19 Americans Talk About The One Thing That Foreigners Would Be Shocked To Learn About The United States

12. Alex Renton

Poverty. Obesity. Violent death. Life expectancy. Child mortality. Rates all way worse than comparable peaceful, rich countries. (E.g. US comes 34th in the world life expectancy table).

13. Irene Colthurst

Apparently, how mind numbingly boring life is. Non-Americans who think life in the US is like a Hollywood action film, or really, almost any kind of Hollywood film, would be in for a shock.

Oh, and just how fundamentally isolationist the place is. The average American (to the extent there is such a creature) does not care about your country. Really, truly, does not give a fig about what goes on there, and certainly has no interest in seeing their sons or daughters risk their lives there. Support for the US military is based on support for the troops, the actual people in uniform following orders, not on the idea that “we really care what happens in country X, let’s invade it to change it”.

They just don’t think about the rest of the world on a systematic basis like that.

14. Anonymous

I would say:

  • Americans swear way more than someone who’s never been here would imagine… Hollywood is actually not far off from reality, maybe it’s even downplayed in the movies.
  • Americans are actually extremely honest compared to most other cultures in business, non-social scenarios. They also provide some of the best customer service. The actual reality of this is hard to imagine if you haven’t experienced other than where you live, the difference is truly shocking.
  • In social settings, however, we are some of the most backstabbing-est people in the world. If you’re American, just think about your past friends/partners/teachers/professors… and compare with a non-American. You may be shocked at how shocked they are by your “typical” American stories of betrayal and backstabbing.
  • Though people are aware of this, the degree to which race plays a role in perception of people in America is beyond any European or South American country. And totally different from the rest of the world. Race defines and divides people culturally within the greater melting pot of American culture much more than it does elsewhere.
  • How stupid so many Americans are… if you somehow thought the world’s most powerful country was also the world’s smartest… but you’re smarter than to think that right?
  • On the flip side again, Americans are survivors par excellence; self-enterprising, ultra-independent, do it yourself sky is the limit type of personalities are not nearly as rare as in other cultures.


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