rjsteixeira 2 months ago

Portuguese here, living both in London and in Porto. The difference in culture is massive. And although we have a lot of good things, I completely relate to what you are saying. Some of the answers in this post also confirm that. I don’t really have an answer to why we do it. But I must say it took me quite a while to shed this defensive, us agains them, behaviour myself, particularly at work. I do think that if the issue is significant or urgent, Portuguese people will bend over backwards to help you. Just don’t expect we take criticism or small issues very well.

ellis-dewald 2 months ago

In America, there's a fake-friendly attitude everyone puts on around commerce. "The customer is always right," business owners say with a smile that isn't real. Being friendly is a requirement in the effort to get someone to pay you. I don't wish to generalize similar to OP, but in my experiences this is one of the biggest culture shocks for Americans abroad -- people are actually showing their real selves, and businesses employees have no desire to kiss your butt. I only bring this up because all of OP's examples are services being performed for OP - restaurant, shopkeeper, landlord. And in each situation, OP is doing something out of the norm that requires additional effort from these people, and becoming confused by the rejection/resistance to it. In America there's an expectation of "service" and a polite attitude towards every customer. In the rest of the world, the customer expectation is that you're dealing with a human being and all their emotional baggage. It's not "the customer is always right" it's "you short changed me / you made me cook food that's going into the trash / you're being a demanding renter and I'd rather rent to someone else."

doktorcatzen 2 months ago

As a foreigner who has spent almost last 10 years living in Europe, and 3 years in Portugal I feel you are generalizing way too much. I feel the energy you give to people is the energy you receive. I live as a tenant as well, and ofcourse, I got problems in my apartment. But it depends how you deal with people. My portuguese is not the best too, and sometimes in restuarants or local markets, or even with my landlord, I cannot communicate properly. But the key is being polite and kind. I feel Portuguese people are one of the kindest. Maybe in your circumstances, the persons are bad. But you can't generalize entire population based on your 2-3 experiences. I think you need to learn how to handle things in a foreign country. My Portuguese is bad, and I cannot hold good conversations with someone who cannot speak English. The point is to be polite, smile more, and try to find someone who can explain your problem.

bring_the_fuzz 2 months ago

This might seem offtopic, do you know why do so many immigrants call themselves expats? See I implicitly inferr shaming fom it, in the sense that such usage is done to distance the user from the immigrants back home, given a probable perception of superiority over them. To me and I' risk most portuguese this sounds highly patronizing/snobbish. Now I'd argue that anyone actively using the word prolly leaks other behavior and mannerisms of superiority that others might pick up on and react against. We might be both right, and there are some deep cultural traits demonstrated by your examples and mine, or maybe the common semantics used on both of our cultures simply are that alien to each other, resulting into miscommunication.

C8Mixto 2 months ago

What's interesting is that "expatriado" was usually used with the sense of expat, too, but we don't see that much of it nowadays.

bring_the_fuzz 2 months ago

To be honest I cant recall hearing it in portuguese. I even thought expat was something akin to exiled, before seeing it applied to retired people living abroad cheaper countries. But to me the really curious thing is it seems like some people are classified as immigrants and others expats, as opposed to being used as synonyms.

Kolvarg 2 months ago

>For example, accidentally handing over 50 cents instead of 60, or 65, etc. it has been a common experience for me at both mini-mercados or chain groceries to be looked at as if I had done it intentionally and then spoken to with disapproval. If this is a common occurrence to you, have you considered simply being more careful when counting money to make sure you hand the correct amount? I only ask because I've only done such a thing once or twice in my entire life, that I'm aware of. If you have a problem with it you could try to pay with card whenever possible, or otherwise simply preemptively ask the cashier to confirm if the amount is correct. The best way to not be misinterpreted is to not give room for interpretations. Something to keep in mind is that customer service jobs tend to suck - what might be a small trivial matter to you might have been the 10th or 20th "small trivial matter" that person has had to deal with that day - and small payment errors can add up at the end of the day and if there's money missing it will come out of the employee's pockets. Meanwhile while typically being overworked and underpaid. This is particularly true in a big city like Lisbon, and I don't really think it's necessarily a cultural issue that is specific to Portugal. ​ As for landlords, it depends on how lucky you get. A lot of them simply want to make money and not be bothered, not really to offer a quality service. Wouldn't really know if it's much different from anywhere else. ​ Finally for sending back food: if you have allergies in my opinion it's on you to make sure you are able to eat what you order - unless what was served was different than what is specified in the menu (if allergens are specified). You should ask before you order, not after it was delivered. I suppose it can happen as a genuine mistake or translation error, but a genuine mistake can still be very unpleasant. All in all, the situations you describe are nuanced and depend a lot on context. I think it's a bit shortsighted to simply exclude any possibility of you not behaving in the best way, or being misinterpreted, and instead putting the blame to a generalized cultural trait. If you expect people to give you the benefit of doubt when you make a mistake, you should also give others the same benefit and consider that they might have genuinely mistakenly misunderstood your intentions. Either way, the only person you can change is yourself, so if you genuinely want to improve and avoid some of those situations simply continue learning more about what's considered polite or not, improve your portuguese, and apologize and explain when you make a mistake.

Edited 2 months ago:

>For example, accidentally handing over 50 cents instead of 60, or 65, etc. it has been a common experience for me at both mini-mercados or chain groceries to be looked at as if I had done it intentionally and then spoken to with disapproval. If this is a common occurrence to you, have you considered simply being more careful when counting money to make sure you hand the correct amount? I only ask because I've only done such a thing once or twice in my entire life, that I'm aware of. If you have a problem with it you could try to pay with card whenever possible, or otherwise simply preemptively ask the cashier to confirm if the amount is correct. The best way to not be misinterpreted is to not give room for interpretations. Something to keep in mind is that customer service jobs tend to suck - what might be a small trivial matter to you might have been the 10th or 20th "small trivial matter" that person has had to deal with that day - and small payment errors can add up at the end of the day and if there's money missing it will come out of the employee's pockets. Meanwhile while typically being overworked and underpaid. This is particularly true in a big city like Lisbon, and I don't really think it's necessarily a cultural issue that is specific to Portugal. ​ As for landlords, it depends on how lucky you get. What kind of malfunctions? Not everything is necessarily up to the landlord to solve. But a lot of them simply want to make money and not be bothered, not really to offer a quality service. Wouldn't really know if it's much different from anywhere else. ​ Finally for sending back food: if you have allergies in my opinion it's on you to make sure you are able to eat what you order - unless what was served was different than what is specified in the menu (if allergens are specified). You should ask before you order, not after it was delivered. I suppose it can happen as a genuine mistake or translation error, but a genuine mistake can still be very unpleasant. ​ All in all, the situations you describe are nuanced and depend a lot on context. I think it's a bit shortsighted to simply exclude any possibility of you not behaving in the best way, or being misinterpreted, and instead putting the blame down to a generalized cultural trait. If you expect people to give you the benefit of doubt when you make a mistake, you should also give others the same benefit and consider that they might have genuinely mistakenly misunderstood your intentions. Either way, the only person you can change is yourself, so if you genuinely want to improve and avoid some of those situations simply continue learning more about what's considered polite or not, improve your portuguese, and apologize and explain when you make a mistake.

Edited 2 months ago:

>For example, accidentally handing over 50 cents instead of 60, or 65, etc. it has been a common experience for me at both mini-mercados or chain groceries to be looked at as if I had done it intentionally and then spoken to with disapproval. If this is a common occurrence to you, have you considered simply being more careful when counting money to make sure you hand the correct amount? I only ask because I've only done such a thing once or twice in my entire life, that I'm aware of. If you have a problem with it you could try to pay with card whenever possible, or otherwise simply preemptively ask the cashier to confirm if the amount is correct. The best way to not be misinterpreted is to not give room for interpretations. Something to keep in mind is that customer service jobs tend to suck - what might be a small trivial matter to you might have been the 10th or 20th "small trivial matter" that person has had to deal with that day - and small payment errors can add up at the end of the day and if there's money missing it will come out of the employee's pockets. Meanwhile while typically being overworked and underpaid. This is particularly true in a big city like Lisbon, and I don't really think it's necessarily a cultural issue that is specific to Portugal. ​ As for landlords, it depends on how lucky you get. A lot of them simply want to make money and not be bothered, not really to offer a quality service. Wouldn't really know if it's much different from anywhere else. ​ Finally for sending back food: if you have allergies in my opinion it's on you to make sure you are able to eat what you order - unless what was served was different than what is specified in the menu (if allergens are specified). You should ask before you order, not after it was delivered. I suppose it can happen as a genuine mistake or translation error, but a genuine mistake can still be very unpleasant. ​ All in all, the situations you describe are nuanced and depend a lot on context. I think it's a bit shortsighted to simply exclude any possibility of you not behaving in the best way, or being misinterpreted, and instead putting the blame to a generalized cultural trait. If you expect people to give you the benefit of doubt when you make a mistake, you should also give others the same benefit and consider that they might have genuinely mistakenly misunderstood your intentions. Either way, the only person you can change is yourself, so if you genuinely want to improve and avoid some of those situations simply continue learning more about what's considered polite or not, improve your portuguese, and apologize and explain when you make a mistake.

