THERE are certain customs and habits in Ireland that are notoriously difficult for people from elsewhere to understand.
From our “it’ll be grand” attitude when dealing with our problems to not accepting compliments, there are a number of tendencies common to many Irish people that drive everyone else up the wall.
Here are 11 annoying habits the Irish just can’t crack…
1. Ignoring problems
If ignoring your problems was a sport, then Ireland would be world champions.
Anything troubling will end up being grand – somehow – in the long-term.
We do it to each other too. You’d quicker be told “ah, you’re grand” if you tell someone you’re feeling low than for someone to try to help you feel better.
2. Making up words
No noun is safe in the Irish vocabulary. Irish people have a strange love of replacing words with strange, non-existent ones.
For example: “Where is the yoke to turn on the thingamajig? You know the one that yer man got me, that time?”
This strange language is commonly understood on the Emerald Isle but quickly becomes unintelligible the further and further we move away.
3. Not accepting compliments
Compliment an Irish person’s appearance and we will hasten to tell you that our top was only a few euro, or that we barely dragged a brush through our hair – either way we were not worthy of your compliment.
Failing that, we’ll think you’re being sarcastic.
This can be extremely difficult to understand especially for Americans, who come from a country where lavish praise is awarded for the littlest of things.
4. Being indirect
Us Irish like to pretend we’re direct and straight to the point but that’s really not the case.
For instance, we’ll do anything to get out of saying “no”, and will probably say “maybe” instead to indirectly refuse.
We’re laid back people who like to avoid conflict and be polite – so if something is likely to rock the boat then it’ll be said behind your back – good or not so good.
5. Endless conversations about the weather
British people are bad enough for this but Irish people take talking about the weather to a whole new level.
We are extremely fickle and will happily talk about our longing for the sun when it’s raining, only to complain about the heat the one day it comes out.
Ireland frequently experiences all four seasons in a day – so you’d think we’d get bored of it. You’d be wrong.
6. Drinking to enjoy ourselves
Irish drinking stereotypes aside, many of us can’t remember when we last went out for “just the one”.
Many people in Ireland would happily spend €100 on a night out but would scoff at the idea of spending a similar amount on a meal and a couple of drinks.
After we’ve had a drink we’ll talk about how drunk we were, then when we are having a drink next.
7. Bitterness towards success
Don’t be surprised if we constantly refer to anyone successful as having notions about themselves.
Failing that, we won’t mind telling anyone with a fiver more to their name than us how “lucky” they’ve been.
For example: “Yer man worked hard for years in school and university, got an entry level position and spent a decade working his way to the top. Some luck!”
8. Taking up two spaces when parking
Cars taking up two parking spots is becoming a major problem in Ireland.
The lack of thought and respect for other drivers in pretty damning and it does no one any favours.
The problem is even worse in rural towns where there are less people about, but plenty more cars in a white space with one wheel a foot over the line and thus blocking two parking spaces.
9. We don’t appreciate our culture
It’s traditional itself to look down on traditional Irish music and arts as “old-fashioned” while listening to an over-produced American popstar on repeat.
That trend has also made it into our language – which like, totally sucks.
10. Turning up late
Timekeeping has a bit of a looser definition on the Emerald Isle, something which can infuriate people from elsewhere.
Stemming from the Irish being a very relaxed race, this means we often take schedules as more suggested than definite and are rarely on time.
Being five to 10 minutes late is considered on time so if you want to meet at 1pm, you’d be better of saying 12.15.
11. Being tea obsessed
British people are more likely to be stereotyped as tea obsessives but the truth is that we’re way, way worse for it.
When in Ireland you will be offered tea several times a day and non-tea drinkers are viewed with suspicion.
If that wasn’t confusing enough, it’s rude to say yes to tea, even if you want one. Say no at least once before you give in.