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Honestly I have zero patience for the American stereotype. We can play this game (British tourists,  really?), with almost every single nationality but somehow it’s just okay when it’s Americans we rag on? 
I mean I’ve had it up to here with being overseas and people assuming my kids won’t eat a veggie or we somehow know about all the McDonalds. The busiest McDonald’s I’ve seen was in France and I’ve not set foot on one in many years and I don’t take cruises. Ugh.

eta that spatial awareness is a tourist thing not an American thing. Try working 5 blocks from Times Square😂

Edited by madteaparty
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The discussion isn't are all Americans like this or do the non-Americans on the board think this is what all Americans are like. The discussion is why do those who generalize think this way. Amer

I am not wasting time on disclaimers, since you all know that lumping people into a group doesn't account for the individual. But here's what comes to mind (and when I say "Americans", I obviously do

Don't shoot the messenger; these are not all my opinions: On a geopolitical level: interfering in the affairs of other countries (friend or foe) and generally throwing weight around.  Dominant co

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Well while reading the non-American responses this American was thinking, "I know, right? You guys see what we have to put up with all.the.time." It drives me NUTS the way most Americans in AZ and NC and every American airport I've been in all over the country (because someone's going to ask where) stand as much in the way as possible in public places. It's like they thought about it first, "Hhhhmmmmm, where I can stand so I can block foot traffic as much as possible? Nooo, not here, I'd better move another foot to the right...noooo, there's still too much space for someone to get by, I'd better take another step...Yes! I could not be more in way.  Mission accomplished!" Talk about oblivious.  I see this almost every time I go in public. Apparently they  wouldn't want things to move along efficiently because it's so much fun to be in this crowded place running errands." I tell my little kids all the time, "You're standing in the walk way, move over to the side so people can get by." or "We're not the only ones here, make room for others."

And I'm frustrated with loud Americans in public too.  No, I shouldn't have to hear your side of that phone call or your conversation with your group at the next table in the restaurant.  The loud music isn't helping, and it's training people to yell at each other while eating, but when the music's not blaring I don't want to hear you anymore than you want to hear me. This is so common there's a meme that goes around FB that says something like, "If a stranger's arguing with someone on the phone they should have to put it on speaker so I can hear the other side of the story." There are comedians who joke that people who talk loudly on the phone in public and just talk loudly in public shouldn't complain about privacy issues in general-they violate their own privacy all the time. The reason people post and laugh at those jokes is because it's so common the audience can relate. No Fussy McSensitive, you don't do that, but others do and we're going to talk about that because that's the topic of conversation on this thread. 

The arrogant thing in some situations might just be cultural interpretation .  Just like different personalities and regions in the US interpret the same behavior differently.  What is assertive to one person or in one American region is interpreted as rude in another.  What is considered kind in one region is considered manipulative or evasive in another. Matter of fact can be interpreted as either neutral or negative depending on the subcultural norms. Ma'am is a compliment or an insult depending on where you are in the US. So that's life.  People should be able to discuss it because cultural norms do exist and aren't automatically unfair stereotypes. And just because this conversation about cultural norms is about Americans abroad doesn't mean this conversation is only ever about Americans abroad. It's just our turn now.

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Can't read all the replies, but I'm an American living in Montenegro (South central Europe) and have travelled all over.  

Sadly, many people believe in an American culture as defined in movies and shows because they don't actually know many Americans.  

But with those who do know individual Americans, and from my personal experiences, I and others *can* usually spot the Americans (not tourists--we don't live in a touristy town) because of:

Casual dress.  Outgoingness. Definite Can-do attitude. Individualism.  

Now, where Americans often perceive all of these as "good" things, to some people in some cultures, it looks different.  It just does.

  • Casual dress-->uncaringness of general society/sloppiness
  • Outgoingness-->pushy or not respecting others
  • Can-do--> thinking you're better than others
  • Individualism--> not respecting elders/traditions/family

I can also say, that where we live, most people long to have the opportunities we have in the States and wish for the chance to move there.

Ultimately, in this global world of ours, I think (and strive) to understand and appreciate other cultures (and all cultures have good/bad qualities); the things that bother me or seem wrong once had/still have a reason for being there....  

