Irish Politeness


Irish people tend to not directly tell you what to do. Americans are more likely to say you “have” to do something. For instance, the professor today would give a general direction and then ask, “Is that fine?” He seemed open for input and was very polite. An American teacher is more likely to just tell the class to complete the next 5 problems. They don’t ask, they tell. The reason for this difference in communication stems from Ireland being imperialized by the British. The English are a very preppy people who have many rules and laws. The Irish want to be more hands off and less restricting even in conversation. Another difference is that Irish people seem to hold themselves to a less serious standard. They are less prideful people compared to Americans. The Irish tend to complete a lot of statements with a self-deprecating joke whereas Americans tend to not poke as much fun at themselves. For instance, a business owner we met today had been wildly successful but seemed to glance over the success and just make jokes. American business people tend to almost brag about their revenue numbers and growth percentages as it is a matter of pride. Again, this stems from the Irish peoples’ history with the English. The English have a long history of being lords, dukes, and other important titles. A family’s public persona is incredibly important. The Irish have never had fancy titles and they do not like the seriousness that the English carried about them. 

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