- Present yourself and your surroundings in a clean and tidy manner.
- The Dutch enjoy a good joke, so use humour when appropriate and if you’re comfortable doing so.
- It is a good idea to keep up to date on political events and activity as the Dutch generally like talking about it and testing their ideas. However, do not involve yourself if you are uninformed.
- Try to give your most direct and honest answers to questions. Tentative responses or open-ended replies (e.g. “We’ll see” or “perhaps”) are likely to be quizzed to get to the point of how you feel.
- You may approach most Dutch people in English and expect them to understand you.
- Give criticism honestly if you feel it’s necessary. The Dutch generally appreciate input and opinions. They rarely take personal offence to comments and, while they may argue against your point, it is unlikely to damage personal rapport.
- Avoid making ostentatious or pretentious comments that give the impression that you see yourself as superior to others. The Dutch will find this contrived and obnoxious.
- Avoid interpreting the direct communication style of a Dutch person to mean that they are angry or unkind.
- Do not ask a Dutch person how much money they make as this is thought to be rude in the Netherlands and makes people uncomfortable. Similarly, avoid showing off your wealth or income.
- Avoid being late and give your Dutch counterpart a fair warming of your tardiness if you anticipate delays.
- It’s best not to criticise the Dutch Royal Family unreasonably.
- Avoid unfairly criticising the Netherlands or its liberal drug policies. Many Dutch consider themselves to live an ideal lifestyle and are very tolerant of those who live alternative ones.