The U.S. State Department is considering sending every U.S. passport holder a “World Citizens Guide” in hopes that those for whom the “Ugly American” stereotype fits all too well will finally get it. As in, like it or not, you are an extension of a country that needs serious worldwide image help. Don’t make it easier for those too readily disposed to dislike us. And don’t, of course, make it harder on yourself. The Guide is actually the work of the non-profit Business for Diplomatic Action Inc.
*”Familiarize yourself with the local geography to avoid making insulting mistakes.” Have a map and read it.
*When in doubt, dress up. “In some countries, casual dress is a sign of disrespect.”
*Watch your language. “Even casual profanity is unacceptable.”
*Even if you’re a captain of industry, try not to act like it. “Talking about wealth, power or status – corporate or personal – can create resentment.”
*Pace yourself. “We talk fast, eat fast, move fast, live fast. Many cultures do not.”
*Listen up. “Ask people you’re visiting about themselves and their way of life.”
*Tone it down. “A loud voice is often perceived as bragging.”
*Restrain yourself about religion and politics. In many countries, religion is “not a subject for public discussion.” As for politics: “Steer clear