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Understanding Communication and Body Language of Polish People


Kamila2  
25 Sep 2007 /  #1
Often times when you visit a foreign country, you are concerned about how to greet people in that it varies from location to location. Do I give a handshake, do I give a kiss, if a kiss, how many is acceptable? In addition to greetings, understanding the forms of communication is important as well. Answers to those questions, as well as some tips to understanding communication will be answered in this article as I am going to draw attention to the rules of Polish body language.

Shaking Hands

It is extremely common in Poland , likewise in other countries, to shake hands when meeting someone. In Poland, shaking hands is usually followed with the standard greeting which is dzien dobry (Good morning) - formal or czesc (hello) - informal. Handshakes in Poland are also very popular in formal situations. For example, during a job interview, it is customary to see the applicant extend his/her shake to the interviewer.

Kissing Hands

As conservative as it may sound, hand kissing in Poland is very common as well. When you are a foreign woman, do not be surprised when older Polish men will bow slightly to kiss your hand. As embarrassing as it might appear, for someone who is unfamiliar with this type of gesture, this kind of greeting is a sign of respect. I am sure that other cultures would take kissing hands as offensive, but Polish women are accustomed to this to the point where they might feel offended if men did not follow this old tradition. Hand kissing is also common in situations when a man dances with a woman. This kind of hand kissing is usually taken as a “Thank you for the dance” type of thing.

Kissing Cheeks

Polish tradition has it customary to kiss a person (usually family member) three times on alternate cheeks. Regardless of if the family member is a man or woman, it is still observed. It usually occurs after not seeing someone for a long period of time. Be prepared to see a line of family members waiting to greet you in this way.

Gestures during Conversation

Polish people are very expressive when it comes to leading a conversation. They will often lean forward, stand up or even touch your arm to get their point across. Sometimes by making these gestures they show you that they want your attention or agreement.

Volume during Conversation

It is not only in terms of gestures that Polish people are outwardly expressive. If you ever had a chance to watch Polish people speak, you probably wondered why they were arguing. Or maybe while speaking to a Polish person you felt offended by his or her vocal disagreement with you. Do not worry. It is normal during a conversation for Polish people to be vocal and expressive, as they like to be heard.

In conclusion, the above are only some of the ways body language is used in Poland. Hopefully by reading about some of these customs, you will be better suited when you visit Poland, or in dealing with Polish people outside of the country.
Shawn_H  
25 Sep 2007 /  #2
three times on alternate cheeks

Starting with the left or right cheek? ( I seem to remember the right...)
OP Kamila2  
25 Sep 2007 /  #3
There are no strict rules (who would remember them when meeting with someone?), just go with the flow :).
polishgirltx  
25 Sep 2007 /  #4
Starting with the left or right cheek? ( I seem to remember the right...)

right one
plk123 8 | 4,149  
25 Sep 2007 /  #5
the loudest one wins the argument. watch out for the bent arm and the other arm in the elbow bend. :D
polishgirltx  
25 Sep 2007 /  #6
the loudest one wins the argument.

lol....it is true... i dont have many Polish friends in the US... but one of them.... well... she knows how to win... everybody else give up.... some even leave a room... ;)
tanner  
13 Oct 2007 /  #7
Are Polish people really that loud? I don't think so...
Ingrid - | 12  
13 May 2008 /  #8
Volume during Conversation

It is not only in terms of gestures that Polish people are outwardly expressive. If you ever had a chance to watch Polish people speak, you probably wondered why they were arguing. Or maybe while speaking to a Polish person you felt offended by his or her vocal disagreement with you. Do not worry. It is normal during a conversation for Polish people to be vocal and expressive, as they like to be heard.

In conclusion, the above are only some of the ways body language is used in Poland. Hopefully by reading about some of these customs, you will be better suited when you visit Poland, or in dealing with Polish people outside of the country.


LOL
That's true, sometimes. . . I think people sound angry or something like that but NO, that's just that they are; TOO EXPRESSIVE! I got used to it, already!

Nice :D
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
15 May 2009 /  #9
May 15, 09, 11:36 - Thread attached on merging:
POLISH GESTURES AND BODY LANGUAGE?

Can anyone list the different signs and gestures Poles use to express different notions such as neck-tapping, eye-pulling, forehead tapping? Are these all universal or are any limited to Poland, Slavdom, the former Soviet bloc, etc.?

Probably this has already been raised at some stage. If so, could someone direct me to that thread?
southern 75 | 7,096  
15 May 2009 /  #10
Pity Poles do not use the peck-kiss like Czechs.
jump_bunny 5 | 237  
15 May 2009 /  #11
Kissing Cheeks

Right - left - right. Three times unlike Turkish people for example who do only twice.
Ksysia 25 | 430  
19 May 2009 /  #12
Or maybe while speaking to a Polish person you felt offended by his or her vocal disagreement with you

Funny, I have that in Britain - I don't understand why everyone is shouting so much.

And we always get the comments from Britons that Poles are surly, depressed, never talk to people and somesuch. Nothing at all about being expressive. So not sure about your post, Kamila2.
McCoy 27 | 1,269  
19 May 2009 /  #13
Kissing Cheeks

Polish tradition has it customary to kiss a person (usually family member) three times on alternate cheeks.

three or two or one time ... and also female friends

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