What are the 20 unspoken rules about living in America?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 24, 2020 05:42 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 24, 2020 05:42 AM

NEVER criticise the military. Although the right to do so is guaranteed by law, most Americans don’t take kindly to it and it’s a surefire way to get in a fistfight. Same goes for criticising the government if you weren’t born in the USA – Americans value THEIR OWN freedom to criticise the government, but most don’t take kindly to hearing it from foreigners. Americans think they live in the greatest place on earth and that everyone else should be thrilled to be here.
NEVER jump the queue (or “cut in line” in Yankese). That’s considered about the rudest thing a person can do and it’s another surefire way to create conflict with other people.
NEVER speak directly to children you don’t know. American kids are taught from an early age to be afraid of strangers, and if you start randomly talking to some kid then the kid will become uncomfortable or even frightened and the adults in the area will jump to the wrong conclusion about your intentions. If you have something to say to a child, address it to the adult(s) they’re with.
Don’t smoke or vape in public, and don’t smoke in someone else’s home or in front of other people without asking permission first. Most Americans find tobacco smoke offensive.
Always leave at least an arm’s length of space between you and the people next to you if possible. Americans value their personal space.
Shower every day. Americans shower at least once a day and expect everyone else to do the same. Showering daily also makes Americans especially sensitive to bodily smells. If you go more than a day without showering Americans will find your body odour offensive.
Don’t show up late to a meeting, appointment, dinner date, etc. Americans expect everyone to be on time. If you’re running more than 10–15 minutes late call the other people and let them know.
Always leave at least a 15% tip at a sit-down restaurant unless the food and/or service were disappointing, in which case withholding the tip will send a loud and clear message that the establishment needs to improve.
It’s becoming more and more acceptable to butt into other people’s business and offer unsolicited advice. A generation ago it was considered bad manners, but now that every American has an opinion about everything it’s commonplace. If you think an American is overstepping or prying, politely but firmly tell them to mind their own business.
Always turn your phone to airplane mode when you’re at the movies or the theatre. If your phone rings in the middle of the show you’ll get a lot of nasty looks and the occasional food or drink item dumped on your head.
If a police officer or other law enforcement figure stops you, no matter what your race or ethnicity DO AS YOU’RE TOLD, WITHOUT QUESTION. Talking back or refusing to comply are grounds for arrest.
Don’t admit you hate American football. Although anyone with an IQ over 50 knows it’s just a slowed down and boring version of rugby league played in pads and metal helmets, it’s nevertheless an American obsession and most Americans love it passionately.
Try to like baseball. To those who were raised outside the USA and had no exposure to it as kids, it often at first seems boring and tedious, but once you learn more about the strategy behind it you’ll likely find it fascinating and learn to love it. Think of it as chess on a grass (or fake turf) field. Each situation has multiple strategical choices and each choice can have positive and negative effects on the outcome of the game.
Americans tend to be very superficial and they loooooooooooooove labels. Most Americans only see WHAT you are, and seldom bother to look deeper and discover WHO you are. That’s why they love stamping themselves and other people with labels such as African American, Asian American, Latino, LGBTQ, trans, cis, person of colour, person of size, etc., and it’s the #1 reason why America is so segregated by race and ethnicity.
Don’t believe the news you see on telly or read in the paper or online. ALL American media is slanted one way or the other. You need to get your news from multiple sources in order to have any chance of finding out exactly what the truth might be.
Americans born after around 1980 or so were never taught logical, critical thinking in the schools. That’s why most Americans tend to lead with their emotions and have difficulty with foresight and advanced planning. It’s frustrating as hell for those of us born elsewhere and better educated, but you just have to find a way to deal with neurotic, over-emotional Americans and their annoying tendency to overreact and panic when faced with a crisis, and laugh it off as best you can.
Don’t haggle. Bargaining on price just isn’t done here. Unless you’re buying a car or a house, the price on the sticker is the price the customer will pay.
American children’s TV sucks. It’s full of adverts for unhealthy food, unsafe toys, violent games and other things that aren’t exactly conducive to healthy development and the adverts are all aimed at the children themselves, and the programming is written by of a bunch of left-wing Hollywood assholes who think they have all the answers trying to push their ideology on impressionable children. It’s impossible to avoid it altogether, but if you have kids remember this: YOU ARE THE PARENT. DON’T LET DISNEY, NICKELODEON, MATTEL OR KELLOGG’S DO YOUR JOB FOR YOU.
American schools suck. Some private schools are OK and come close to being as good as schools in Europe, Asia and Australia/NZ, but all public and many private schools are horrible. The curriculum isn’t challenging, teachers and administrators push their (mostly far left) ideology on the students, and the education model doesn’t reward hard work and achievement. If you can afford to send your kids to private school or are lucky enough to get them in on scholarship or financial aid, you’d be negligent as a parent not to send them.
Don’t get out-of-control drunk. Most Americans consider drunkenness a moral weakness, and drunken behaviour is considered very rude. If you’ve got the reputation of being a silly or mean drunk, then control your intake.

Mudassir Ali
- Feb 24, 2020 05:42 AM

Hey When you’re pulled over by a cop, hands on the wheels at all times, it doesn’t matter what race you are, you’re gonna want to keep your hands on the wheel.
When entering an American’s house, ask whether or not you can keep your shoes on. 70% are fine with it, but many people have a habit of taking one’s shoes off before coming in.
We use the English measurement system, though most people have an understanding of the metric system, but keep in mind that some don’t so keep that in mind.
Coffee is a cheap way to raise morale. Late for work? Bring in some coffee and you could dampen the sting of your lateness.
Holidays aren’t exactly universal, many people celebrate the smaller ones, such as Cinco De Mayo and All Saint’s Day.
In this country “football” is “soccer” it doesn’t go well for someone calling soccer “football”.
Also, American football is more popular than regular football, like far, far more popular. (Only here, obviously)
Don’t like American Football? Baseball might be more your speed for topics of conversation.
Americans are more open than most people, sometimes being quiet can be a sign of disapproval, so be vocal when you can.
If your English is bad, your only hope is Spanish. If you’re visiting the south west, it might be a good idea to know a few words.
Don’t know something? ask. Ask. ASK. Americans like helping people, even strangers, to the point they get angry if they can’t help you.
Tip 10, 15, or 20% on your meals depending on your service, 10 for bare minimum, 15 for fair, 20% for good service.
Americans talk differently by region, keep that in mind if you’re checking out ALL of america.
Don’t burn trash randomly, It’s strongly frowned upon.
Don’t hunt or fish without a license, otherwise it’s poaching and you’ll get a ticket if caught.
Believe that epstein was murdered. he didn’t kill himself.
Mcdonald’s restaurants are your north star, need Wifi? directions? a bathroom? Go to a McDonald’s, they are everywhere. If not a McDonald’s, a Starbucks will suffice.
Buy the cheapest version of gas unless your car has specific needs. Premium gas is a fucking ripoff. (Unless your car genuinely needs it)
The best energy drink here is monster.
Best large chain burger joint is 5 guys.
Update 1: WOW, how did this answer get 100,000 views in 20 hours, Jesus I should do more 4 AM writing on quora more often I’ll add in a few more soon

21. If you’re in the south and someone says “bless your heart” you should probably run for your life. (Credit to James Summerlin)

22. if someone shows you a weird hand sign, don’t use it on the streets, you never know if someone just showed you a gang sign to fuck with you.

23. Each of the states has their own specialty and culture, Florida is the crackhouse state, Ohio is the cold florida, ETC. Be prepared to see a lot of small differences.

24. Only in california/western states; everything causes cancer

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