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What are common Polish character traits?


Roger5 1 | 1,463
22 Nov 2015  #211
word of honour still means much

Among Polish tradesmen (plumbers, builders, electricians) it means absolutely nothing.
I'd say sense of humour on the plus side, and not accepting responsibilty for mistakes/blaming others on the negative.
NocyMrok
22 Nov 2015  #212
Do you know ANY people who would claim to be stupid, dishonest, etc ect?????

I am Polish so it is difficult by definition for me to point any significant and exclusive traits of ours. I somewhat can speak of my own experience with people of other ethnicity since in UK it's not difficult to meet such. Intelligence is proven by a multitude of independent studies plus i have had many opportunities to ground my opinion in this matter. Experience and opinions of others may as well be different and they certainly are. I believe that traits i mentioned later as well as being factual (from my perspective) are common between the Slavic.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
22 Nov 2015  #213
word of honour still means much

In Poland, absolutely not. Word of honour means nothing. A friend puts it well - he's done business for millions of Euro in Ireland on a handshake, but he wouldn't do business in Poland for 2zł on a handshake.

ability to overcome sudden and unexpected issues

Wouldn't agree with this either. They tend to run away at the sign of trouble, or blame everyone but themselves.

hospitality

Oh, definitely. They score very, very high for this. Seems to be a general Slavic thing though - which makes it all the weirder that they're not very good at customer service. You'd think with their generous hospitality, they would be fantastic with customers.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
22 Nov 2015  #214
One trait that amazes me among so many Poles is that they are not ... loyal. Several times, some Poles with whom I was in the best terms have simply disappeared with no reason and just played dead when I tried to contact them (now of course I no longer do because I'm not stupid). It has happened too to several of my NON Polish friends or acquaintances. I have NEVER encountered such a behavior with any other nationality and I do not understand because it does not make any sense. Any explaination?

As to hospitality, just name ONE nationality that is NOT hospitable. In 3rd World people are most hospitable and more hospitable than westerners although they are very poor and as to westerners, based upon my personal experience, Americans come first (they open their homes, offer their help...)..... Based upon my hanging around with at least over 50 different nationalities, I don't see Poles more hospitable than others, first of all, Poles very rarely invite people in their homes (this amazes me). You guys, do travel and meet people!
dolnoslask
22 Nov 2015  #215
Inpolska, "Several times, some of my countrymen with whom I was in the best terms have simply disappeared"

This does happen to me from time to time I don't know why.

They also pop up out of the floor like Rumpelstiltskin, usually when they require money. in fact I find that the best way to get rid of someone who has become a bit of a nuisance is to lend them 100zl, problem solved you don't see them again.

I keep harping back to the same old word, some like to kombinować bit of a national sport i think.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
22 Nov 2015  #216
@Dolno: it happens to you "once in a while"!!! ! I know several foreigners in Warsaw who have had same experience. I have never seen such a behavior with any other nationality so I may wonder and I don't understand.

We get as close as could be with people, we share everything, we are in the BEST terms (absolutely NO conflict or whatever) and then they play dead when we try to contact them and we no longer hear from them. It happened to me 5 times, including 2 times this year and I was deeply shoked and even humiliated (I am most loyal). I do NOT understand how they "function".

If someone can explain the reason why some (a lot of?) Poles behave in such an incoherent manner, I will greatly appreciate...

Some foreigners that I know say it's because they are rude... I don't know.
Ktos 17 | 461
23 Nov 2015  #217
Like all European countries, we are far more laid back, loving, caring, and overall more open than our American counterparts.

If you follow Polish culture, indulge in it and if you go to sleep at the end of the day thinking of yourself as Polish and wishing Poland well and if you place Poland and Polish interests as first above those of other nations or ethnic groups then you are Polish and nobody else, full stop.

Seems to be a general Slavic thing though - which makes it all the weirder that they're not very good at customer service.

