Echoes of the Past
Since the time of the USSR, the country has become accustomed to outside control: in a paternalistic state, the population has always been watched over by powerful structures headed by an untouchable supreme ruler. Everyone had to play by certain rules, maintain a socially acceptable image, and this habit is passed down through generations – the underlying feeling that you are being watched does not allow you to relax and breathe deeply.
Western civilization originated in the era of antiquity, and ancient Russian – around the 9th century. Consequently, our culture is younger, and its representatives have traditionally “grown up” with an eye on foreigners: remember, for example, Peter I, who borrowed a lot of useful and not very useful things from Europe. In addition, culturologists believe that Russians initially tend to perceive the world more subjectively, emotionally, and Western rationality is needed for balance. An important role is also played by the polarity of thinking, the tendency to divide into friends and foes, good and bad, black and white.
Russians are always interested in what's going on in the world: don't feed them bread, let them criticize those who are different. Therefore, references to oneself are also sought out in the external information space.
Race for prosperity
In countries with a high standard of living, people prefer to take care of themselves and worry little about the opinions of outsiders. Yes, the Austrians do not like the Germans, the British mutually make fun of the French, but for the most part this is already part of folklore.
Russians, who relatively recently received wide access to material goods, the opportunity to earn money and travel, have not yet had time to get used to a new role and feel confident.
Many still want to appear at least as good and build an image that is worthy of respect and even (just in case) inspires fear. This image is being created quite successfully: according to polls, 86% of Russians are sure that they are afraid of them abroad, and 75% of respondents are satisfied with this. At the same time, the opinion of representatives of developed countries, with which they can compete, is important for the respondents. The unflattering judgment of some Zimbabwean is unlikely to cause such a resonance as the same words from the lips of a European or American.
What else to read on the topic
Foreigners wonder why Russians are like this afraid of drafts
We are recognized by our walk: foreigners are surprised at tightness of Russian women
What surprised an American in Russian supermarkets: 4 nuances
Internal contradictionsRussians are offended that they are underestimated, because behind their backs there is a great culture, undeniable achievements in various industries, and in general there is a lot of good in the national character, from generosity to optimism. However, many tend not only to underestimate themselves, but also to be ashamed of their compatriots. So, when traveling, some try not to give out their origin in any way, because they are afraid that they will be condemned because of someone else's less adequate behavior. But instead of embarrassingly disguising yourself, you can destroy stereotypes by your own example, remembering that most of those around you – including foreigners – do not need the role of a picky jury and for nothing.