhere), despite calling your boss by their firstname in the US, work life balance, time for your family Politically, trying to find a balance between economic growth, workers rights, social security and sustainability (trying is the word here). On a material level, certainly bread (in all variations), beer, engineering of course, Sahnetorte (cream cake), Wurst (sausages as well as cold cuts); plumbing, online-banking, … Examples of what we still have to learn: seeing the good things (we are perfect in looking for “das Haar in der Suppe”, finding fault in everything); sometimes letting go of safety in favor of taking risks.”

“My sister lives in Munich and, although I’ve never lived there, I’ve visited Germany multiple times. Germans do many things very well. The towns are clean, safe, and well run. People are polite and civilized. Food is delicious and the beer is out-of-this-world. The women are so good-looking! My sister enjoys a high quality of life over there – she says that social services are comprehensive and stress-free to deal with. And all this without mentioning German achievements in science, medicine, engineering, commerce, and the arts. It’s a fine country. p.s. John Kampfner’s book on Germany is excellent.”

“As an Italian, I can say that Germans are the best when it comes to public facilities, infrastructure, punctuality and public order.. they also make the best beer you can find.. They need to improve fashion and social attitude perhaps (Not all of them are “cold” though) I would love to live in München one day!”

Mean

An uncut scene from Bridesmaids where Kristen Wiig and the teenager argue in the jewelry store. This is improv at its best! Who says Americans can get in each other’s face?

YouTube comments:

“This girl was only 14 when she held her own with a professional comedian for 10 minutes.”

“Kristen Wiig is an absolute improv genius and not afraid to set herself up as the punching bag for the little girl.”

“They clearly were having way too much fun with this scene. Mia starts to smile too much because it’s such a joy to go so unhinged on somebody. The director probably said to go in there and completely go off on her but don’t overlap lines so we can edit. The editors probably had too much fun with this scene too. Can you blame any of them?”

“Props to Kristen but that girl annihilated her.”

80% self-censor

7 April 2022. New York Times:

“There is now little doubt that students frequently bite their tongues because they feel unsafe. A 2021 survey of more than 37,000 college students — by far the largest on free expression to date — found that more than 80 percent of students censor their own viewpoints at least some of the time, while roughly one in five students regularly do so. Meanwhile, only 40 percent of students say that they are comfortable openly disagreeing with their professors.”

Yes, hypersensitivity on American university campuses is well-known. What does this have to do with communication and feedback within American companies? Everything. Political correctness, like it or dislike it, has been a growing force in the United States for several decades.

Still too direct

“Germans, in general, can often be more direct and straightforward than Americans, and to be honest even after living here for eight years, that directness is still sometimes a little shocking for me, a little bit too much, or even sometimes has made me cry!”

A comment: “Just your example about some shop assistent telling you that the piece of clothing does not fit you at all: I’m always more suspicious about a shop assistent telling me how good it fits keeping in mind he or she just wants their merchandise sold. So I tend more to appreciate an honest, though maybe direct answer.”

Another comment: “I’m always irritated how well the Americans can hide the truth of what they are thinking behind compliments and smiles. In Germany If you are getting an honest critique, then the person likes you, thinks said critique can improve you and is interested that you do better. So its a good thing 😉 “

Oh, here’s a good one: “As a German, i feel like lying when i am asked about my opinion and i would try to let it sound “nicer”. Everyone is honest and tells what they think about everything. I tried for a while the way that is used in the staates and i gat really that awfull feeling of lying and i konstantly had to think about how i say things and not what i like to say.

In my opinion germans are just used to that honesty and fee unconfortable to alter the opinion just to sound nicer. The other way around, when i meet people from the staates, i have allways that feeling they are sneaky and false, they try to hide their thoughts behind words. I was never sure how they really are and think.”

“Well, that was complete shit.”

Berliners respond to the question “Are we Germans direct?”:

And one of the comments from a German: “When I was in high school, I can remember, another student gave a poorly-prepared presentation. Directly thereafter the teacher simply looked at him and said in English: “Well, that was complete shit.”

Say what you do. Do what you say.

“Say what you do and do what you say”, that’s the motto of German engineer, Norbert Rudat. I think 99.9% of Germans would agree with it.

But wait, wouldn’t everyone, from every culture, agree with it? Perhaps. But are other cultures as literal about it? And I don’t mean literal-minded, but instead meaning something literally as they say it.

For example, do Americans always mean exactly what they say? And do they always say exactly what they mean? What about other cultures: China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico?

Mr. German Man is direct

An American woman. Married to a German man. How her husband is very direct. And about how Americans learn to be indirect, especially when giving negative feedback.

Warning ! This woman is a youtuber. And an American on top. So, she is more than a bit animated. And frankly, she could have made her points in about two minutes instead of seven and a half.

Watch the first three minutes.

German Humor meets American Mentality

This from German Science Comedian Vince Ebert:

A comment: “A German compliment sounds like this (and I quote my brother): “You look fat in that dress, but great dress!”

Another comment: “In the U.S., we have a satirical News outlet called The Onion that writes fake stories to make fun of our culture and government. In Germany, I’ve heard their version of this is a website called Stupidipedia that’s a satirical version of Wikipedia, that’s full of fake, interconnected information. They made a whole encyclopedia as a joke. The Germans do in fact have a sense of humor, its just over-engineered like everything else in Germany.”

“What the hell were you thinking killing all of the Native Americans?”

An interesting comment: “The smoking areas on train station platforms are actually more helping to concentrate the cigarette waste in one place so it’s easier to clean, that’s why I like this system. It’s meant to keep smoke from non-smokers but whatever. It has working benefits.”

One cliché after another. The German people have a wonderful sense of humor.