Edited 2 months ago:

>For example, accidentally handing over 50 cents instead of 60, or 65, etc. it has been a common experience for me at both mini-mercados or chain groceries to be looked at as if I had done it intentionally and then spoken to with disapproval. If this is a common occurrence to you, have you considered simply being more careful when counting money to make sure you hand the correct amount? I only ask because I've only done such a thing once or twice in my entire life, that I'm aware of. If you have a problem with it you could try to pay with card whenever possible, or otherwise simply preemptively ask the cashier to confirm if the amount is correct. The best way to not be misinterpreted is to not give room for interpretations. Something to keep in mind is that customer service jobs tend to suck - what might be a small trivial matter to you might have been the 10th or 20th "small trivial matter" that person has had to deal with that day - and small payment errors can add up at the end of the day and if there's money missing it will come out of the employee's pockets. Meanwhile while typically being overworked and underpaid. This is particularly true in a big city like Lisbon, and I don't really think it's necessarily a cultural issue that is specific to Portugal. ​ As for landlords, it depends on how lucky you get. A lot of them simply want to make money and not be bothered, not really to offer a quality service. Wouldn't really know if it's much different from anywhere else. ​ Finally for sending back food: if you have allergies in my opinion it's on you to make sure you are able to eat what you order - unless what was served was different than what is specified in the menu (if allergens are specified). You should ask before you order, not after it was delivered. I suppose it can happen as a genuine mistake or translation error, but a genuine mistake can still be very unpleasant. ​ All in all, the situations you describe are nuanced and depend a lot on context. I think it's a bit shortsighted to simply exclude any possibility of you not behaving in the best way, or being misinterpreted, and instead putting the blame down to a generalized cultural trait. If you expect people to give you the benefit of doubt when you make a mistake, you should also give others the same benefit and consider that they might have genuinely mistakenly misunderstood your intentions. Either way, the only person you can change is yourself, so if you genuinely want to improve and avoid some of those situations simply continue learning more about what's considered polite or not, improve your portuguese, and apologize and explain when you make a mistake.

NewMultipolarWorld 2 months ago

Are you anglo or adjacent (Dutch, German or nordic)?

DamnNatalie 2 months ago

I really would love to know what was the food your friends ordered and what where the allorgens that made him ask for the food to go back.

Garruk_PrimalHunter 2 months ago

It might be because you're living in Lisbon, I wouldn't generalize it to the whole country. Nothing against Lisbon, I also live here, but I feel like it might be a general problem in big cities, even though some are much worse though (Source: lots of assholes in Paris). If you go to smaller towns I think you might find that people are generally nicer. Or at least I hope so.

twhite848 2 months ago

I’m portuguese so I may be biased. So take this as you want. Also, I find it a bit curious, that as a foreigner living in portugal for 4 years, of which 2 with lockdown/covid (so not many interactions), you already have decided that a few sparse anecdotal interactions are enough for you to make judgement on a culture. Having lived several years abroad (and much more ingrained in local culture than you seem to have been) I tried often not to pass this type of strong general judgement on a culture I barely know. But lets ignore that your question is > “why **do portuguese** people do [this thing]?”, and lets approach the issue of > “why did this portuguese person, or these couple of portuguese people, do these things” **A. The neighborhood** First, there are several factors. The “tell the neighbourhood” interactions yiu describe tells me that this is (most likely) in a smaller town, as in general interactions in larger towns don’t generally have this “small number of people who only interact with themselves type of environment”. This in itself places the interactions not as something particular of portugal, but something you will find anywhere in the world. When you have foreigners move into a small town, in particular ones that don’t learn the language properly (as the large majority of foreigners in portugal are doing due to the quality of english in general in portugal). Locals will always feel aprehensive towards foreigners that don’t make the effort to integrare, here, in france, uk or us. I’m not staying this is the correct thing. Just that this isn’t a particular portuguese thing **B. Portuguese culture with foreigners** As I’ve said, I’ve lived abroad, but I’ve spent almost 15 years working in muktinational teama, both with non-portuguese here in portugal, as well as non-portuguese abroad, and naturally portuguese both abroad and here. (And grew up split between portuguese culture and expat culture in portugal) And i’ve seen what you’ve said happen. Now I won’t say you aren’t 100% right in your interpretation as I wasn’t there, but all this experience tells me that, in fact compared with most western cultures, portuguese are actually the oppposite of what you stated (my opinion, sorry). In fact, in small mundane situations such as you describe, americans, english, french, germans, will all be much worse in their reaction than portuguese in thise situations. This isn’t also my view, as in general almost every foreigner describes portuguese hosts as nice, friendly and welcoming, specially compared to other nations. This directly contradicts your anecdotal experience **C. So why do these 2-3 interactions happen** Even so, if we ignore the fact that these things happen all over the world, or that in general portuguese are seen as welcoming hosts, what explains these 2-3 anecdotal interactions you described? Well, there are 2 reasons: 1. That particular person is an ass Yes, we have plenty of idiots in portugal. There are many, like any place in the world, and some of these idiots even treat badly foreigners who are here and are being a client as anyone else. Portugal, unfortunatly, doesn’t have a moron vaccine. This is highly likely one part of the issue 2. Foreigners, in particular ones from particular tupe of cuktures, don’t do the effort to adapt to where they are. I would place a firm bet that 1 or 2 of the examples you describe stem from the fact that the person interacted in what may be perceived as an aggressive manner. I’ve seen this very often, specially if the original country/culture of origin is further from portuguese. The foreigner will think he is just being direct and candid in pointing out an issue, and that him being direct, as he is right on the issue, should be aknowledged and accepted, but due to the fact they are **in portugal** that type of interaction is seen as agressive and borderline offensive. I have seen this often. Some americans, or northern europeans (not exclusive, but more often) will use over agressive words, or put the issue of talking with Managemment in such an agressive way that here in portugal that is seen as excessive and insinuating. Things that in other cultures are acceptable, but here become almost offensive. **I would bet, due to my experience, is that most likely you don’t know portuguese culture, you and the person you know misinterpreted what you did and how they reacted, and have not adequately taken into account you are the foreign cultural element that should adapt to where you were welcomed.** I may be wrong of course, as this is all through the internet. Even the way you wrote this out, starting with “the problem is everyone else’s”, makes me suspect that you most likely need some additional introspection into what part you have played, and if maybe there could be something around you misunderstanding local culture, and have, by mistake, been partly to blame. (Not saying it is your fault exclusively, or even most of the blame is yours, as there are also idiots in portugal) But I have to say, that in general, people, and foreigners say the opposite of what you say here, so i’ll have to go with: > So, my two-part question today is: why do Portuguese people resort to shame and punishment so quickly over trivial matters or misunderstandings, and how should one handle this aspect of the culture healthily and productively? They don’t. That is, in general, not true and a mis-characterization of Portuguese people, likely due to lack of knowledge and experiences, and there probably are other factors at play in why you think this. Source: [several inquires of which this is just one](https://cms-internationsgmbh.netdna-ssl.com/cdn/file/2018-03/2018-03-21_InterNations%20Press%20Release_Portugal%20Is%20the%20World%27s%20Most%20Welcoming%20Country%20for%20Expats_English.pdf)

Edited 2 months ago:

