There is something magical about Brazilians.
Brazilians just do things differently and their ways often confuse foreigners who have never seen people act this way.
Regardless of whether they’re waiting in line at the bank, buying groceries or hanging out with friends, there is a distinctly Brazilian flavor that they bring to these interactions.
If you’ve ever seen Brazilians and wondered what you can do to be more like them, here is a short list of ways you can start to behave more like a Brazilian.
1. Hold stronger eye contact
Brazilians hold strong eye contact during conversation.
Brazilians have a hard time trusting and relating to someone who doesn’t hold their gaze during conversation. They might take it personally and think that you don’t care about them if you don’t look them in the eye.
If you’re more introverted and not used to people looking at you this way, this might strike you as overwhelming at first. Just keep in mind that Brazilians are curious people and they look at you so intensely because they want to know you better.
2. Greet people warmly
Brazilians take relationships very seriously, and a warm greeting is an essential part of the relationship building process.
Whenever you meet someone for the first time you’ll greet them with a friendly handshake, a pat on the back or a kiss on the cheek.
In most places in Brazil you only need to do one kiss on the right cheek. In Rio de Janeiro and a few other cities it is two kisses.
Note that you’re not actually making contact with your lips. Your cheeks are gently grazing the other’s cheeks while you make a kissing sound. As you are making contact with your cheek your right arm should be gently securing her left shoulder or hip, and she’ll do the same with you.
3. Offer the first bite of food to everyone around you
When food comes into your hands the first thing you should do is offer the first bite to everyone around you.
If you’re at a restaurant and everyone around you has a plate of food you don’t need to do this. In all other cases, such as when you are eating a snack, a candy bar, a bottle of water or a fresh squeezed juices, you should offer the first bite or sip to those around you.
4. Offer guests that arrived from travel to take a shower
If you’re receiving guests into your home, one of the first things you should ask them is if they want to take a shower. Brazilians are a very hygienic people and they take several showers a day. If you are living in a hot city don’t be surprised if you take 3 showers a day.
5. Hold hands when you walk with your mom
Sunday is a day for family. If you walk around a Brazilian town on a Sunday you will see families walking around and enjoying each other’s company.
You’ll also see girls holding hands with their moms and grandmas as they walk around. Sometimes you’ll see younger boys holding hands with their mom.
6. Eat rice and beans every day
God help you if you live in Brazil and you don’t like eating rice and beans. 94% of Brazilians eat rice and beans every day. Try finding a lunch restaurant that doesn’t serve rice and beans.
Brazilians don’t believe that it’s a complete meal if it doesn’t include rice and beans. It’s not unheard of to see someone asking for rice and beans after eating a rodizio (all you can eat) of pizza, complaining that they don’t feel full unless they get their rice and beans.
7. Ask for things in a roundabout way
Brazilians are often shocked by how direct foreigners are in their conversation.
Brazilians are more indirect in their communication. They will often talk in circles without speaking directly to what they want to say.
They will leave a lot of flexibility in their communication. They will approach things from a side angle. If you sense what they are trying to say and you ask them directly they might deny that is what they are doing. Then they will go back trying to get there in a roundabout way.
If you try to get feedback from a Brazilian they will never say exactly what they think. The first thing they will say is that it’s interesting. From there they will cautiously proceed in a roundabout way to comment on something related the situation, instead of directly stating how they feel.
8. Lie to protect other people’s feelings
Brazilians don’t like to hurt other people’s feelings. They would rather tell a lie than tell the truth. They will tell little white lies about their true feelings in order to protect your feelings.
This also happens in jobs and services. They’ll say that they will do something at a certain time, then you’ll never hear from them again. Or they’ll say they’ll show up to your party but not actually show. Or they’ll say that they want to schedule a time to hang out but never follow up with you.
They don’t say these things to be purposefully misleading. When they say these things in the moment they believe what they’re saying to be true. Then reality sinks in later and they are unable to carry out their optimistic intentions.
9. Everyone is your friend
Brazilians are warm and accepting to all. If a friend introduces you to their friend, you are now their friend.
This makes it easy when you show up to a party where you only know one person. Because you’re friends with one person you’re now friends with everybody.
10. Show up 2 hours after the scheduled start time of a party
If a party is scheduled to go on for more than 4 hours you should show up at least an hour late, maybe 2 hours to be safe.
Whatever you do don’t show up on time or you will greet a flabbergasted host running around to get things ready for the party, uncomfortable with the fact that they now have to entertain a guest when they needed to prepare for the party .
11. Include everybody in conversation
Maintaining a strong group energy is very important to Brazilians.
Brazilians go out of their way to accommodate everybody. If a group of people are talking and someone wants to join, people will automatically open up the circle to let that person in.
If the group is talking about a topic that excludes members of the group, they’ll quickly switch over to a new topic that can include everybody.
How Brazilian are you?
How many of these Brazilian habits do you have? What else do you think Brazilians do differently? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.