Friday 11 February 2011 - I miss arguing
In my last expat meet-up, I was talking to one of my French fellow mate. He's one of these who is in a mixed couple, with a partner from a different nationality. They are committed and happy but he made a funny comment the other day "We don't argue. I miss arguing" I found it quite typical from a French person to say you miss arguing. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean they never disagree but I felt like he was saying something like "I miss complaining". It is just so ingrained in our upbringing that we come to miss exactly what was making our culture difficult. And I did hear that comment from other French men. Honestly I would have thought that it would have been a female comment but this is where you actually see that French culture is a feminine culture. If French men are more emotionally articulate than the average Sydneysider bloke, it doesn't really make them better partners (Who really likes arguing?), but it pinches a typical feature of French culture: To connect, you need to put everything on the table, even if it hurts. Forget about being polite, it is about being whole and assuming what you feel. And if the other does the same thing, you've made one step toward one another... Which is different from the aussie connection, where you need to be in line, especially in front of other people. For aussie people, arguing is a dysfunction evidence whereas for French people, arguing is healthy.