 

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8 hours ago, Roadrunner said:


my dad once said to me that all the American TV shows were responsible for a lot of negative stereotyping. People watch American TV and then think all of this is playing out on our streets and homes. 

I think this is true.  We lived in Middle Eastern countries in the 80's where available American TV shows were very restricted.  One American TV show that was allowed on their TV networks was Dallas!   It was wildly different from their very conservative environment and I think it definitely promoted a type of American stereotype.

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10 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

Well, even when you use your American manners and tell individuals that you like them, love them, think their society and culture has wonderful aspects, and here's a teeny, requested critique of SOME Americans, someone's gonna get mad at you, that's for sure.

 

 

yes, but don't you think that is true of some people from other cultures?  I don't think Americans have the corner on being offended.

I've been enjoying this thread but it's certainly not easy to hear we Americans can be buffoons abroad.  I'm not offended... just hoping I can do better when/if I travel next. 

 

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I am shocked that no one has mentioned that the US is full of Christian nutters! That is always at least #2 on the list. At least it is on travel boards like Fodors. 😄

#2.5 Closely related...allegiance to the flag.

#3 is people in the US calling themselves Americans because, after all, there are numerous countries in North, Central and South America. The reason: it’s easier to say “Americans” than “person from the United States.” Possibly ignorance as well.

#4 Americans abroad who’ve sewn the Canadian maple leaf on their backpacks and who don Roots clothing while peppering their conversations with “eh.” C’mon. You’re not fooling anyone with that loud voice and confident air. And your baseball cap. Ahem.

I will be bold and say that there are several countries in Europe where the people tend to be even more confident-appearing than us. Hello, Germany! But we admire that.

The points being made in these threads are just simply things to keep in mind while traveling. Behave considerately and most people will like you when you travel. That goes for travel within the States as well.

 

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So here's a question: Why is confidence considered offensive?  

I'm not offended, just curious. Do others in other nations just creep around like doormats? 

Or is quiet confidence okay, but brash pushiness is what PPs are referring to?

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1 hour ago, PrincessMommy said:

yes, but don't you think that is true of some people from other cultures?  I don't think Americans have the corner on being offended.

I've been enjoying this thread but it's certainly not easy to hear we Americans can be buffoons abroad.  I'm not offended... just hoping I can do better when/if I travel next. 

 

Absolutely, Americans don't have the monopoly on sensitivity or patriotism. However, even when criticism is slightly perceived, most times it is made into a bigger deal than necessary. My opinion is it stems from being a superpower for so long and there is a level of superiority ingrained, unconsciously of course. Not unlike the benefits of being born a certain colour.

I'm sorry it's difficult to hear, no one likes to hear the harsh truth, and I'm glad you're not offended and are open minded.

I'd like to add that my experiences have also been when travelling to the U.S. to visit with family, or on vacation and working with Americans locally, not solely based on tourists to my country. The most welcome and friendly region, in my opinion, has been the mid west.

 

  

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12 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

So here's a question: Why is confidence considered offensive?  

 

It is the air of “my way or the highway”, superiority complex kind of confidence from any nationality that’s offensive. It’s not just Americans, I can tell you Chinese can be just as bad in that aspect and I am chinese. 

You can be confident without putting people down directly or indirectly.

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13 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

I have opinions on other tourists too, but one doesn't give opinions unless asked, and the question in this thread was to do with American tourists.

If it hadn't been asked, I would have kept my thoughts to myself, as I've always done, unless I was having arvo tea with Melissa, lol

I'm happy to talk about all the things Aussies do wrong overseas if you want. 

 

12 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I have opinions on all nationalities, and Australians as a group as well. Quite frankly I am ashamed by the swearing drunk Aussie international image.

 

I’ve never actually heard of the swearing drunk Aussie stereotype before.  The American stereotype of Australians that I have encountered is: really friendly, great sense of humor, great food, and perpetually surrounded by kangaroos, koalas, and crocodiles.  🙂  This is probably the result of us all growing up loving Steve Irwin.

12 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

Anyone want to talk about white Southern American stereo types?

