11 Things You Should NEVER Say to an American

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Americans are known as one of the most polite and friendly nations in the world. They typically follow the golden rule: If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. However, that doesn’t mean you should say whatever comes to mind. There are many topics that can hit a nerve and stir up a heated debate. Here are 11 things you should never say to an American.

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1. ‘America Is Not the Greatest Nation in the World’

Before you go ahead and spill hot coffee on Uncle Sam’s lap, it should be common sense to refrain from verbally attacking people’s homelands. For many red-blooded Americans, the famous saying goes beyond bragging; it is an ideology and form of pride: America is the promised land, the land of the free, the greatest nation. Americans are well aware of the country’s flaws and problems, but that doesn’t give anyone a free pass to insult it.

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2. ‘Your Health Care System Is a Joke’

Criticizing America’s health care system by calling it a “joke” can come off as pretty harsh. It dismisses the struggles and experiences many Americans face when dealing with health care costs and access.

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3. ‘Why Do I Have to Tip?’

Maybe because servers are paid minimal wages in the U.S., they depend on your generosity. Essentially, tipping in the U.S. is a way to supplement the income of service workers who often rely on tips to make a decent wage. While it might seem odd if you’re not used to it, tipping is considered customary here for services like dining out, getting drinks at a bar, or using certain services like taxis or hair salons.

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4. ‘How Much Do You Weigh?’

Should I also list every illness in my family history while we’re on the topic? Commenting on people’s weight never was and never will be socially acceptable. It can stir up some strong reactions, especially here in the U.S.

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5. ‘Capitalism Will Ruin the World’

Capitalism is definitely a polarizing topic, and it’s okay to have strong opinions about it — just refrain from sharing them with an American. Capitalism is a fundamental part of American culture and identity, so criticizing it can feel like an attack on deeply held beliefs and values.

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6. ‘Why Is College So Expensive?’

Bringing up the high cost of college is like rubbing salt in a wound for Americans. They’re well aware of the issue and have felt the financial strain firsthand. With student loans burdening many, it’s a topic that’s been extensively discussed and advocated for. Unless you’ve got a solution to offer, it’s best to steer clear of reminding them about their education expenses!

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7. ‘Do You Live in NYC or LA?’

Americans know the popularity of New York City and Los Angeles, but it’s important to remember that the U.S. spans 3.8 million square miles and is home to over 330 million people across 50 states. Assuming everyone lives in just two cities is a bit like assuming everyone in Europe lives in Paris or London.

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8. ‘Americans Are Workaholics’

While many Americans do work long hours and prioritize their careers, there’s a lot of diversity in work habits and priorities across the population. Some Americans value work-life balance and prioritize leisure time just as much as their professional pursuits.

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9. ‘You Are All Fake-Nice’

Americans are big on friendliness and cordiality. It’s part of the cultural fabric here. People tend to go out of their way to be nice and make others feel comfortable and generally like to keep things upbeat and positive, even in passing conversations. While it might seem a bit superficial on the surface, there’s often a real warmth behind it.

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10. ‘That’s Not Real Food’

Ever heard of something called a hamburger? What about lobster rolls or fried chicken? While it’s true that American cuisine is heavily influenced by diverse immigrant cultures, it has also developed its own distinct culinary identity over time. Regional cuisines like Cajun, Tex-Mex, and soul food are just a few examples of America’s unique culinary heritage. 

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11. ‘Why Don’t You Use the Metric System?’

If Americans got a penny every time they heard, “The imperial system sucks,” “What are inches?,” or “Why don’t you just use kilometers?,” they’d probably have quite a hefty sum by now. The United States is one of the few countries that primarily uses the imperial system, and the reason behind this dates back to historical and cultural factors.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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