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What everyone else finds most annoying about Americans

This question originally appeared on Quora: What inherently American habits are not favored by other cultures/nations? Answer by Ellen Vrana, writer.

  • We are puritanical. We don’t like seeing skin, boobs, upper thighs, or kissing in public. And if our president cheats? Half the country wants to impeach him.
  • We throw around concepts like the “American Dream.” Is there a Canadian Dream? Or a Russian Dream? Sure, people in these countries dream but their dreams aren’t coalesced into a cultural phenomenon which virtually every citizen can explain (whether they agree with it or not).
  • Words we love: Liberty, freedom, hero, patriotism, and dream.
  • We have a thing for eagles. And flags. And eagles on or near flags.  
  • We are  opinionated and vocal. Brash, bold, and outspoken. We do not demur, we say what we think. And if you do not agree, we say it louder.
  • We are in a hurry.  Faster, swifter, rapido! Gotta get more done, now!
  • We like a good deal.  LOVE a good deal.  Coupons, Wal-Mart, value cards, airline points.  And this usually leads to a lot of “things” we own. (Although materialism is not unique to US).  We have a reality show called Extreme Couponers on the same channel as a show called Extreme Hoarders.
  • We demand personal space.  Recently, a woman was on the step behind me on the escalator.  I practically had an anxiety attack and was convinced she was stealing something from my purse.  I only feel a little bad about this.
  • We do not live with our parents after college, and if you do, you usually don’t do it without feeling like you failed.
  • We put a lot of stock in college and university systems. Education over experience. Where you went to school is usually the first detail on resumes.
  • We live on credit. Credit cards, mortgages, with our own government setting the example.
  • We grossly oversimplify complicated things to make sense of them. Hey, like I did here!

Ok, gotta go.  Gotta get more done! Have a bold, brave, free, heroic sort of day!

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