Unspoken rules in American culture and life


Whether we like to admit it or not, every country – for the most part – has its own set of ~unspoken rules.~

Let me say that as an American I was familiar with many of these rules – but others were quite new to me. So here is even After American rules that some people say are worth knowing if you are planning to visit the United States for the first time or just want to get to know the culture better.


“The South — like South Carolina — may have a reputation for being more hospitable, but there’s often that false nuance. It’s not always as hospitable as it seems.”



“Sales tax varies from country to country, and some states don’t have it at all. Never assume you know what the final price will be. The average across the country is 5%, but in my county it’s 10% – that being said, my state has no income tax.”



“School buses are like moving crosswalks. If they have their little stop signs and dangers (although sometimes that doesn’t count) and a little bar comes out in front, you have to stop.”


“Basically you are dealing with 50 different countries somewhat connected by a central authority that manages broad aspects of services and authority. These 50 countries have the ability to determine much of what is or is not legal, appropriate, accepted, and expected within their Be prepared for vastly different laws, customs, and beliefs once you cross what seems be just a line on a map.”



“When you visit someone’s house for the first time, some people don’t mind you wearing shoes in their house, and others do. It’s best to ask first. If they do want you to take them off, they may or may not provide slippers or house shoes. Wear socks just in case.”


“Be careful how you interact with children who are not related to you. Do not scold or discipline anyone’s child, even if they are acting obnoxious, unless you have explicit permission from the guardian If you see a lost child in a public place, stay nearby and watch or find a police officer or store clerk Do not give gifts or candy to a child alone, and do not not offer to take him anywhere or show him anything Only if there is immediate danger – they just fell into a pond or got into traffic – [do you] act immediately to save the kid!”



“Appetizers and entrees are first courses and an order is generally meant to be shared before the main course, not ordered for oneself or as a meal in itself. But you can certainly do it, and a lot of people do. Entrees are the main course, not the first course or starter.I’ve seen Europeans get a little confused on that one.


“My brother-in-law moved to Japan and his wife and son were born there. When they visited [the US], his wife struggles a lot, and I understand why: American culture normalizes the violation of children’s autonomy. If a baby is in a room, Americans—primarily family and friends—tend or even expect women to treat the baby like an object, pass it around, and see it as a “gift” to give free time to mom. baby, even if the child cries out in protest. In other countries, it’s a total violation.”



“In most restaurants, if you order tea, it will be iced. And depending on where you are, it can be syrupy.”



“Americans are a touchless society. If you don’t know someone — heck, even if you know someone — just assume even a pat on the shoulder is unwanted. Don’t touch.”



“Don’t ask an American a question unless you’re ready to hear the answer.”


“You must tip in the United States. For example, 20%, 15% absolute minimum for all services – unless intentionally below average, but that’s honestly rare because people DEPEND on their tips in the service industry. services in the United States. [servers] are generally not paid a normal minimum wage. It’s often much less than that, like $2 an hour. It’s not just about throwing loose change as a thank you like in other places in the world.”


“It’s a bit of advice from the Great Plains of the Midwest. If you’re going down a dirt or gravel road and find yourself passing another vehicle, give it the ‘rural wave’ – just lift your fingers off the steering wheel to about four inches and give a slight nod. It’s a subtle gesture, not quite a wave, but it’s a gesture that signifies courtesy and a greeting.


“If you are from a country that drives on the left, be sure to look right before crossing and always use the crosswalks! Watch out for turning cars when crossing and don’t take forever to cross. The right on red is legal in some places. Stay out of the left lane on the freeway unless you’re trying to pass someone!”



“Americans take hygiene very seriously. Most people shower daily and use deodorant, perfume and cologne. BO is adopted in other countries, but you’ll look dirty here.”



“A few rules here. You cannot pump your own gasoline in the states of Oregon and New Jersey. You must wait for attendants. The exception to sales tax is Oregon, where there is no At major freeway entrances where you enter California from other states, there are agricultural checkpoints where they will ask if you are carrying produce. You are supposed to turn it in if you do, but pre-packaged products are usually fine. These checkpoints are not always guarded, however. Or they might wave you through without asking.”



“If you are arrested, know your rights.”


Are there any other unspoken rules you could add to this list? Tell me in the comments below!

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