By HANS HOOGERDIJK [email protected]
Hans Hoogerdijk taught International Management & Communication in Utrecht and is the co-founder of Global Management Skills that provides Management Training, Coaching and Consultancy. Customers include Fortis Bank & Insurance, ABNAMRO Bank, PGGM Investments.
Last month the results of a European Social Behaviour Study were revealed in Lisbon. The study compared values and social attitudes in 23 European countries.
The results for Portugal are not positive: unhappy people, unsatisfied with life, mistrusting towards others and little faith in the future. Funny, these are the exact characteristics I would give to my people, the Dutch. In this study, however, the Dutch scored totally opposite to the Portuguese. Let me explain this.
These studies always overlook two important motivators of behaviour: culture and temperament. It’s pretty safe to presume that the Portuguese culture and temperament are opposite to the North European countries. How does this influence this social study? Individualistic people only appear not to be mistrusting towards others, but in reality they are just not involved and empathetic enough to trust or mistrust others! The Portuguese people are a collective people and, for them, trust and mistrust are basic values in social life.
Needless to say, Portuguese people have a melancholic temperament filled with Saudade and Fado.
Ask any melancholic about happiness and future expectations and the answer will never be positive! Melancholics love to be sad and pessimistic; they build beautiful philosophies or songs around it. Contrary to the North European countries where hard times are called a ‘challenge’ and being unhappy is almost a moral sin!
I left my country because of lonely individualism, fake happiness and superficial ‘challenges’. This study shows I chose the right country to live in. Be proud Portugal!
Hans Hoogerdijk can be contacted by emailing [email protected]