A Niggling Fear It Might Actually Be Sh*t

New Zealanders inferiority complex, as explained by Kiwianarama.co.nz

Positive Identity Reinforcement

Identity Anxiety.

“Closely linked with ‘Taking Ourselves Seriously‘, a trait unique to the Kiwi psyche is the need for constant, positive reinforcement about just how great a country it is. This is probably because,  deep down, most Kiwis have a niggling fear that it might actually be a bit shit.

Travel though a country such as Great Britain, and the first question the locals will ask you is ‘What the f**k are you doing taking a holiday in this crap-hole?’.  Travel round New Zealand, and the first question locals ask is “Isn’t it great? Are you having a wonderful time?”.

Not unlike a teenage girl with low self-esteem, Kiwis are always seeking out compliments about their country. It is thought this personality disorder is a common symptom among all colonial countries, but is particularly prevalent in New Zealand – the youngest and smallest of the group of countries colonised in the last 500 years (which includes Australia, Canada, USA etc).

A country of immigrants, the need for Positive Identity Reinforcement is a result of the long and uncertain process that preceeds the desicion to pack up everything and seek out a better life on the other side of the world. Forever plagued by the nagging worry that one might have made the wrong choice, immigrants to NZ seek constant reassurance that their adopted home is totally awesome, and that  leaving their cold/overcrowded/racially-troubled motherland was definitely the right thing to do.

This trait is passed down through the generations, until it disperses and is replaced by the sort of blind, flag-waving, cock-suredness evident in Australia or USA. NZ has a way to go before reaching  this state of harmonius equilibrium.

A word of note: If travelling New Zealand, do not, under any circumstances,  answer a question such as ‘Isn’t it great’, with something like ‘Actually it’s a bit quiet, out of the way, and not as
sunny as Australia’. Kiwis have not yet developed either a robust sense of irony, or cast-iron self belief, and you may bring about a deep period of depression in the person asking the question, or, at the very least, a firm fist in the face.”

(Thanks to Stephan for the link)

8 thoughts on “A Niggling Fear It Might Actually Be Sh*t

  1. Yep..that “niggling fear” sits vulnerably on the surface of many-a-kiwi’s psyche; I’ve seen that insecurity rear it’s ugly head too many times. All it takes is for them to hear your accent. Being a friendly sort myself, always made friends in my own country easily… NZ left me down and confused. For the first few years it baffled me and made me question myself – but it’s not US, it’s them.

    Good luck being the “foreigner” and trying to have an amiable conversation with a Kiwi. The typical shallow “isn’t it lovely,” “the weather is beautiful,” “so, how do you like New Zealand?” (appended by the silent demand that I say something to the effect of how much “better” it is here than in my own country)… and if I don’t (no matter how nice I am otherwise), the blank, vapid stare off into space, pursing of the lips and slow nodding of the head … followed by a quick subject change or outright dismissal by striking up of a new conversation with a bystanding Kiwi – utterly cutting me off, or walking away.

    They can’t relate to depth of thought – most conversation is mind-numbingly shallow. Sometimes its amazing watching a bunch of Kiwis together – all loudly talking over one another about the most boring, shallow things yet seemingly finding such interest and “Yee Yea Yeah Yeah” laughing at things that just aren’t funny. And you sit, scratching your head, wondering if you’ve lost your sense of humor or sociability, because you just don’t get it.
    You don’t ‘get’ how the same toilet / booze / teats joke they used last time is funny. You don’t get why one of the little kids in their family has to be utterly the center of everyone’s attention and if you don’t worshippingly fawn over the kid (yeah he’s cute..but… seriously)?… you’ll be frowned at. You don’t ‘get’ the extended, same-old conversations over Holdens and car culture and how slutty some “slag” down the corner was.
    You’re devastated because your initial impression of New Zealand (before coming here) was that they were like the English, somewhat well-read… well here’s the reality. You’re bored to tears and feel like you’re in a green, moldy, stagnant version of Deliverance.

    Few actually Read anything of interest (or read at all). It won’t change, wait years, and it still won’t change. Try your best to ‘relate’ and you’ll be left feeling like you wasted years..in order to bring yourself “down” (because they like you better, brought “down”) – and when you finally wake up and say, “I’ve HAD it, I’m OUT of here” they’ll act shocked and dazed and try to make you feel as if YOU are the one who failed and treat you like even more of an outcast. So don’t waste your time. Tighten your belt, save your money, make plans to GET OUT, GO HOME, and don’t wait – remember if you’re taking a loved one with you, immigration for them can take months or years. Don’t wait.