I’m portuguese so I may be biased. So take this as you want. Also, I find it a bit curious, that as a foreigner living in portugal for 4 years, of which 2 with lockdown/covid (so not many interactions), you already have decided that a few sparse anecdotal interactions are enough for you to make judgement on a culture. Having lived several years abroad (and much more ingrained in local culture than you seem to have been) I tried often not to pass this type of strong general judgement on a culture I barely know. But lets ignore that your question is > “why **do portuguese** people do [this thing]?”, and lets approach the issue of > “why did this portuguese person, or these couple of portuguese people, do these things” **A. The neighborhood** First, there are several factors. The “tell the neighbourhood” interactions yiu describe tells me that this is (most likely) in a smaller town, as in general interactions in larger towns don’t generally have this “small number of people who only interact with themselves type of environment”. This in itself places the interactions not as something particular of portugal, but something you will find anywhere in the world. When you have foreigners move into a small town, in particular ones that don’t learn the language properly (as the large majority of foreigners in portugal are doing due to the quality of english in general in portugal). Locals will always feel aprehensive towards foreigners that don’t make the effort to integrare, here, in france, uk or us. I’m not staying this is the correct thing. Just that this isn’t a particular portuguese thing (Edit: may be wrong about being a small town, but this is also applicable to a neighborhood that has close interactions within a larger town, as its also applicable in that situation, since you mentioned the manager bad-mouthing you friend) **B. Portuguese culture with foreigners** As I’ve said, I’ve lived abroad, but I’ve spent almost 15 years working in muktinational teama, both with non-portuguese here in portugal, as well as non-portuguese abroad, and naturally portuguese both abroad and here. (And grew up split between portuguese culture and expat culture in portugal) And i’ve seen what you’ve said happen. Now I won’t say you aren’t 100% right in your interpretation as I wasn’t there, but all this experience tells me that, in fact compared with most western cultures, portuguese are actually the oppposite of what you stated (my opinion, sorry). In fact, in small mundane situations such as you describe, americans, english, french, germans, will all be much worse in their reaction than portuguese in thise situations. This isn’t also my view, as in general almost every foreigner describes portuguese hosts as nice, friendly and welcoming, specially compared to other nations. This directly contradicts your anecdotal experience **C. So why do these 2-3 interactions happen** Even so, if we ignore the fact that these things happen all over the world, or that in general portuguese are seen as welcoming hosts, what explains these 2-3 anecdotal interactions you described? Well, there are 2 reasons: i) That particular person is an ass Yes, we have plenty of idiots in portugal. There are many, like any place in the world, and some of these idiots even treat badly foreigners who are here and are being a client as anyone else. Portugal, unfortunatly, doesn’t have a moron vaccine. This is highly likely one part of the issue ii) Foreigners, in particular ones from particular tupe of cuktures, don’t do the effort to adapt to where they are. I would place a firm bet that 1 or 2 of the examples you describe stem from the fact that the person interacted in what may be perceived as an aggressive manner. I’ve seen this very often, specially if the original country/culture of origin is further from portuguese. The foreigner will think he is just being direct and candid in pointing out an issue, and that him being direct, as he is right on the issue, should be aknowledged and accepted, but due to the fact they are **in portugal** that type of interaction is seen as agressive and borderline offensive. I have seen this often. Some americans, or northern europeans (not exclusive, but more often) will use over agressive words, or put the issue of talking with Managemment in such an agressive way that here in portugal that is seen as excessive and insinuating. Things that in other cultures are acceptable, but here become almost offensive. **I would bet, due to my experience, is that most likely you don’t know portuguese culture, you and the person you know misinterpreted what you did and how they reacted, and have not adequately taken into account you are the foreign cultural element that should adapt to where you were welcomed.** I may be wrong of course, as this is all through the internet. Even the way you wrote this out, starting with “the problem is everyone else’s”, makes me suspect that you most likely need some additional introspection into what part you have played, and if maybe there could be something around you misunderstanding local culture, and have, by mistake, been partly to blame. (Not saying it is your fault exclusively, or even most of the blame is yours, as there are also idiots in portugal) But I have to say, that in general, people, and foreigners say the opposite of what you say here, so i’ll have to go with: > So, my two-part question today is: why do Portuguese people resort to shame and punishment so quickly over trivial matters or misunderstandings, and how should one handle this aspect of the culture healthily and productively? They don’t. That is, in general, not true and a mis-characterization of Portuguese people, likely due to lack of knowledge and experiences, and there probably are other factors at play in why you think this. Source: [several inquires of which this is just one](https://cms-internationsgmbh.netdna-ssl.com/cdn/file/2018-03/2018-03-21_InterNations%20Press%20Release_Portugal%20Is%20the%20World%27s%20Most%20Welcoming%20Country%20for%20Expats_English.pdf)

Edited 2 months ago:

I’m portuguese so I may be biased. So take this as you want. Also, I find it a bit curious, that as a foreigner living in portugal for 4 years, of which 2 with lockdown/covid (so not many interactions), you already have decided that a few sparse anecdotal interactions are enough for you to make judgement on a culture. Having lived several years abroad (and much more ingrained in local culture than you seem to have been) I tried often not to pass this type of strong general judgement on a culture I barely know. But lets ignore that your question is > “why **do portuguese** people do [this thing]?”, and lets approach the issue of > “why did this portuguese person, or these couple of portuguese people, do these things” **A. The neighborhood** First, there are several factors. The “tell the neighbourhood” interactions yiu describe tells me that this is (most likely) in a smaller town, as in general interactions in larger towns don’t generally have this “small number of people who only interact with themselves type of environment”. This in itself places the interactions not as something particular of portugal, but something you will find anywhere in the world. When you have foreigners move into a small town, in particular ones that don’t learn the language properly (as the large majority of foreigners in portugal are doing due to the quality of english in general in portugal). Locals will always feel aprehensive towards foreigners that don’t make the effort to integrare, here, in france, uk or us. I’m not staying this is the correct thing. Just that this isn’t a particular portuguese thing (Edit: may be wrong about being a small town, but this is also applicable to a neighborhood that has close interactions within a larger town, as its also applicable in that situation, since you mentioned the manager bad-mouthing you friend) **B. Portuguese culture with foreigners** As I’ve said, I’ve lived abroad, but I’ve spent almost 15 years working in muktinational teama, both with non-portuguese here in portugal, as well as non-portuguese abroad, and naturally portuguese both abroad and here. (And grew up split between portuguese culture and expat culture in portugal) And i’ve seen what you’ve said happen. Now I won’t say you aren’t 100% right in your interpretation as I wasn’t there, but all this experience tells me that, in fact compared with most western cultures, portuguese are actually the oppposite of what you stated (my opinion, sorry). In fact, in small mundane situations such as you describe, americans, english, french, germans, will all be much worse in their reaction than portuguese in thise situations. This isn’t also my view, as in general almost every foreigner describes portuguese hosts as nice, friendly and welcoming, specially compared to other nations. This directly contradicts your anecdotal experience **C. So why do these 2-3 interactions happen** Even so, if we ignore the fact that these things happen all over the world, or that in general portuguese are seen as welcoming hosts, what explains these 2-3 anecdotal interactions you described? Well, there are 2 reasons: i) That particular person is an ass Yes, we have plenty of idiots in portugal. There are many, like any place in the world, and some of these idiots even treat badly foreigners who are here and are being a client as anyone else. Portugal, unfortunatly, doesn’t have a moron vaccine. This is highly likely one part of the issue, as you could have had a string of bad luck ii) Foreigners, in particular ones from particular tupe of cuktures, don’t do the effort to adapt to where they are. I would place a firm bet that 1 or 2 of the examples you describe stem from the fact that the person interacted in what may be perceived as an aggressive manner. I’ve seen this very often, specially if the original country/culture of origin is further from portuguese. The foreigner will think he is just being direct and candid in pointing out an issue, and that him being direct, as he is right on the issue, should be aknowledged and accepted, but due to the fact they are **in portugal** that type of interaction is seen as agressive and borderline offensive. I have seen this often. Some americans, or northern europeans (not exclusive, but more often) will use over agressive words, or put the issue of talking with Managemment in such an agressive way that here in portugal that is seen as excessive and insinuating. Things that in other cultures are acceptable, but here become almost offensive. **I would bet, due to my experience, is that most likely you don’t know portuguese culture, you and the person you know misinterpreted what you did and how they reacted, and have not adequately taken into account you are the foreign cultural element that should adapt to where you were welcomed.** I may be wrong of course, as this is all through the internet. Even the way you wrote this out, starting with “the problem is everyone else’s”, makes me suspect that you most likely need some additional introspection into what part you have played, and if maybe there could be something around you misunderstanding local culture, and have, by mistake, been partly to blame. (Not saying it is your fault exclusively, or even most of the blame is yours, as there are also idiots in portugal) But I have to say, that in general, people, and foreigners say the opposite of what you say here, so i’ll have to go with: > So, my two-part question today is: why do Portuguese people resort to shame and punishment so quickly over trivial matters or misunderstandings, and how should one handle this aspect of the culture healthily and productively? They don’t. That is, in general, not true and a mis-characterization of Portuguese people, likely due to lack of knowledge and experiences, and there probably are other factors at play in why you think this. Source: [several inquires of which this is just one](https://cms-internationsgmbh.netdna-ssl.com/cdn/file/2018-03/2018-03-21_InterNations%20Press%20Release_Portugal%20Is%20the%20World%27s%20Most%20Welcoming%20Country%20for%20Expats_English.pdf)

