A simple Reddit thread that started off as one of the usual "Only in Ireland" light-hearted conversations has turned into a fairly insightful and reflective piece about our nation's serious attitude problems.
The thread was started by the user 'ShitCraic', and they titled the thread "What annoys you most about Irish society? Anything big or small".
Aside from the typical witty responses, there were some seriously to-the-point answers that show how Irish people struggle with things like mental health, support systems, and government issues.
We're too indirect
One user called CatCaste said:
"Nobody is just straight with you about shit. Irish people pretend to be direct and straight-forward but that's really not the case. Whatever people say, they say it behind your back, whether good or ill. Any sort of comment that could be considered too emotional or to have too much emotion behind it is buried.
"It's led me to assume that any compliment I get from anyone is sarcastic."
We're too in love with alcohol
Another great point was society's obsession with drink. Revolutionarycommie posted:
"The f*cking fixation around getting drunk as if it is the height of fun which nothing else can surpass.
"Don't get me wrong, I love a drink, and was out at the weekend. But some people only seem to talk about how drunk they were, when they are next getting drunk and how drinking is THE BEST THING EVER. It's just f*cking sad."
We don't appreciate our own culture
They also pointed out the loss of cultural pride that's hit Ireland:
"And lately, the Americanisation of the place.
"The looking down on traditional music and arts as "old fashioned" while listening to saps like Nicki Minaj and trying to emulate the bleeding Kardashians. Give it over, to paraphrase The Guard: 'We're not back in Atlanta are we? We're in fuckin' Galway'."
We don't speak out and take action
Irish complacency at times when change is needed was also mentioned. DJdule wrote:
"Being too polite to raise a voice against something which leads to tolerating almost anything."
Their point was compounded by Davisland's fairly honest comment about Ireland's tolerance:
"...Which in itself only compounds the problem. At first I thought how Americans speak up at EVERYTHING seemed rude, but over time in the US I kinda realised it's not rude as long as you're not mean or condescending.
"If your meal isn't what you wanted... let the wait staff know, they'll sort it out. It probably wasn't intentional, then the feedback means they'll be aware of whatever is wrong in the long-run making it better for everyone.
"If the meal wasn't perfect, but the staff is told "Oh yeah, it's lovely, thanks".... they'll probably just keep serving it the same always since they have no idea there's an issue. All the while the patron is sitting there with their fake smile, seething underneath.... the staff have no idea!"
The same issue from a different perspective was also pointed out by Reddit Ireland user Peil:
"Nothing f*cking happens. Or maybe I should say nothing ever gets done. I don't mean it's a boring country, because that's probably what you want. I mean scandal after scandal, crime after crime go unpunished, and crisis after crisis goes unresolved.
"See the banking sector after the crash, literally no one was held accountable. In the early days I was naive and believed you couldn't pin blame on people for that. If you're rich or some way important, you cannot be touched in this country.
"Thousands of people sleep on the streets every night, and we all seem to just sort of stare at the problem waiting for something to happen about it.
"The health service has been going down the drain for years now, it's not a new thing, but no party has ever had the balls to suggest we should fund it, and raise those funds.
"People think parts of the Gardaí are apparently corrupt, but "ah shur, the feckin guards, pain in the hole", like a Dara O Briain joke.
"People who are a) Rich or b) "Respectable" are given immunity to the law in many cases. I touched on this already, but if you're a priest, a guard etc. you historically were very safe from criticism or investigation. I always read on this sub about judges giving consideration to someone because they're from a "decent" family. Justice should be blind.
We can't cope with our country's mental health problem
Sparkirl said about Ireland:
"We don't really take mental health or depression very seriously. You'd be quicker told to wise up or "ach you're grand" if you tell someone you're depressed than for people to take you seriously and try to get you help."
"We do love raising money for Pieta House and throwing up statuses saying we'll listen to people. Real trendy."
Sterons4laif pointed out that even when a friend comes to us for help, people get scared to really connect with them about it:
"Or you'll get a "Oh sure you're very brave", while they slowly step back and get very busy any time you call."
However, some users think the real problem is not with our attitudes, but with how unequipped the health service is to deal with the problem:
"You know, I think we are starting to take mental health very seriously. We see that problems of the mind are legitimate and we have TV campaigns and advertisements and mental health weeks and everyone is aware and don't think it's people just being moaners. The real problem with mental health is that the services aren't there.
"There is no point in having all these awareness campaigns because when you go to get help, it isn't available or there is a 12 month waiting period."
Another user said:
"Spending public money on awareness campaigns while people who attempt suicide are turned away from hospital is infuriating. Awareness campaigns are a bandage and to make everyone else feel better that we appear to be doing something. We need actual mental health services now."
We begrudge the success of others
This is something we can all agree on. When someone is successful, they're often torn down by their peers behind closed doors for no other reason than they're making a good life for themselves.
User innealtoir_meicniull said: "The bitterness people have towards the success of others" is what annoys them most about Ireland.
We repress healthy attitudes towards sex
User Malcom_Tucker_Man said:
"Close mindedness around sex. I know many of us males and females are dirty f*ckers behind closed doors but the shame of it if it ever got out."
Another pointed out that "slut shaming is still widely accepted across Irish society".
What does it mean for us?
It seems there are dark and unavoidable attitudes in Ireland that we've all noticed, but haven't dealt with yet. Of course we're a lovely little country at times — but people are looking for that something more.
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