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What are common Polish character traits?


1jola 14 | 1,879
6 May 2010 #151
Me too, I was convinced my friends wife had Münchausen by proxy the amount of times she had the kid at the docs or hospital for trivial things..but she's just as bad herself..

Where there is social medicine, there is hypochondria. From personal experience I can vouch for Poland and France.
noreenb 7 | 557
6 May 2010 #152
Havok

sarcastic

I wanted to ask you, because I've noticed that some people have a negative attitute for being sarcastic. I like being it.Why don't you like sarcasm? Or is it just my opinion?

Sarcasm is a great treat. It causes healthy laugh.

tending to think that wounds/physical problems don't need a doctor’s attention until they pass out unconscious

This is in many cases true.
I don't understand why do people wait sometimes too long. Don't call it "tending to think please". I like thinking. Especially about going to a dentist.

compulsively competitive

Why compulsively?
I will add to your list sensitivity and fragility.
bimber94 7 | 254
14 May 2010 #153
Heartily concur with most of the above. My dad had his UK passport "lost" which had 800 GBP in it, whilst in the safe hands of his PL sister, my flesh & blood aunt. We couldn't prove anything though. One visit to the confessional on the following Saturday and the matter is closed! F*g RC *****!!
Dougpol2 1 | 76
14 May 2010 #154
I have known Poles all my life - my "uncle" was from Plock.

My generalisations or rather stereotypes:

Likeable: Very sociable, inquisitive,
generous to those they are introduced to formally,
Cultured (Polish studies to 18...) have plenty to say (interesting),
Hard working so generally happy to lend a hand (paid or favour) when you're in a spot, will help you out on a Sunday - eg if your car breaks down outside their workshop during their Sunday lunch.

Up for a party (unlike some tedious Brits of the Katowice past lol),
Extremely affectionate to those they care about.....
Families tight, as it should be
Artistic: Great blues players, and so on. Rock on SBB and Ryszard :)
Competitive
Great self discipline - don't let themselves go like slob Anglo-Saxons do
Know that dentists exist and what they are for
Brave and wont take any shite, plenty of spunk, just like us Brits!

Not so likeable:

Apparent unfriendliness: Paradoxes abound from the above stertypical nonsense....:It freaks me out when I'm sitting on a log in the forest munching through my sandwiches, and some mushroom picker or hiker comes along. An Anglo-Saxon would think it's normal to say hello, in whatever appropriate register. Well, most poles don't.

Poles are quite obsessed with money. I can never buy a bargain at any of their computer or electronic markets/ car boots as they always value everything too highly, and second hand really is just not worth the asking price, and they are strangely unable to haggle or take it as an affront,

Snobbery. Constant questions like how much did that cost you? Why do you drive a ten year old car? Lol
Judgemental - usually about the private life of somebody who is "family" or neighbour,but it really is none of their concern
Know all experts - my mother in law has apparently majored in at least 10 disciplines and is a master banker to boot.
Complainers as has been stated. "Communism could never work; but capitalism isin't working either"
Non P.C. at best - cloaked under the excuse of "he's just different and I don't understand"
TV images of thousands of dismembered dead bodies on the streets of Rwanda draw no comment at all - presumably because they are black - while two men kissing at a civil ceremony in San Francisco brings snorts of revulsion

Annoyingly self smug about religion. "I took communion today, so I qualify - you don't"
As somebody else said - like the Japanese, the word sorry is too often missing and can lead to clashes, not that Poles are confrontational, they just think that a money back offer for faulty goods is enough......

Shameless and always think they "got away with it" as in - "Yes, I was in the Party, but you had to be in it to change it" - LOL
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
14 May 2010 #155
Common Polish character traits?

