> Having worked for a German company, with Germans everyday, I can say that their culture is profoundly different from ours.
There is a liiiiitttle problem with this: I am German. We Germans are direct. Only beaten by Danish, tough not much. Way to rude for american standards to be this direct, and all Germans should be taught this before going there. We Germans don't beat around the bush like "Oh, such a nice dress, awesome, looking great, but..." (I don't even know the american-don't-offend-way here), we go directly "Aw no, doesn't look good on you, we should try something else" skipping all that "cushion the blow" nonsense normal for Americans.
In our view this directness is preferred, 'cause we hate nothing more than wasting time and beating around the bush (the latter is even interpreted as offending deception).
When a friend likes a movie and I say "ou, that war horrible movie", and that is fine, it is about the movie. I USA you say at worst "It was Okay", trying not to offend, since "it was horrible" is seen as a great offense since they take it so personal.
A story from "LebenUSA" youtube channel: One coworker constantly failed to fill up excel sheets correctly. He went to her "Please be more careful, or there will be a problem.". He was called to HR, where he discovered that this sentence is "woahhhh don't say this", 'cause it usually interpreted this way: A James Bond Villain or Mafia Boss with a cat on his lap saying "we have a problem". She was really afraid of losing her job or worse.
I know, from the same channel, how this "never offend the slighted little bit" came to, and why it is indeed recommended to behave this way in USA.
If I am wrong, correct me!