Recently I have come to realize just how different american people are from europeans. And yes of course, when you’re in america, its europe, when you’re in europe, it’s different countries. But for the sake of explanation.

I’ll take Western and Central Europe for now. And let’s ignore the fact that every person is different anyways.

The most striking for me difference is the tendency of Americans to reveal everything, at once. Preferably in the first 3 minutes of the conversation. I can’t think why that would ever be a desirable course of action?

It destroys all the mystery… how can the interlocutor be interested to discover who you are if you just put it out there, immediately?

Maybe it has to do with assuring people as soon as possible that you are not a threat or, alternatively, that you are worth talking to.

But really, it seems to indicate insecurity.

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And certainly, that can be observed in many other places and groups of people too. Its just not as prevalent as with Americans.

Perhaps its just me who is more … private. I was once seriously disturbed for a few days after having been asked about the occupation of my parents in the first 10 minutes of conversation.

I find it most untactful and rude. To so openly attempt to judge someone by a rather unrelated criterion, one they cannot influence.

We’re not in the middle ages anymore. Have some class.

And no, I was affected not because of the nature of the question. In fact, I believe other people would have been proud to answer, had they been in my situation.

But that is the same issue as being proud for your country. How exactly is that your doing or merit? We don’t go around blaming brits for colonialism now do we? Or at least, we shouldn’t.

The deeds of those centuries ago cannot and should not be answered for by those living nowadays.

In fact, the only things you can genuinely be proud of or, equivalently, blamed for, are those you have directly contributed to. Is that in your right then to brag about the actions of those in power of a certain piece of land you happened to have been shat upon?

I don’t think so. But then again, who has the time or intellect to participate in such debates… certainly not those who brag about their countries, ancestors, families, whatever.

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Oh yes, the whole revealing your insides thing. What if we would forget about all the markers of a trustworthy person (i.e. job, familial status, clothes) and let them be judged by other, much more indicative factors...?

After all, if you think about it, a certain job position is much more related to coincidence than to competence. Just like having been born in a certain family. Or place. Or time.

But how, you tell me, am then able to determine who is worthy? It’s a natural thing, judging to avoid threats…

Be a tiny little bit more open minded, just for a second, try it, eh?

And to all the Americans and other people in the habit of exposing themselves unnecessarily much, that’s the secret to that frenchness you all like. Keep a thing or two to yourselves.

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One last note. Just like the more you speak, the less value is attributed to your words; so the more you reveal, the less interesting and valuable all that information and yourself seem. Supply and demand.