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First off, I'm really glad I found this forum. I'm a first-generation American of (mostly) Spanish and Italian heritage. I've always felt much, MUCH more Spanish and Italian than American. I don't think people realize how utterly different the psychology of those countries (which are extremely similar to each other) is from that of mainstream-Anglo-American psychology. I feel -- and always have felt -- absolutely like a fish out of water here in the USA. When I've visited Spain and Italy, I've felt suddenly right at home, and genuinely happy. What's more, here in the States, I feel so, SO isolated -- in spite of being an extrovert -- because Americans are so insular and the way that I'm so instantly outgoing with people I've just met scares them away instantly -- I can actually see the look of fear in their eyes because of the volume of my voice; it's part of how they're always judging everyone else and looking for weaknesses so as to tear the other person down in any way possible; then when someone becomes a "friend" it's only a matter of (brief) time before they stab them in the back, and then when I complain about that I'M the weird one.
Anyways, I could write an essay about this and more on the subject, but I'll get to the main point of the post. I've come to the realization that, for the above aspects and a multitude of other reasons, the modern-day US is essentially a VERY creepy third-world country masquerading as a first-world beacon of hope and opportunity. It's the exact opposite of everything it's supposed to be. It's uber-hostile, uber-negative, uber-classist and uber-materialistic. Instead of being the land of opportunities, it's the land of "How can I shaft anyone who tries to make opportunity for themselves?" If it's such a first-world country, then why is there so much horrific poverty and homelessness within it? Furthermore, why is the rate of mental depression and anxiety so high?
Which brings me to my final point -- the creepiest thing about it to me is the fact that -- in addition to everything else scary from the fake smiles, the backstabbers, the slave-labor-level work -- in spite of the essential Constitutional right to freedom of speech, a person isn't allowed to criticize ANYTHING about American culture. If I so much as mention to a person that I can't help but miss Spain or Italy, that I left a piece of my heart over there, they look at me as if I'm an evil troll and step out of my way and out of my life. That's IF they don't tell me "You're not American! Get out of my country!" EXTREMELY creepy ultra-nationalism. Truth be told, if the system here made it easier to move out of this prison cell, or if the system there made it easier to move into, or if other personal life circumstances were different with me, I'd have moved a LONG time ago.
Truth be told, the American system drove me into a DEEP depression, and in a matter of months, because I was tired of that, I was able to climb my way out of that as best possible, to the point where I'm mentally very healthy, but I find that my attempts at happiness are deep-down just that -- attempts, that I'm, in a sense, becoming like everyone else in terms of having a FACADE of happiness, when really my mental state is tested everyday and I'm teeter-tottering between optimism and being on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Welcome to the forum FunkyDucky, you have made some excellent observations. Most Americans think the USA is the greatest thing since sliced bread, even though most Americans have never traveled to foreign countries.
Talking to strangers is taboo and many women consider men talking to them as "creepy." America is a workaholic country where people live to serve their employers. It's no wonder that the USA has the highest rate of mental illness of any country in the industrialized world.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."