Ce la Vie: 7 Real French Habits That Could Be Useful to Us

France is one of the most mythologized countries in the world, where before the revolution there were strong historical and cultural ties with the state of baguettes and berets. In the 21st, magazines and cosmetics brands still use the stereotypical and contrived image of a Parisian woman as a marketing tool, and it works great. And yet we still have a lot to learn from the French. We remembered seven real French habits that should be adopted.

Respect your personal time

The French working overtime is either a mistake of nature, or simply does not exist. The French really respect their personal time and understand that rest is just as important as work. For Russians, this can be annoying from habit, because that is why it is so difficult to find a supermarket in France that works seven days a week, not to mention convenience stores. Nevertheless, many of us should learn to take our free time seriously and stop being rabid workaholics, and at the same time not require others to work outside the working day. Well-spent free time is a contribution to productivity on weekdays.

Enjoy food (and wine)

This habit is directly related to respect for personal time: the French understand that they cannot get pleasure from food or drinks in a hurry, so their meals are long, and one cup of coffee can take an hour or two. Food is not only fuel, but also a source of pleasure, the result of the intellectual efforts of the chef and time for socialization. There are many benefits to this approach. First, if you eat slowly, you can get satiated with less food. Secondly, dinner will turn into a mental and emotional reboot, and, as a result, life satisfaction will increase. Third, eating time becomes quality time with loved ones — family, friends, or coworkers. At a general dinner, the French always put their gadgets aside in order to get the most out of both the meal and the communication at this meal.

Refuse snacks

Probably one of those rare habits that are attributed to Parisians and which really exists in France. Here they eat two or three times a day, each meal is quite voluminous, with dessert. This has some very real health benefits: every meal is a strain on the pancreas, so the fewer meals a day, the better it does.

Stand for your rights

A frequent complaint by foreigners in France is that strikes are paralyzing. But in general, the French habit of going to rallies against government decisions that they don’t like is absolutely correct, because this is how it should be in a healthy civil society. It would not hurt Russians to know their rights and demand respect for them from the state, employers, and any other people and institutions in power.

Don’t encroach the personal boundaries of the strangers

In France, unlike in Russia, no one will comment aloud on how a stranger is dressed, what expression he or she should have, and how mothers should raise their children. Here they will not even be indignant out loud that someone is smoking nearby. It would be great if the habit expressed in the slogan “live and let live”, which implies that you need to look after yourself and your life, and not others, has taken root in Russia.

Enjoy little things of life

The French, following their strategy of respecting personal time, are happy to spend it on what gives them pleasure, and they know how to find joy in the little things: slowly and with gusto smoke a cigarette, drink a glass of wine in the same manner, just sit in the sun or breathe the air in the park. In our country, this is still often perceived as a waste of time and parasitism, and it is from small joys that a whole, great, real happiness is most reliably formed.

Talk about sex

The French speak freely about sex, and this is very convenient: all problems and acute angles in a relationship, whether for years or for one night, disappear faster with an honest conversation, and there will be more pleasure if partners are able to express their needs and desires and listen to each other to friend. After all, sex is an important part of life, and it’s rather strange not to be able to talk about it than to be able to.