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South Africans are very direct

I have always known that, amongst most of my friends, I am much more direct than most people and say what I am thinking.  What I did not know is that most South Africans are considered very direct compared to most other cultures.  A lot of cultures, including the British and Americans, will fumble around politely taking ages to eventually get to whatever point they are trying to make.  South Africans are much more direct and I in particular am more direct than most South Africans.   

While some cultures might consider this rude, I think it is probably one of our specialities – after all, maybe it is the directness of all the negotiators before our 1994 elections that stopped South Africa descending into civil war.  Never forget that the television cameras, broadcasters and journalists of the world all arrived in South Africa and quite frankly, they were not here for a peaceful transition, but they were here for what everyone expected to be the outbreak of some sort of civil war.   Maybe that South African ability to get to the point, address it and tell each other where we think we are wrong or right and make our point, might just have helped a bit.  It is somewhat disappointing that in the younger generation we are seeing a lot more “sensitive souls” who find anything that is said to them rude or hurtful and don’t want a little bit of honest truth to be spoken – some people are just lazy but try to hide behind other excuses as to the reality of why they are not doing well. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 08-Mar-19 Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Tamaryn  said:
on Wednesday 24-Apr-19 09:43 AM
I prefer people to be direct with me. It's annoying to be patronised or having subtle hints dropped. This is probably why I elect to be more direct with others.

patrick  said:
on Wednesday 03-Apr-19 08:13 AM
Is good to know that we are very direct. It will go along way if we use it to solve our country's problems.

Jadine Esterhuizen  said:
on Tuesday 02-Apr-19 10:20 AM
South Africans are direct and have a way of bringing things across to seem very rude or arrogant. Not that its meant that way.

Liz  said:
on Monday 01-Apr-19 04:49 PM
I have never really thought of South Africans as direct, but thinking about it now makes sense. It does little help to hide behind empty words and long winded sentences when one could get to the point and tackle the problem quickly and efficiently by simply being direct.

Zindy  said:
on Friday 29-Mar-19 08:55 AM
Direct is always the better way to approach a situation, One just needs to take into consideration perhaps the manor in which you approach someone as people can find it rude.

Prishani  said:
on Thursday 28-Mar-19 05:17 PM
I personally prefer it when people are more direct with me, I know exactly where I stand with that person and how they feel about me.

Bianca Taljaard  said:
on Thursday 28-Mar-19 01:28 PM
In afrikaans we have a saying "moet nie doekkies om draai nie" in other words "don't beat around the bush" and that is how I like it, there is however a way to do it.....respect!

Alexis  said:
on Wednesday 27-Mar-19 02:00 PM
I feel that some people may overstep their boundaries...but if done in the correct manner, it is very good to be direct and not take nonsense and excuses.

Melissa van Tellingen   said:
on Wednesday 27-Mar-19 08:13 AM
I think it's great being direct but more so I believe that every person needs to be sensitive and read every situation. You do not know what every person is going through at that point in time. There's a fine line between being direct and being rude. In Afrikaans we say "As jy nie enige iets goeds te sê het nie, bly eerder stil" and I feel like that's good to live by.

Michelle Smal  said:
on Tuesday 26-Mar-19 10:10 AM
This can be a good thing, especially in the work place. People will then not waste your time as time is money and money are valuable for ant business of course. But also, it can be a bad thing as the Blog said sometimes it can come across as being rude and obviously chase away potential clients/customers.

Michelle D  said:
on Tuesday 26-Mar-19 08:40 AM
Nowadays directness can get you into a lot of trouble. You can only afford to be direct if the circumstances are right. I think there is a very distinct line between being direct and being offensive. Directness and honesty generally serves a purpose, offensiveness is unwarranted and destructive. I am pretty proud to be part of a generation that gets offended on behalf of minority groups, it's a form of empathy that is so rarely practiced by older generations.

Sarah  said:
on Monday 25-Mar-19 07:55 AM
I disagree that South Africans are more direct, I feel some people are direct like Afrikaans woman and Indians but not all South Africans are direct. I find British people and kids are more direct.

