Lessons I’m learning (#2 / 2013)

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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.

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2 Responses to Lessons I’m learning (#2 / 2013)

  1. Hope Johnson says:

    It’s a really thought-provoking observation. Just last night, I was talking to a friend who had just gotten back from Europe. She was saying that tourists from a particular country pushed in a lot at the big cues to get into the monuments. Anyway, she was telling me that two American ladies they met would not have a bar of this, and would actively stop people from pushing it or would tap them on the shoulder and politely say that they were behind etc. And I thought good on them! It’s funny because my Australian friends just slyly rode on the back of the American’s assertiveness, though they would never of said anything themselves.

    • Kylie says:

      That’s so interesting! I’m trying to learn to be more assertive myself, rather than just hanging back and waiting for someone more confident to take action…

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