10 Things Americans Do That Are Considered Rude In Other Countries

One of the first things parents teach their children is the importance of having good manners. The last thing they want is for their child to go out into the world and be rude—it would reflect badly on them!

You see, remembering to say “please” and “thank you” and to hold the door open for strangers leaves a lasting impression. After all, these little things can help people decide just how much time they want to spend in your company.

While you might think that your manners are the best around, that might not be the case everywhere you go. See, some good manners in America are actually considered bad manners everywhere else! Find out what they are right here.

1. Cleaning your plate: In the United States, if you don’t clear you plate of every morsel of food, you could risk insulting your host. However, in other parts of the world leaving your plate totally empty could actually be an even bigger insult! 

2. Using your left hand: It doesn’t matter if you are naturally left handed, in certain parts of the globe (primarily the Middle East) it is considered rude to shake with your left hand because, traditionally, that is the hand reserved for wiping yourself in the bathroom.


3. Helping yourself: Family style meals and buffets are pretty common in America. In some Asian countries, however, this idea is unthinkable, as it is your job as a host to serve your guests and make them feel comfortable.

4. Opening presents right away: Usually opening birthday gifts is a central part of most birthday parties. But if you try this in Asian countries, you’ll be seen as rude and greedy. Better to leave them until you’re all by your lonesome.


5. Tipping: While in America tipping your server is customary, in some countries that’s just not the case. In many part of Europe and Asia, workers feel degraded if you tip them, as their salaries are more than sufficient.

6. Arriving on time: In countries like Tanzania or Mexico it is considered rude to arrive on time, because you may be inconveniencing the host and not everyone has a car to make it to events at a specific time.

7. Being late: Just can’t seem to catch a break! In Germany, if you are even fashionably late to a party it is considered rude because you are tacitly saying that your time is more valuable than anyone else’s.


8. Laughing without covering your mouth: In Japan it is considered rude to show your open mouth in public, which is why most people (particularly women) cover their mouths when they laugh. Still, laughing when someone is funny is considered polite, so that’s a plus.

9. Complimenting someone: In some African cultures, complimenting someone can be a rude, as well as a huge hassle. This is because it can be interpreted as you saying that you want the thing that you are praising, which would pressure the person who possesses it to give it to you.


10. Giving a thumbs up: In America, we view a thumbs up as a sign of approval or a compliment for a job well done. However, in other countries, giving someone a thumbs up is the equivalent of giving them a middle finger!

Isn’t it crazy to know that what one country views as simple good manners another views as being a total insult? Good thing we’ve got that all sorted out now.

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