My dd went someplace with a bunch of West Coasters. "You don't seem like a Southerner. You're so smart."

"Don't you guys carry guns all the time?"

We're a bunch of ignorant rednecks. Doncha know! 🙂

 

I’m from the west, but was born in Tennessee while my dad was serving a judicial clerkship there.  He’s told me how occasionally, a northern lawyer would take a condescending attitude with the slow-drawling southern judge, and the judge would eat him for lunch.

11 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

I didn’t read all the responses but what struck me are all the comments from non Americans are from Europeans or English language world perspective.

i can give you a perspective of a couple cultures outside of “first world,” and we love Americans! Loud? Fit right in. Most of the world is loud and warm and Americans are always smiling and interested and spending money on a local economy. European tourists are seem so stuck up and forget about Asians. All they do is take pictures and are super stingy and don’t spend a dime. So Americans stay loud and generous and smile! Don’t let the uptight people tell you how to behave. 😉

 

Out of curiosity, where is this perspective from?

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5 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

It is the air of “my way or the highway”, superiority complex kind of confidence from any nationality that’s offensive. It’s not just Americans, I can tell you Chinese can be just as bad in that aspect and I am chinese. 

You can be confident without putting people down directly or indirectly.

I think confidence is the polite word everyone is using, perhaps that isn't what is really meant. 

Of course, not all Americans are this way, people are this way everywhere in the world. However, this thread is about Americans.

I apologize if I am offending anyone, it is certainly not my intent. I am trying to answer the questions that were asked.

I'll get ready for the push back.

Edited by Islandgal
Sorry, Arcadia, I didn't mean to quote you. I meant to quote fairfarmhand with her question but I can't figure out how to get rid of it!
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This thread is making me quite self-conscious. I haven't done any international travelling since I was young and single, and I went to Central America where I stuck out like a sore thumb because of my looks. Now with 7 kids we can't go anywhere without making a spectacle of ourselves, even when the kids are well-behaved. A few months back we took a trip to some touristy scenic locations and even (especially?) the international visitors loudly and dramatically counted my children as we walked by. 😄

This thread also has me pondering how much of our personalities are shaped by the culture we grow up in.

 

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I will add say that customer service seems to be a uniquely American thing. We expect people to greet us and smile and chat even. This is nonexistent in parts of the world that I know, so maybe demanding American stereotype comes from a shocked American at rudeness overseas. See , one can really turn this upside down.

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22 minutes ago, DesertBlossom said:

This thread also has me pondering how much of our personalities are shaped by the culture we grow up in.

Different countries register with different levels of introversion and extraversion.  I'm sure some of that is culturally determined, but I've often wondered whether - for those people who moved to the US willingly -  it was the most outgoing, go-getting people who got on the boat, made a success of it in the new country, and had children.

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Yeah, I've seen a lot and there is what I'd call rudeness and awkwardness from all sorts of countries.

We often think of India as a conservative place where you try to fade into the scenery, but many folks there are quite loud and pushy.  My first trip there, I was "standing in line" to buy something, and I would never have gotten to the checkout had not my Indian friend dragged me through the throngs of pushy people toward the front.  (We do NOT do that in the USA, anywhere I have been.  You wait in line.  You stop at stop signs, you yield, etc.  Also you say "sorry, excuse me, hello, thank you" even to people "below your rank."  My Indian friend thought all those courtesies were ridiculous if not outright scandalous.)  There is also a certain amount of uninvited touching in some countries that would never go over in the USA.  Don't even get me started on the bartering.  "This isn't worth this much money!"  Really?  Not in our local WalMart!  Also the overt racism against black people.

I had a couple visit from Canada to meet up with another couple whom they'd met in India and was visiting my house.  This Canadian couple were about the loudest and most braggy North American adults I have met.

Japanese visitors are generally super nice, but you are required to spend hours every day hanging out after work with them.  It's exhausting.  Also you are required to be a workaholic at the same time.  Figure that one out.

I have generally enjoyed my Chinese visitors with few exceptions, but it is true that they talk loudly in Chinese.  That is the language, not a personality thing.

Probably the loudest visitor I had was a Swiss guy.  He basically yelled and barked the whole time.  He was really a nice guy though once I got used to his speech.  He also asked my boss if I had a boyfriend, LOL. 

