If you consider the optimism of the Americans like that dog in the film “Up”, the one whose tail is always wagging and whose positivity is his biggest asset, then the French would be a languid cat, whose biggest pleasure in life is looking good, living well and has a fascinating ability to say “Non”.
From taking pride in refusing to invade Iraq and going on strike every 3 minutes, the ability to say “No” is infused in every French man and woman. As an expat living here or a tourist coming to visit, being faced with unhelpful shop assistants, stubborn bureaucrats and know-it-all waiters can be confusing and troubling. But when you understand why they like to say no, then it’s a lot easier to join in and give a good Gallic shrug, knowing life will move on regardless.
So here are 7 reasons why they take such pleasure in shaking their head.
#1 They love to argue
Debating, having meetings, discussing, looking at every philosophical, religious, economic and social angle are indispensible attributes to a culture where nothing gets done. The French have an unquenchable need to pick a subject, often with complete strangers, and argue it, well, just for the sake of it. Just for the pleasure of it. The ability to argue and especially win an argument are prized attributes.