The Russian mentality is Russian’s prevailing patterns, stereotypes and patterns of thinking. Russians are not necessarily Russian. An individual can be proud of being a "Cossack", "Bashkir" or "Jew" within Russia, but outside of all Russians (former and present) by tradition are called (regardless of origin) Russian. For this there are grounds: as a rule, they all have similarities in their mentality and behavior patterns. Russians have something to be proud of, we have a huge and strong country, we have talented people and a deep literature, while we ourselves know our own weaknesses. If we want to improve, we must know them. If our people are drunk by whole villages and the moral condition of modern Russian society is estimated as moral degradation, the love of Russia will be to see, in seeing all this, the specific tasks of raising Russian culture.
Today, the morality of Russia is in deep decline, but this is not a characteristic of the Russian mentality in general, but of that particular state where Russia fell in the 90s.
A.V. Yurevich writes: "Despite the positive developments in recent years, Russian society is still "traumatized by chaos." "Without any exaggeration, we can say that now our country is experiencing one of the most difficult periods in morality in its history."
It is high time to get out from this hole, and for this purpose let’s look at ourselves from outside, namely from the side of strictly scientific research. What do culture researchers mark as specific features of the Russian mentality?
Sobornost, the primacy of the general over personal: "we are all our own", we have everything in common and "what people will say". Collaboration results in the lack of the notion of privacy and the ability of any neighbour’s grandmother to intervene and tell you everything she thinks about your clothes, manners and the upbringing of your children. From the same opera the concepts of "public", "collective", absent in the West. "The opinion of the collective", "not to separate from the collective", "and what people will say?" - sobornost in its pure form. On the other hand, you will be told if you have a sticker sticking out, a lace untied, spattered trousers or a torn package with food. And also - they will blink headlights on the road to warn about the traffic police and save from the fine. Here - the rejection of "informers".
The desire to live in truth. The term "truth", often found in ancient Russian sources, means the legal norms on which the court was based (hence the expression "judge the law" or "judge in truth", that is, objectively, fairly). Sources of codification - the norms of customary law, princely practice, as well as borrowed norms from authoritative sources - especially the Holy Scriptures. Outside of Russian culture it is more often said about law-abiding, rules of propriety or following religious commandments. In the eastern mentality of Truth it is not said, in China it is important to live according to the covenants left by Confucius.
For Russian people, personal and friendly relations are more important than laws and rules: to a friend we are ready to forgive something that we will never forgive an outsider.
In the choice between mind and feeling, Russians choose a feeling: sincerity.
In the Russian mentality, expediency is almost a synonym for mercenary, selfish behaviour and not in honour, as something "American." It is difficult for an average Russian inhabitant to imagine that it is possible to act reasonably and consciously not only for oneself, but also for someone, so actions unselfish are identified with actions "from the heart," based on the senses, without the head.
A typical example: in the article "Son of twelve: the education of responsibility," the clever father wrote how he brings up in his son the habit of thinking "why" he does this or that. Comment on this article: "So I see an adult young man with a question, but why should I care for my parents, show respect for them, for what purpose? Now I am independent and parents do not need me anymore."
We responded to this comment like this: "Hmm .. Do you think that parents can only be loved if they are not" without a head "? If the parents of the children really brought up, the children have values, not just needs, and the children know how to take care of about worthy people, that is, about parents - in the first place, and precisely because the parents themselves set an example in this. "
The Russian is not a love for discipline and methodicality, a life for the soul and a mood, a change of mood from peacefulness, forgiveness and humility to a ruthless rebellion to complete annihilation - and vice versa. The Russian mentality lives more like a female model: feeling, softness, forgiveness, reacting with weeping and fury at the consequences of such a life strategy.
Certain negativism. In this regard, most Russians often see their shortcomings, not dignity. Abroad, if a person on the street accidentally touched another person, a pattern reaction of almost anyone: "Sorry", an apology and a smile. They are so well-bred. It’s sad that in Russia such patterns are more negative, you can hear "Well, where are you looking?", and something more dramatic. Russians are well aware of what anguish is, given that this word is untranslatable to other European languages. On the streets, we do not take a smile, look at the faces of others, indecently get acquainted and just talk.
A smile in Russian communication is not an obligatory attribute of politeness. In the West, the more a person smiles, the more he shows courtesy. In traditionally Russian communication, priority is the demand for sincerity. The smile of the Russians shows a personal disposition towards another person, which, naturally, does not apply to everyone. Therefore, if a person does not smile from the heart, it causes rejection. "Duty smile" has a negative connotation. Researchers call this "a phenomenon of domestic unsmiling." "The smile of the attendants in the performance of official duties in Russia was always absent - shop assistants, sellers, waiters, servants were polite, attentive, but not smiling." "There is a unique saying in Russian that is not available in other languages" Laughter without reason is a sign of a fool". The logic of this saying can not be understood by people with Western thinking."
You can only ask for help – it’s likely to help. It’s okay to beg, and a cigarette and money. A person with a constantly good mood causes suspicion - whether sick, or insincere. The one who usually smiles affably at another - if not a foreigner, then, of course, a sycophant. Of course, insincere. He says "Yes", agrees - a hypocrite. Because a sincere Russian person will certainly disagree and object. And in general, the real sincerity - this is when the floor! Then you believe in a person!
