Is it true that russian people don't smile?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Derrame, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. Derrame

    Derrame
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Приве́т

    I have read somewhere that russians don't smile because they think that a smile is always fake... or something like that, is it true?

    Пока́
     
  2. Komodo Saurian

    Komodo Saurian
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Contrary to popular belief a lack of smile doesn't mean that people in CIS or RF and Slavic people in general are incapable of emotion. They can be as happy or as unhappy as anybody else in the world, it's just that their body language is different.

    In Western cultures a smile is a staple polite gesture, in Russia it is not. Retail workers in the West are obligated to always wear a smile when communicating with customers, in Russia they aren't. It is considered inappropriate to smile while performing one's job and a no-nonsense attitude is generally encouraged.

    This throws tourists off. They habitually pull an obligatory Stepford smile, get none in return and just awkwardly stand there in confusion while the cashier is all "The fuck are you laughing at?"

    [​IMG]
     
  3. NuclearWastE3

    NuclearWastE3
    Expand Collapse
    The Toxic Avenger
    Regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    2
    ^:lol:

    Wow, that is really interesting. We get people over here in the U.S. that don't smile while working at a retail, cashier, grocery clerk, and similar jobs of the manner, even when encouraged to smile to the customer, but I see it as the employee is tired and wants to go home; and it's actually more of a random thing over here. Sometimes you get somebody who smiles at you and other times somebody who remains at their default face, even if they are in a good mood. I usually wait for the other person to "express" their emotion first before a decide whether or not to smile -unless it's a friend or a pretty girl. :p

    The Russian way makes sense, though. It'd be creepy if everyone went around smiling around all the time while doing the job.

    But what if a person over in Russia performing their job enjoys doing what they do and a smile slips out of the corner of their mouth and their employer catches them? And I don't mean about smiling at a customer, but just smiling because they like their job. Will they be warned and discouraged not to smile from then on, on the job?

    Edit: A Russian's first attempt to smile while working, at a customer. :p
    [​IMG]
     
    #3 NuclearWastE3, Jun 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2014
  4. TotalAaron

    TotalAaron
    Expand Collapse
    The Oracle of Awesome

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    2,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im that ass that wont smile at work even after being told too :D
     
  5. Potarto

    Potarto
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting stuff. I can't think of a single retail job where smiling wasn't a necessity; usually people who don't smile are too tired or disgruntled to do otherwise, and are typically seen as not cut out for the job if they keep up that kind of behavior consistently.

    Thanks for the insight, always fun to learn new stuff about other cultures.
     
  6. Komodo Saurian

    Komodo Saurian
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    It's not forbidden, it's just not required.
     
  7. Potarto

    Potarto
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, it's not like they're Nazi's about the whole thing. :whistle:
     
  8. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    *Currently orbiting Pluto*
    Regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,269
    Likes Received:
    0
    My step mother got fired from her job for not smiling enough, I found that hilarious.
     
  9. Keegan83

    Keegan83
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is. I got a couple of warnings for not smiling enough at work. But how can you smile when you're all "Good morning!" and all you hear is "What?"
     
  10. Bamul

    Bamul
    Expand Collapse
    S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,865
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's very similar in Poland. Strangers treat each other like strangers, everyone just wants to get stuff done and if you smile at a random person then they'll either look away nervously or maybe smile back awkwardly (in both cases they'd probably think that you are mentally handicapped). It's a huge difference to how people act in England. Here in the UK, in comparison to Poland, the average person is extremely polite and kind, smiles to everyone and even starts conversations with strangers. Everyone is also in much less of a hurry.

    At first I was obviously shocked, then it annoyed the hell out of me but now I've come to appreciate it. This "happy" and "helpful" attitude that many Brits have can sometimes make a bad day feel better. However, even after having spent over 7 years living here, sometimes I just wish people would get on with it and as a person from a different culture I often still find some of these gestures way too awkward (especially strangers smiling at me or starting conversations with me), but I know they're all in good faith.

    I guess this is another example of how despite of all the Western connections and allies of the Polish government, Polish society is still very much in the Eastern part of Europe from every other point of view (and things like Central Europe are an even more silly and abstract social construct than West/East are). Anyway, sorry for going a bit off-topic, I hope my post is somewhat relevant. :p
     
  11. Potarto

    Potarto
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the US, you only typically find people who will accept smiles and conversation from a random stranger in the Midwestern (or similar) areas. If you go to a big city and try that, people will most likely ignore you and try to distance themselves.

    It's a balance, of course; seemingly-optimistic people can make things seem better than they are, but there's a point where it just becomes creepy.

    EDIT: Fixed link.
     
    #11 Potarto, Jun 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2014
  12. Bamul

    Bamul
    Expand Collapse
    S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,865
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree.