Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Seven Personality Traits of a German

Over the years, I've come to agree....there are are seven obvious and traditional personality traits of a typical German. I realize....that I will take heat for this. But in some ways, I consider these to be positive in certain ways. And no, not all Germans are this way....but these are the obvious ones that you will notice.

First, stubbornness. It was obvious from two world wars. It's obvious from the 1950s and the rebuilding of Germany. It's obvious from the economy stumbles....especially from the vision of Greece and its woes. A German simply holds to one ideal, and continues on. They don't change their opinion often....and when they do....it's a necessity that they approach in a mental sense and just do it.

Second, holding to traditions. If a German starts a tradition....they rarely fail to accomplish this. I would put Octoberfest as the prime example....but there are millions of these in German society. It could be the start of fall clean-up in your neighborhood and the accepted date for that. It could be the summerfest week that has gone on for sixty years in your local town. Unless a flood occurs, folks don't shift from the traditions.

Even on the personal level, there are things like a guy sticking to Opel cars for his entire life. Or the wife who demands a weekend getaway to Berlin the 2nd week of May of each year. Or the color scheme of a house that's been owned by some guy for forty-five years. It might even be the tradition of using only one car mechanic for your entire life, until he retires.

Third, thriftiness. Normally, I'd just call this cheapness....but I have to be fair here. You could walk up to most Germans and tell them they have $300 for an entire 10-day summer vacation....and somehow, they'd figure a way to enjoy their 10 days off....with such a modest amount of money.

When you look at German retirees....and what they often end up with at age 65.....and then somehow....they live off $1000 a month and you are kinda shocked how they do it.

Right now, there is this massive use of Hornbach (the German home improvement store). Instead of paying some guy to renovate your bathroom....a German will find the right Polish guy for a week....buy all the materials.....and then do the paint and tile himself.

Fourth, argumentative. This one.....some folks might argue about (get it?). Germans can find a thousand things to argue about. It could be one guy planting shrubs of a disliked nature that the neighbor can't stand. It could be the act of cranking your car for two minutes in winter to warm it up. One minute of such a cranking would be tolerated, but not two, and thus inviting an argument sooner or later.

Pointing out how you screwed up....would go hand-in-hand with this personality trait. They'd like to let you know something....and hopefully you agree....otherwise, it's an argument.

Fifth, a bit of humor that is different. The wild humor of Robin Williams doesn't work in Germany. Jerry Lewis humor doesn't really work. Seinfeld humor doesn't work. But you start to notice is a cynical sort of humor that most Germans tend to appreciate. It's the comparison of how bad the political system has become when compared to a drunk in a pub....which will make a German laugh his head off.

Germans love office humor if it's compared to their actual environment. They laugh over the stories at a butcher shop or government bureaucracy.....because they face this each and everyday.

Sixth, coldness. It could take a decade to really know your neighbor after you move in. In fact, you might never know your neighbor beyond a beer you share together once a month when mowing the grass.

You don't see cases where a German gal meets some guy and agrees to marriage within six months....that simply doesn't happen.

A German keeps this coldness.....as a defending tactic. It protects their inner circle and makes them feel secure.

Seventh and final.....creative. The little sensor that detects rainwater on the windshield of your car and automatically turns the wiper on? It's from a German. ABS? It's from a German. There are dozens of car devices which relate back to a German who just kept thinking about how things work.

It's the same with heating systems, pens, printers, tires, subway cars, and even zippers. They sit there and pause over the way things work.....and then announce this fantastic vision with just a simple toggle switch or a light sensor.

So I hope I didn't insult any Germans....but it's just a note of mine about their lives and impacts.

Note: 25/6/2018, comments shut-down.

206 comments:

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Tristan said...

We, on this forum, are talking about GERMANS, meaning people born and raised in Germany, IN THE GERMAN SYSTEM. People who are a product of being raised in the German system. We are not talking about people of German decent living in the U.S. or the U.K, or Canada or Australia. We are talking about pure Germans who live in Germany or partially elsewhere in the world.

So from that you can deduce that if someone is a Native English speaker, they most likely will not have the cultural traits of Germans.

If you just google "general reaction to Germans" or something similar, you will find a MAJORITY of results with something about what we are talking about here in this forum.

Not of German Heritage. I myself am of German heritage and have some so-called German traits, but I am not cold and selfish to survive.

We each have only one life... what we do with it is up to us.


Germans, in general, are not a happy people...


you know... I just have to ask.... what is a person who has NEVER been to Germany doing actively looking at forums about Germans?


Lonely said...

The German lineage of this peculiar behavior must be bred out of subsequent generations. One must have extreme strength and outside interests to buffer the draining, demeaning, assault of a German. There is always fear of outbursts and rage. Germans thrive on control, argumentation, and useless rule keeping. German genetics program the shell of a German to conquer everyone not like them

Lonely said...

The German lineage of this peculiar behavior must be bred out of subsequent generations. One must have extreme strength and outside interests to buffer the draining, demeaning, assault of a German. There is always fear of outbursts and rage. Germans thrive on control, argumentation, and useless rule keeping. German genetics program the shell of a German to conquer everyone not like them

Lonely said...

"Watering down" of these abrasive traits does occur when the DNA is integrated. There seems to be a softening of harshness. At times the traits do come to the surface.

Tristan said...

Once again… we are not talking about people of German heritage… we are talking about Germans, living in Germany or abroad. Germans that grew up in the German system.
The title of this blog is "The Seven Personality Traits of a German".

We are talking about pure Germans here.

You might be able to find some of those traits handed down, but that belongs to a different blog.

Paul Conrad said...

I’m half German on my dad’s side and I agree with most of these descriptions. I’d also add “loner” and “fastidious” aka “OCD” to that. I am cold and kind of a loner. I enjoy doing things alone more than with a group. I also need things straight and in the right places, and I can’t stand lazy people who aren’t as efficient and industrious as I am. I also get upset with people who are late and not on time when they promised to be somewhere.

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