And one thing that might be a US cultural thing - you are considered rude if you speak in a language some of your company do not understand, when you have the ability to easily speak the common language.  It's viewed like "mean girl" whispering "behind my back in front of my face."  Americans may not realize this is actually not considered rude in countries where multiple languages are widely spoken.

That said - I am sure I have seen some Americans act like idiots both here and abroad.  Some people are just idiots.  American idiots just happen to stand out more in other places kuz it's that on top of looking different etc.

As for being over-sensitive - well I am still reeling from the time I asked a question of "you Canadians" on this forum (part of a longer discussion where Canadians had mentioned some difference).  I was practically banned for using the epithet "Canadians."  Who knew?  😛  It was then that I learned that a large percent of Canadians detest people from the US.  So it does not surprise me to see similar comments from other commonwealth countries.

I also wanted to mention - my friends from India used to have very negative views of the USA politically and culturally.  I discovered that this was largely because they thought it was the USA who had occupied India for hundreds of years.  Or that somehow the USA and UK were one entity and thus equally to blame for it.  The second reason was that the Soviet Union was running their communications for some years after independence.  And the 3rd reason was, as others have mentioned, our movies.  I pointed out that they wouldn't want Americans to think all Indians were like the people in Hindi "fillims," would they?  That helped.  😛

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I don’t think we can so easily separate ourselves from the culture we export. Yes, we aren’t often like people portrayed in movies and television shows, but we enjoy those people enough for the media to keep churning those images out. They reflect what we want to see, what we like, and what we value. We also elect them, so I think we need to own that. 

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2 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Well while reading the non-American responses this American was thinking, "I know, right? You guys see what we have to put up with all.the.time." It drives me NUTS the way most Americans in AZ and NC and every American airport I've been in all over the country (because someone's going to ask where) stand as much in the way as possible in public places. It's like they thought about it first, "Hhhhmmmmm, where I can stand so I can block foot traffic as much as possible? Nooo, not here, I'd better move another foot to the right...noooo, there's still too much space for someone to get by, I'd better take another step...Yes! I could not be more in way.  Mission accomplished!"

 

all the (mostly NON-American) tourists at Neuschwanstein sat in the middle of the stairs smoking their cigs.   there were so many of them, you could hardly go up or down the stairs.

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Just now, livetoread said:

I don’t think we can so easily separate ourselves from the culture we export. Yes, we aren’t often like people portrayed in movies and television shows, but we enjoy those people enough for the media to keep churning those images out. They reflect what we want to see, what we like, and what we value. We also elect them, so I think we need to own that. 

I don't enjoy them.  Nor do many Americans I know.

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1 hour ago, BeachGal said:

#3 is people in the US calling themselves Americans because, after all, there are numerous countries in North, Central and South America. The reason: it’s easier to say “Americans” than “person from the United States

Whenever I see this idea I always wonder....what else *would* "people from the US be called?

People from Canada are Canadians.

People from Mexico are Mexicans.

People from Brazil are Brazilians.

People from Russia are Russians.

People from Germany are German.

People from India are Indians.

People from France are French.

People from Spain are Spanish

But people from the United States of America, if we can't say we are American, what other word is there?  USian?  United Statesian?  

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14 minutes ago, SKL said:

 

Japanese visitors are generally super nice, but you are required to spend hours every day hanging out after work with them.  It's exhausting.  Also you are required to be a workaholic at the same time.  Figure that one out.

 

I have an acquaintance whose father was on a business trip in Japan. He doesn't drink, so they found him something non-alcoholic he could drink for the toasts at the "business dinners".  unbeknownst to him, every time he took a drink, all the Japanese underlings were required to also take a drink.  they were drinking sake.  Apparently, what he was given was really good so he enjoyed himself.  the next day's meetings had to be postponed due to the "quality" of all the hangovers.  Now, when he's in japan on business - he sticks to water, unless it is a specific toast.

