You have just moved in to a new apartment. Your neighor seem to be distant. Some of them looks suspicious to you. How should you behave around your German neighbor? Should you try to speak German or stick to English? How to get along with your German neighbor?
Germany has always been known for its culture and tradition. The Germans are well-known for being careful and reserved. They can be quite formal and distant, especially when meeting new people.
It’s important to remember that Germany is a country where speaking another language isn’t common. If you want to be able to communicate with your German neighbors, you should practice using their language (at least try). This way, you won’t come across as rude or impolite.
1. Be friendly to your neighbor
Let’s take baby steps. Be sure to greet your neighbor every time you walk pass them. If you’re busy doing something else, even if you don’t want to talk to someone that moment, at least give them a quick smile and nod. This is especially crucial for older Germans. If you don’t know them well yet, start out small and build up from there.
2. Don’t talk too much
If you’re having trouble getting along with your neighbor (or if you already have had some unpleasant encounters), try not talking too much. Try to keep conversations brief and avoid topics that could lead to arguments. After all, we just want to maintain a nice relationship with the people living near us. We do not have to make them our best friends.
3. Keep your distance (appropriately)
The last thing you want to do is come off like a creep. German people are very nice and friendly after getting to know more about you (and proving that you are likeable). However, before they let their guide down, you are still a stranger to them. Therefore, learning how to keep your distance while showing your friendliness is the key to being a good neighbour.
4. Bake your way into their heart
A lot of German people love baked goods. It never hurts to bring your neighbor something tasty from your own kitchen. Cookies, cake, brownies. If you want to make sure your neighbor don’t reject your nice gesture because of food allergy, avoid nuts in your recipe. And it will be better to use lactose-free milk and gluten-free ingredients if possible.
Discover more about German delicious baked goods here!
Important: do not use the English word “gift” when you bring something to your neighbor. “Gift” means poison in German!
What if you have tried everything, but your neighbor still looks grumpy to you? Do not take it personally. Not everyone is into making friends with their neighbor. You have shown them your big heart and your polite manner. It is up to them how they react to you.
Do you have questions about the Germans and their culture? Download our free ebook ”Ask the Locals” with questions answered the Germans themselves!