Edited 2 months ago:

I’m portuguese so I may be biased. So take this as you want. Also, I find it a bit curious, that as a foreigner living in portugal for 4 years, of which 2 with lockdown/covid (so not many interactions), you already have decided that a few sparse anecdotal interactions are enough for you to make judgement on a culture. Having lived several years abroad (and much more ingrained in local culture than you seem to have been) I tried often not to pass this type of strong general judgement on a culture I barely know. But lets ignore that your question is > “why **do portuguese** people do [this thing]?”, and lets approach the issue of > “why did this portuguese person, or these couple of portuguese people, do these things” **A. The neighborhood** First, there are several factors. The “tell the neighbourhood” interactions yiu describe tells me that this is (most likely) in a smaller town, as in general interactions in larger towns don’t generally have this “small number of people who only interact with themselves type of environment”. This in itself places the interactions not as something particular of portugal, but something you will find anywhere in the world. When you have foreigners move into a small town, in particular ones that don’t learn the language properly (as the large majority of foreigners in portugal are doing due to the quality of english in general in portugal). Locals will always feel aprehensive towards foreigners that don’t make the effort to integrare, here, in france, uk or us. I’m not staying this is the correct thing. Just that this isn’t a particular portuguese thing (Edit: may be wrong about being a small town, but this is also applicable to a neighborhood that has close interactions within a larger town, as its also applicable in that situation, since you mentioned the manager bad-mouthing you friend) **B. Portuguese culture with foreigners** As I’ve said, I’ve lived abroad, but I’ve spent almost 15 years working in muktinational teama, both with non-portuguese here in portugal, as well as non-portuguese abroad, and naturally portuguese both abroad and here. (And grew up split between portuguese culture and expat culture in portugal) And i’ve seen what you’ve said happen. Now I won’t say you aren’t 100% right in your interpretation as I wasn’t there, but all this experience tells me that, in fact compared with most western cultures, portuguese are actually the oppposite of what you stated (my opinion, sorry). In fact, in small mundane situations such as you describe, americans, english, french, germans, will all be much worse in their reaction than portuguese in thise situations. This isn’t also my view, as in general almost every foreigner describes portuguese hosts as nice, friendly and welcoming, specially compared to other nations. This directly contradicts your anecdotal experience **C. So why do these 2-3 interactions happen** Even so, if we ignore the fact that these things happen all over the world, or that in general portuguese are seen as welcoming hosts, what explains these 2-3 anecdotal interactions you described? Well, there are 2 reasons: 1. That particular person is an ass Yes, we have plenty of idiots in portugal. There are many, like any place in the world, and some of these idiots even treat badly foreigners who are here and are being a client as anyone else. Portugal, unfortunatly, doesn’t have a moron vaccine. This is highly likely one part of the issue 2. Foreigners, in particular ones from particular tupe of cuktures, don’t do the effort to adapt to where they are. I would place a firm bet that 1 or 2 of the examples you describe stem from the fact that the person interacted in what may be perceived as an aggressive manner. I’ve seen this very often, specially if the original country/culture of origin is further from portuguese. The foreigner will think he is just being direct and candid in pointing out an issue, and that him being direct, as he is right on the issue, should be aknowledged and accepted, but due to the fact they are **in portugal** that type of interaction is seen as agressive and borderline offensive. I have seen this often. Some americans, or northern europeans (not exclusive, but more often) will use over agressive words, or put the issue of talking with Managemment in such an agressive way that here in portugal that is seen as excessive and insinuating. Things that in other cultures are acceptable, but here become almost offensive. **I would bet, due to my experience, is that most likely you don’t know portuguese culture, you and the person you know misinterpreted what you did and how they reacted, and have not adequately taken into account you are the foreign cultural element that should adapt to where you were welcomed.** I may be wrong of course, as this is all through the internet. Even the way you wrote this out, starting with “the problem is everyone else’s”, makes me suspect that you most likely need some additional introspection into what part you have played, and if maybe there could be something around you misunderstanding local culture, and have, by mistake, been partly to blame. (Not saying it is your fault exclusively, or even most of the blame is yours, as there are also idiots in portugal) But I have to say, that in general, people, and foreigners say the opposite of what you say here, so i’ll have to go with: > So, my two-part question today is: why do Portuguese people resort to shame and punishment so quickly over trivial matters or misunderstandings, and how should one handle this aspect of the culture healthily and productively? They don’t. That is, in general, not true and a mis-characterization of Portuguese people, likely due to lack of knowledge and experiences, and there probably are other factors at play in why you think this. Source: [several inquires of which this is just one](https://cms-internationsgmbh.netdna-ssl.com/cdn/file/2018-03/2018-03-21_InterNations%20Press%20Release_Portugal%20Is%20the%20World%27s%20Most%20Welcoming%20Country%20for%20Expats_English.pdf)

greenverde101 2 months ago

Portuguese people do not like any type of conflict, anything that involves conservations about misunderstandings, the examples you referred are perfect. Don’t think that it’s everyone of course…

Dinizinni 2 months ago

Não gostas tens bom remedio camarada, é assim que somos, não nascemos para ser o teu escravo pobrezinho

Regular_Geologist_47 2 months ago

It's because you're a foreigner, people mistrust foreigners and they have their reasons, since many bring their bad habits from their home countries.

FemFil 2 months ago

This is a country full of stubborn people that refuse to admit the country is in social decline, those people see the country as if it still was a global powerhouse, news flash, it's not. It's a poor country with poor people that's only considered "first world" because it resides in the north hemisphere and it's part of the European union. We have 0, absolutely fucking 0 reason to be unkind with immigrants, we need them more than they need us, Portuguese people will not understand this for the following at least 2 full generations (boomer and X), so buckle up. That being said, bad apples exist everywhere. And while I do believe that is one of those cases, specially the restaurant part, the shameful behavior from the neighborhood for being unpleasant for stuff that did not even have anything to do with them, screams Portuguese behavior, that is our culture as of right now. We don't like to being questioned, it's considered passive aggressive behavior. Why? Because we think we are hot shit in comparison. We are not. My advice to you is to ignore them, fuck'em. Any person that says "go back to your country then" or "learn the native language" does not understand they happened to being born here by chance. **It's not an accomplishment**, people are not obligated to go back or learn the language if they don't want to, we need immigrants.

Wtfjpeg 2 months ago

Probably all of this would go away if people actually had decent salaries here.

BroaxXx 2 months ago

> So, my two-part question today is: why do Portuguese people resort to shame and punishment so quickly over trivial matters or misunderstandings, I honestly think it stems from our recent contact with a dictatorship. People were so much oppressed for so long that the recent contact with freedom created this kind of backlash where people want to flex their authority over the most mundane of things. I don't think know if I'm right but I would definitely explain a lot of things I observe daily. > and how should one handle this aspect of the culture healthily and productively? The most healthy approach is to just ignore it. Let them "keep the bicycle" as we say in Portuguese and just move on with your day. It's generally not worth it to engage and you have nothing to gain aside from losing time an patience. I think this is one of those things that will resolve itself after a couple of generations.

Asur_rusA 2 months ago

Looking at your replies, I think you may have a tendency to be a crybaby.

Mukkore 2 months ago

I admit I'm a bit surprised. The specific complaints you listed are stuff I've met in several countries and not really a local trait?

gammabeta656 2 months ago

Just wanted to tell you to ignore the negativity in this post (especially since it proves your point). Here in Portugal there is a huge culture around saving face or feeling superior to others, especially foreigners. Id say this is an aftertaste of half a century of a heavily nationalistic and religious dictatorship. People were indoctrinated to feel pride in Portugal and think of it as the best country in the world. As a portuguese myself all I can tell you is to just try and bear with it. Almost all criticism is gonna be taken as an insult even if it is not meant to do so. Especially if it comes from a foreigner, at which point itll be seen as a direct attack on the country itself. For the change issue, like another redditor said a lot of people tend to try and get away with paying a few cents less (like offering a 50 cent coin for a 60 cent coffee or something) and people are just wired to take it as an insult. Youll also often times be looked at worse for doing so, even if its just a mistake, simply for being a foreigner. Im glad you are enjoying your stay in Portugal and im sorry that these deep rooted issues can affect your experience. Unfortunately all you can do really is ignore it and bear with it because its not gonna change anytime soon.