Like I said before, you do not understand Polish character, customer service is sometimes good other times hopeless to rude, this because we bring our true selves to the workforce and no work is pleasant, the customer is a pest, and this is true sometimes as well, a customer is a pest half the time. The current face of customer service is a remnant from communism where boss was absent and people took serving more lightly, worried about low pay who would bother about some customer? In capitalist countries the pay for customer service is low as well, it is even more unpleasant than in Poland (e.g. one is not allowed to even sit on a chair when serving) but in some places the boss strictly requires a false positive facade (smile,chat up the customer, be polite) so the customer comes back and buys goods again = money goes to the pocket of the boss/owner. So in western countries the customer service is falsely pleasant, pleasantness is there so that customer feels welcome and buys goods again and again instead of going to the competition. However, in cases where competition is scarce you see the full face of western hospitality in business, people are rude, and in some countries it does not matter whether competition is great or small, customer service there is just plain arrogant (I experienced the most horrible customer service not in Poland but in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy and few other countries). Also, I may add that if Polish appear less smiling it is not a bad customer service, you don't have to be falsely enthusiastic to be a good customer service person, I enjoy our true Polish customer service, for, we do not show fake emotions like westerners while serving.

Also, you are mixing business hospitality wit social hospitality, there is a difference. You just don't understand Polish people.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Nov 2015  #218
@Ktos: Would you be able to explain to me what I'm talking (ref. post no. 216 of Nov. 22)? I would greatly appreciate because I do not understand such trait, which is common among many Poles. As said, I have never encountered any other nationality behaving this way so I don't know what to think besides that it is not coherent. Thanks:)
Roger5 1 | 1,463
24 Nov 2015  #219
Ktos, how long have you lived in Poland?
Ktos 17 | 461
24 Nov 2015  #220
As said, I have never encountered any other nationality behaving this way so I don't know what to think besides that it is not coherent.

That is a manufactured lie by you, because this is the very trait that Polish people have less of than most of people I have encountered in other nations. not only that, when you talk to some foreigners they do not just not listen to you, they casually literary turn away and walk away and then act as nothing happened or they say "ops! I have to go" after few seconds and it happens a lot. They say we talk to much, that we are too passionate. I have never been invited by a foreigner into their home for dinner or weekend break away nor most other Polish and one Polish women living long time in England said - without me saying anything first - "Do not be mistaken, they are not good people" , she meant English. It means they must be really scummy. Maybe that is why Polish people do not answer back to you, it is possible, you dob on Polish people, you report on them and that way you lose their trust, however, I think you made most of it up, because the silent treatment is the very character trait of many foreign people and Polish are the total opposite. You either selected a few and are making now a big fuss about 3 Polish people you met and are generalising or you have made the case bigger than it really was.
Harry
24 Nov 2015  #221
Good question, Roger, I'd like to know that too. Perhaps ktos will tell us.
Paulina 9 | 1,453
27 Nov 2015  #222
in fact I find that the best way to get rid of someone who has become a bit of a nuisance is to lend them 100zl, problem solved you don't see them again.

I'm always amazed by this strange ability of people on PF - they always seem to stumble upon the worst kind of people in Poland lol I've never had a friend of mine asking me for money (or an acquaintance for that matter). I never asked them either.

@Dolno: it happens to you "once in a while"!!!

Strange, if it's such a unique and startling "Polish trait" then why haven't I ever heard of it before? I mean, I've read all kinds of things about Poles on PF, the wildest and most ridiculous exaggerations and generalisations (including yours) but this is something new.

We get as close as could be with people, we share everything, we are in the BEST terms (absolutely NO conflict or whatever) and then they play dead when we try to contact them and we no longer hear from them.

I was born here and I've been living in Poland all my life and it never happened to me.
The only thing I have a problem with, I admit, is keeping in touch with people who have become long-distance friends since they've moved abroad but that's simply because life gets in the way and it's easier to focus on what is near you. That's natural, imho, and happens everywhere.

