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17 Things Tourists Do That Americans Find Rude

  Social norms, customs, and practices vary all over the world. Unfortunately, this means that many tourists visiting the U.S. end up inadve...

 Social norms, customs, and practices vary all over the world. Unfortunately, this means that many tourists visiting the U.S. end up inadvertently doing things that confuse and upset the locals. Here are 17 things tourists do that Americans find rude.

Not Smiling at Strangers

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While many people in other countries prefer to go about their own business without acknowledging the presence of strangers, this is often considered rude or unusual in parts of America. Smiling is seen as a polite and friendly gesture, so even if you don’t talk to someone, a little smile can go a long way.

Discussing Salary Openly

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In other countries, it’s considered normal to talk about how much you or others make. But in America, this is typically seen as a taboo subject. Because of this, you’re likely to be seen as rude if you directly ask about someone’s salary or openly state your own.

Commenting on Someone’s Weight

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In some parts of the world, people can be very direct about the body weight or size of others without generating much discomfort. But in America, this is considered a sensitive issue, and it’s seen as rude and offensive to directly ask about or comment on someone’s weight.

Nudity in Public Spaces

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Certain parts of the world take a much more relaxed approach when it comes to public displays of nudity. But in America, we usually prefer to keep our birthday suits indoors or on nude beaches. You may receive some strange looks if you reveal too much skin around strangers, so it’s best to remain mindful of local norms.

Standing Too Close to Someone

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Here in America, we value our personal space more than some other cultures do. Because some tourists are unaware of this fact, they may inadvertently make someone uncomfortable by getting too close for their comfort.

Topless Women in Public

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The #freethenipple campaign is starting to make waves in the U.S. and may eventually make going topless in public a cultural norm for American women. But as things stand, this remains an unusual practice that’s likely to be seen as rude or inappropriate by most Americans.

Lingering in Restaurants After Meals

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In some cultures, it’s viewed as acceptable to remain seated for quite some time after you’ve finished your meal. However, Americans prefer to keep things moving so that new customers can find a table. If you take too long to make your way out after eating a restaurant meal, you may be seen as rude.

Birthday Person Paying for Their Meal

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In the U.S., if you’re going out to eat for someone’s birthday, it’s very rare for them to pay for their own food. Instead, it’s seen as polite for somebody else to take up their bill as a way to graciously celebrate their birthday.

Eating Foods Considered ‘Offensive’

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Everybody knows that cuisine varies all over the world. However, you may not expect that your food preferences could lead you to come off as rude to some Americans. Some unconventional foods may garner negative attention, so it’s important to be mindful of those around you when eating in public.

Waving or Snapping at Waitstaff

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Some cultures are blunter and more direct when it comes to dealing with waiters. However, according to Forklift & Palate, tourists who snap or wave at their waitstaff in America are likely to garner some disapproving looks. Instead, it’s considered more polite to say “excuse me” as a waiter passes to get their attention.

Slurping at the Dinner Table

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Table manners are of notable importance in America. While countries like Japan often view slurping down your food as a positive sign that you’re enjoying your meal, this is typically considered rude and sloppy in America.

Sitting Through the National Anthem

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If you’re not from America, you may have never had the experience of hearing the national anthem at a public event. However, it’s important to know that it’s commonly considered disrespectful to remain seated while this patriotic song plays.

Placing Money on the Counter When Paying

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In several countries, it’s seen as normal to put money on the counter when paying for groceries. But in America, cashiers typically prefer to be directly handed their cash. It’s therefore important to note that you could be perceived as rude if you do decide to leave your money on the counter.

Kissing on the Cheek as a Greeting

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Greeting each other with kisses on the cheek is a common greeting in many parts of Europe and Latin America. However, you may be met with hesitation or discomfort if you go in for a kiss with Americans. Instead, a simple handshake, hug, or “hello” is typically preferred.

Eating with Hands in Certain Settings

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In the case of some foods and settings, such as casual events or pizza parties, it’s perfectly okay to eat with your hands. However, in many other cases, it’s seen as strange or rude to do so. While eating with one’s hands is the norm in many countries around the world, it’s important to be mindful of this difference when visiting America.

Tipping Practices

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Several countries view tipping as unnecessary or a nice bonus but not a necessity. However, this is not the case in America. American waiters typically expect a decently sized tip, as this makes up a large portion of their salary.

Public Displays of Affection

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Some Americans have no issue with moderate displays of public affection. However, some countries normalize PDA, which would be considered over the top or inappropriate in America. As such, it’s important to be mindful of those around you when showing public affection to your lover.

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