Getting to Know Americans: The United States is a diverse country which encompasses a unique mix of cultures from around the world. Despite the diversity, there are some general trends that may define a typical American:
- Individualism: Individuality is highly valued in American culture, and often Americans would identify themselves as separate individuals before identifying with their family, a group, or the nation;
- Equality: A huge focus is laid on the notion of equality. Americans live by the idea that all men are equal; social status and titles are not as highly regarded in everyday interactions;
- Informality: Americans tend to be informal generally. They are quick to say hello to friends and casual acquaintances. You may also be greeted by “How’s it going” or “what’s up” as a way of saying hello – it is not necessary for you to provide the exact details and your response can be casual;
- Time and Punctuality: Punctuality is important in both business and social settings and arriving late can seem rude and unprofessional. Try your best to maintain the time, however, if you are getting late for some reason, it is nice to keep people updated on your late arrival;
- Directness: Americans believe that being direct is the best way to communicate. To people from different backgrounds, this can seem aggressive or rude. It is recommended to take some time to get used to such traits, and then gradually build that directness in you.