Even when I was living in Russia, I heard that in America it is not customary to talk at the table about such things as politics, religion and money. If we are talking about friends, they are not averse to discussing all three of these topics, but if we are talking about colleagues or unfamiliar people, then everything is not so simple.
At lunch in the office, we often gather in different compositions in the kitchen. Since lunch lasts an hour (no one controls, but everyone takes about an hour), there is enough time for food and chatter, writes Luckybr for Pikabu.
The most favorite topics, perhaps, are food / recipes, and also who went where on the weekend or next weekend, where and when he went or will go on vacation.
We all love to talk about pleasant things and imagine ourselves almost on the beach with a glass of mojito in hand. Many people are not averse to chatting about travel, but not about how much it cost. It is not customary to brag about expensive purchases like a car or real estate. And even more so to voice the prices for your spending. Do not brag about purchases of expensive branded items, do not demonstrate acquisitions with expensive brands. A couple of my friends in Russia like to wear an Armani T-shirt, a Gucci belt, and some jeans with the Rich label. Here, in most cases, the chief accountant and the receptionist, whose salary is 5 times less, will wear approximately the same clothes.
If someone's thing has been praised, it is quite possible to hear from its owner that he grabbed it on the sale with a huge discount, because he is such a miser - all this will be told with jokes and jokes.
Everyday questions like “how much you pay for a kindergarten or a circle for a child” is quite normal to find out, but to ask how much you bought a house for, “how much you get” is already indecent.
Most of the employees in our office are Catholic, and at the table they often discuss the following:
- Catholic schools;
- how difficult it is to organize a holiday if you have 50 people only close relatives;
- complaints about a priest who refuses to baptize a child without a positive characterization of godparents that they are exemplary Catholics, and so on.
But no one will question why you have such faith, or say some unpleasant things about your religion.
In our office, besides Catholics, there are Muslims and Jews, there was even a girl from Jehovah's Witnesses. We knew about this only because after a couple of years of work she herself said that she had met her husband in the SI group. There was no discussion of this. We talked a little outside of work, she is a very cool girl, but she never tried to tell me anything about her religion. The most humorous guys in this regard are Jews - they love to joke about their traditions, and if you are good friends with them, you can joke back. If this person is not familiar to you, then it is better to refrain from jokes on the topic of religion, so as not to blurt out something wrong.
A topic that should be raised very carefully is personal life. It would be indecent to ask a colleague why she still has no children, but she is already well over 30 and has been married for 10 years. Such questions are only asked to friends in a suitable situation.
Someone else's personal life is also not discussed in the team. A couple of years ago a guy came to us, and almost at first glance, I thought that he was gay (like my other colleagues), but I thought - that's all. Until one day he said that he would marry in six months, and showed a photo from the engagement. Then several people from the small number of young people in the company were surprised: “Marrying? I thought he was gay. ” And that was all over, no further discussion.
When a person wants to tell something about his personal life, he will tell you, but it is not accepted to climb into the soul.
It's easier to make acquaintances with Americans, you don't need a special reason to talk - eye contact is enough to smile and start a conversation. But it takes a long time to become a truly close friend.
It is not true that politics is not discussed at all at the table: it is even discussed at work. I'm not interested in her, but Trump's fresh sayings periodically become the topic of conversation in the office.
Even those who did not want to see him as president sigh and say, they say, I hope that he will do his job well. There are no heated disputes between his supporters and opponents. Political debate has no place in the office, because no one wants to offend a colleague if your views do not coincide with him. Putin or Russia is rarely remembered: ordinary Americans are more interested in whether it will rain on Saturday than the question of what's new in relations with Russia.
Besides what a person says, it is important for an American how he says it. Frequently Russians talk among themselves and with foreigners in such a way that sometimes and without words there is a feeling of a negative wave that a person radiates. All these sidelong glances, raised eyebrows, rolling eyes and other non-verbal expressions of emotions. A Russian person regards this as a manifestation of sincerity: if I don’t like something, I openly show my feelings. Americans will consider this a manifestation of bad manners and aggression.
They will not see them all express their dissatisfaction in such a way that almost steam will come out of their ears, they will simply explain in words in the most correct manner what they do not like.
Hence, there are many myths about “I worked with the Americans, everyone smiled at me, and then for no apparent reason they took and fired in one day.” Americans tell a person about his mistakes in a friendly tone, sometimes with hints like: listen, Ivan, why don't you do this? But Ivan does not pay attention to this, because he was not told this in an orderly tone, which means that it is not necessary to do this. Sometimes there is simply not enough knowledge of the language to understand that they are unhappy with you and hint at this very transparently.
All of the above are my personal thoughts. I do not pretend to be the ultimate truth. All people are different, and not all Americans are modest and well-mannered, there are exceptions everywhere.