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Originally posted by ljfun at Почему русские не улыбаются?
Известный лингвист раскрыл тайны знаменитой русской неулыбчивости.


Here's an interesting discussion about why Russians don't smile. The cold, gloomy faces are immediately noticeable to any foreigner traveling in the country. I'm not the first to make this observation and understand it's merely a cultural distinction between Russia and many Western countries. However, I don't agree with the statement here that Westerners are "taught" to smile at everyone and if a Russian smiles it's because he really wants to. In other words, there's an implication that all American or Western smiles are artificial and meaningless. It's not the case. We're not indoctrinated in youth to smile at people. We smile because we're happy. Because we wish to acknowledge another's presence on the street, in the store, on the metro or other public areas, rather than just push past them like they don't exist. If I'm in a bad mood, I don't walk around with a smile on my face or engage in conversations with strangers. There's no forced habit to make my mouth point upward.

Do you like being greeted by rude waiters and others in the service sector who simply look at you when they come to your table? Or, those who stare at you and say nothing when you go through their check-out line in a grocery store or at the post office? I can never get used to it, sorry. What follows next is the original text:


Иностранцы постоянно говорят о том, что русские — на удивление неулыбчивый народ, об этом пишут в блогах и путеводителях, спрашивают при личных встречах, рассказывают всем друзьям и знакомым. Действительно, мы улыбаемся гораздо реже представителей других национальностей, но, как выяснилось, у нас на это есть свои причины.
Известный ученый, профессор Иосиф Стернин называет одной из особенностей русского характера бытовую неулыбчивость и объясняет ее несколькими факторами.

1. Улыбка в русском общении не является сигналом вежливости. Западные улыбки во время приветствия означают чистую вежливость. Чем больше человек улыбается, тем больше дружелюбия он хочет продемонстрировать своему партнеру. Постоянная вежливая улыбка называется у русских «дежурной улыбкой» и считается плохим признаком человека, проявлением его неискренности, скрытности, нежелания обнаружить истинные чувства. Русская улыбка — это знак личной симпатии, а не вежливость.

2. Русские не улыбаются незнакомым. Улыбка в русском общении адресуется в основном знакомым. Именно поэтому продавщицы не улыбаются покупателям — они же их не знают. Если покупатель знаком продавщице, она ему обязательно улыбнётся!

3. Для русских нетипично улыбаться в ответ. Если русский видит улыбающегося ему/ей незнакомого человека, он, несомненно, будет искать причину веселья. Может, что-то в его/её одежде или причёске заставило этого типа так веселиться.

4. Чтобы русский улыбался, у него должна быть для этого достаточная причина, очевидная для других. Это даёт человеку право улыбаться — с точки зрения других. В русском языке появилась уникальная поговорка, которой нет в других языках: «Смех без причины — признак дурачины».

5. Неулыбчивость русского человека (именно неулыбчивость, а не мрачность — русские в своем большинстве веселые, жизнерадостные и остроумные) поддерживается и русским фольклором, где мы находим массу поговорок и пословиц «против» смеха и шуток. Из словаря Владимира Даля «Пословицы русского народа»: — Шутка до добра не доводит. — И смех наводит на грех. — И смех, и грех. — Иной смех плачем отзывается. — В шутках правды не бывает. — Шутка к добру не приведет.

6. У русских не принято улыбаться при исполнении служебных обязанностей, при выполнении какого-либо серьезного дела. Например, таможенники в аэропортах никогда не улыбаются, поскольку заняты серьезным делом. Эта особенность русской улыбки уникальна.

7. Русская улыбка призвана быть только искренней, она рассматривается как искреннее выражение хорошего настроения или расположения к собеседнику.
Итак, если вам улыбнулся иностранец — это еще ничего не значит, его учили улыбаться каждому, а если улыбнулся русский, то лишь потому, что действительно этого захотел.
По материалам статьи И.А.Стернина
«Особенности русской улыбки»

Comments

( 146 comments — Leave a comment )
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g_kar
Nov. 27th, 2013 05:50 pm (UTC)
I've read those stories about "sincere Russian smiles and false American ones" hundreds of times.
And i don't believe it.
All those reasons look made up out of thin air.

Last couple times I was in Germany and Spain I specially observed people around me - on streets, in metro, etc.
And most of them aren't smiling wildly. They just look calm and peaceful.

