A bit nervous, but here I am.
Introduce yourself here and let us know who you are!
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I'm Amber. I am a 31 yr old lady currently situated in the southeast part of The United States. I've only just discovered this site via a duckduckgo search for "typical american mindset", and I must admit that after reading the "Reasons and Comparisons" page I was almost too afraid to join. I have to ask, is the contents of that page really how so many people view American females? Or is it more just a compilation of some of the traits that the worst of us have? As a very "different" American, by both male and female standards, it makes me sad to think of all the people who may have been put off from talking to me because of how my country presents itself.
A bit about me, I was raised by a polish grandmother who instilled very strong senses in me for "right and wrong" as well as "common sense and common courtesy" and for that I am immensely grateful. My mother, unfortunately, is a fairly "typical" American female. This isn't to say that I don't love her dearly, but try as I might she simply remains closed off to "new ways of thinking". The reason I decided to join is that I have in the past week, been offered a home and possible job in Norway with someone I've met online from Denmark and am absolutely enamored with. So hopefully soon enough I can say that I am also "Happier Abroad". Try as I might tho, I am not completely free of the stereotypes about Americans in that I am in fact overweight. Being a 'southerner' I was raised on all manner of fatty foods. I've started taking steps to reverse this tho and it is, thankfully, the only change that I believe needs to be made.
So... yeah, I'm greatly looking forward to talking with all of you and learning from you as well when the chances arise. Feel free to ask me anything that comes to mind, even things that may be personal if need be as I am a very open and understanding person. Thank you, and best wishes.
Welcome to the forum, Amber! The male section of HappierAbroad deals with topics like that. The people there--including me--like to bash American women, American culture, and America as a country, but the women's section deals much more with women's issues, travel and life overseas. That's why Winston created a separate forum just for the ladies, because the males on the other forum were chasing away and, scaring away, all the females to the site. You'll find like-minded people here, much more than on the Male forum...so don't be scared...
Welcome Sunshine! What a wonderful opportunity ahead of you to move to Norway.
I recall reading articles when I was younger (back during the age of the dinosaur) about what was commonly called, "The Ugly American". The name comes from a book written in 1958 and later a movie from 1963 from the same name. The different related articles described how 'we' Americans lack certain social graces and basically are boastful and pushy. At least in the eyes of other cultures and I have to agree. I also must point out that I know that there is a major difference in attitude and behavior simply between the North and the South. Southerners have more tact and diplomacy and in general their manners are so much more refined. Not to say there's anything wrong with being a Yankee.
As for what zboy said:
I agree with most of the thought process over on the men's board and I wish them all well on their journey to find what they are looking for. There's plenty wrong with this country and there are too many American women who come under the heading of psycho bitches from hell. Heck, I can probably fit in that category myself without much effort.
Zboy1 is also right about finding more like minded people here. Since this portion of Happier Abroad is fairly new, it's just starting to blossom.
Indecision may or may not be my problem - Jimmy Buffett
Don't get me wrong, I do the same things myself. I have no female friends other than my sister who is much like myself. But, I had always thought that my distaste was because I lived here. I see all the " 'merica " jokes on the internet but I just never realized the women in particular were such an object of distaste, but having thought about it I suppose that goes along with everything else. Part of my blindness may be that I haven't really watched TV in many years, outside of some BBC shows and a documentary here and there, I get all of my "television" entertainment online so I've no idea what sort of things other countries see and associate with american culture. Such a shame... I wonder if they knew, if they would make any effort to correct it.
*Edit: I felt I should clarify, that I meant if Americans knew how so many other places in the world looked at us, if they would make an effort to correct it.
Thanks for joining. No need to be nervous. This forum is very inclusive.
As to your questions, I"ll try to give you a broad perspective.
Yes, if you ask American males, most of them will tell you that that "Reasons and Comparisons" chart has a lot of truth in it. But you've got to ask the most honest men you know and tell them to swear to be honest to you. It's just that those comparisons are taboo and so most will not say them in public or even online.
As to how other countries view America, well it depends on which ones. Europeans look down on America. They see a degenerate culture of excess greed and an imperialistic government that likes to start wars and control other nations. But in Asia, people see America as a great opportunity to make money and amass wealth, which is what they live for. Most Asians are practical and don't think about deeper things.
