14 American Behaviors Considered Rude in Other Countries

Rude is a lot of versions. It mainly centers on the different mannerisms of dealing with the society and can be perceived in different versions and according to different standards. It makes the emotion very subjective. However, being rude is majorly not regarding someone’s emotions in a particular manner and presenting your viewpoint. If you have ever wondered how Americans irritate others in this similar manner, read below.

Please note that some events are objectively inappropriate in various cultures and it doesn’t make a difference if an American is conducting the act.


This might seem preposterous, since how can giving someone money, especially if the intent is commending them on performing their job well, be offensive or rude? In Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, tipping is considered as an insult, implying that the establishment is not doing well financially. For them, it is a privilege to be working the job and they do not require added incentives for the same job they are being paid to do. Essentially, they don’t take well to ‘pity money’.

Left-hand concerns

Muslim countries see eating with the left hand as a questionable act as it is considered impure. This is inappropriate and frowned upon, as mentioned by the United Arab Emirates embassy themselves. Any auspicious activity will not be related with the left hand, including handing over money or shaking hands.

Eat where the food is

Some countries don’t appreciate eating anywhere you like, apart from those places which do serve food. Japan is one of those countries; they are incredibly opposed to the strong smell of food within public transport so watch out for that as well.

Adjusting the sides

In many countries, requesting for changes in your food is considered as insulting to the chef, who is supposed to know the best in the matter. The simple addition, subtraction, modification and especially asking for condiments is interpreted as a blatant request for permission to change the taste and flavor of the food to suit your own liking and not adhering to what the chef wishes you to experience.

Second-helping crisis

If you refuse second helpings in Philippines, this is immediately concerning of the host and the latter takes it as an insult upon themselves. The proper manner includes refusing it for the first time, then eventually relenting to the host’s requests and indulging or taking up a doggie bag with the remaining. If you truly do not want some, accept the offer and leave the rest on the plate.

Shut the stickiness

You do not want to chew gum in public (especially in professional situations) in Luxembourg, France or Switzerland, the society police will look harshly upon you. Singapore has actually banned chewing gum in total, except for prescriptions from pharmacies, as they do not want the act to impact pollution.


This is understandable. Punctuality is important in a lot of official scenarios, although it is taken loosely in several countries and some others do not appreciate even if one party makes the effort. Germany is one of the nations that take the late culture very seriously, in that they don’t appreciate if you are left with the thought that your time is more important than that of others.

In some other countries, however, like Argentina in Latin America, showing up early is also considered rude.

Don’t blow it

Not like blowing your nose anywhere in public is a generally expected phenomenon anywhere, especially in USA. However, you may see more of this happening in US than in countries like Japan, Turkey France or China, who witness the act as a sign of lack of courtesy in public, lack of good upbringing and inflicting questionable feelings among your acquaintances.

Watch out for the thumbs-up

This doesn’t always indicate the positive encouragement you would good naturedly meant it to be. In some countries such as Russia, Iran, Australia, Sardinia, Greece and West Africa, this gesture equates to a middle finger and we all know what this is supposed to mean. Of course, this is a universal symbol, so you don’t have to worry too much about the accidental thumbs-up slipup.

Have patience

Tearing into a gift in front of the one who presented is a rude display in countries such as China and India. It compromises on host behavior and also risks showing your emotions off, which plays with the guests’ feelings. That is strictly frowned upon in these countries where guests are served with great attention and detail.

Open-mouth laughing

Laughing is a joyous expression and a visible reminder of joy but open-mouthed laughing is frowned upon and one must cover their mouth while engaging in the act. In Japan, this is a must and excessive public noise is not looked upon favorably.


In Asian and Caribbean cultures and homes, it is a sign of respect to remove your shoes before entering into their abode. However, in Muslim, Arab, Hindu and Buddhist nations, showing the soles of your feet is a sign of disrespect as this part is considered the dirtiest, since it is the lowest part and in constant contact with the ground.


Usually telling people to have a free approach to any and all food items is the sign of a generous host who does not mind opening up their homes to guests. This, however, is a careless approach in the Asian culture – hosts have a more hands-on approach and would go to huge extents to make sure their guests are simply sitting comfortably with everything within their reach.


This is highly sensitive notion. Americans are more touch-friendly and are never hesitant to project their affectionate expressions in this form. Watch yourselves in more conservative cultures where personal space is a very important notion for both genders and make sure to restrict it to comfortable gestures such as handshakes or take permission before engaging in the same.

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