Have Germans Lost the "Joy DNA"?

Germany has low unemployment, solid economic growth, and Oktoberfest ... but why are Germans so grumpy? Perhaps they've lost the "Joy DNA," according to researchers:

The main thing standing in their way is their own perfectionism. During hours of individual and group interviews, the researchers analyzed how 60 subjects felt pleasure. They also scrutinized the results of a representative survey of 1,000 men and women commissioned by the liquor companies Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

Among survey respondents, 81 percent said that they experience pleasure best when they have managed to achieve something first. "As the saying goes, business before pleasure," said 61-year-old female participant Wiltrud.

But this maxim doesn't seem to serve the Germans well -- they even feel burdened by the pressure to enjoy things. "People often told us that they would come home after a stressful day, but were unable to even say what they'd accomplished," Imdahl reported. "And then the people around them say, 'Hey, just relax.' Enjoyment then turns into an obligation."

Meanwhile, chances to create a sense of well-being lurk everywhere -- a glass of wine, a relaxing bubble bath, or a nice restaurant with delicious food. These, of all things, also rankle the Germans. "This glut of offerings pressures people into thinking, 'I must enjoy everything'," Imdahl says.

Link (Image: Shutterstock)


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Interesting, I knew Germans were terse and to the point when it comes to business relations. But one would think that, somewhere between Fromm, Kant, Nietzsche and all the other German Transcendental Idealists (In particular the Frankfurt school) would have influenced them in the other direction. But maybe Joy isn't that important to them, maybe they are happy to be joy-less. Assuming Happiness and Joy are not the same thing.
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Boo! This article was silly. I don't pretend to know a large portion of German adults-certainly not 1000 men and women- but all of the Germans I do know are perfectly joyful and know how to have a good time. They certainly are more joyful and adept party-goers than I am.
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I completely empathize with feeling annoyed by the pressure to make yourself happy by doing pleasurable things.

It actually does not work. You can't make laugh by willing yourself to laugh, and you can't make yourself happy by trying to wedge fun activities into every spare moment of life.

The day I quit nagging myself about doing "fun" things was actually the day I finally started feeling truly satisfied with life.
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There is NO such thing as GERMAN DNA. There is even hardly something that can be called GERMAN PEOPLE, we are a total mixture of all kind of European tribes and peoples that moved through the center of Europe, we are the European average, if you wish.
AND we are normal human beings who experience all kind of emotions - including joy! It is just not so common in central Europe to pretend you are in a perfect mood if you are not. More a mentality thing, I guess.
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