 

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12 minutes ago, livetoread said:

I don’t think we can so easily separate ourselves from the culture we export. Yes, we aren’t often like people portrayed in movies and television shows, but we enjoy those people enough for the media to keep churning those images out. They reflect what we want to see, what we like, and what we value. We also elect them, so I think we need to own that. 

who are these "we" kimosabe?

I rarely go to movies, and watch very little television.  I can't even think of anything I watch in current production.

seeing Hollywood make remakes of dr. Zhivago, and magnum PI makes me want to go "wee wee wee, all the way home."

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3 hours ago, madteaparty said:


I mean I’ve had it up to here with being overseas and people assuming my kids won’t eat a veggie or we somehow know about all the McDonalds. 

 

I'm not arguing with your feelings and experiences here, but I can't help mentioning that the same thing happens to me *here* in the midwestern USA. People assume the children hate vegetables and dine at McDonalds (or have happy meals tossed at them over the backseat on the way home from soccer practice) multiple times per week. I've had people over to my house for dinner who have expressed great discomfort at the presence of vegetables and real dishes on my dinner table. 

"Oooh, formal! I never know which fork to use. I wish you hadn't gone to so much trouble, casual is so much more comfortable for everyone."  

Use the only fork at your place, please. This is just a family-style meal, in a low-middle class ranch house on the edge of the city. Don't let the china and parsley throw you too far off track.

 

Edited by Lang Syne Boardie
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4 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

who are these "we" kimosabe?

I rarely go to movies, and watch very little television.  I can't even think of anything I watch in current production.

seeing Hollywood make remakes of dr. Zhivago, and magnum PI makes me want to go "wee wee wee, all the way home."

ME TOO! There's seldom stuff that I want to watch.

 

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2 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

I'm not arguing with your feelings and experiences here, but I can't help mentioning that the same thing happens to me *here* in the midwestern USA. People assume the children hate vegetables and dine at McDonalds (or have happy meals tossed at them over the backseat on the way home from soccer practice) multiple times per week. I've had people over to my house for dinner who have expressed great discomfort at the presence of vegetables and real dishes on my dinner table. 

"Oooh, formal! I never know which fork to use. I wish you hadn't gone to so much trouble, casual is so much more comfortable for everyone."  

Use the only fork at your place, please. This is just a family meal. Don't let the china and parsley throw you too far off track.

 

Parsley? You’re talking dirty now 😂

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40 minutes ago, SKL said:

Yeah, I've seen a lot and there is what I'd call rudeness and awkwardness from all sorts of countries.

We often think of India as a conservative place where you try to fade into the scenery, but many folks there are quite loud and pushy.  My first trip there, I was "standing in line" to buy something, and I would never have gotten to the checkout had not my Indian friend dragged me through the throngs of pushy people toward the front.  (We do NOT do that in the USA, anywhere I have been.  You wait in line.  You stop at stop signs, you yield, etc.  Also you say "sorry, excuse me, hello, thank you" even to people "below your rank."  My Indian friend thought all those courtesies were ridiculous if not outright scandalous.)  There is also a certain amount of uninvited touching in some countries that would never go over in the USA.  Don't even get me started on the bartering.  "This isn't worth this much money!"  Really?  Not in our local WalMart!  Also the overt racism against black people.

I had a couple visit from Canada to meet up with another couple whom they'd met in India and was visiting my house.  This Canadian couple were about the loudest and most braggy North American adults I have met.

Japanese visitors are generally super nice, but you are required to spend hours every day hanging out after work with them.  It's exhausting.  Also you are required to be a workaholic at the same time.  Figure that one out.

I have generally enjoyed my Chinese visitors with few exceptions, but it is true that they talk loudly in Chinese.  That is the language, not a personality thing.

Probably the loudest visitor I had was a Swiss guy.  He basically yelled and barked the whole time.  He was really a nice guy though once I got used to his speech.  He also asked my boss if I had a boyfriend, LOL. 

And one thing that might be a US cultural thing - you are considered rude if you speak in a language some of your company do not understand, when you have the ability to easily speak the common language.  It's viewed like "mean girl" whispering "behind my back in front of my face."  Americans may not realize this is actually not considered rude in countries where multiple languages are widely spoken.