So, since what you've described never happened to me I can only guess about the reasons and I have 4 awesome theories:

1. You're lying, just like when you claimed that 99% of Poles think that black people are apes.

2. Your relationships with those Poles were great only from your point of view. It's possible they weren't so great for them and so they put an end to it. Maybe when they got to know you better they realised how anti-Polish you are and sensed how much you dislike Poland (you admitted yourself that you don't want to live here) and they couldn't stomach it (and/or your personality) in the long run. You write that the reason for sudden loss of contact is due to the fact that Poles are "rude" according to the foreigners you know. In another thread you wrote that it's because Poles are "cruel" lol In my opinion it's the exact opposite. I often heard and read from foreign men how nice and "humane" Polish girls/women are in comparison to their Western counterparts when turning a guy down. I even remember Steffen Möller mentioning this when he was comparing Polish and German women. He said that a German woman would just bark out an angry "NO!" into the guy's face and make him feel like a looser while a Polish woman would take the guy's number when offered and would even say she'll call but she never would (which he found to be confusing and irritating, of course ;)). So, for a Polish person it's not "rude" or "cruel" - it's the opposite of being rude and cruel, actually. They think it's the nice way to resolve something like this. I may be wrong, of course, but I think Poles aren't very confrontational, they prefer to be nice then hurt someone. They may prefer to stay away from you then to tell you what's wrong, why they started disliking you, etc.

Btw, did you know these people at your workplace or outside of it?

3. It's a foreigner thing. Dolnoslask mentioned something about money, so maybe some people are a "friend" version of a gold digger lol But you haven't mentioned anything about money so I have no idea...

4. Those people actually died and that's why they didn't contact you :P I don't know, maybe they got hit by a car or were eaten by wolves in the mountains or those polar bears that walk the streets in Poland and drink vodka :P

Btw, InPolska, in what countries have you lived and for how long?

It happened to me 5 times, including 2 times this year

For all those years that you lived in Poland it happened to you 5 times and you write that this trait is common among many Poles? *smh*

and I was deeply shoked and even humiliated

That's how I often feel when I read your (and other) comments about Poles on this forum.

(I am most loyal). I do NOT understand how they "function".

You are most annoying, prejudiced, chauvinistic, weird, immature for your age and full of yourself (sorry, but that's what I think). I do NOT understand how you "function" lol

Poles very rarely invite people in their homes (this amazes me).

I don't know what "rarely" is for you so I can't comment. In my opinion Poles are rather private people and it's possible they are more likely to invite people they really like and want to invite. On the other hand I've been invited by all kinds of people to their homes - by my family, friends, classmates, work colleagues... so... hmm... *shrugs*

Although I must say that in my experience people like to simply meet in cafes, clubs, etc. probably because you don't have to clean up your place and prepare the food and drinks then and another reason may be the fact that Poles often live in small flats and if one wants to invite even just a few people the place can get pretty cramped.

Also, you are mixing business hospitality wit social hospitality, there is a difference.

I agree with Ktos.

(always willing to explain the complexities of the Polish/human soul lol)

Wow, you can even find the info I provided on the internet on some British site! lol I googled "being invited by a Pole to home" out of curiosity and look what I found:

kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/poland.html

"Poles are known for being direct communicators, i.e. they say what they are thinking. However they are also very sensitive to other's feelings and let that determine how and what they say.

. While direct communication is valued in Poland, there is also emphasis on finessing what is said in order to deliver information in a diplomatic way.

. The level of the relationship mostly determines how direct someone can be.
. For newly established and more formal relationships, a great deal of emphasis is placed on diplomacy. Once a relationship has passed through the initial phases, people feel more comfortable speaking frankly with each other and animated exchanges become more common."

This is 100% true in my opinion - couldn't put it better myself o_O
Btw, this is probably one of the reasons why I often have problems with Westerners here - the way they write about Poles and Poland... I think many Poles would find it rude (verging on unnecessary cruelty) to write in such a way about a foreign country and people...
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,467
27 Nov 2015  #223
Poles are known for...

