When you live abroad for so many years, it is pretty weird: like you’ve developed a third identity.
It is like being able to see both worlds from above (or the outside), and that is incredibly valuable as we can understand different POVs.
I find that I have become a lot more open. I often ask myself: Why do things happen in such a way here? What can I do about this or that? What are the norms here? And how about unspoken norms?
Because what is right in Denmark may be perceived as different in my home country. And the contrary is also true.
Rude or to the point?
Here’s a story that a Brazilian living in Sweden shared on Insta recently.
She and her (Brazilian) friends were talking before the hot yoga class started when an elderly gentleman suddenly said: “Shut up!”
She and her friends were startled and went on radio silence mode instantly.
Was he rude? Perhaps. But he also drew a line and established clear limits.
Depends on your culture
Historically speaking, Brazilians tend to avoid confrontation.
In Scandinavia, and even more so in the Netherlands, people embrace confrontation. It is part of their culture to be brutally direct.
That may sometimes come across as ‘harsh’ or even rude, but it all depends on where you come from.
Speaking about and debating culture is fascinating. In a borderless world where we can work with people virtually from any country, it is a tremendously important topic.
As for the Brazilian lady, we exchanged messages, and I shared my POV.
Being perceived as rude can sometimes have a lot to do with your background and what you consider to be right or wrong.
I would love to hear your take on how you deal with different cultures and POVs?