British vs. American culture

Differences

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Lorelei
What are the main cultural differences about other people that you notice when living in the UK/US as a foreigner?

For Brits who know the US, what advice would you give to Brits, when dealing with Americans?
For Americans/Canadians/Australians, etc. who know the UK, what advice would you give to fellow nationals when dealing with the Brits?
JerseyBoy
For Americans/Canadians/Australians, etc. who know the UK, what advice would you give to fellow nationals when dealing with the Brits?
You mean, besides ignoring the island mentality that England is somehow the center of the universe?
John am Rhein
For Brits who know the US, what advice would you give to Brits, when dealing with Americans?
You get further with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word

But seriously folks, I suppose the best advice is to avoid the kind of sarcasm/irony that is used in routine everyday convesation and interaction in Britain.

In America - and just about anywhere else in the world - such things tend to produce puzzlement or even occasionally annoyance.
John am Rhein
For Americans/Canadians/Australians, etc. who know the UK, what advice would you give to fellow nationals when dealing with the Brits?
Don't trust them!
Lorelei
You mean, besides ignoring the island mentality that England is somehow the center of the universe?
Yes, apart from that, obviously... (By "England", I take it that you mean er... the UK? )

But seriously folks, I suppose the best advice is to avoid the kind of sarcasm/irony that is used in routine everyday convesation and interaction in Britain.

In America - and just about anywhere else in the world - such things tend to produce puzzlement or even occasionally annoyance.
Maybe the Brits can come across as a bit abrasive, then, and not as polite as they're often stereotyped as?
John am Rhein
Certainly not as polite as the're often stereotyped as. I think they can come across as abrasive, but so can a lot of nationalities: Americans, Australians, Dutch, Germans and many others. I suppose the difference with the British might be that there's this image of the David Niven type of English gentleman which they are automatically measured against (?)

The most polite people I've known are those in the South East United States - Georgia, Alabama, Carolina.
Johnny Norfolk
Just take people as you find them, where ever they come from. You can find just as many noisy ignorant Brits as any other nation.

I avoid loud, swearing people of any nation.
Lorelei
I suppose the difference with the British might be that there's this image of the David Niven type of English gentleman which they are automatically measured against (?)
Gulp. An' fit if ye'r nae a Sassenach?

The most polite people I've known are those in the South East United States - Georgia, Alabama, Carolina.
Interesting.
Supergill
Advice to anyone dealing with The English - Don't look at them 'in a funny way'.
Pas
Done a few course on this one. Which are great as then you can treat everybody the same way even though you're talking about millions of people. I can go on and on on this one.

So here's some of the wisdom of the culture experts.

Americans tend to be very friendly and open when you first meet them. They will ask personal questions about your family that would be considered rude in the UK. They'll want to see pictures of the kids and 'show' interest. That's until the end of the work day when they will bugger off home and not invite you.

Brits are more defensive when you first meet us. At the end of the day we expect a beer and conversation though. Probably not invite you to the family home at first but defiantly up for a beer and/or restaurant.

Americans don't argue in public or meetings. I've seen this one where I've had blazing rows with collegues at work and the look on the Amerians faces was a picture. You then make up and go out together in the evening. The theory here was Americans have guns and getting into a blazing row could be terminal. Could be a crock of shot that theory but there is a certain logic.

Americans drive big crap cars with suspension made out of marshmallow that go round corners like an oil tanker.

One on one meetings with women in work are all but forbidden in the US. You absolutely must leave the door open if this does happen.

We were advised not to talk about Religion or Politics with Americans. Naturally the only things we talk about when we get together though.
Carm
Lorelie- you have started in the last two days two Britian Vs American threads... how about you telling us what you see and notice and give us a bit of information about yourself.
I am always cautious when people keep looking for differences like this. So, what are you really trying to get at, spit it out, and tell us.
Sin
Yes, apart from that, obviously... (By "England", I take it that you mean er... the UK?)
Heaven forbid! I'm sure he means ENGLAND.
Lorelei
Lorelie- you have started in the last two days two Britian Vs American threads... how about you telling us what you see and notice and give us a bit of information about yourself.
I am always cautious when people keep looking for differences like this. So, what are you really trying to get at, spit it out, and tell us.
I'm British, considering travelling to the US for the first time. As I have no experience of living there, I am interested to know what the differences are, from Brits who have actually lived there, so that I don't put my foot in it when I go. (I included the opposite perspective in the thread, for the sake of fairness.) Haven't met enough Americans to be able to make a judgement for myself. I am genuinely interested in the differences between the two peoples and cultures.

Having lived abroad for many years, I have learned that there are cultural differences even between people who are apparently very similar. I have also learned that it's appreciated if you're courteous when dealing with other people, including when communicating with people on online boards like this one.
Showem
If you are simply travelling to the U.S. and try to be open and friendly, you won't have any problems. At least no problems that you couldn't find anywhere else.
Pas
Knowing what a culture is supposed to be like is dangerous.As I said earlier you end up just treating millions of people the same way as theoretically they all act the same. The US is a massive place and there are huge regional differences anyway.

What you need is a capacity to understand that your way of doing things is not always the way in another place and that people doing things differently isn't wrong. If my Wife ever learns this maybe I won't leave her.
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