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Old 10-22-2013, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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Often it is commented, especially by Europeans, that Americans are friendly and extroverted to a fault: waving at strangers, making chit-chat with them, etc. Obviously this is not true in NYC or perhaps many other large cities, but it is in Minnesota, and I suspect a wide swath extending from Florida to North Dakota, at the very least. I've been to Europe and Canada before (Spain and a teeny bit of France), and although people were generally helpful, they were not as exuberantly open as the Americans I see every day are. I've also been to Morocco, where they were even more friendly than here. Many comment that it is a superficial type of friendliness, though that it makes for a more pleasant atmosphere.

Now the U.S. is populated primarily by the descendants of European immigrants, so either something had to change in the national character, or else Europe was a lot more open when they moved here. What is the origin of stereotypical American friendliness?
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Well, I lived in a very large city, Chicago, and people were always very friendly. Whenever I meet people who have been there they always comment on that. And newcomers I met when I lived there used to tell me that as well. Regarding NYC, I have only visited but found people to be friendly. So I don't discount large American cities as being friendly.

I think it's more a regional thing in the US with the most friendly people being in the Midwest. In Europe, many countries have a history of being xenophobic and are just naturally leery of strangers. They particularly don't know what to make of Americans. There is some resentment of us and some discomfort because they feel we must be so different from them. We don't always have the best reputation in other countries. The biggest guys usually don't.

When I traveled through the UK, I found the cities to be more aloof and cool while people in smaller towns to be very friendly and curious about where I came from. As soon as they heard my American accent, strangers would ask me all sorts of questions about where I was from.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:16 AM
 
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Well no one in Chicago is going to smile and wave at you on the street, just like NYC or other large dense cities (my God, all you'd be doing is waving frantically).

I think that's a factor of density. Much of the country is FAR less dense than in Europe, and you're more likely to maybe know someone or at the very least see people less frequently, and you're more incline to wave at them since maybe you know them and they're probably from your immediate area given the extreme distances and sparce degree of towns, etc. than Europe.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
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I think that it's partly that American culture values extroversion and friendliness. The most successful people we see on TV and in movies are all extroverts, so I think we tend to think that that's what is the most valuable for society. However, introverts contribute just as much as extroverts, they're just, obviously, less vocal about it.

In my personal experience, it took me a while to accept myself as an introvert, and not try to take on the extrovert role, because I felt like I was looked down upon for being more quiet and reserved.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:15 PM
 
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I don't really find Americans especially friendly, but then again maybe people in other countries are just REALLY unfriendly. Also I live in Oregon which is one of the country's most inward states.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:23 AM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post

Now the U.S. is populated primarily by the descendants of European immigrants, so either something had to change in the national character, or else Europe was a lot more open when they moved here. What is the origin of stereotypical American friendliness?
It's not just friendliness, it is also stereotypical boldness. I think it stems from a boldness and self-confidence that's developed over the past 200 years as part of the national culture and extremely fast population growth of America and not because of what the original European settlers were like. I think that it's strictly an American developmental thing because Canadians are also descendants of basically the same European immigrants with same backgrounds arriving at the same time and sharing a border and hence Canada is closest of all other nations to being like a sibling to America but both nations have some obvious social differences.

Both nations have been growing side by side as neighbours right from the start, having started with the similar kinds of colonial and frontier beginnings on the continent, neck and neck through history with similar lifestyles, education, science, medical, industrial and technological advancements but American population has grown 10 times faster and Americans are socially far more outspoken and extroverted and also quicker to anger than Canadians. I think Americans are generally friendlier and more open handed and generous than most other nations but sometimes too outspoken and verging on rudeness or aggressiveness if they disagree about things while Canadians are friendly but more reserved about it, and more polite and quiet when they disagree about things in an attempt to not overtly offend other people.

So why are the people of those 2 nations so different in their social attitudes when they have had such similar beginnings and similar ancestors from Europe? I think it's an effect of the different climates and environments, with America being a warmer, drier country with people having a hotter and more outgoing temperament and Canada being a colder, wetter country and it's people having a cooler and more reserved temperament.

If you look at all other countries and consider their respective climates you'll see that their climates plays a huge role in the overall temperament and social development of the people.

.

.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:33 AM
 
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I often find supposed "friendliness" to be aggressive too. For example this guy I hardly even know from one of my college classes tapped by shoulder really hard one day when I was waiting for the bus home. It's like dude, I don't even know you lol
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:37 AM
 
32,073 posts, read 32,974,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Often it is commented, especially by Europeans, that Americans are friendly and extroverted to a fault: waving at strangers, making chit-chat with them, etc. Obviously this is not true in NYC or perhaps many other large cities, but it is in Minnesota, and I suspect a wide swath extending from Florida to North Dakota, at the very least. I've been to Europe and Canada before (Spain and a teeny bit of France), and although people were generally helpful, they were not as exuberantly open as the Americans I see every day are. I've also been to Morocco, where they were even more friendly than here. Many comment that it is a superficial type of friendliness, though that it makes for a more pleasant atmosphere.

Now the U.S. is populated primarily by the descendants of European immigrants, so either something had to change in the national character, or else Europe was a lot more open when they moved here. What is the origin of stereotypical American friendliness?
Actually people in NYC are quite friendly.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,337,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
It's not just friendliness, it is also stereotypical boldness. I think it stems from a boldness and self-confidence that's developed over the past 200 years as part of the national culture and extremely fast population growth of America and not because of what the original European settlers were like. I think that it's strictly an American developmental thing because Canadians are also descendants of basically the same European immigrants with same backgrounds arriving at the same time and sharing a border and hence Canada is closest of all other nations to being like a sibling to America but both nations have some obvious social differences.
Are you referring to swag?
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:06 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
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Im curious to the obvious social differences. From a brief visit to Toronto a few years ago didnt notice much difference...
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