Private matters at work

A woman with a sad expression holds a face mask with a smiling expression.
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In Germany, private and professional lives are usually kept separate. Generally, privacy is very important to a lot of Germans. Topics like family, health and money are usually kept between family or friends, especially if there are negative aspects or problems.

At work, one is polite and friendly with colleagues, and professional or general topics may be discussed. You can mention private matters, but negative or intimate subjects are usually avoided. Too much emotion and discussion of personal matters in the workplace can make an unprofessional impression. Questions that are too direct also come across as impolite. Especially if you are new in a company, it's better to remain neutral and friendly, and discuss personal issues with your friends.

Of course, you may end up becoming friends with colleagues, but it may take a while. The process is a slow and gradual one.