You sound very open minded anyway. Do you know anything about Norway? It is not reputed to be warm and friendly. Scandinavian countries are supposed to be pretty cold and emotionless. How did you meet the guy? Do you trust him? Have you met him in person before?
As to losing weight, have you looked into low carb/high fat diets? They seem to work best and fastest. The fatty foods may not be the real problem, it's the carbs that cause weight gain in most people. Fat is turned into energy by the body, whereas carbs are sugar and the body doesn't know how to convert them to energy, so they are stored as fat.
Btw, why did you do a search for "typical American mindset"?
Look forward to hearing more from you.
Yes, I'm keen on that opinion since all of my friends are males, but again I had always just assumed our distaste was because of where we lived, it's sad to know how much more widespread it is tho. But on the bright side, at least now I know to perhaps put forth the initial effort in striking up conversation with non-Americans.
This pretty much mirrors my opinion. Naturally I know not -everyone- has that mindset because otherwise I would have even fewer friends than I do now haha
I know very little about Norway, honestly. But, the way I see it is that it can't possibly be any more cold or unfriendly than where I live currently which is not only United States but also what people in my area consider ghetto.
We met about 2 years ago through a game we both play, and started talking. We talk daily over both voice and camera and we've covered all manner of topics. The thing is that we both have asperger's, him more so than myself, but we seem to get eachother's personalities very well and, so far we mesh wonderfully. Of course living with someone is a completely different matter, but you'll never know if you don't try, right? I'm a very submissive and accommodating person so I don't expect any of his quirks to be an issue for me.
I have been following a set of eating habits known as "Paleo", that is basically no grains, no processed sugars, low or no dairy (depending on who you ask). The main intake is meat and vegetables with occasional fruit. From October to today, I've lost 65lbs (29.5kg) from the change in eating habits accompanied by free weights training and cardio (Zombies, Run! app is so awesome)
I... don't remember now, actually. I search for lots of things that just pop into my head so there is really no telling where it came from. Some times the results are interesting and educational, and other times the results are educational... but also disconcerting... like the time I learned what "waterboarding" was. The reason for the search doesn't always stay with me, but the knowledge does.
Hi, nice to meet you Sunshine
Wow Norway, interesting' ... as a lady it's always good to be street-smart when travelling ... for instance I've met up with online friends before as well, it's been great, sometimes ackward lol ... best of luck with the migration. We've all migrated to different countries before, so if you've got any questions on your mind about moving, post a thread you will get many answers.
Wow you really are different. I've never known any females in America that would use the words "submissive and accommodating" to describe herself. Do you think you really are different to the core, or one of those "contrarian" types who just likes to do everything the opposite of what they are told and what society tells them?
So you live in the South? How can it be cold or unfriendly there? Southern hospitality is renowned for being friendlier than other states. People are supposed to be warmer than the folks on the coast.
As to European criticism of America, well try to learn not to take it personally. It isn't about you, it's about an aggregate phenomenon. Same goes for any articles I write, such as that comparison chart.
You will find that when you are in Europe, no one will criticism America to your face unless you bring it up first. But if you start by bringing up criticisms about the US, they will be glad to jump in and tell you what they really think.
So have you always not fit in in America? When did you discover that you were different? Have you always felt that there was a sort of "soullessness" in America that you could see, but weren't allowed to talk about?
How would you compare/contrast the Norwegian guy you're talking to with typical American guys?
Btw, you might find this page interesting that I put together of what many immigrants in America really think of it:
As far as relationships go, I am honestly a submissive person. I thoroughly enjoy the kinds of things that most american women strive against (cooking, cleaning, massages after work, child care, gardening and all around being feminine). That having been said, as far as my own personality goes, I've very "outside of the box". I greatly enjoy many things that may not be considered "feminine" in a traditional sense... I love gaming, and working with computer hardware (I built my own computer), fishing/camping as a few examples. So I guess, perhaps, I'm a bit of both? Tho, I don't like the things I like because society dictates that I shouldn't.
The south is also extremely racist tho. I live in a predominantly black area as well as one where people of all races are, in general, poor. So very seldom does anyone go out of their way to speak to me or be courteous. That doesn't stop me from holding open doors, giving genuinely friendly smiles, and asking people how their day is going (and honestly wanting to hear about it).
