Laid-Back and Sociable

People socializing with disposable coffee cups in their hands.

The Australian people, generally speaking, could be described as rather laid-back. They tend to downplay the urgency of seemingly pressing matters, and as recognized by foreign visitors, keep calm when their stress levels ought to be significantly higher. Of course, not all Aussies are able to always stay calm — particularly not when romance is on the line — but their overall relaxed attitude is palpable enough for many non-nationals to feel that they themselves become more “chill” after being in the country for some time.

Transmitting positivity

One of the ways in which Aussies commonly transmit their “chill” is to tell each other not to worry and that things will be alright. The same positive attitude, furthermore, has them habitually providing affirmative answers and acknowledging that other people’s ideas sound good, giving noticeable encouragement to interlocutors. However, if you are used to business always moving at top speed, laid-back Australians may be perceived as dragging things out, and a vague “yes” in the land Down Under should at times be interpreted as a polite “no”.

Courtesy

Continuing with the topic of politeness, echoing the positive feedback and the polite “no”, in many areas of Australian society, it is understood that you ought to make courteous small talk to ease social tensions. In line with this, in places like coffee shops and at airports, staffers tend to be more prone to initiating and responding to friendly chatting than personnel in many other countries, and it is expected that people everywhere say “thank you” when they receive something. Australians, moreover, generally respectfully refrain from speaking overly loudly, though they like to chat, and courteously ask you how you are doing at the beginning of almost any conversation.