That said - I am sure I have seen some Americans act like idiots both here and abroad.  Some people are just idiots.  American idiots just happen to stand out more in other places kuz it's that on top of looking different etc.

As for being over-sensitive - well I am still reeling from the time I asked a question of "you Canadians" on this forum (part of a longer discussion where Canadians had mentioned some difference).  I was practically banned for using the epithet "Canadians."  Who knew?  😛  It was then that I learned that a large percent of Canadians detest people from the US.  So it does not surprise me to see similar comments from other commonwealth countries.

I also wanted to mention - my friends from India used to have very negative views of the USA politically and culturally.  I discovered that this was largely because they thought it was the USA who had occupied India for hundreds of years.  Or that somehow the USA and UK were one entity and thus equally to blame for it.  The second reason was that the Soviet Union was running their communications for some years after independence.  And the 3rd reason was, as others have mentioned, our movies.  I pointed out that they wouldn't want Americans to think all Indians were like the people in Hindi "fillims," would they?  That helped.  😛

To clarify, speaking for myself, I don't detest Americans. I sometimes don't care for the behaviour they exhibit and sometimes their thought processes can be off putting, but I can say that about Joe across the street. 

Broad generalizations are never fair. There are things culturally that I admire about the U.S. and things I don't. Just like every other country in the world. I just happen to have more exposure to Americans.

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34 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

who are these "we" kimosabe?

I rarely go to movies, and watch very little television.  I can't even think of anything I watch in current production.

seeing Hollywood make remakes of dr. Zhivago, and magnum PI makes me want to go "wee wee wee, all the way home."

Well, obviously she was speaking of the country as a whole. I don't watch TV other than news,  haven't been to or watched a movie in well over a decade, and I think most of my political choices over the years would not be seen as too radical by most people in other countries. But at the same time I have to accept that the collective decisions and preferences of the majority of Americans is quite awful. I can't run away from that truth just because *I* am not one of them.

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2 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

So here's a question: Why is confidence considered offensive?  

I have been working on a project with colleagues from the USA and Germany.  I'm not sure if its national culture or the specific corporate culture of the individuals that I"m observing.

Not necessarily offensive, but I have found that the American confidence and 'can-do' attitude does lead to team members not admitting when there are problems on the project.  They report things as 'all good' when they should be raising red flags on budget and timelines.  

On the other hand, the Germans point out every possible hurdle! 

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12 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

What's different about it ?

I'll bring you some if/when I get back to Australia this year (husband has been invited to Brisbane and Melbourne this year so far)!  It's true; best toilet paper ever.

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56 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Whenever I see this idea I always wonder....what else *would* "people from the US be called?

The UK has a similar problem.  'Briton/British' is the normally accepted style, but that actually excludes Northern Ireland (the fully name of the country is 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). 

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

I will add say that customer service seems to be a uniquely American thing. We expect people to greet us and smile and chat even. This is nonexistent in parts of the world that I know, so maybe demanding American stereotype comes from a shocked American at rudeness overseas. See , one can really turn this upside down.

Oh my no.  Japanese customer service makes me swoon!  Makes American CS look like dreck (junk, rubbish).  Although elevator girls in Japanese department stores can be a bit too much.

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9 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

The UK has a similar problem.  'Briton/British' is the normally accepted style, but that actually excludes Northern Ireland (the fully name of the country is 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). 

I guess I always figured that people from the UK were both British and Irish/Scottish/Welsh/etc.  Are Northern Ireland, Scotland, etc sort of like states, or do they have some other designation?

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13 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I guess I always figured that people from the UK were both British and Irish/Scottish/Welsh/etc.  Are Northern Ireland, Scotland, etc sort of like states, or do they have some other designation?

Strictly, 'British' doesn't cover Northern Ireland, because of the structure of the name: United Kingdom of Britain AND Northern Ireland. In general - yes, Scots, Welsh, English and Northern Irish are all also citizens of the UK.

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3 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

So here's a question: Why is confidence considered offensive?  

I'm not offended, just curious. Do others in other nations just creep around like doormats? 

Or is quiet confidence okay, but brash pushiness is what PPs are referring to?