    Oh, I made plenty of temporary friends here – all foreigners, who bailed out and left the country. After hundreds of attempts to make friends with Kiwis…. well, I’m an expert on how Not to make friends with a Kiwi – and at this point, I couldn’t care less – talking to a dog is more interesting, and at least they’re genuine, open-minded and truly friendly. In all fairness, there are a few (Precious few) Kiwis that make real attempts – but usually they have travelled the world a bit – they’re the ones that have the guts to be humble and admit it is shite here. Those kiwis are always welcome in my country. Oh, and by the way, I have an old Kiwi friend back at my home country, whom I’ll be calling on, known him 20+ years – he’s a great guy (but never wants to come back to his own country).

    Let’s face it, it’s not worth making permanent ties to a sinking ship like this, is it? Their niggling fear is a reality – (as so many of us say) consider yourself warned.

    • Oh what a classic

      .I must be one of the small minority of kiwis that actually laugh not only at myself but also at this Country.But dont tell any other Kiwis this as at the least i will be getting death threats.
      What a good laugh- I nearly pissed myself when i read the line ”Your bored to tears and you feel like your in a green,mouldy ,stagnant version of Deliverance”.
      Such a great laugh, and also so true from my experience.I have a Kiwi friend she lives in San Francisco, & hasnt lived here for 30 or so years.Recently she suggested she may come back here,i immediately had to do the only right thing so i advised her, thinking she must have fallen & sustained a head injury , or perhaps partaken of a spiked drink in a bar , or in some other way lost her ability to reason & know right from wrong.Anyway i just said ”NO DONT COME BACK HERE YOULL BE BORED OUT OF YOUR MIND”, & I meant every word.

  2. When I visited NZ, the first thing I said when exiting Auckland airport was, “oh, it’s kind of like Mansfield”, it didn’t go down very well, I spent 6 weeks of hell spent £4000 on god knows what and it’s safe to say I doubt I will be going back any time soon, lovely views but you can get the same in Derbyshire, Devon and North Yorkshire.

  3. god so true! Even the weather reporters in nz apologise if the weather is crap and underplay any bad weather, How refreshing in Britain when the brits rubbish their own country often unfairly and the weather reporters say – “another cold miserable day in London”. I feel like I am in some kind of cult in Nz sometimes like e2nz pointed out with the Groupthink website on Wikipedia that explains why kiwis may be like this.

    • This really is true. It was always strange, when we lived there, to meet people who knew the score. Most of the people around us were like Hare Krishnas in an airport. Once in awhile, some new resident would look over their shoulder a few times, lean over and whisper that the emperor actually looked quite naked, didn’t he, unless those were flesh-coloured clothes he was wearing? Always refreshing.to hear one of these clear-eyed individuals. They were usually ones who had migrated a year or two ago and were being “hit by the reality”, after their start-up buffer cash.had been efficiently hoovered off of them. I wish that the people who end up doing poorly there and leaving, for reasons not of their own making, would stand up and say more about it to balance out the cult prop that constitutes most of the information about New Zealand on the net.

  4. This is so correct. They have some mental block about acknowledging that in some respects it is really sh*t. I always respond with “it’s pretty” or “the scenery’s nice”, or “it’s a photographer’s dream” or something true. If they press for more, I usually will admit to it being too expensive. They then go on to defend, “Well, it’s an island, and we don’t have dirty factories here, everything costs more to bring over here”. This, too, is true. I could then say, “Your middlemen are completely ripping you off” or “Why, with a cliimate like this, are vegetables and fruits so ridiculously overpriced?” They will respond with “Here in New Zealand, middlemen have to pay a living wage to their employees” and “We send our best produce overseas”. So the longer you discuss, the more they start offering bullsh*t justifications. There’s always a reason why it’s sh*t and it has nothing to do with them. For those attempting to explain their desire to leave, you aren’t permitted to want to leave. It’s not in their dictionary, unless you’re a Kiwi seeking filthy lucre in Australia, and even those Kiwis are assumed to be heading back home once they have made their bundle, or pining away for ye old country while chasing sparklies in Hustleville over the Tasman.

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