Awesome! Perfect! Amazing!
Those words are basically part of every single conversation that I’m having here in the U.S. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit, but my point is that people here tend to have these really strong and positive expressions to everything. Fake or not, it is working.
I’ve wanted to write this post so bad ever since I arrived in the U.S. My first impression of the people here was extremely positive and uplifting. (Okay let’s forget about the people working at the airport customs..). Now that I’ve stayed here for nearly two months I can say that my experiences haven’t proved me wrong. Americans are lovely.
I’ve heard many people (from Europe and outside of the U.S.) judging Americans and telling they are just pretending to be kind. I wouldn’t say so. However, I know that at least for several Finnish people the behavior and basic interaction here would be really shocking and against the ”social norm.” You aren’t supposed to stand out from the others, are you?
I think it is pretty amazing that so many people who I’ve met here are carrying themselves with pride and being true to their personality. Here’s a true story. One of my teachers said one day in the beginning of the class that ”Yeah, this is the best course of your life and I am the best professor you will ever meet.” Straight after the sentence the teacher started smirking and said it was a joke. It wasn’t. THAT is something I admire. Pride and honesty.
As the prejudices state, Finnish people are typically pretty shy and modest introverts, who don’t want to be separated from the others. There are certain ”rules” what you should or shouldn’t do (for example singing alone in a public place, a total no-go!). If you stand out, you are most likely be categorized as a weirdo. Quite the opposite compared to the American interaction, where the bravest people are usually the most admired.
That said, I would describe myself as quite an untypical Finnish person. I just LOVE to be super cheerful, share my happines and do things in my own way. One thing I do hate is being part of the mass. I will never be a ”Plain Jane” Siiri sitting quietly in the corner wearing grey clothes and wondering what others are thinking about me. NOT. NEVER.
When it comes to analyzing people’s behavior, first of all, I think it isn’t fair to judge people without knowing them or making any conclusions based on the first impression. Everybody should have a chance to show their true personality and be proud of it. You can’t be friends with everybody, but you can always be nice to everybody. Respecting others and valuing diversity is the key, which brings you to the next level.
Now you must be wondering, how on earth will a non US-citizen survive in the U.S. if the social interaction is so different? There are many different things you should know about culture before stepping into the country. But what are the most important aspects you must know about American self-esteem?
1. Sense of humour (Everything is not that serious)
2. Be polite (When you meet people, ask how they are doing.)
3. Smile! (If you don’t know what to say, just smile and they think you got it!)
4. Be proud of yourself (and your origins)
5. Praise yourself (If you succeed, say it aloud! Feels good, right?)
6. Be honest (Whether it was good or bad, people appreciate honesty.)
7. Try your best! (You are enough, just as you are ❤️)
Have a lovely week everybody!