 

Sometimes that confidence translates into a requirement for non-Americans to display patriotism towards America. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Well, obviously she was speaking of the country as a whole. I don't watch TV other than news,  haven't been to or watched a movie in well over a decade, and I think most of my political choices over the years would not be seen as too radical by most people in other countries. But at the same time I have to accept that the collective decisions and preferences of the majority of Americans is quite awful. I can't run away from that truth just because *I* am not one of them.

there are generalities - and specifics.  many of the generalities - aren't   accurate.

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3 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

So here's a question: Why is confidence considered offensive?  

I'm not offended, just curious. Do others in other nations just creep around like doormats? 

Or is quiet confidence okay, but brash pushiness is what PPs are referring to?

Because it is not interpreted as confidence, but rather as being full of themselves.

i am sad to say but every person from USA that I have met in real life has come across as full of themselves, not as confident. This of course doesn’t apply to people I have met online. Maybe only a certain type of US citizen comes on holidays to my part of Australia

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2 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

Sometimes that confidence translates into a requirement for non-Americans to display patriotism towards America. 

 

How in the world do you delete these things???

Edited by Islandgal
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well the TV thing is a weird argument, if you're saying that the American public is responsible for TV representations of Americans because they wouldn't make these shows if people didn't watch them

but then you're saying that people overseas watch these shows and get accurate/inaccurate views of americans - are they not also collectively responsible for the media their country imports (because they wouldn't import it if no one wanted to watch it)?

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1 minute ago, moonflower said:

well the TV thing is a weird argument, if you're saying that the American public is responsible for TV representations of Americans because they wouldn't make these shows if people didn't watch them

but then you're saying that people overseas watch these shows and get accurate/inaccurate views of americans - are they not also collectively responsible for the media their country imports (because they wouldn't import it if no one wanted to watch it)?

 

Considering the shows we export, I can only say it is a mystery I will never fully understand.

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Whenever I see this idea I always wonder....what else *would* "people from the US be called?

People from Canada are Canadians.

People from Mexico are Mexicans.

People from Brazil are Brazilians.

People from Russia are Russians.

People from Germany are German.

People from India are Indians.

People from France are French.

People from Spain are Spanish

But people from the United States of America, if we can't say we are American, what other word is there?  USian?  United Statesian?  

I recall a thread here probably 5 or 6 years ago when the idea of calling people from the US “USians” was almost universally shouted down.  I think the word looks awful.  But honestly, we need a new nickname and I can’t think of anything better than USian.  

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17 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

Can't people tell you your accent ? American accents are pretty distinctive.

Native English speakers can easily id an American accent, but it is much, much trickier for those who don't speak English natively or who hear an American speaking/attempting to speak another language.

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48 minutes ago, Hannah said:

I have been working on a project with colleagues from the USA and Germany.  I'm not sure if its national culture or the specific corporate culture of the individuals that I"m observing.

Not necessarily offensive, but I have found that the American confidence and 'can-do' attitude does lead to team members not admitting when there are problems on the project.  They report things as 'all good' when they should be raising red flags on budget and timelines.  

On the other hand, the Germans point out every possible hurdle! 

 

The recent Boeing scandal doesn’t help the image of Americans reporting things as “all good”. 

It might be personality though. The Americans who tend to go with “all good” tend to gravitate towards sales and marketing related job roles. The Americans who “nitpick” gravitate towards roles where nitpicking is essential and crucial like quality control, ICU.

I use to be in project management in an American MNC and I needed engineers who nitpick so that we know whether the tender requirements are doable with minimum liability costs. The stereotype when I was working was that Germans are more blunt about raising issues,  Parisians are more polite in stating the problem, Americans would sugar coat the problem, Thais, Indonesians, Koreans, Japanese would be too polite to say anything. 

