How to deal with Portuguese people both in the workplace as well as in life

If you ever had a Portuguese friend or work colleague you can immediately relate to this article right? Sometimes a little help is needed to deal with us. Well, look no further. This is a comprehensive guide on how to deal with Portuguese people, take the best out of them and avoid bitter sweet moments in the relationship!

We’re proud by nature and you have to learn how to deal with it

Portuguese people are very proud and stubborn. It was always like this and always will be, so there’s no point in trying to deny it — even less in trying to fight it. Maybe because back in the day we ruled the majority of the known world, maybe because our food is just too good to be true, I don’t know, but let’s agree on this before we move on.

We’re as loyal as you never experienced before

Even if we don’t get our salary in the end of the month, if you treat us with disrespect, if you try to micro-manage us, if you change the coffee brand, we’re solid as a rock and will always complain and fight back. The one thing you can not do is to question our competency to do our job. Proud, remember? That’s the end of the line. Other than that, we will be the best friend you can ever have.

We’re amongst the most hard working workforces you’ll ever meet.

Ask anyone back home how many unpaid extra hours we clocked in without being asked to? Nothing is perfect of course and this is oftentimes not a synonym of productivity, but when the ship is sinking you can be certain that there will be a Portuguese employee shutting off the lights and locking all the doors.

Don’t mind our manners, cursing is a sign of culture.

Yes, it’s true, we curse too much and too loud (not as much as Italians, I came to realise). However, that’s a sign we’re both motivated and caring about what we’re doing. It’s a sign that we’re alive! If you hear your Portuguese employee screaming “foda-se” and “caralho” to the laptop, smile at him/her and give him/her a raise.

We complain… a lot.

It’s not by accident that there’s one word in Portuguese, which can’t be translated in any other language directly: “saudade”. It means the emptiness inside you when you deeply miss something or someone. Our national anthem still screams for cannon fire and we’ve “fado” and melancholy deep buried in our hearts.

The way we chose to deal with that is to complain, all the f*cking time. Either for the sake of complaining or just to feel better with our duty to the world as proud Portuguese. Pro tip: Just ignore it. Don’t pay too much attention to everything we complain about, only if we repeat it more than 10 times in a row, then it’s probably important.

We will speak your language, don’t bother trying to learn ours.

We realised very early in our lives than no one from abroad can learn properly the Portuguese accent, accepted that fact and moved on. Although our soul gives three backflips every time we hear someone trying, don’t feel too guilty if you can not manage. We will learn your language instead and have english always in the back pocket. Maybe this can be explained by the fact that Portuguese is the closest to latin you can be, maybe because it’s indeed hard, the fact is we will not judge you for that and will use the chance to learn something new.

Hope this can help your personal and working life and avoid many
bitter moments because let’s face it, even if you are right and the consequences are bad for us, in the end, we will never let it go!


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