In my experience, Americans are much more assertive than Australians. They speak their minds and they’re not afraid to declare what they want. In fact, instead of thinking that they might be causing someone else trouble by declaring their wants, they assume the opposite – why isn’t it okay to have what they want?
I’m not saying that Americans are entitled or difficult. But they have a general (I think reasonable) expectation that so long as they’re not hurting anyone they should be able to do whatever they please. You try telling an American that they can’t sit where they want to or make a substitution on a menu or pay a bill with four different credit cards. I dare you.
We Australians, I think, are altogether too willing to bend to the rules, however arbitrary they are.
I’m a relatively timid person, so you’d think I’d find the American way intimidating. But to my surprise, I found it quite the opposite. I found it liberating. I am far more assertive in the US than I am in Australia. And that aint a bad thing.