Au contraire, in Russia there are some people who look like they actually hate you and want to do something bad to you. Not many people, like 5-10%, but that's enough to get an impression about unfriendly environment around you.
And rudeness of some people doesn't help either :)

Edited at 2013-11-27 05:50 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
You're right, we're not smiling wildly but articles like this make us sound like smile zombies. :)) Last time I was in Russia, I paid close attention to people on the subway. Unfortunately, most people looked like these ladies. I was very, very close to this young girl. Our knees were even touching, yet when her eyes were open she had the same expression on her face. Scary, mean look. :))

 photo photo6_zps4be53773.jpg
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kreyzi
Nov. 27th, 2013 05:53 pm (UTC)
sad but true =)
yarowind
Nov. 27th, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
Metallica, 1991, Black album:)
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inamora
Nov. 27th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
I often smile at strangers, if I like them. It looks strange, some people wonder. But it also promotes interesting acquaintances, who would not take place otherwise.
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 06:30 pm (UTC)
Exactly, how are you supposed to meet new people if you're always ignoring them or looking at them with suspicion and an unfriendly face. Is this how you attract all your men? With your beautiful smile? :))
(no subject) - inamora - Nov. 28th, 2013 02:08 am (UTC) - Expand
yarowind
Nov. 27th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
Foreigners smile different.. So the British smile much less then Americans.:)
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 06:30 pm (UTC)
I found the British to be very smiley, but their food is strange. :)
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(Deleted comment)
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
I don't know actually, it's an interesting question. However, I think Americans have always been known for their openness and friendliness, even a century ago.
yoserian
Nov. 27th, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC)
Of course, Russians don't smile because they are very sincere, so some like to think :)
However, here's opinion of an ethologist who believes that smiles make habitat for humans better and more comfortable regardless how faked they are. Yeah, the truth is humans tend to underestimate their subconscious and then they wonder why is that everything so depressing and gloomy

Все эти программы умиротворяющего поведения (включая и перебирание волос на голове) есть и у нас, и мы умеем ими пользоваться. Люди, как и карликовые шимпанзе, способны поддерживать отношения, в которых агрессивность сведена до минимума, иерархия не мешает дружескому общению, а само это общение ободряюще и приятно. Соответствующие традиции и воспитание позволяют очень многого добиться. Когда-то американцы открыли магический эффект одной из доступных человеку улыбок и начали обучаться ее изображать. Она воспроизводилась на тысячах плакатов" ею улыбались самые популярные в стране люди. Таблички "Улыбнись!" появились на дверях офисов и кассах магазинов. Прошло время - и Америка научилась и привыкла улыбаться. Европейцам поначалу американская затея казалась странной и даже лицемерной. Но увидев результат - смягчение агрессивности, и они стали учиться магической улыбке. Секрет ее в том, что когда два человека одновременно улыбнутся друг другу, иерархическая программа каждого из них воспринимает улыбку как мягкую, но уверенную в себе готовность к отпору, а другая программа - как поощрение. В итоге "где-то там" принимается подсознательное решение, что в данном случае можно не бояться и обойтись без выяснения иерархического ранга, сразу признать встречного равным себе
But again, some will be unwilling to admit again that Americans have invented something paradigm-shifting
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
I never thought about smiling until I started writing on LJ and many people commented on my "fake American smile," This ethologist has interesting theories! Almost all of the psychological studies you send me involve comparisons between humans and animals. :)
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mujlan01
Nov. 27th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
There is a Russian saying "Laughter for no reason is a sign of idiocy" (approximate translation ).
About the same thing can be said about the ever smiling man///

=Do you like being greeted by rude waiters and others in the service sector who simply look at you when they come to your table?=
Rude? No I don't and nobody does! But if the waiter is just being polite and quick it'll be enough for me, I don't need his smile////






peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
What's "polite" to you? Just curious what you consider good service. Do you want a waiter to say hello to you, or just stand at your table and be silent until you speak to him or her?
English butler... - mujlan01 - Nov. 27th, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
asharky
Nov. 27th, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
All well described in this article. We are not evil. We just have not taken too much smiling.
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Who said you were evil? I would not keep traveling to Russia or communicate with Russians if I felt that way. :)
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qi_tronic
Nov. 27th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
I think Americans smile because they all have guns with them (or had in the past) ...
It was very easy to get shot for an unfriendly look in the Wild West :))

In Russia (as other people here like to reiterate) there was slavery in the past centuries.
So seniors looked seriously at their dependants as if inspecting them all the time.
And dependants did not dare to challenge seniors with a big smile.