Oh no no, I would never take it personally. It's more of a deep sadness for my country. I'm starting to think it may be beyond help at this point. It's one thing to have a corrupt government and wise countrymen... but when both are corrupt and full of idiots... well...
I wouldn't want it any other way.
I've always not fit in, but that is most likely from some tragic events in my childhood. I can go into details here without any trouble if you'd like. Likewise, I've always given my most honest opinion when asked for it... which is also very likely why I have no female friends other than my sister. American females (or maybe females in general?) like to ask questions with an expectant answer... the classic example of "Does this make me look bad?" No one really wants an honest answer to that question, but if I'm asked, people know they will get the truth. The same goes for any topic, the only exception to this is in respected company (potential employers, and friend's/boyfriend's parents most notably)
I'm going to try to keep this is concise as possible... but I tend to ramble a bit when I think about/talk about him
He's a Dane living in Norway. He's been there 6 months so far, but either way, it's sort of hard to explain really... he's an asshole honestly... but only where it matters. I place high value on an ability to speak one's mind honestly and without fear of repercussion. It gives me a very clear image of what someone is and is not and I get this from him. If I ask him anything, about any topic, I know I will get a completely honest reaction or answer. It does get him into trouble some times, for example, when he told my mother she was a typical american and how people like her is what is wrong with America. He later apologized for his lack of tact but explained that he still meant what he said overall, which she appreciated and has since started slowly thinking differently... only marginally but it's a start. He's also a bit... hmm... well, I can't think of a word that doesn't have a negative stereotype attached to it, so I'm going to say he's dorky and goofy... but I mean it in the sweetest way possible.
I don't have time to proof read this right now, so excuse any glaring typos or errors
Wow you are a nice eclectic. Do you ever feel like you belong in another time too? Do you come from a nice middle class family with good values, like the Brady Bunch? hehe
You said you are from South East, does that mean you're from Georgia? Why do you live in a black neighborhood? Are the white neighborhoods there friendly to you?
Yes I know what you mean. In America it's easier to talk to guys. Young women are hard to connect with or have a meaningful conversation with. It's hard to explain but you know what I mean. They are just the opposite of down-to-earth. This is especially true of white women, not to be racist or anything, that's just my consistent experience. Even snobby Asian American girls are easier to talk to than white American girls are. They are just a different breed and put up a strange wall. In Europe, white women are very different from white women in America.
If your Danish guy is brutally blunt and honest, I wouldn't consider that to be asshole behavior. Asshole behavior is more like treating people badly. Is it common for Danish people to be like that?
Maybe you can show your Danish guy the articles on this site and see what he thinks?
I come from a broken home. "Poor white trash" with brief periods of "middle class". Physical violence, sexual abuse, periods of no power/water, moving from place to place, etc etc. However, both of my grandmothers were wonderful women, and very strong role models for me, so other than a few quirks I like to think I turned out okay.
Yes, I am indeed from Georgia. Augusta to be exact. I live in a black neighbourhood because it's the house I grew up in, and the ownership of it is still in my family (amazingly). So it helps us avoid having to pay rent. My grandparents bought the house 60 years ago when the area was much less populated/commercialized. In general, the more white neighbourhoods seem far more friendlier, but it's usually fake. Not always, of course, no need to generalize... but more often than not it's "keeping up appearances".
Yes, I understand completely, tho my trouble is with females in general usually... all the girls I had ever met growing up were very... two-faced is the term. Afraid to be themselves in public. Or at the other end of the spectrum, shallow. If European women are that much different, then perhaps I can make some real female friends for once haha and not have to worry about all that childish "talking behind someone's back" stuff that the females (even adult females) here seem to enjoy so much.
Oh I just chose "asshole" because often times he has a severe lack of tactfulness, which would make him seem like one tho he's really not at all. He even calls himself an asshole and I explain to him the same thing you just did, that he's not a bad person, he just lacks a verbal filter which is due to his asperger's. I can't speak for all Danes, or very many at all for that matter, but His family at least seems very nice and loving towards each other, and his older brother is also very nice towards me as well to the point where we often talk to one another on messenger and voice calls. So at the very least, my perception of Danish folk so far is a very positive one
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