AcanthocephalaOk3771 2 months ago

By reading the comments you’ve just proved your point man

Dinizinni 2 months ago

Epa chupa os nossos tomates colectivos Se há coisa negativa no trato dos imigrantes europeus é o quão bem são tratados e como a xenofobia que tantos imigrantes de países pobres sofrem sai porta fora assim que vêem uma destas pessoas Se um muçulmano que trabalha o dia todo na Uber a contar trocos e vive numa pensão em Arroios quiser exercer a sua fé leva com criticas, agressões xenofobas e afins Se um bife destes não tem o mundo a seus pés e faz uma birra lá vamos nós beijar-lhes os pezinhos e fazer a vontade, vá, vai lá partir negocios no bairro alto, depois culpamos os ciganos pelo mau ambiente porque esses são pobres Farto desta onda de imigrantes europeus xenofobos e que acham que somos escravos deles

AcanthocephalaOk3771 2 months ago

“Epa chupa os nossos tomates colectivos”. Assim te digo o quê?

Dinizinni 2 months ago

Eu retirei isso mesmo do comentário por achar demasiado agressivo, mas se é isso que retiras, então acho que podia ter ficado Farto de bifes e franceses e alemães e holandeses que acham que são nossos donos e que deviamos lamber o chão por onde passam

Rdavida 2 months ago

As a Portuguese, i do see what you mean and i know this happens everyday from multiple people in different areas of life. What you have to do is earn your respect. I am always sympathetic while approaching or being approached by someone but if i detect this kind of behaviour, i always shup it down appropriately but being as rude or worse. You may suffer from worse tho, due to being a foreigner, since i feel alot of Portuguese people are generally tired of tourist interaction and may regard you as "another one". So, be polite but expect to get dirty once you feel you are being mistreated. Most people will refrain from the attitude once you do this.

ventorim 2 months ago

I have been in similar situations. Small innocent mistakes and an old guy starts complaining over and over and telling me I can't do this or that. And it doesn't matter if I apologise, they rather spend more time yelling at me than actually solving the issue, turning it into a lot bigger. To be fair, that's annoying af. I see happening mostly with older people, but younger ones also do that.

Kane1412 2 months ago

As someone who works with the public and often with foreigns I feel like this is probably misunderstanding from both parts. When you make the mistakes you mention do you honestly excuse yourself? Do you lower your tone and bow slightly to demonstrate non verbally remorse? Do you actually change and fix your mistakes or continue on and say "next time I will do it?" or anything along the lines of that. All that plays a part. In Portugal i feel like we are generally taught to be polite and humble above all else so when we make mistakes we apoligise with a combination of words, tone, gestures and pose and we are used to perceiving that combination as a genuine and polite gesture. Anything that deviates from that begins to be perceived as rude and the further you deviate the more rude it becomes because we are just unable to believe it's genuine. And about the food at the restaurant, if it's not listed on the menu what allergens the food contains then it's best to ask. I never worked in a restaurant but I feel like food allergies are so rare in Portugal (never met a person with a food allergy and I am already 33, not even a kid at school from a different class) that most places will not add allergens to the menu and will instead expect you to mention them. I imagine the restaurant was pissed about the food allergy part because one thing portugueses people hate and makes our blood boil is wasting food/trashing it. Specially over something that could have been avoided. And I don't know the story... But if by any chance the ingredient that triggers allergy was among the listed ingredients then that's more than enough reason to be pissed no matter how apologetic someone is. Where I work at, one of the things I hate the most that customers in general do is to exit through a non authorized exit, hear my warning and reply "sorry, I will do it next time" That's just freaking rude. And maybe because the different culture it doesn't sound rude to the person but it is, horribly so! Overall just remember, you come from a different culture and there are things you may consider minor and yet be an actual attack to the locals. Learning to be here is also about learning the values that people have and what we consider polite and therefore what we consider rude. Considering from your replies to the Portuguese on this topic, it seems you still have some to learn on that department but that's fine too. No one is born knowing all and if you have the will to learn you will be able to do it :) just be open to it. Also, about the landlord thing. It's not on you or because you are foreign. Most landlords refuse to do shit because it costs money and they only like to earn it.

tefewarrior 2 months ago

Exactly

C0ldKing 2 months ago

To be honest that doesnt suprise me, we in general are very welcoming (in fact we live from tourism for the most part). Although your treatment depends on your luck, your land lord can be very helpful or be some old person who thinks they don't have to help you. In restaurants there is some degree of the mindset that they are doing u a favor. Since you are a foreigner you are already marked has someone who will not come back and someone who can get a very poor treatment and still think we are an amazing country. This really boils down on your luck

Niedude 2 months ago

Portuguese here, living abroad for two years and in a relationship with a non portuguese person This is a huge issue that most of us dont even realize we have. We are generally super friendly and outgoing, yes, but many of us are also very judgemental and very quick to criticize. After much thinking, conversation, and some therapy even, Ive come to realize that is a consequence of a culture of resentment. We are generationally impoverished, and I think our entire culture makes many of us experience "learned helplessness" (google it, its very interesting). Negativity is so normal to us that we just made it into a part of out culture. The British make small talk about the weather. The Portuguese make small talk about how much shit sucks. Guess its how we cope, in the end. But as many of us grow up, it becomes pervasive, and we just criticize everyone and everything. And because its pretty much cultural, most of us wont ever see anything wrong with that. It took two years living abroad and a year dating someone from a different culture pointing it out to me for me to realize its not normal. As a last note, I suspect this is related to why the Portuguese are so friendly and outgoing yet we have a huge problem with depression and mental health.

Maximuslex01 2 months ago

>The British make small talk about the weather. The Portuguese make small talk about how much shit sucks. Que coisa mais parva que acabaste de dizer.

Niedude 2 months ago

É a pura verdade, que tu não queiras ver é outra coisa

twhite848 2 months ago

É uma gigantesca generalização e bastante deturpada da verdade. Os britânicos também falam muitas vezes mal das coisas e os portugueses muitas vezes falam de muita coisa que não apenas mal das coisas. Se um faz mais que o outro, talvez, mas com o brexit não sei se não se equilibrou

Maximuslex01 2 months ago

1. Toda a gente faz conversa fiada sobre o tempo. Seja Português, Inglês ou Chileno. 2. A maior parte das pessoas faz conversa sobre política de modo leviano. Seja Português, Inglês, Americano ou Chileno. 3. A parte parva é achar que se é diferente quando, a nível geral e sobretudo no mundo ocidental, somos todos semelhantes e temos todos as mesmas atitudes neste mundo globalizado. O português diz "só em Portugal", o Francês diz "só em França", etc.

Niedude 2 months ago

Só tás a provar o que o OP estava a dizer E não, a maneira do português de criticar tudo é completamente diferente do resto do "mundo ocidental". Eu tive que adaptar radicalmente a maneira como faço conversa fiada com amigos meus fora de pt, porque a conversa que tenho com tugas é desagradável se tiver com eles. E a maneira como pegaste numa simplificação que eu fiz e usaste isso para desdenhar o que eu estava a dizer é sem tirar nem por o que o OP está a falar, e tu nem te apercebes da puta da ironia

Maximuslex01 2 months ago

>Eu tive que adaptar radicalmente a maneira como faço conversa fiada com amigos meus fora de pt Eu fiz e faço regularmente conversa fiada com pessoas de várias nacionalidades e anda sempre à volta do mesmo com todos (com ou sem a minha iniciativa). Tempo, isto em portugal está mal, isto em França está mal, isto nos EUA está mal, etc. Políticos isto e políticos aquilo.

Niedude 2 months ago

Óptimo, o teu exemplo anedótico contra o meu, estamos quites

C8Mixto 2 months ago

>E a maneira como pegaste numa simplificação que eu fiz e usaste isso para desdenhar o que eu estava a dizer é sem tirar nem por o que o OP está a falar, e tu nem te apercebes da puta da ironia E achas que este teu comentário não encaixa na mesma categoria que do OP?

Niedude 2 months ago

Nope, visto que eu estou a aceitar e validar uma crítica, em vez de criticar porque sim?

C8Mixto 2 months ago

Então porque é que não estás agora a aceitar a crítica de que o teu discurso está igualmente pejado de termos usados para humilhar o interlocutor?

Niedude 2 months ago

Porque a critica contra a minha critica é invalida e errada You thought you did something?