A theory freshly invented by me :)))
mujlan01
Nov. 27th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
It's just a constant grueling training. And an industry of course....
@How to Smile@
Improving the Look of Your Smile
Smiling for the Right Reasons
Making Smiling Part of Everyday Life
Do you want to be the person who walks into a room and lights it up with your smile? Smiling seems to come more naturally to some people than others, but like any habit, it gets much easier with practice. Smiling raises your spirits and makes other people happy - it's a very powerful expression. Read on to learn how to smile.

http://www.wikihow.com/Smile


Гугл в помощь!
Вместе с how to smile часто ищут

how to smile instagram

how to smile like gatsby

how to smile always

how to smile for a photo

how to smile like a model

how to smile correctly

how to smile more

how to smile at guys

Smiling world хуле....



(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Nov. 27th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
qi_tronic
Nov. 27th, 2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
And yes, I hate this "Can I help you? :)))" approach.
I always think "The best help from your side would be to shut up and let me make my choice in silence".
When I'm ready I will precisely formulate and issue a command or ask a question.


BTW, Russians can be very different :)

www. youtube. com/watch?v=rd2iSFeSEUQ
www. youtube. com/watch?v=eBZBz15hthk

That's what I'm listening at work.
whiteeye
Nov. 27th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
+1 for Can I help you.
2nd thing which irritated me all time being on America: Hello, how are you? - Good, thanks.
Everywhere, every shop which I visited...
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olgor
Nov. 27th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
" We smile because we're happy."
Disagree. You smile because you were taught so - "show your happiness and stay positive even if you are not!"
Plus it is easy to sell when you smile to the customer - every product manager will tell you.
Just a simple exercise - cover the bottom part of the face and look closer to the eyes.
Is that smile real? I don't think so.
Country of hypocrisy.


Edited at 2013-11-27 08:02 pm (UTC)
mujlan01
Nov. 27th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
Смайл, мазефак, смайл.
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breqwas
Nov. 27th, 2013 07:50 pm (UTC)
"However, I don't agree with the statement here that Westerners are "taught" to smile at everyone and if a Russian smiles it's because he really wants to. In other words, there's an implication that all American or Western smiles are artificial and meaningless. It's not the case. We're not indoctrinated in youth to smile at people. We smile because we're happy. Because we wish to acknowledge another's presence on the street, in the store, on the metro or other public areas, rather than just push past them like they don't exist."

Let me translate this: "However, I don't agree that it's merely a cultural distinction between Russia and many Western countries. It's just that we are better than you. We live our happy lifes, while you... Well, you suck."

That's what you wrote.

Edited at 2013-11-27 07:50 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 09:01 pm (UTC)
No, it's not what I wrote. I have no idea how you twist the words in my statement to the point that you believe I'm saying Americans are better than Russians. I said only that there's a cultural distinction in the prevalence of smiles in America and Russia. Almost every Western foreigner who travels to Russia will say the same.
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krisa_rat
Nov. 27th, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
It is very difficult to smile in Russia. Seriously. like a hypnosis :)))
Now I live in Poland and smiling is much easier.

but I try to smile in Russia too. Sure, It can even shock some people)
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
People in Poland are very friendly, at least in the towns we visited. What do you think is the biggest cultural difference between living in Poland and Russia?
(no subject) - krisa_rat - Nov. 27th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
general_denikin
Nov. 27th, 2013 08:03 pm (UTC)
You should put separately Russians and Muscovites. Especially for the question regarding smiling.
If you smile to Russians far from Moscow and add some friendly words you definitely will get the warmest respond including big smile.
This is a different in the capital - population from there appreciate other people mostly by their income. If any woman travels on subway it means she are probable not so much rich to be bestowed by another female muscovite's smile. But male smile in subway means completely different - they invite you either flirting or suggest for some sex session.
mujlan01
Nov. 27th, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
"or suggest for some sex session."
----And then came the lieutenant Rzhevsky and began to fuck everything that moves and that what does not move he began to move and fuck afterwards.
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lara_anna
Nov. 27th, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
I don't think we'll ever know the real reason))

But I notice than when I go to the States I also start smiling a lot more often at strangers, so the environment is stronger than my background or habit. Or may be I'm happier there because I'm on vacation))

Also, I know a couple of people, Russians, who smile a lot, with no reason, they are just friendly and nice and kind to everybody, even to people they don't know, and I see how everybody likes them, and sometimes I wish I could be that way, of course not because I want everybody to like me. I just think it's good.
peacetraveler22
Nov. 27th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
Where in the States have you traveled?
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