flowing motion

Posts Tagged ‘cross-cultural psychology

Do you wear a hat? Do you wear a tie?

I knew someone once, who would put on a hat if he wasn’t wearing a tie. He said you only get taken seriously if you wear a hat or tie.

I never quite got that. But it is clear that little things are loaded with cultural meaning.

The Parker pen in the shirt pocket that says : “I need a pen at all times. I sign things. I am a manager. Despite the casual clothes. Despite the grease on my hands. I am in charge here.”

The laptop that says “You should find out who I am. My real authority comes from the other end of the wireless connection.”

The payment by cash which says “I am not an employee. I don’t have to use a swipe card to access my salary.”

What do you use to signal to people who you are?

Or rather, what things make you anxious if you do or do not do, or have or do not have them?

Anxiety = importance = meaning

We are only anxious when our place in the world is threatened.

Which place are you seeking that little gesture or symbol seeking?

Who would you be without that place?

Too scary to answer. The meaning of our lives does make us anxious.

Whinging poms

Have you ever seen a psychological study of why the English complain about the weather?  Or why the English complain .   .   .

We all know the English talk incessantly about the weather.  The Aussies remind us that poms whinge.  Or rather, the Aussies dismiss “whinging poms” with a frisson of superiority!

Folklore has it that poms whinge about the weather to make small talk.  That smirk of satisfaction begs explanation in turn.  Why is it considered polite to whinge about something we can do nothing about?

If  a South African is talking, they would advise you what to do about the weather. The focus would be on action and the focus would be on the battle of life fought successfully against willful, unhelpful and unbiddable elements.

If an Australian is talking, they would be proud of Australian weather.  I’ve never deciphered that either.  Proud of something you had nothing to do with making???

I know how to treat with a South Africa.  They want to “do”.  They want to be competent.  So simply ask to borrow their umbrella!  They will make sure you get back to your car dry – and probably get your shoes cleaned for you to.

I’ve cracked the English whinge.  You say sweetly:  “I like English weather.  Everything changes so fast.  If you don’t go out for a single day, you miss the daffodils, or a tree that has changed color”.

The English man or woman is left in a dilemma.  Continue whinging and imply England is not up to scratch?  Won’t have that!

So they start being informative.  You’ll hear all about the plants they love.  Your walk to work, or your previously insalubrious train ride, will take on a fresh look as they point out all the best bits of scenery to look out for!

And it works on other topics too.  The English are as volatile as their weather.


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