Understanding a friend’s behavior – after years of friendship.

In France, there are several words for “to complain”: there’s se plaindre”, used for regular old complaining; there’s porter plainte”, for complaining more officially. And then there’s râler”complaining just for the fun of it. A curmudgeonly grumble.

Aha!

In France, a complaint is an appropriate – and frequent – conversation starter. “To Americans, saying something negative sounds like you’re closing the conversation”, in France, such comments are perceived as “a way to invite other people’s opinions”. North Americans, she said, are not as comfortable with confrontation – or with criticism – as the French are. Râler, then, “comes across as something that’s more intelligent than being too starry-eyed and optimistic about things”. (Julie Barlow – Canadian Journalist)

dievca’s friend is half-French, but it is a large half of her Life.  That consistent grumbling is an invitation to an intelligent conversation….and dievca has missed the boat a number of times. XOXO

BBC Article: Why the French Love to Complain

An additional note from dievca – when Americans hear a complaint, they think they need to fix the issue. Apparently, the “râler” creates no such obligation. Good to know!