BG 32 – Dutch Directness

‘Hi, how are you? Where are you from?’
‘Do you have a boyfriend? No? A girlfriend?’
‘How old are you?’
‘Where do you live? Oh yes, that’s nice. I’d love to live there too.’
‘So, how much rent do you pay?’
‘Are you here on holiday? How long will you stay?’
‘Why are you friends with him?’
‘You’re late.’
‘You look great! Better than when I met you last week.’
‘Have you put on weight?’
‘Do I like your new coat? Nope, sorry, I don’t like that color.’
‘Have you been to the hairdresser? I liked your previous haircut better.’
‘Is that a new dress? I love it. It makes you look slimmer.’
‘Are you okay? You don’t look too well to me.’
‘You want a raise from you boss? Just ask for it. No you have, yes you can get.’
‘You look lost. Can I help you?’

The Dutch are known for their direct way of communicating.
As a result, they may inadvertently appear rude to people from other cultures.
But in the Netherlands it is totally normal to communicate in a direct way.
The Dutch don’t stuff their sentences with extra words to soften a message, to apologize for what they are about to say, or to sugarcoat an opinion.
They will even give you their opinion without being asked for it, and they still mean no harm whatsoever.
And when they ask you ‘How are you?’, they sincerely want to know how you are, for them it isn’t just another way of greeting.

Once you get used to the Dutch and their directness, you will realize that most of the time they aren’t rude at all, even if it would sound like that in your language. They are in fact very involved, sympathetic and laid back.
They love to talk to strangers and are loyal to their friends.
And they have a good sense of humor.
You don’t even have to try to speak their language, they love to speak English whenever they get the chance.
Their directness makes it easier to get messages across and to get things done.
And you will find that it is very easy to make contact with them or to befriend them.
Pretty cool people, the Dutch!