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I am too emotional…

Aurelia D
Berlin, am 28. January 2015

People over the world with a warm cultural background might think that Germany is a cold country once they move in. Despite all the cultural stereotypes, with my made up term  “warm cultural background”,  I personally mean all those people who grew up in a naturally social environment, in a small community where everybody helps each other or just in a place where interaction is much easier than other contexts. Community-oriented cultures and group oriented mindsets might have some problems when they approach the german culture for the first time. I do not want to mention any country or culture in particular, because I believe that every person is different and everyone can identify him/herself  into a more social/community-oriented culture or in a more independent/individualistic one. There are people who grew up in a certain context and however they feel much better in a completely different one. Anyway, for all the “warm  people” the initial integration in the country would look not so easy. First, the warm people attitude will completely crash with the German mindset. Then, there will be disorientation and frustration for the broken expectations. According to our internal schemes, we have internal values and point of references. Those can lead to the very common mistake of thinking that everybody perceives the world in the same way. For instance, my life in Berlin has been full of social misunderstanding. In my culture it is obvious that people help you when you are in trouble by asking you if you want to be helped. I learned that the German way requires rather an active style: you should ask for help, because the people otherwise will never know that you need help. I do not know if this sounds clear, but in general I learned that Germans are very shy at the beginning and for the warm people they might look very cold. We (warm people) wonder why they never call to meet up for a coffee, why they do not invite us spontaneously for lunch, or why they do not text us so often as we do. All these expectations made me suffer a lot at the beginning and I thought that actually nobody cares about friendship. And I also have been blamed to be “too emotional”, that is actually true. The funny thing is that they told me the opposite at work. It looks like the working environment makes me very cold. But I like the way I am: very focused at work and totally not focused outside. And I realized that most of my German colleagues do not change attitude at work and at  “feierabend” when we used to go out for a beer. It looked very amusing to me and I could not believe that! But time can reveal lots of surprises. Indeed, if you are a “warm one” and you experienced the same situation, just know that time will help a lot! Over time Germans become very warm. When they get you know you better, they are really reliable and trustworthy friends. More than you can imagine and even better than the warm ones!

Well, this is just my small experience and as I as said at the beginning, every person is different and free to have different opinions, experiences and expectations.

 

By the way, since I could not find a relevant picture about this topic, I would like to post myself looking “too emotional” just while enjoying my time at Tempelhofer Feld during a warm and sunny day JTempelhofer Feld

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