1. Higher than average IQ
2. Wit
3. Articulation
4. Scholarly
5. Decent
6. Kind
7. Moral
8. Subtle
9. Soft Spoken
10. Intelligence
Seanus 15 | 19,706
14 May 2010 #156
Some claim to be close to Jesus. I've just worked on an amazing 'look at the screen' thing. I had to look at 4 black dots for about 30 seconds, then look away to a light point on the wall. My wife didn't tell me what to expect but she asked me what I had seen. It was a very clear picture of Jesus. I was taken aback, I thought it was the wine finally taking effect but the image I saw was the one I was supposed to.

I can forward this e-mail to any interested person. It really wowed me. Just don't condition yourself to look for Jesus. Let your eyes work it out. Truly staggering!!

Oh, just so this doesn't get deleted, another Polish character trait is to say nothing for fear of being wrong. They will sit and happily ignore you, quite rude actually but they have their reasons. Bring back slapping and ice-cold water treatments ;0
nurkowskiWicz
17 May 2010 #157
Common characteristics of my polish-American siblings, parents, Polish grandparents and Polish great-grandparents for the past 110 years are as follows: HARD WORKING, great cooks, extremely clean, stubborn, smart, big drinkers, hate the Germans and the Russians, love their families, homes, generous
Seanus 15 | 19,706
7 Jun 2010 #158
Passing the buck pops up again. Sb damaged the photocopier at work yet didn't think to call the service line that was right in front of them. Rather selfish considering other people use that machine. The likely thinking was, 'well I didn't break it'. Jibbering and irresponsible toads aplenty!
saracosta_egypt
25 Jan 2011 #159
i came here to read about polish cause im searching for polish girl but i c u sometimes write very good words othr time u say they steal how can i believe u krysia

After long experience with the Poles are really fanatics and moodiness, but all this is the most difficult recipes Adbp infidelity spread in a very large and, unfortunately, more people follow his interests, even if tricked
rybnik 18 | 1,462
25 Jan 2011 #160
big hearts for friends and loved-ones; toward strangers, not so fast. They take their time to warm up. just syaing
Lenka 3 | 1,442
25 Jan 2011 #161
I'd say:
generous
close with their families and friends
stubborn
opinionated
sarcastic
superstitious
don't change their mind easily(it can be good or bad)
hard working
sociable (but after introduction)
fatalist
helpful
I don't like to generalise but that's what I think about my nation.
calgarytek 1 | 4
26 Jan 2011 #162
Moody - yes, but I think that tends to get passed down from the parents to the children. It may be an acquired personal trait. That explains me - my parents are very moody. I only realized that after I went on my own. Now I'm trying to change that. Going to the gym helps...

Easygoing - maybe, but that depends on whether people are in the middle of a mood swing or even what their upbringing was. Sometimes polish parents are way way too strict and a bit on the unemotional side. There's only so much put downs your kids can tolerate before they turn into a mirror image of you. Some people turn to alcohol because of that.

Stubborn - in some ways thats a positive trait, in other ways its not. I suppose it applies to almost every one regardless of culture. For instance, its not a good thing to be a stubborn alcoholic. Most people in Canada call me stubborn because I like to hold on to my polish culture, polish traditions, polish language. I usually get them back with the 'hey Mr. Canada, you got no culture'. But mostly that's for laughs.

Clean. Stubbornly clean. Almost obsessive. Which is a good thing. I used to joke that the street people in Poland were better dressed relative to your average middle class north american. I love the fact that there is little to no trash on the streets. It was a little appaling when I came back to Mississauga, Ontario and saw trash every where. It was petty.

