This week I had a meeting with a girl from another department. We introduced ourselves and chatted a bit (a must of at least 10 mins at the start of every meeting).
Then she asked where I was from.
To simplify things, when people here ask me that, I say I’m American, from NYC.
As soon as I said that, a huuuuge smile spread across her braced mouth. “I absolutely loooovvvvvvveee the United States”.
“Here goes..” I thought to myself. And she jumped into a 15 minutes verbal diarrhea on everything she likes in America: Disney (duh), shopping, food, polite people, clean streets, organization, the cold (wtf?!!). And much she doesn’t like living in Brazil.
Then she proceeded to say how she plans go spend the next 4 years studying business English so that she could move there. Even though her husband doesn’t want to live there nor her mother want to let her go. But hopefully, she is going to convince them.
These were some very painful minutes of cheesiness but also great practice in empathic listening.
I think the solution to US’s international public image should be appointing a bunch of Brazilians as PR representatives around the world. This may help improve the reputation (or, alternatively make it worse).