Canadians are often stereotyped as being some of the nicest people in the world. But is this stereotype actually true? Here’s what some people have to say about this nice stereotype.
Polite vs Nice
While Canadians may be polite, there’s a difference between being polite and being nice. “Polite and Nice are different things. But yes overall we are,” one person said. “People don’t curse at each other for no reason 99% of the time and if your car breaks down and you’re waving your arms, someone with CAA will stop if you’re in the city.”
Canadians are known for being friendly and giving compliments, even to strangers. “I moved from Germany to Canada and the difference is huge,” one person responded. “Germans for example don’t compliment strangers, never before has someone told me that I have a nice shirt. Here it happens all the time”
While some regions may be known for being particularly friendly, there are warm and generous people all over Canada. “My experience is that maritimers and Newfoundlanders are largely genuinely nice people. But I have found warm and generous people all over Canada,” one person recalls. “I think a big basic difference is that those who grow up in cold climates are intrinsically programmed to look out for others and this might be why Canadians have a ‘nice’ reputation.”
The Canadian Shuffle
The Canadian Shuffle is a common occurrence where two people both try to be polite and move out of each other’s way. One person explains the shuffle quite well: “The Canadian shuffle happens a lot. You are walking towards someone, you both see each other. You both proceed to be the polite one that moves over, and repeat that left, right shuffle as you both waltz in unison 8-10′ apart. Finally, the dance is broken. You both laugh and continue on your way to work a job that doesn’t cover even your basic life necessities.”
Canadians are known for apologizing, often excessively. “If it’s not a triple sorry it’s not really Canadian.”
Canadians may be quieter than other cultures, but it’s not because they don’t care. “In my experience, Canadians are quieter because it’s ‘rude’ to ask intrusive questions—we don’t want others to feel uncomfortable. So we don’t ask. That doesn’t mean we don’t care; it’s actually because we care.”
Polite vs Passive Aggressive
While Canadians may be polite on the outside, there can be a tendency to be passive aggressive.
While Canadians may be polite, they may not necessarily be more friendly than other cultures. “Canadians are polite. Friendly I find to be a bit of a different story.”
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