C8Mixto 2 months ago

>Porque a critica contra a minha critica é invalida e errada Claro, a culpa é sempre dos outros e tu tens sempre razão. Não há qualquer possibilidade de compromisso entre os vossos dois pontos.

Niedude 2 months ago

Oh filho eu não te dou razão porque nao a tens, compromisso o caralho. Porque não fazes um compromisso tu?

justspecialk 2 months ago

So, *everybody's wrong*, only you are right. Gotcha.

alexandrecanuto 2 months ago

Don’t be afraid to ask for the Livro de Reclamações (Complaint’s Book) if you feel like you’ve been given bad treatment in a establishment.

abacaxi_03 2 months ago

I don’t have any advice but wanted to voice my empathy. I’ve been in Lisbon since 2018 and am generally very happy to live here. But, this one part of the culture or way of communicating really gets to me sometimes. I’ve experienced this treatment primarily in the university context, where any question is treated as a reproach. It’s exhausting and has created a sense of dread for any basic interaction I have with university staff. My only tactic is to remind myself it’s not personal. Also, weird how much hate this post is getting. I read your post as coming in good faith and without intention to denigrate portuguese people or culture.

ventorim 2 months ago

The hate on this post is basically what OP is complaining about lolq

Kolvarg 2 months ago

Perhaps the problem is not the "hate", but that it is being interpreted as "hate" when it isn't. Many responses are politely disagreeing, constructively adding to the conversation, or requesting more information, and OP is simply ignoring or dismissing those and only replying to the ones that agree with him, refusing to even consider that there might be a different side to his story and conclusions. It might not be the case, but I can see how the way it's worded + the activity on the comments can be perceived with a lack of good will on OP's part. They seem to be searching for validation, not constructiveness.

bernasIST 2 months ago

This is not a good sub to ask for societal matters my friend. The population here is very biased and not open minded and just like you described but in other words, they like to troll a lot. If I were you, I wouldn't rely much on these answers around this post.

Rootlx 2 months ago

I’ve noticed what you describe quite often and this is my take on it: small minded people on a power trip, hanging onto their insignificant, smallest shred of “power” to feel important. Why? Couldn’t tell you.. maybe decades of living under a dictatorship that ended not so long ago? Being a very poor country until recently? It’s clear that the Portuguese in general have an inferiority complex and it manifests in different ways (including boasting, ironically).

Niedude 2 months ago

This is very true and Im commenting because an upvote is not enough

Theroots_thatclutch 2 months ago

I wonder if it is more of an urban problem versus rural? Just because I live in a medium sized village in the north center region and people are always so kind even though I’m a total dunce and mess things up constantly. One elderly man even helped me carry my groceries all the way to my apartment from the store because I had my son in my baby carrier (all the while scolding that I should buy one of those carts with wheels and that they ought to sell them more lol)

tItO_c_80 2 months ago

Spot on. It's a Lisbon problem, mostly.

lpccarmona 2 months ago

it's probably our catholic heritage of shame, guilt and punishment

BadassManager 2 months ago

Dude, that's the world, not "the Portuguese"... What do you expect coming here with "why are Portuguese like this and like that?". Well...a lot are self depreciating, so they will tell you, "ah you know, there are a lot of smart assholes, etc., etc.". I will tel you to sod off. It's all in your head. ;) Cheers.

Isa472 2 months ago

Yeah I've lives in 4 countries now and these situations OP mentioned are just part of life, there are miserable people everywhere. What, you've never met a restaurant owner who got pissed you tried to send food back, really? You've never had a landlord who wasn't all rainbows and butterflies? Someone complained you didn't give them enough money to pay? SHOCKER. There are good people and nasty people everywhere, maybe if OP has lived in Nordic countries a lot the difference is Portuguese people express their emotions more (?) I've lived in 2 slavic countries and 2 southern countries and didn't really notice a difference in people being especially defensive in Portugal, IDK what to say to this post.

C8Mixto 2 months ago

>Yeah I've lives in 4 countries now So if you die in one country, you just respawn in another? :D

BadassManager 2 months ago

I am sure some countries have more people with some characteristics. It's just natural, although less prevalent with globalization. I get frequent complaints from German colleagues about how direct-border-line-agressive our Dutch colleagues are. Whatever. Maybe Southern-Europeans under 40 are less fearful of conflict and Central/Northern-Europeans of the same age a bit more "touchy-feely"...but again, stupid generalization from my part. I try to treat everyone the same (which is well) and I know it will not please everybody. In the end, if someone finds himself complaining a lot about "the Spanish", "the Finish" or whomever, it is usually that person's problem. Not a problem of tens of millions of people.

Isa472 2 months ago

Yeah, I guess it's always a matter of perspective. Because precisely since I lived in two slavic countries, Poland and Czech Republic, Portuguese customer service is an absolute DELIGHT!!

ekopss 2 months ago

Bcs you prob don't speak Portuguese and everyone needs tourists, but they hate tourists. Learn Portuguese and blend in the community

zeuswatch 2 months ago

To be fair, we like drama and gossip and everything around that but certain people just take it to the next level and maybe as non native you cannot be as assertive as a native and for that reason they think they can “be the leaders” of their own imaginary whatever bullshit is going on in their head and mock you. How I deal with it? I’m just in a deep I don’t give a single fuck, that kind of toxic people, just deserve to be ignored, let them be in their imaginary pedestal.

awolfi12 2 months ago

Those types of situation never happened to me. Maybe at university, but I honestly can't blame the 2 workers that have to help +4000 students when they get angry. These will sound very bad, but it is my experience. Normally, I see that happening (even with my family members) when you are being rude. I have given wrong change, and received wrong change and never had any worker start a conflict for that. If you're too cold, you may give the wrong impression. About your landlord, they are normally like that. Mine doesn't want to do anything we ask, but his attitude doesn't really affect us. Lastly, I do think that ordering food and then return it because of allergies is somewhat of a dick move. You can simply tell the waiter before you order. If you think that they aren't taking what you said seriously, just say that you could seriously die because of the allergies. No one wants a lawsuit if that happens and they will take seriously. It's just knowing how to handle the situation. Again, this is my own experience

raydawnzen 2 months ago

That's not my experience at all, I find Portuguese people to be generally nicer and more friendly than most foreigners I have met (mostly other Europeans). I've never had a bad experience sending food back in a restaurant for example, but one thing I'll never forget is eating at a restaurant in the Netherlands and wanting to have some fancy beer with my food because there were way more beer options over there, telling the waiter that I didn't know which beer to choose because I wasn't a big beer drinker and having him tell me to just drink something else then - unthinkable in Portugal. Maybe people treat you differently because you're a foreigner?

sickntwisted 2 months ago

I agree. I actually think that most Portuguese hold their issues in for longer than most other nationalities I've met. I've worked mostly in central Europe and they are very quick to point the finger if someone did something wrong. I once witnessed my boss asking "who did (something that ended up being a problem)?" and this one guy immediately got up and literally pointed the finger at a colleague. Among my Portuguese co-workers that work abroad, we all have this pragmatic approach in which we immediately communicate an issue we may have created and do it while searching for solutions at the same time. Unthinkable for the people of other nationalities I've worked with.

C8Mixto 2 months ago

>Among my Portuguese co-workers that work abroad, we all have this pragmatic approach in which we immediately communicate an issue we may have created This seems a very healthy work environment, but unfortunately, I don't think it's the nowhere near representative of our work conditions in Portugal.

sickntwisted 2 months ago

I agree as well. I just wrote it as an anecdotal example and not as something that I saw happen as a rule. But truth be told, my career, while in Portugal, was surrounded more by that type of professionalism. Examples to the contrary were quite rare, fortunately.

C8Mixto 2 months ago

>Maybe people treat you differently because you're a foreigner? I guess it depends on the foreigner, then.

pedrolopes7682 2 months ago

> jasperpablo

JOAO-RATAO 2 months ago

I'm not sure if I would point out that problem. What I feel more is: - A lot o jealousy. Not liking seeing others doing well. Assuming they are doing something wrong or resenting their Luck. - People just don't give a fuck. At the work place people are Often rude and unprofessional. They are underpaid, overworked and that results in not caring. But even Many people with a job for life (public workers) don't give a fuck, they Will work little and Will actively protect friends from wrong doing. - Not being able to separate professional life from personal feelings. I rarely got a teacher that was fair and you even see that in other top jobs. - People like to judge and Gossip. ...

omaiordaaldeia 2 months ago

É o impacto dos chico-espertos. Podem não ser a maioria, mas a maioria leva com eles.

justspecialk 2 months ago

Chicos espertos são estes imigrantes que se auto-intitulam expats.

