Insecure people always have an attitude and that is true for everyone, everywhere. The first thing I noticed when I set foot in Brazil was the insecurity. This insecurity leads to the impossibility of accepting criticism because you feel attacked. This is also true for most Brazilians, also. There are some major and almost life-threatening things that they simply do not accept:
1. They drive very badly (the accident rate is one of the highest, if not the highest in the world. Period. Drive for 10 minutes just to see the horrors committed on the streets. The way they drive does not match their so-called “friendliness”, it´s almost creepy, like split-personality creepy)
2. Most of them can´t speak English but insist they can (this is going to be a major problem when the world cup-olympic games saga starts. Learn or die, there´s not other option. The world is not going to learn Portuguese. For more information, check “US Universities reject Brazilian scholarship students because their English is unacceptable”, and other articles that have been popping up almost daily in the news)
3. The jeitinho brasileiro is not a good thing (there is no “we” in the jeitinho. Although most die to prove that it´s positive, related to being creative. Real creativity is very different. Just to give an example, you would never hear someone advertise they use the jeitinho in their business or to solve serious problems (politicians, for example). For Brazil to start thinking as a nation, as people with the same objectives, they have to eradicate the jeitinho and use real, all-encompassing, all-including creativity. Instead of inventing a great excuse to jump a queue or be attended first, while treating everyone else like an idiot, use that creativity to complain about the long queues and benefit everyone. Well, that would also require courage.
4. No one cares about serious social problems. (Again, as Brazilians are mostly me-me and family-me, they don´t really care about anything unless if affects them directly. They are an emotional lot, so they really suffer when their loved one is hit by a drunk driver, but until that happens they laugh off the 3+ whiskeys they had before stumbling into their cars. No, it´s not everyone, but the one´s who don´t drink before driving laugh at the ones who do and do nothing about it, so it´s the same thing. In summary, the social problems they suffer are the result of negligence or denial)
Yes, Brazilians are friendly and kind and I love them to pieces although they probably hate me by now, but touch on any of these topics and get your stones ready because they are fiercely defensive and that attitude you didn´t see before will jump up in your face.