Natasha  said:
on Tuesday 19-Mar-19 08:18 AM
I am a very direct person I say what i think and feel and if you don't like it then its not my problem. But its a good quality of ours, because we don't make things up to make it sound nice we say it like it is,there is a few South Africans that are shy and scared of hurting peoples feelings,but they don't mind if people hurt their feeling. Better to be direct then people walking over you

Jadine Richards  said:
on Monday 18-Mar-19 11:07 AM
I agree that the younger generation do probably give a little more thought to how their words will come across but I think that this is largely due to the increase of defamation cases and the fear of saying something which may be politically incorrect. The culture of expression, especially in South Africa in the moment, is a particularly volatile one.

candice  said:
on Friday 15-Mar-19 04:59 PM
I agree to a point i agree with Ashleigh i find that Americans and British people are also very direct in a alot of ways. i think there are alot of South Africans that are but we mostly don't say what we would like as we don't want the situation to get out of hand in many cases.But it's always better to be Direct in life

Ashleigh  said:
on Friday 15-Mar-19 04:56 PM
I always felt that American's and British people were more direct. They do not tolerate half the things we do in our Country. I know I am direct and honest but I also know a lot of people that aren't.

Jessica M  said:
on Friday 15-Mar-19 02:15 PM
I couldn't agree more. The kid's of today especially get sooooo sensitive about any truth that get's spoken. You need to always be gentle with them. But how would that really prepare them for the real world? It won't. I am too direct too and wouldn't change it.

Daniella  said:
on Wednesday 13-Mar-19 12:33 PM
South Africans are very direct, and say it as it is. I try being honest and direct however there is a line that should be drawn because some people say that they "just being honest and direct" however its really just them being rude and unnecessary things sometimes our opinions really don't need to be heard.

brumilde  said:
on Wednesday 13-Mar-19 07:40 AM
I think it has to do with your socioculture and how you grow up and with whom, and what events happen in your life. In some countries French kissing is a weird thing. They see it as dirty. Hence every culture is different but one must also remember to look at where you grew up and the situations but not to judge others because they dont act like you or have your understanding of things

Angelica Canosa  said:
on Tuesday 12-Mar-19 05:11 PM
Being honest is the best. I believe that some situations call you to be more direct than others. However its important the manner in which people communicate. If someone is shouting to get their point across... people will not listen. It's a valuable skill to be honest but not to come across as rude. The Germans are an excellent example in terms of work ethic and being direct in a successful manner

Megan  said:
on Tuesday 12-Mar-19 04:43 PM
I prefer not to be direct, I use sarcasm as my form of honesty. It can be read however the receiver wants - although it is also not my intention to be hurtful or rude, it could come across that way or they could see it as just a joke and laugh about it.

Angelique Jurgens  said:
on Tuesday 12-Mar-19 01:30 PM
The truth is powerful. It can also be painful. I think in an era where people are increasingly sensitive we need to be careful how we say things. There are ways one can be direct without being rude or a complete jerk.

Victoria  said:
on Tuesday 12-Mar-19 08:46 AM
I feel that being direct is a good thing and I agree sometimes it will come across as being rude. If you don't agree with what someone else has said or done you should tell them exactly how you feel so the other person knows it was wrong of them and that you didn't agree with them.

Shristi  said:
on Monday 11-Mar-19 04:18 PM
I personally believe that being direct avoids a lot of drama and conflict. If you are straight up with someone a problem can be solved much quicker then trying to sugar coat the truth.

Mathilda Du Preez  said:
on Monday 11-Mar-19 03:43 PM
I don't see anything wrong with people being direct, I actually find it refreshing when people are not just “pleasers”.

courtney  said:
on Friday 08-Mar-19 09:25 AM
I personally think "sensitive' people have the smallest hearts. I don't blame people for being like that. In this generation human being can't be nice to each other. I'm also very straight forward, if I don't speak with my mouth, my face say's it all. I hear this constantly by my work colleague's.

Michelle Smillie  said:
on Friday 08-Mar-19 09:25 AM
I agree, it is usually better to be direct, although I think that some embellishments are necessary at times. In any event, if you say it as it is there are no room for errors or untruthful gossip.

Bianca N  said:
on Friday 08-Mar-19 08:48 AM
Being direct could save a lot of time and energy. The problem nowadays is that being direct offends a lot of people. They would much rather be comforted with a lie or a softer version of the truth than hear something direct and truthful.

david  said:
on Friday 08-Mar-19 07:19 AM
straight talk - there's nothing like it.
i hate having my time wasted, please make your point.
and, because i'm a nice guy, i extend the same courtesy.


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