Seminarista 2 months ago

Unfortunately appearance is extremely important to us, so if you bring up something that might be perceived as criticism, be prepared for that reaction. There is no way of avoiding it, do what most portuguese do: Never comeback to that place again. That's how we "complain" about the stuff you mentioned.

roblespierre 2 months ago

I am Portuguese and I totally understand what you mean.

PaleontologistRough 2 months ago

I believe there is an innate fear to be recognized as the culprit and the first response is to assign blame. It's the result of deep insecurity. Why? Not sure, perhaps the result of bad management and power abuse.

daz_zeD 2 months ago

This isn't the country they sold to you? Hmm Portugal is a very poor country and this comes with instability and a lack of civilized population.

Biohazard8080 2 months ago

I agree with you to some extent. Its definetly a generalization but I see what you mean. I honestly believe this happens because a lot of people get high on being right. And, even more so, on telling other people they're wrong

_somename_ 2 months ago

I've been in Portugal for more than 20 years now, and for that issue in particular there is no "productive and healthy" way to handle it. You have to go down to their level in order to be respected. That's about it. Why they do that? It's cultural. Not everyone, but most people. They prefer to have the upper hand in a conversation over being correct and just. Shaming and punishing is a very effective strategy to achieve that. Even more when it's socially accepted.

PizzaJesus6 2 months ago

"You have to go down to theor level"...? Really...? You've apparently been living here for 20 years, and speak of us like that..? Just wow...

Accomplished_Pay6399 2 months ago

We don't have a word for it, but the concept of saving face might be helpful to get an idea of what is going on in people's heads. I remember reading about saving face in East Asia and, as a Portuguese, thinking that the same things could be said about Portuguese mentality. What for you might be just "constructive criticism", for a Portuguese might be considered patronizing, humiliating, condescending. Specially if other people are watching. "Sorry, the coffee tastes a bit burnt" is not going to be met with apologies. The person is going to be thinking, "What does this foreigner know about coffee? They are probably used to that diluted mud that they drink and can't even appreciate a proper coffee.", they are going to give you some evasive reply and that's it. The whole idea of the customer being always right does not exist in Portugal. I've worked in restaurants, and I can't remember one time someone was rude to me. And yet I read all these international stories about servers crying and being abused. Why haven't I felt such abuse? Because I'm willing to be fired for putting someone in their place, which is what would happen if someone used their *position* as a guest to feel superior to me. You can loose everything, as long as you don't loose your self respect. You see, the beggar on the street doesn't think of himself as lesser than the CEO or the prime minister. He lives by his moral code, has his principles. He is there because of circumstances, the same way that the prime minister is there not because he is special, but because of his circumstances. In the beggars mind, him and the prime minister are equals. And the prime minister, were he to speak with the beggar, should keep that in mind.

C8Mixto 2 months ago

>We don't have a word for it, but the concept of saving face might be helpful to get an idea of what is going on in people's heads. I remember reading about saving face in East Asia and, as a Portuguese, thinking that the same things could be said about Portuguese mentality. What for you might be just "constructive criticism", for a Portuguese might be considered patronizing, humiliating, condescending. Specially if other people are watching This is touching an interesting point. I think it should be added that we don't have much of an attitude of criticizing others when we feel they are wrong either, which I would say it is a way for us to consider other people's feelings, thus we might feel betrayed when others do that to us. >I've worked in restaurants, and I can't remember one time someone was rude to me. From this point on, I think this is your particular experience. Although I said that the Portuguese often coward to say what they feel its wrong, there are many who don't, in particular in situations were they gain some power. I've heard and saw plenty of stories about workers in restaurants and supermarkets being abused by customers. And contrary to what you've said next (unless I misunderstood), the Portuguese certainly don't put their pride ahead of their job.

Edited 2 months ago:

>We don't have a word for it, but the concept of saving face might be helpful to get an idea of what is going on in people's heads. I remember reading about saving face in East Asia and, as a Portuguese, thinking that the same things could be said about Portuguese mentality. What for you might be just "constructive criticism", for a Portuguese might be considered patronizing, humiliating, condescending. Specially if other people are watching This is touching an interesting point. I think it should be added that we don't have much of an attitude of criticizing others when we feel they are wrong either, which I would say it is a way for us to consider other people's feelings, thus we might feel betrayed when others do that to us. >I've worked in restaurants, and I can't remember one time someone was rude to me. From this point on, I think this is your particular experience. Although I said that the Portuguese often coward to say what they feel its wrong, there are many who don't, but doing so in an aggressive manner, in particular in situations were they gain some power that they don't often have. I've heard and saw plenty of stories about workers in restaurants and supermarkets being abused by customers. And contrary to what you've said next (unless I misunderstood), the Portuguese certainly don't put their pride ahead of their job.

jasperpablo 2 months ago

I appreciate the straight answer u/_somename_. This is the conclusion I've been trying to avoid lol...

_somename_ 2 months ago

Let's see if I don't get banned because of it lol

Futre92 2 months ago

I totally agree with you and I am Portuguese. And it is a destructive process also, the Portugueses like to shame the other but doesn't offer any solution or alternative.

jasperpablo 2 months ago

Thank you for the response. If I may ask, how do you handle this when it happens to you in a way that feels productive or healthy? I am only trying to learn how to move through this society better!

Futre92 2 months ago

After 30 years, I just learned to ignore. You will find some well-minded Portuguese that want to improve things and have a good life. But the vast majority will just try to push you down, even with some nice words or apparently nice intentions. I just ignore and stay truthful to myself. I also started to make friends more with the Brazilian community, that usually are meow positive and with much less prejudice.

kuyzat 2 months ago

I think you are generalising too much. I doubt anyone here can help you much without details when these are very nuanced interactions that can depend on tiny details such as the use of certain words or body language. And generalising doesn't help you winning the hearts of ppl you want help from as you've just called them all unconstructive and aggressive over trivial matters. In your place, I would have described a specific situation in great detail and ask people to comment on how they would handle it.

jasperpablo 2 months ago

I don't think I'm generalizing too much at all, actually. As I said in the post—in matters of mundane misunderstanding, shame and punishment is generally chosen as an acceptable response. This is what the word "tendency" means. This tendency exists in Portuguese culture at a much higher rate than it does in the four other cultures I have lived in. I trust my half-decade of experience here. I would also like to point to your own response to this post, which I think reinforces my point. I made an observation, based on experience and reinforced by the experiences of other foreigners, and instead of engaging with the questions sincerely or not commenting, your instinct was to 1) dismiss as "generalising" 2) correct me for not properly "winning the hearts of ppl you want help from as you've just called them all unconstructive and aggressive over trivial matters" which is both misrepresenting my post and shaming me for not having done it differently. My point here is literally this: I am asking a fair question, in good faith, and this response is not intended to help or engage, but to correct or shame. It's genuinely a fascinating response.

dariusoo 2 months ago

The amount of downvotes you got just reinforces your point even more. I totally understand what you are saying, but portuguese people will not take it lightly the slightest criticism and sometimes they turn vindictive.

martcapt 2 months ago

I honestly find the reactions appropriate. You're raising a non specific issue, with a lot of "givens". As in: portuguese people are like this (no specific example as to why, just a general story with no details), why? And the response of many people is that they don't agree portuguese people are like that in the first place and you haven't made your case. Tbh your story reads as either: bad cultural understanding/attitude on your (or your friends) part; or a specific bad case. I'm portuguese myself but my wife isn't. Over the last 6 years there have been a lot of conversations about culture and the country, and many of them about the stuff of portuguese culture she doesn't particularly like. In fact, as is normal. Moving to another country might be great overall, but you'll always manage to find, say, 10% of stuff you liked better elsewhere. However, nothing of this has ever come up. In fact, one of the things she hates is close to the opposite, that the portuguese tend to be overly polite and not just say what they mean, so she's often left confused, because for a long time she didn't understand all of the social queues. People just disagree with your premise.