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21 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Because it is not interpreted as confidence, but rather as being full of themselves.

i am sad to say but every person from USA that I have met in real life has come across as full of themselves, not as confident. This of course doesn’t apply to people I have met online. Maybe only a certain type of US citizen comes on holidays to my part of Australia

I think what the situation is that you don't ID quieter tourists as Americans or have reason to even meet them because they aren't in your face asking inane questions.  There certainly are American travelers out there that travel with quiet curiosity and an open mind.  I even pack clothing and shoes not to stand out.  I've been told many times traveling in different contexts that I don't register as an American tourist as I mentioned above.   I've sat in range of conversations  by Europeans ripping on Americans that I wouldn't have likely heard had they known an American was in range.  I think people world wide in many cases are far too happy to buy into a stereotype and I'm not defending Americans at all.  I think some of the stereotypes are justified.  I do also think there are annoying tourists from many countries.  Heck, I've had less than pleasant interactions in more rural areas when I say I live in a city or rural tourist acting like I risk life and limb every day living where I do (not).  

It reminds me of my freshman son in college.  He is at a college that has a rep as being a party school.  Well it's also a huge school with relatively high stats.  Well if you go there on a Saturday evening, yep, you will see those loud noisy obnoxious co-eds out and about.  What you aren't seeing is the kids in the basement of the dorm playing board games.  Or other students holed up with their books and laptop in the libraries.  Or the outdoor club roasting marshmallows by the lake singing folk songs.  It's human nature to judge by the loudest and most visible and probably most obnoxious in a group.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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7 minutes ago, Amira said:

I recall a thread here probably 5 or 6 years ago when the idea of calling people from the US “USians” was almost universally shouted down.  I think the word looks awful.  But honestly, we need a new nickname and I can’t think of anything better than USian.  

Well, it's not really a "nickname," it's just, what we are called.  I wouldn't say that Canadian is a "nickname" for people from Canada.

And I am not sure why we "need" a new name.  I mean, I totally understand that there are more countries on the continents of North and South America than just the US.  But, they also all have their own names.  Canadians, Mexicans, Colombians, Venezuelans, etc etc.  When someone say they are American, no one is confused about what country the person is from, and that's only because of the quirk of the name of our country, not really some attitude of the American people.  There really isn't a better name.  

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Well even US citizens  I know who have chosen to live in Australia and are not tourists come across as full of themselves.
 

I am only writing this as this thread is specifically asking for international opinions. I am not trying to offend or insult, and would normally not express this outside my head .

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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30 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Because it is not interpreted as confidence, but rather as being full of themselves.

 

 

5 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Well even US citizens  I know who have chosen to live in Australia and are not tourists come across as full of themselves.

Sometimes I think that people can only just do the best they can with regards to their attitude and how they project themselves, and then let others interpret it how they will.  

It's kind of like how sometimes a woman being assertive can be interpreted as being a witch instead.

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Nobody likes tourists. Where we live in US, we have foreign tourists stop in the middle of one lane highway and wait on parking essentially causing traffic jams. They poop on the side of the road because of lack of public bathrooms on the coastal highway. Locals wish all those tourists would just evaporate. 
I think it’s also all in numbers. Maybe a tourist from Venezuela is no better than the one from America, but the sheer number of tourists from certain countries (like America and China) are what drives the animosity towards particular countries. 

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5 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Nobody likes tourists. Where we live in US, we have foreign tourists stop in the middle of one lane highway and wait on parking essentially causing traffic jams. They poop on the side of the road because of lack of public bathrooms on the coastal highway. 

 

Gotta ask...

Why doesn't someone build some? 

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I"m super sick, but I was flipping through WTM so I tried to read through this but my eyes are bad.  I got to page 3.

One thing that is funny to me is that in 24 years of back and forth visits to Australia I have never met a single American.  Two years ago I finally met a Canadian by accident in a coffee shop and we talked for a bit.  

I think there are 2 kinds of anti-American sentiment.  The political death to america kind and then the personal insult kind and this is the kind that I experience and seems rooted in prejudice and knee jerk reactions.  

I have heard many things 1000X to the point that I can almost fill in the blank for people. This past year I also had someone in my church small group that didn't like Southerners and that is same type of thing.   

I will say when we lived in Europe (20 years ago so not sure if it's still the same) that I found the people getting the most name calling were Irish and not Americans.  Although sometimes they think you're Irish if you hang out with Irish people.  In the student dorm I lived in Irish people were banned from living there.  I really could not tell you why.  My friends from Ireland went on to become DR's, Engineers and social workers and to me I thought they were all very normal and nice people.  

 

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