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Cultural Differences: Us and Eastern Europe

In: Business and Management

Submitted By kmlgrabowski
Words 573
Pages 3
United States is very different from the rest of the world, that's a cliche, right? But as every platitude it holds the truth. Here are some of my observations:

Keeping appearances vs showing real emotions

Most Americans when asked "How are you?" will reply with a typical "I am fine, thank you" response. On the contrary, people from Eastern European countries will usually say "You would better not ask, life sucks" or something similar. Eastern Europeans love to talk about misfortunes that they have to deal with. This seems almost like a social norm and accepted custom to complain about life and your personal problems. Depending on a relationship with you they will open up and recite a more or less detailed list of their troubles. It seems safer to talk about negative aspects of life with other people. Why? Because nobody envies you if your life seems to be a drama. In Poland it was common to talk about adversities, bad luck and all kinds of disasters in communism era. It was a social norm to complain about anything and everything including the regim. At that time people needed to vent their frustration and grumbling about their lack of freedom and other difficulties was an expression of that vexation. But apparently they still love to complain even though the times changed.
In United States it is different. On surface everyone is doing great, there is a smile on the face and a nonchalant "I am great" response. It takes a real friend to confine that things are falling apart in your life. On the outside though you must keep appearances, pretend the life goes on like in my favorite of all times song by Freddie Mercury "The Show Must Go On". It took me a long time to get to a point where my relationship with American friends was strong enough to venture into a more personal questions.

Friend vs acquaintance

Americans tend to use a term "friend" very…...

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