The world tends to see Canadians has polite timid little creatures that wouldn’t do or say any that runs the risk of upsetting anyone. While this stereotype may be based in some reality, for the most part we aren’t the reserved push-over’s a lot of the world seems to think we are.
The problem being a Canadian living outside Canada is people love a stereotype when they meet us the focus is on all those “Canadian characteristics” which is all well and good until people take your “Canadian characteristics” as a sign of weakness or you don’t get the respect you deserve because you’re “too nice”.
To combat this over the years I’ve developed a few techniques; there is a tone in my voice I used to make it clear I know what I am talking about; it can come off condescending, it’s not the intent but it works. My other technique is to externalize some of feelings we’re taught as children to keep inside. In other words instead of putting a happy face on and not making scene, I wear the face I’m feeling. I can’t tell you how long it’s taken for me not to feel like a horrible individual for showing my negative emotions.
The problem I have now is sometimes these techniques take over and I forget to be me. I forget that it’s ok to be reserved and it’s ok to be friendly and caring, that these qualities aren’t a sign of weakness but rather a sign of humanity.
And since I struggle to remember this from time to time the code phrase “Be Canadian” came to be. It’s just a friendly little reminder given to me quietly to make me.....more placid. It brings me back to the way I would be acting if my family was present.....most of the time, sometimes even Canadian’s lose their shit.
Anyways I am off to bed to try and remind myself that sarcastic comments said in my head in French does not count as “being Canadian”....what? Like I said sometimes even Canadian’s lose their temper.
The Honest Bitch