Cheers,

-Woytek

TheMan33
[quote]I tended to build muscle mass very quickly when I was bodybuilding. I have always been slightly heavy and have a hard time controlling my weight./quote]

I have the same thing! I eat and eat and eat but hardly ever gain any weight! i'm only 145 and will work out 4-5 times a week but hardly make any progress between 140-155. the funny thing is I eat 5 times a day for 2 weeks and shoot up to 150-155. then i eat 2-3 times a day (atleast a full plate per meal) for a week and shoot down to 145-140! :/

Yes, for those of you who have read this, you understand that I'm clearly polish...
1. Complaining
2. Eating
3. Hard-working

I've got the same 'issue', but it's actually a blessing in disguise. I'm 6.0, 160 lbs, and people tell me I look like a stick figure. The blessing comes from the fact that I'm healthy as an ox, and can actually 'dance'. I do a fair bit of salsa, waltz, argentine tango and being slim helps you 'move' when you don't have to carry all that weight around.
Wroclaw Boy
17 Apr 2011 #163
Merged thread:
Polish charachteristics - what makes a Pole a Pole

family values?
drinking vodka?
religious beliefs?
food?

fascinating....
Havok 10 | 912
27 Apr 2011 #164
I really respect successful Polish-British like Wroclaw Boy.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
28 May 2011 #165
youtube.com/watch?v=BpJTgUTCGr0&feature=related
being critical. A park is an area set aside for recreation and enjoyment. That London park definitely qualified. Flat is normal, where's the problem?

More evidence of unwarranted criticism? Of the double-decker buses. They are traditional buses but are not the only operational buses around.

Also, flour-based foods and cabbage are hardly hoped cuisine either. It's a matter of preference!

Correct me if I'm wrong but London is probably 20 times more touristic than Warsaw. I wonder what he'd have to say about the huge communist relic in the middle of Warsaw.

It's deluded folk like this that make people dislike certain Poles. He said one good thing and it was right near the end.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
28 May 2011 #166
More evidence of unwarranted criticism?

i enjoyed that video. it's very close to comedy and the guy obviously knows his way around town.
his criticisms and wtf's are all dealt with in the guide books. so noone is fooled.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
28 May 2011 #167
Glad you liked it, Wrocław :) Stubbornly sticking to a position, even if proved wrong, is another trait here. The number of times I've asked for balanced commentary but not received it is incredible. I may sit on the fence with some issues but I still do my best to give a rounded perspective on any given matter. Not much evidence of that here.
ShawnH 8 | 1,498
28 May 2011 #168
Stubbornly sticking to a position

Yeah, like the Star Wars characters. Poland wouldn't have that. I seem to remember a silver Elvis statue in Warsaw that wasn't averse to taking photo's or coins.....
Seanus 15 | 19,706
28 May 2011 #169
The guy in the video above showed another Polish trait, namely glorifying Poland from afar. Part of that process involved the instant declaration that all Polish things are the best and others suck. My Polish family, God Bless them, turn(s) that into a comedy. My wife's cousin is a braggart who chooses to boast about anything and everything he has. They are forever laughing at him and how he glorifies Polish things and his possessions. They are quietly proud of Poland and it is such people that I like. They are also receptive to other ideas and opinions which many Poles aren't.

At the other extreme, I don't like Poles whining about their own country too much. As I alluded to above, there is very little middle ground when it comes to making judgements and forming a picture of sth.

So, in summary, Poles tend to lack balance in their commentaries regarding their country and this is surprising as that's a basic skill learned at university.
GrzegorzK
29 May 2011 #170
In general Polish people are more religious than most Americans, as of 2010 census 88.2% Poles are Roman Catholic, with a minority that are Jewish, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, and some atheists. This is much different from the U.S.A. where Catholicism is still quite big, but there is large proportion of protestants as well. Poland is probably the most Catholic country on earth, and I mean that people are really truly religious and believe what they were taught as kids... they don't just say they are catholic but haven't been to church in 20 years. Also we have a lot of pride in our country and our people, most of us are hard working and mentally strong. Most Poles of this generation and last generation have experienced totalitarianism, communism, racism, and hatred in some form, therefore Poles never forget their history and appreciate more the gifts of freedom that American society gives them. Where as typical Americans are spoiled and don't know what it's like to live under constant curfew, eat only loafs of bread every day and live in an economically depressed society with no jobs, no 7/11 stores at ever street corner with all conviniences of modern technology. Only in last 20 years has Poland begin to be on level with rest of modern superpowers, but it still has a lot of re-building to go before it can truly be a world super power again. Most people don't realize that Poland has a LONG history, and was once a superpower of the world much like America is today. The country was much larger it included modern day ukraine, belarus, and all baltic states like lithuania, latvia, and estonia and small parts of slovakia and czech, therefore Poles realize that thier country is only a fraction of what it used to be. Being Polish is much more important to Poles then being American is to Americans. Poles see themselves as a unique race of people and therefore we feel much more bonded to each other and to our homeland.
Maaarysia
29 May 2011 #171
and I mean that people are really truly religious and believe what they were taught as kids... they don't just say they are catholic but haven't been to church in 20 years.

