Some cultures believe Americans stick out like a sore thumb, identifiable from afar thanks to a handful of unmistakable indicators. If you've ever wanted to pick out an American in a crowd, today's your lucky day! Recently, men and women worldwide converged in an online discussion to reveal the ways U.S. citizens act that scream, “I'm an American!”
1. Friendliness Toward Strangers
One of the most significant differences between Americans and people overseas is that Americans are infinitely friendlier to strangers. Some think Americans take it too far! “I dated a European man here in the United States,” recalls one woman. “When we walked together, every time I made eye contact with someone on our path, I would smile at them, and they would always smile back. My boyfriend was so confused at all these strangers smiling at me. He kept asking if I knew all these people. It was hilarious.”
2. Desserts as Breakfast
From waffles and pancakes to sugary pastries (and everything in between), eating sweets for breakfast is a strictly American tradition. All other breakfasts around the world revolve around savory cuisine, as most humans leave sweet treats until after dinner. According to many people, the easiest way to identify an American is to see what sugary-sweet food they're shoving down their throats at eight o'clock in the morning.
3. Meaningless Conversations With Retail Workers
Europeans are amazed at Americans' vapid chit-chat with retail workers; this phenomenon doesn't exist overseas! (Maybe Europe can learn a thing or two from the U.S.!) “In the United States, we're basically trained to have these meaningless, pseudo-friendly interactions with retail workers,” reveals one American. “If we walk into a store, a worker greets us and asks how we're doing. The only acceptable reply is, ‘Fine, how are you?' and then we move on with shopping.”
4. Lots of Ice in Their Water
According to many, you can often tell an American by the amount of ice they have in their beverage glasses! It makes sense: most countries overseas do not have the benefit of modern plumbing, so water, especially in the form of ice cubes, is hard to come by for free. Conversely, water is served on the house in bars and restaurants, meaning there's no excuse not to pack glasses to the brim with ice whenever possible.
5. Measurement Stubbornness
Americans can be stubborn, and nothing exemplifies this more accurately than the United States' insistence on using measurements different from the rest of the world. Chalk it up to stereotypical American arrogance, but it is bizarre that the U.S. measures things in inches and yards and uses Fahrenheit to measure temperate instead of Celsius. It's arguably needless!
6. Americans Love Their Space
Men and women in the U.S. take personal space seriously; Americans don't like touching strangers if they don't have to! “We're conditioned to fill spaces evenly,” professes one U.S. citizen. “I noticed when I worked delivery, spending lots of quality time on elevators, that everybody shuffles to even things out for every new person that enters. A similar thing plays out in social gatherings and bars. Not sure if that's universal or not, but I find it interesting.”
7. Perfect Teeth
Thanks to more accessible and affordable dental care, you can usually identify an American by their perfect white teeth. It doesn't matter if their teeth are natural or veneers; Americans love showing off their pearly whites. As you can imagine, many people think America's obsession with teeth is eye-rolling.
8. Generous Tipping
Whether you agree with the practice or are against it, everyone can agree that Americans are generous tippers, whether or not they're in a country that hosts a tipping culture. While traveling through Europe, I couldn't help but tip servers, bellhops, and bartenders like I was still in the United States. I like to think my excessive tipping was appreciated; nevertheless, I'm sure I stuck out like a sore thumb.
9. Their Worldview
Sometimes, you must give Americans credit: Their cheery demeanors and relatively positive worldview make them stick out like sore thumbs overseas. “I don't know how it is in the United States, but Americans in Europe stand out with their ceaseless optimism and enthusiasm,” reports one European woman. Let me be the first to say: Yes, it's very similar here in the United States!
10. Their Volume in Public
For some reason, Americans love being loud in public. In addition, it's easy to identify them because they're always found bragging about their home country! What's with people from the U.S. visiting foreign countries and drawing attention to themselves? Of course, there are exceptions to this rule: European football fans overseas will always be louder than the noisiest Americans!
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