Love for arguments. "In Russian communication (source: The book "Russian: the features of national communication.” The authors Yu.E. Prokhorov, I.A. Sternin) traditionally take a big place disputes. A Russian person likes to argue on various issues, both private and general. The love of controversy over global, philosophical issues is a striking feature of Russian communicative behavior. "A Russian person is often interested in a dispute not as a means of finding truth, but as a mental exercise, as a form of emotional, sincere communication with each other. That is why in the Russian communicative culture the contending so often lose the thread of the dispute, they easily depart from the original topic." At the same time, it is quite uncharacteristic to strive for a compromise or to let the person keep his face. Uncompromising, conflict is very clear: our person is uncomfortable, if he did not argue, he could not prove his case. "As the English teacher formulated this quality: "The Russian always argues for victory." Conversely, the characteristic "conflict-free", rather, is disapproving, as "spineless", "unprincipled".
A Russian person lives by faith in the good that once descends from heaven (or simply from above) to the long-suffering Russian land: "Good will necessarily defeat evil, but then, someday." At the same time, his personal position is irresponsible: "Someone will bring us the truth, but not me personally, I myself can not do anything and will not do it." The main enemy of the Russian people for several centuries now is the state in the image of a serving-punitive class. "The source of good in the Russian mentality is the community, today they are close and friends (Gemeinschaft), and evil is projected onto the state in the form of bureaucracy (formerly a master, policeman, etc.); the way of action is "everything will be formed," and the triumph of good we think is unquestionable, but ... in the future ("not us, so are our children..."), - sociologists write.
The principle of "do not stick your head out". In the Russian mentality, a disdainful attitude towards politics and democracy as a form of political organization, in which the people act as the source and controller of the activities of power. It is typical that people really do not solve anything anywhere and democracy is a lie and hypocrisy. At the same time, tolerance and habit of lies and hypocrisy of their power due to the conviction that otherwise it is impossible.
The habit of stealing, bribery and deceit. The belief that everyone steals everywhere, but honest way to make big money is impossible. The principle - "do not steal - you will not live." Alexander I: "In Russia, there’s such theft, that I’m afraid to go to the dentist – I’ll sit in the armchair, and steal the jaw ..." Dahl: "The Russian man is not afraid of the cross, but is afraid of the pest." At the same time, Russians are characterized by a protest attitude toward punishment: punishing for minor violations - it is not good, somehow petty, you need to "forgive!", And when against this background people get used to the laws not to respect and from small violations go to large ones - here the Russian person will long sigh until he gets angry and does not arrange a pogrom. A characteristic feature of the Russian mentality is the love of freebies. Movies need to be downloaded via torrent, pay for licensed programs – not needed, dream is the joy of Lenya Golubkov in the MMM-pyramid. Our tales draw heroes who lie on the stove and eventually receive a kingdom and a sexy queen. Ivan the Fool is not strong in his diligence, but with ingenuity, when the Pike, Sivka-Burka, Skunk-Hunchback and other wolves, fish and firebirds will do everything for him.
An interesting study "What does the tale teach" (about the Russian mentality), author N.V. Latova, graduate student of the IS RAS.
Health care is not a value, sport is strange, it is normal to be sick, but it is strictly forbidden to abandon the poor, including it is considered morally unacceptable to leave those who did not care about their health and as a result became a helpless invalid after a fact. Women seek rich and successful, but love the poor and the sick. "How can he be without me?" - hence co-dependence as a norm of life.
The place of humanism in us takes pity. If humanism welcomes the care of a person by placing on a pedestal a free, developed, strong person, then pity guides care to the unfortunate and sick. According to the statistics of Mail.ru and RCISO, adult assistance in popularity is in fifth place after helping children, the elderly, animals and helping environmental problems. People feel more sorry for dogs than for people, and it is more important for people out of pity to support unsustainable children, rather than adults who could still live and work. Russians, if they really want to give money, then exclusively for one patient, well, that is, for one child, and preferably the patient, the sickest, preferably incurable, is deadly. And if the child does not die, then no one wants to give money for the rehabilitation of the child after the illness. The feeling of pity is no longer working, and there is no understanding of charity in the Russian mentality today. Now we are on the 123rd place in the world from 135 countries studied in the rating of charity, and none of the countries of the former Soviet Union is below us in this rating. 76% of the population of our country did not sacrifice anyone and never even thought about it. The social responsibility of the company, that is, whether a particular company is engaged in charity or not, is not important for Russians, and those who do charity all the time look with disbelief: 40% are convinced that charity is done for the sake of advertising, condemn those who talk about his charity work and insist that charity should only happen secretly. On the other hand, in recent years, charity fees have been growing significantly (up to 50% per year), but mainly at the expense of medium-sized businesses.
The total negativity of Russians, their mutual distrust and the habit of "living a sense" - it seems, is one of the most problematic features of the Russian mentality. But the fact that in modern Russia (unlike the latest trends in Western societies) negatively concern gays and lesbians, it is hardly necessary to assess how backward Russians are, perhaps this is our strength and our spiritual health potential.
In the comments to the article, someone agrees with a similar portrait, someone accuses the author of Russophobia. No, the author loves Russia and believes in it, for a decade already engaged in educational and educational activities for his country, including his own efforts to create a completely non-profit portal Psychologos - the most popular psychological portal of Russia. On Psychologos, there are no enemies and we do not need to look for them here, our task is in another: namely, to think about how to raise our country. How do we change the position of the Victim to the position of the Author so that, without referring to circumstances, everyone should take responsibility for his life; how to teach yourself order and discipline, respect for property and just someone else s opinion, how to stop drinking and start taking care of your health, how to internal anguish change to the inner Sun and a sincere smile ... Let’s face it, friends?