LOL
What a bs!

Also we have

We? You live in the USA.

therefore Poles never forget their history and appreciate more the gifts of freedom that American society gives them.

I wouldn't be so sure about that.

it can truly be a world super power again

world what?

Most people don't realize that Poland has a LONG history, and was once a superpower of the world much like America is today.

In XV century.

The country was much larger it included modern day ukraine, belarus, and all baltic states like lithuania, latvia, and estonia and small parts of slovakia and czech, therefore Poles realize that thier country is only a fraction of what it used to be.

No they don't. There are no imperialistic attitudes in Polish society... it would be ridiculous.

Being Polish is much more important to Poles then being American is to Americans.

Another baseless statement.

Poles see themselves as a unique race of people and therefore we feel much more bonded to each other and to our homeland.

Lol.
Come to Poland live here for few years, then you'll see how "bonded" a Pole is to another one.
Maaarysia
29 May 2011 #173
So maybe debunk all those myth the poor guy Grzesiek believes. Just in case he comes here in future, lives for a while and feels dissapointed.

1. Religious nation myth.
I heard that those statistics that 90-something % of Polish society are religious are in fact based on Church statistics of how many people are baptised in RCC. And that's true that most of people were baptised and have been brought up in Catholic tradition. By a Catholic tradition I mean they were celebrating Christmas, Easter etc in Polish traditional way.

However, funnily enough, most of my friends (young people) are agnostic or atheist... so how's it possible if 90-something % of Poles are Catholics?
Also many people are lapsed Catholics.
I would say that truly believing people are elders, they are frequent church-goers not only in Sundays but also in a minor celebrations.
People in middle age (40-65) can be either atheist or Catholics but they are mostly opportunists. I know many people in that age who say that they are avid Catholics but in fact, in everyday life, they don't bother too much about Christian values. So Catholisism in this case is very superficial.

Some young people very deeply believe in God, some are not intrested in spiritual issues at all, some are atheists, some are even against religion. It's all veriety of attidutes.

As for the other creeds and religions, there is some Protestant diaspora in Poland, maybe some Eastern Orthodox, the rest is rare.

I have an impression that Catholisism in Poland is more about traditions which blended with Polish customs (if you ask a Pole about Polish tradition most likely he would tell you about way of celebrating Christmas), than a truly spiritual experience. That's why some poeple mixes those issues: being patriotic with being Catholic (fortunately it's only a loud miniority, not a mainstream attitude, which is more mellow and balanced).

I don't have to say that most people don't really give a toss about contraception or premariage sex being evil or what Church says about other "sensitive issues". I never met a person who wouldn't use contraceptions because of religious reasons. I say that because many foreigners here seem to have really naive and ridiculous beliefs that probably most Poles being Catholic don't use contarceptions, marry early and wait with sex untill marraige. Lol, even the generation of my parents would laugh hearing that...

2. Poles feel bond.

Even in Poland there is autostereotype of Poles being very envious and mean to each other. Poland is described by sociologists as a country of very weak bonds within the society. It is said that many people are very indifferent to other people's suffering unless it's their own family (family bonds are rather strong indeed). Many people are very mistrustful to strangers. They won't invite you to their house if they don't know you.

