Offending people

As an American I have a rather brash straightforwardness about me when it comes to business. This is not taken kindly in Costa Rica. If you question someones ability to do their job they get very, very offended. If you raise your voice at someone forget it, you might as well have slapped them in the face.

I’ve been here several years and while I know all of this, I sometimes backslide when something takes me off guard.

I’ll give you an example….yesterday I asked a realtor (whom I didn’t agree with the price they were asking for a place) if they actually knew the area that this house was in and how much property goes for in that area. In my opinion it was very under-priced. Today I get an email from that person telling me that I had really offended them and they didn’t want to work with me anymore.

Now I have to contact this person and apologize for offending them if I want to continue to working with them, which I do. But this is just a small example of how easily Costa Rican’s can be offended and how you must deal with it if you want to live in their country with their culture. They are very kind people and wouldn’t question if you knew what your doing for anything, so they can’t understand nor appreciate why we would. Another lesson learned by me this week.

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