Are all the features fo the Polish collective personality permanent and immutable or do they change over time. This anecdote, popular in the early 20th century, could be a case in point.

The Nobel Prize Committee had announced an essay contest on the subject of "The Elephant". The French contestant titled his essay "L'éléphant et ses amours". The German wrote: "Die Elefantenphilosophie und sein Verhältnis zu den Weltanschauungsproblemen der Wissenschaft". The Englishman chose the theme: "The elephants I have shot". The American's topic was: "Elephants and how to make them bigger and better". And the Pole wrote: "Słoń a sprawa polska".

Is "the Polish question", concern about Poland and the Polish nation as such the prime concern of most Poles? Maybe it is in PiS, but elsewhere it seems it is mainly self-interest, the pursuit of short-sighted, selfish, private and personal goals that rule the day. Whaddya think?
Paulina 9 | 1,453
27 Nov 2015  #224
Are all the features fo the Polish collective personality permanent and immutable or do they change over time.

Now that's a good question concerning not only Poles but also other nations. If I were God I'm sure I could answer it lol

Is "the Polish question", concern about Poland and the Polish nation as such the prime concern of most Poles? Maybe it is in PiS

Don't crack me up, Polonius3, not now lol I was observing Kaczyński, his bulging eyes, shining with unhealthy excitement and creepy smile during the discussion about the Constitutional Tribunal in the parliament and this scene sprang into my mind:

youtube.com/watch?v=e_DqV1xdf-Y
xD
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,467
27 Nov 2015  #225
creepy smile

Surely you haven't joined ther 4Bs PiS-bashing club? You wouldn't stoop that low!
Paulina 9 | 1,453
27 Nov 2015  #226
You wouldn't stoop that low!

Indeed, I wouldn't. But the look in his face creeped me out. Just like what's going on in Poland right now. I don't want to live in another Orbanland or Putinland, I'm worried :(
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,467
27 Nov 2015  #227
his face

He's got the face of a jovial, good-natured, kind-hearted old uncle -- probably every family's got at least one. How anyone could equate his warm and kindly visage with some horror figure off YouTube is beyond me.
Paulina 9 | 1,453
27 Nov 2015  #228
lol It's funny that an adult man can be so naive... Bashar al-Assad looks like a normal European politician, he even reminds me of that noble highlander from some Polish "mountain" beer commercial - and so what... All that glitters is not gold. I see past the surface...

Politicians may show more of their true face once they get the full power...
vimeo.com/25741586

It's always better to be safe than sorry... And to look at the hands of politicians... Even if they're from the political party that you like.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
27 Nov 2015  #229
I was observing Kaczyński, his bulging eyes, shining with unhealthy excitement and creepy smile during the discussion about the Constitutional Tribunal in the parliament

His thirst for absolute power is not exactly a huge secret, although some people are now behaving like "WE DIDN'T VOTE FOR THIS!!!" in a rather amusing way. It's not like we didn't tell everyone...
Paulina 9 | 1,453
27 Nov 2015  #230
Even the media seemed to get fooled into thinking that PiS got wiser, at least a bit... Maybe it was just wishful thinking. And now it's like everyone suddenly woke up... lol

