A few words about the Dutch
With the prospect of going to work in another country and thus being in a foreign culture, it is advisable to be prepared for certain aspects of the behaviour of its people. This way, you will not be surprised if you find yourself in a situation where they react in a different way than you are used to.
Here is a list of typical character traits and attitudes that will give you some idea of what people of Dutch nationality in the Netherlands are really like:
- are known for being very direct, not liking to talk about anything or wrap things up, which can seem quite rude and almost offensive to foreigners, but in fact avoids many misunderstandings;
- are realistic and do not walk around with their heads in the clouds, are not driven by emotions, but look at the facts and base their opinions on them;
- love punctuality, appreciate arriving at a meeting exactly at the appointed time, i.e. not too early and not too late;
- do not like unannounced visits – a visitor is always expected to make an appointment no matter how short or insignificant it may be; if you decide to visit spontaneously, do not be surprised if the host does not invite you in after opening the door;
- they are distinguished by their frugality and extreme caution in spending money, they do not buy unnecessary things or things they cannot afford; if you are invited to a restaurant, do not expect them to pay the bill, as it is common practice to split it between all the people eating;
- tend to think in patterns, they prefer to stick to what is familiar;
- value privacy and restraint, do not boast about their possessions and achievements, and do not like to stand out or be the centre of attention;
are generally happy and contented people, but often complain (although not seriously), mainly about the weather and topics related to politics and football.