For many Americans, they may not realize cultural norms aren’t the same in every society. Disregarding this can make it obvious to people that you’re an American. In a recent conversation online, commenters shares common things that reveal you’re an American. Here are 11 of their top choices.
1. Assuming You Can Do Anything
Believe it or not, you can’t just go and do whatever you want in other countries. In fact, you may need to ask permission to do something you want. This is often met with disbelief by many Americans.
One commenter agrees, saying “Yes, ‘forgiveness over permission’ as a way of life and the thought that we can just reason with the other person/impacted party after the fact. I’m generally timid, but I still incorporate enough of this into my work to surprise some of my non-American colleagues.”
When unsure, it pays to ask permission of authority to do something you want. Don’t be that American that just goes to do what they want, not caring about cultural norms in other socities.
2. Spies Like Us
A well-informed observer notes that the “C.I.A. tells our overseas spies not to lean on things when chilling because we do that often.” I am not sure if leaning on something blows your American cover.
Another Euro-skeptic adds, “I’ve heard that we also tend to put weight on one leg where Europeans evenly stand on both.” Weird. Does this sound like you?
3. Fast Eaters
“Recently, in Italy, it felt like the service staff was purposefully trying to teach us to slow down,” explains another American. “They take a long time to get you a check. We learned to chill a bit more and enjoy the company.”
It is just called enjoying life. Not everything has to be a time-saving, efficient experience. Southern Europeans enjoy life, so why rush it?
4. Time is Money
Americans don’t like to waste valuable time on vacation, so some may be hard to stop once they get moving. ”We walk fast and always pretend to know what we’re doing,” concedes a South Carolinian poster. “Even when we’re in no rush and have no clue what’s happening.”
“When I worked in China,” one commenter admits: “Our American partners would usually have a more relaxed fit while the European partners would have more form-fitting suits.” You can usually tell an American apart by their suit fits.
A female corporate worker says she “can still 100% tell the difference between a European and American businessman by how fitted their suits are.”
6. Sports Apparel
One poster says seeing “Older men in New Balance shoes” screams American tourists. I am unsure why New Balance gets the vote here; Nike is also popular among our American tourist friends.
Others say baseball caps and college attire — the college attire thing is my personal choice. No other people alive celebrate university sports teams like Americans.
7. Knife and Fork Game
“I’ve been told that most Americans cut their meat with their dominant hand and then switch the knife and fork,” explains a Pennsylvanian contributor. “Whereas in Europe, they cut with their dominant hand and use the fork in their other.”
I remember marveling at our American guest in England once. He used his knife like a saw, then switched hands and used his fork like a spoon — this was in the ’80s.
8. Talking to Strangers
“Smiling at strangers, being friendly, and making small talk,” suggests another proud American. “These are traits I’ve heard acknowledged most frequently.”
When I lived in the United States, my favorite part was being able to talk to random strangers about anything. If you try this in the United Kingdom, people will first wonder who you are; then, they will form suspicions about what you want and why you are talking to them.
9. Walking With Purpose
“I have heard from some Europeans that we walk differently,” says a Tennesseean. “One guy said it’s like the next step we take is exactly where the universe intends us to be.” The universe best be ready when Americans need to get somewhere. Another contributor speaks of a Japanese friend’s comment: “Every step you take, it’s as if that spot was meant for you.”
10. They Might Be Giants
“There are a few people who are generally as big as us — Icelanders and the Dutch, for example,” concedes a tall American man, “But in many places, I’ve been above average in muscularity and physical size when traveling, even if I’m relatively unremarkable in the U.S.” I am not sure why this is, considering America’s mixed heritage. I will put it down to a plentiful diet full of dairy.
11. Standing Unevenly
One commenter says Americans tend to favor leaning on one leg rather than standing on two.
“CIA tells our overseas spies not to lean on things when chilling because we do that a lot.” Another person responded, “I’ve heard that we also tend to put weight on one leg where Europeans evenly stand on both.”
Unless you want to be taken for an undercover agent while traveling abroad, stand tall on two feet.
How to Become Rich Quickly
Everyone wants to become rich quickly. While not always possible, there are legitimate ways to become wealthy. Follow these methods and you’ll be on the road to riches.
How to Watch ESPN Without Cable
Live sports keep many people in a cable contract. There’s no need for that. Here are six ways to watch live sports on ESPN without a nasty cable contract.
11 Ways to Make Money on the Weekends
Weekends can be a fantastic time to earn extra money to reach a financial goal. Thankfully, there are plenty of gigs available.
9 Best Delivery Apps to Work For
Find more ways to make money on the side by diving deeper into a review of the best delivery app jobs to work for.
Signs You’re Financially Stable
Financial stability is the foundation to achieving financial freedom. Learn how financially stable you are and where you can improve.
This thread inspired this post.