During the times of recent emigartion (to the UK), do you know what was the most prevalent street smart advice? To keep away from other Poles abroad, because those other Poles are likely to deceive or use you.

I don't want to leave here an impression that Poles shouldn't be trust in general, it's just that every nation has its own self stereotypes which are not necessarly true in wider perspective. I think it's healthy to say that like in every society around the planet some people are bad, some people are good...

3.

Being Polish is much more important to Poles then being American is to Americans

Believe me, Americans are way more patriotic.

4.

therefore Poles realize that thier country is only a fraction of what it used to be

These are your original beliefs. No one in Poland shares it.
Note that Poland was partitioned, and shared among 3 countries: Prussia, Russia and Austria. Following your logic a German could say that today Germany is just a fraction and in fact German boarder should ends far beyond Odra river. A Russian could say that a Poland should never been in the UE and Nato because it should be in Russian influence zone just like she was during the times of Iron Curtain.

5.

Poles never forget their history and appreciate more the gifts of freedom that American society gives them

You would be shocked to see Solidarity protests of todays with slogans: "Nie o taką Polskę walczyliśmy".
Seanus 15 | 19,706
29 May 2011 #174
Nice post, Maaarysia (182). Your second one? Hold on

Yeah, there are many 'paper Catholics'. No wonder paper and papacy are so close ;) ;) You could even take the number of practising Catholics down to 55-60%.

Loved your point about weak bonds. I remember reading in a guidebook that vodka is the glue that holds Polish society together. If that is in any way true, G-d help you. Poles tend to be distrustful, suspicious and, outwith the realms of their superb hospitable spirit, stingy.

Another one is 'expectant'. I've known different students to show up 15 mins late to a lesson having not called or texted me to let me know. Then comes the audacious part. They want the full hour from their time of arrival. That's wholly disrespectful to my plans and time. My Polish friend, Agata, has the same sentiment about her students that do it to her.

Americans are far more patriotic, that's true. Poles tend to be more pragmatic with their patriotism. What do I mean? Americans get sucked into the nonsense that their country is altruistic, just and completely free. They clearly haven't read the latest script ;) ;) Poles value Polishness more. It's a character thing more than a symbolic thing like it is with America.

Exactly, Maaarysia. Poland is still a powerful entity that has raised its profile in recent years. Credit to Poland for that. I think those Poles who wish for this grandiose and huge Poland would do well to shut up and stop criticising Russia for wanting to be bigger.

Gifts of freedom? LOL. GregK plays space invaders in his head, I think.

What were they taught as kids, Greg? Go on, give us a laugh. Mentally strong? ROTFL. Many Polish women are amongst the weakest people I have ever met and probably will ever meet. They are constantly ill, moaning or lacking in some way. When I think of Scottish girls, I think fighters that get on with things without broadcasting their ailments in whimpering fashion.
southern 75 | 7,096
29 May 2011 #175
Many Polish women are amongst the weakest people I have ever met and probably will ever meet. They are constantly ill, moaning or lacking in some way.

That's why we love them,isn't it?Slavic women are in general more fragile and emotional.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
29 May 2011 #176
Hmmm...not exactly what I was getting at, southern. I don't like dealing with the needless, emotional baggage of women when it is built on attention seeking and self pity. If sth is really getting them down then that's different. However, all too many just gripe and groan and it really wears thin.
Maaarysia
29 May 2011 #177
baggage of women when it is built on attention seeking and self pity.

It's easy to fix. A simple hug solves the problem :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
29 May 2011 #178
Then you are just encouraging them more, Maaarysia. It only puts the brakes on until the next outburst of 'poor me' :(
Maaarysia
29 May 2011 #179
Have you read that famous book Men are from Mars women from Venus? It really explains why women act like that and why men are frustrated seeing women acting like that
southern 75 | 7,096
29 May 2011 #180
I don't like dealing with the needless, emotional baggage of women when it is built on attention seeking and self pity.

The rewards are too large not to do so.After all we all need some relief.


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