Living overseas among various nationalities exposed me to some of American stereotypes. Some of the stereotypes made me wonder whether or not I’m proud to be an American after all.
Never in my life had I felt so boxed in by American culture, so labeled. Sometimes people told me that I wasn’t like “that,” insinuating that “that” was the essence of American error.
Want to hear what other people think of Americans? Well, here are a few things…
We are impulsive.
We make quick decisions without weighing the pros and cons or how our decisions affect other people. This probably has a lot to do with personality, but there is a trend in favor of this stereotype. Why? Is it because we’re used to having things easy? Do we always give ourselves the option to give up when things get harder than we had anticipated?
We are loud.
This is another stereotype that depends on personality. I did notice a trend with Americans overseas. We were usually the loud ones, laughing, talking, unafraid that the everyone within shouting distance knew our business.
We are scared to be real.
We hold surface conversations and act like our lives are going smoothly. (Personally, I think this trend is starting to change with a generation that values authenticity.)
We are violent. (And everyone owns a gun.)
Hmm. Well? Look at the video games we have access to, even children. Look at Hollywood. We might freak out at nudity (reinforcing another stereotype), but without flinching, we watch people’s heads being blown off. There’s a lot more behind this idea, but I’ll let you unpack this one for yourself.
Stay tuned for Part 2!