Well, we'll see what happens next...
InPolska 11 | 1,821
27 Nov 2015  #231
@Paulina: I won't comfort your paranoia (another trait among so MANY Poles) but let me ask you not to invent people's life. As to the 2 (Polish) persons who have simply disappeared overnight whereas we were in the very best terms, they both (on separate occasions) left Warsaw and have cut relationships with several people (not only me ;) and I do NOT know where the others are.... As I said, I know several foreigners who had similar experiences and here in PF Roger5 said he happens to him on a regular basis so what does it have to do with me???? Yes, I have spent 1/3 of my life abroad (total of 7 countries (not to clean toilets) and I have never seen this). Also, as per my personal culture, it's very rude not to answer messages. Don't give me your paranoid sh@@@t about my socalled "polonophobia' (such a word?) since my husband was Polish and his (Polish) family has contributed so much to Poland (if you knew my name and who they were/are, you would agree with me ;)) so keep your "lessons" to others. Never mind! As I said, I live in Poland (I agree, not my choice and should I have not have my (Polish) husband burried here and should I have been let's say 20 years younger, for sure, I would not be here.... ). You know NOTHING about people's lives but you dare judging them (= your stupidity). Foreigners who live here have thousands of personal experiences with Poland and with Poles (normal) but if we foreigners dare criticizing one Pole and something Polish, we are attacked by the mob! I know, Poles often are so complexed and paranoid (my husband was different...) that they need to be reassured and to hear/read that Poland is the best country in the world, Poles are the nicest, best looking, most intelligent itd itd ... on the whole planet. Sorry, but outside of Poland and of Polonia, nobody knows about Poland and people abroad don't give a sh]]]t.

Nevermind, I won't read any of your messages as I have no desire to cope with a hysterical "mal-ba....e." ;) do no need to talk to me. Case closed!

Konieć
Roger5 1 | 1,463
27 Nov 2015  #232
Not me. Somebody else.

Back to the topic please - common Polish character traits
johnny reb 16 | 3,394
27 Nov 2015  #233
If someone can explain the reason why some (a lot of?) Poles behave in such an incoherent manner, I will greatly appreciate...

I think the arm pit hair may play a major factor in it.
One nice trait is that Polish girls shave their arm pit hair while say the French girls braid theirs.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,724
27 Nov 2015  #234
the removal or not of female armpit hair is not a 'character trait' Johnny!!
Ironside 47 | 9,572
27 Nov 2015  #235
You're lying, just like when you claimed that 99% of Poles think that black people are apes.

Nah, she is just an example of a silly bubbling woman who is so much stuck up in her own backside that her own farts smell like a roses to her and any personal experience she had have been distorted by her limited intelligence. Dense people are often like that. Alas she is wrong 9 out of 10 in conclusion she is deriving from observation.

That's how I often feel when I read your (and other) comments about Poles on this forum.

Why? I mean those opinions and post more often than not tell us more about that person than about the issue commented on.
I don't care those people are no authority nor are the sharpest tools in a drawer. I don't need their approval or they acceptance as a Pole.

What I find annoying is insecurity of some Polish people looking for askance and a pat on the back from some scrubby foreigner as if that have any significance.

I won't comfort your paranoia

we are attacked by the mob!

Hmm how many close encounters did you have with a pitchfork-welding or scythe-welding mob with torches? One two? none?
Does your paranoia needs comforting as well?

I was observing Kaczyński, his bulging eyes, shining with unhealthy excitement and creepy smile during the discussion about the Constitutional Tribunal

She (inPolska) does have a point! :D

I doubt that there are many people out there who can accurately find and recognize an original trait of a nation basing it solely on a personal experience. It is possible if you have a team, money and time to do proper research.

Everyone please focus on the topic only, otherwise this thread will be closed.
privateer 1 | 9
27 Nov 2015  #236
I came here when I was 2. I don't think I have an accent. We have strong pride, but if it's something that doesn't need to be handled we will let it unfold onto yourself. For instance I'll fight side by side with my friends, but I won't lay a finger if it's for a dumb cause.

We don't call the cops on any family matter.
My sisters husband is American - he called the cops on my cousin and we threw him out of our house. Family means deeper to us than what is logical.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,467
27 Nov 2015  #237
Konieć

The letter "c" in "koniec" is not palatalised. Back to school!
TheOther 5 | 3,749
27 Nov 2015  #239
We don't call the cops on any family matter.

Just like gangbangers and the mafia, right?
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
28 Nov 2015  #240
We don't call the cops on any family matter.

Which is about as dumb as it gets. Family is meaningless if the person is a law-breaking prick.

Fortunately, in Poland, it's changing - people aren't afraid to call the police, especially for things such as drink driving.


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