I have been living for 4 months now in the US - and all my friends are foreigners!!! Why is it so hard to make American friends? Sometimes I get the impression that they prefer to stay amongst themselves. This is not really what I expected when I came here.
03 Jul 2007, 05:51
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join the club We're European and have the same "issue" - you can make friends with Americans tho if they're open to understanding where you're coming from and what you do and how you got to the US. But they do prefer to stay superficial most of the times.. just hang in there, the few American friends I have are FOR LIFE!
I can't speak for all of my countrymen (and women) but it could be that they view you as unapproachable. That could be a matter of how clearly you speak, how outgoing you appear, how open you appear to be to our culture, and/or even where and in what context you are trying to make friends. In an urban setting, people are more friendly in controlled situations like formal classes, religious ceremonies, or something like that because you all have the same interest or you wouldn't be there and the leader of the class or service serves as a moderator. In more rural places, they may think they have nothing to relate to with you since you are a "world traveler". Be patient with us. We don't have the easy access to other cultures that some other places - particularly Europe - have. We can travel for days and still be in our own country...and in some cases feel just as out of place and friendless as you do! Hang in there. Your kindred spirits may be just around the corner waiting to bump into you.
You know what, in general, it is hard to make friends in the U.S. compared to other countries. I say this because I've been to other countries where the natives were super friendly to me.
Also, it depends on where you're located. If you're in the big cities, people in general are disinterested in other people's affairs, ESPECIALLY in culturally diverse cities. Because some cities are so diverse in regards to race, religion, etc., people tend to stick together and find their own crowd due to the volume of different people of various backgrounds. It's also a matter of people's comfort zones. People in the U.S. are way more individualistic than most countries, and this does bleed into our interactions with other people. If you try hard enough to make friends with some native Americans, you will be able to!
Isn´t it too radical saying Americans are not friendly? I mean, can we speak for all Americans based only on a few comments? I think it is stereotyping, just like British love tea, Brazilians dance samba all over the year, Americans are not friendly and only eat hamburgers... What you think?!
but you have to make an effort too.
don't come to this country to live and not expect to learn english. this is a big problem here now, with so many foreingners that are too lazy to learn thier host country's language. we speak english her. almost every city will have free adult education classes--english as a second language. take advantage of it!
I am originally from a german speaking country But live in the USA for over 10 years.
Of course there might be cultural and size differences of cities and countries. But this is universal:
There is a saying that says" (in a bad translation)
"the way you give yourself, is the way people take you"
Here is what works for me here and anywhere else:
-Talk to people
-ask how they are
-ask them about themselves
-help and ask for help
-understand don't judge
-don't be too serious, not even with yourself!
People like happy people, and will avoid at any cost unhappy, bitter and people that are just out to critic and talk down to them and others.
Be happy, smile and let people know you like them.
It will come back faster than you can even make a conversation!
I think it depends on your interest and in general- "you". I have lived here all my life. I have the same problem. My advise is to be glad for the friends you have. Don't force relationships.
But, if you really want to make friends with people whom you seem to not have a propensity towards, read "How to Win Friends and Influence People"by Dale Carnegie. One key thing you will learn in this book is to talk about what is in their sphere of interest.
That is just a bunch of crap. American people are the most friendly and outgoing people in the world. If you are the kind that likes to go out, are friendly towards everyone and are honestly making an attempt to integrate into american society, I don,t see why you shouldn,t be able to make friends. On the other hand, if you are expecting people to approach you and strike a friendship, or you gawk at every pretty female that walks by or have a stuck up attitude cuz americans dont fit the perception you had of them, then you aren't going to go anywhere.
We are very independent by nature.If you want something here, you have to work for it. No one is gonna serve it to you on a platter, or feel sorry for you if you can't relate.Plus like someone else said above, learn to make yourself understoof in the english language. Also don,t stick to your comfort zone of friends that are foreigners just like you, if you wanna make friends here.
My advice to you is to just go out and have fun like you were born and raised american.That attitude will go a long way in how the world percieves you. Go to a bowling alley or a skating rink, or even join a gym. Opportunities for meeting people and making friends there are endless.
As an American.. and Female.. Here's my two cents..
Yes, Americans are friendly. Americans are also secretly or not so secretly a little cautious and skeptical, at times I would even call them a bit nervous. I've noticed this more since I've been in Europe and noticed that other people who are not Americans don't have this same sort of, nervous quality about them..
So.. I think the best approach to making friends is to be out going -- a lot and to everyone. Make conversation with the check out girl or the barista serving you coffee.. start there. Become a regular at coffee shops or diners... places where the service is friendly.
A lot of the times when I'm studying at my favorite coffee shop, someone next to me will try to talk to me.. sometimes I'm distant, but polite and sometimes I will engage that person in conversation.
But that's me on the receiving end. As for you, you should try to do this -- make conversation with people. Ask them what they are doing, where they are from etc... If you feel the cold shoulder from them, than leave them alone and let them get back to work.. but don't take it personally! That's the worst.
If you don't take it personally than you will show confidence and an easy going nature that people respond to. If they ignore you than talk to someone else and say bye to them anyway as they leave or before you leave..
Basically I'm trying to say.. just talk to people, a lot of them and don't take rejection personally. Get to know a lot of people first. Americans have a lot of casual friends often and only have a close circle of 2 or 3 friends. Learn to live FIRST with a lot of acquaintances and friendships that are not totally deep. Eventually some closer friendships will happen. If you want really intimate friendships immediately you will scare people away.
*Better yet... the honesty approach is also really good.
Do this to someone YOU ALREADY KNOW... Tell them you are new to the area and that you would like to know where people, eat, drink, hang out or you would like to see something new about the city. Suggest something.. do your homework.. find a place that you actually think sounds interesting and ASK that person if they would like to go there with you..
This is a good approach because the person doesn't feel like they are making some FOREVER FRIENDSHIP commitment with you and it's just a one time hang out..
Plus that person feels like they are not doing something so intimate with you.. they will feel like they are helping you.
Extra points too for doing your homework and looking for places that you would want to see and that the other person might be interested in too. Some of those places could be... in interesting Sushi Restaurant, a Vegetarian Restaurant, a Bar or Grille, the Zoo, the Mall, a Shopping area, or a Antique or Used bookstore... Make the hang out in the day time or lunch or something with a TIME limitation. Don't ask them to do more than one thing.
my name is thomas hello america so wmw i read your letter your very good you should be a super stare joking well i have to go now my dad is like get the f*** over her thomas thats what my dad said i have to wash the car see you guys.
I totally understand you since im an alien too...well the way they approach people its quite different than in our countries. Im a nice person, still I feel i dont have lot of common with americans...even though there are many kinds of americans...White, black and mixed...
all are different...just chill...
Yes, they are more quick to make polite meaningless conversation like "how are you?", but it ends there. They are very reluctant to make a real friendship, open up anything intimate about themselves etc.
This is that way in most of America I'm afraid. People are scared to make any commitment to anyone, especially of time. They feel they are always too busy.
It's tough, even for an American. You have to make a big effort and expect to fail a lot of times.
Invite them to do something specific and like now or tomorrow or forget about it. Everyone here likes to plan something for 3 weeks away so they can find an excuse to get out of it.