For the converse of Nick Nicholas’ answer to Why are Norwegians so cold and unapproachable?
Positive Politeness vs Negative Politeness.
What say you Wikipedia?
- Negative politeness: Making a request less infringing, such as “If you don’t mind…” or “If it isn’t too much trouble…”; respects a person’s right to act freely. In other words, deference. There is a greater use of indirect speech acts.
- Positive politeness: Seeks to establish a positive relationship between parties; respects a person’s need to be liked and understood.
Negative politeness, which is the norm in Northern Europe, is all about respecting people’s space—literally and figuratively. Which is why Southern Europeans think they’re a bunch of emotionless drones.
Positive politeness, which is the norm in Southern Europe, is all about eliminating space between people—literally and figuratively. Which is why Northern Europeans think they’re a bunch of obnoxious psychos.