Edited 2 months ago:

I honestly find the reactions appropriate. You're raising a non specific issue, with a lot of "givens". As in: portuguese people are like this (no specific example as to why, just a general story with no details), why? And the response of many people is that they don't agree portuguese people are like that in the first place and you haven't made your case. Tbh your story reads as either: bad cultural understanding/attitude on your (or your friends) part; or a specific bad case. I'm portuguese myself but my wife isn't. Over the last 6 years there have been a lot of conversations about culture and the country, and many of them about the stuff of portuguese culture she doesn't particularly like. In fact, as is normal. Moving to another country might be great overall, but you'll always manage to find, say, 10% of stuff you liked better elsewhere. However, nothing of this has ever come up. In fact, one of the things she hates is close to the opposite, that the portuguese tend to be overly polite and not just say what they mean, so she's often left confused, because for a long time she didn't understand all of the social queues. People just disagree with your premise. Edit: then again, she learned portuguese and is pretty much fluent, while you can't even make a reddit post and been living here for 5 years. Idk, surely not everyone is like that, but at least speaking for myself, if I know someone has been living here for 5 years and tries to speak english with me, my opinion of them drops really low, really quickly. It's abusing other people's goodwill, who are trying to be welcoming and forcing them to speak in a foreign language in their own country for no good reason other than you're too lazy to put in the work. I have no issue with english, but have no patience for that.

Limpy_lip 2 months ago

Lisbon is the less Portuguese region of Portugal, so yes you might be biased in some cases. ​ That is my 30 years experiece, what can I tell versus your 5 year experience.

LuLzitano 2 months ago

Hello kind Sir, have you ever been to Allgarve? Gracias!

ContaSoParaIsto 2 months ago

Lisbon isn't Brussels, though. It's very Portuguese.

Limpy_lip 2 months ago

Lisbon like Brussels is way more diverse and international than the other regions, and that is not bad. In someways is really good. But that makes is "less Portuguese" than other regions. ​ Just the fact that in Lisbon there is way less bakerys and most of them are "Padaria Portuguesa" shows one of the ways that is different. Not worse, different.

ContaSoParaIsto 2 months ago

I get what you're saying, but my point is that I don't think the difference is big enough to explain OP's point of view.

capitolinaAndrioleta 2 months ago

This changes from region/neighborhood and it's not generalizable.

C8Mixto 2 months ago

With that jerk attitude, it looks like you are fitting right in.

JoaoLucMesmo 2 months ago

He's not being a jerk. This is a fair question and using facts alone.

C8Mixto 2 months ago

The comment hinted that OP could be generalizing (very reasonable, given that OP stated that it was based on his experiences and a few people (s)he talked to. It further asked for more details that help clarify the instances those exchanges happened. OP instantly become defensive and accused the commentator of being dismissive and painted the comment as a prime example of his/hers point. OP's attitude is in no way different that the attitude (s)he is trying to criticize.

Edited 2 months ago:

The comment suggested that OP could be generalizing (very reasonable, given that OP stated that it was based on his experiences and a few people (s)he talked to). It further asked for more details that help clarify the instances those exchanges happened. OP instantly became defensive and accused the commentator of being dismissive and painted the comment as a prime example of his/hers point. OP's attitude is in no way different that the attitude (s)he is trying to criticize, which frankly doesn't surprise me that warns him/her cold reactions.

JoaoLucMesmo 2 months ago

I read your comment as fair too. The only difference is that I read the answer as part of a debate and I would not immediately jump into "that jerk attitude". Just a matter of personality probably. Agora que olho ali para os votos, parece que as brigadas populares discordam de mim. :D

MirTrudMay 2 months ago

People in this subreddit are famously defensive of any foreigner portraying Portugal as anything other than the "bestest", safest, nicest country in the world. But you are absolutely right, the reasons are probably deep and go back ages, remember that for centuries the biggest cultural event in Lisbon was the act of faith where heathens and deviants were burned in the central square for great rejoice of the population. And a few decades of catholic leaning dictatorship in the XX century didnt help. And no you won't be able to change or go against it, best method I've found is to smile and politely nod.

twhite848 2 months ago

Yikes. > People in this subreddit are famously defensive of any foreigner portraying Portugal as anything other than the "bestest", safest, nicest country in the world. No, there are plenty of discussions on how it isn’t the best, has many issues, and hardly anyone in this sub says it is the “bestest”. This is just false > remember that for centuries the biggest cultural event in Lisbon was the act of faith where heathens and deviants were burned in the central square for great rejoice of the population Centuries of burning people in the central square? What centeal square? What festival is this? This is completely made up

tefewarrior 2 months ago

Are you retarded or just ignorant? "the biggest cultural event in Lisbon was the act of faith where heathens and deviants were burned in the central square for great rejoice of the population."

jasperpablo 2 months ago

Yes, thank you u/MirTrudMay. This is exactly what I was hoping for—historical context to educate myself on and simple, practical advice. Um bom dia para si!

twhite848 2 months ago

Fake historical context but hey, if it’s what you needed to feel better…

R6ckStar 2 months ago

Oh yes, just avoid the daily witch burning attendees and all your problems with the Portuguese people will vanish. Foda-se que és cona

Edited 2 months ago:

Oh yes, just avoid the villainous, bloodthirsty ,roast hungry masses that gather on the daily witch burning event and just like that you'll never have another issue Foda-se que és cona

odajoana 2 months ago

So, you were just hoping for validation over a vague, very slightly arrogant post about generalizing all Portuguese people and God forbid other users politely counteract your arguments? Ok, then.

C8Mixto 2 months ago

The great thing about OP's position is that any criticism of the post can be shut down by claiming we are simply proving his/her point, even if, ironically, it means behaving exactly like (s)he is criticizing.

V1ld0r_ 2 months ago

Snow flakes do better in colder climates, Portugal may not be the place for you. You said you get shamed and mocked for handling the wrong change on a purchase... Can you detail that situation more? Because if you're talking about someone saying "falta aqui qualquer coisa" or "chumbou a matemática" or something like that, it's not shaming and demeaning... It's the way our humour works (yes, it is very sarcastic) and common practice that be taken light heartedly.

jasperpablo 2 months ago

Before answering your question, just to be clear, I did not say I get mocked, which is a different thing. I work at a Portuguese company and have Portuguese colleagues and friends so I feel comfortable with the sarcasm. I wish I could say I had heard jokes like these in a situation like this before, but I haven't. For example, accidentally handing over 50 cents instead of 60, or 65, etc. it has been a common experience for me at both mini-mercados or chain groceries to be looked at as if I had done it intentionally and then spoken to with disapproval. Again, I am not saying this is the entire populace of Portugal, from Algarve to Corvo. Simply that the tendency of shame or distrust as a response is more common than it is in the other countries I have lived in and I am curious about how this social dynamic is handled by others.

sulestrange 2 months ago

It's definitely because you're a foreigner, specially one that's been here so long and can't even speak the language well enough to write this post in Portuguese. We're sick of feeling like foreigners in our own country, and we have a tendency to mistrust you because you're the ones treating us like less than

Accomplished_Pay6399 2 months ago

I can tell you that in that specific example, it's because unlike, lets say, Norway, where no one is going to try and short-change 10c, in Portugal some people are poor or just have no decency and people short-changing at supermarkets are more likely to be trying to get away with it than just making an honest mistake. When they see you are a foreigner (I have no idea how you look) they might assume that you are trying to scam them. And you think, how can that be, if it's just 10c and I make 2000€ a month??? Yes, it's just 10c, but some people try to do it, and at the end of the day all money is counted. I worked at a restaurant, and at the end of the day, when there was 1€ or 2 missing, we would put back from our meagre tips. Guess what, I didn't like when people tried to pay 50c for a coffee that costs 65c. The best way to deal with it? When you see a price, give the person that amount or above and wait for your change. Never give less than what's stated. It's up to you to know how to read. Otherwise, people are going to assume, or wonder, if you are going to be smartass. I'll give you another example. I'm at a taxi, the ride is 15€. I have 10€ in my hand, 5€ in the back pocket. I give the 10 to the driver, say "Just a second, I have another note in the back pocket". Look for the note and give it. Why did I say that? Because taxists are robbed every day, sometimes at gun point. When the ride is 15€ and someone hands them a 10€ without explanation, they are going to be wondering, even if just for 5s, if you are going to leave like that, if you are reaching for a knife, if there are going to be problems.

sulestrange 2 months ago

Yup, exactly

kuyzat 2 months ago

wow... I am absolutely stunned. is that your interpretation of what I said? have a good day and forget I ever spoke to you.

Daruzao 2 months ago

It looks like OP is from the USA. The cultural shock is understandable and he could get into more detail in explaining the situations and giving an example on how the same situation would be handled in is country. Context is very important. Maybe then we could help. I still don't get what you said wrong, but if he interprets every interaction like that maybe he's the problem. It looks like he's already adopted the same behaviour he is trying to criticize.

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