Exploring A Key Difference In How Americans And Europeans Make ConnectionsA little international travel will open up a world of variety. Giphy
Despite sharing some clear cultural similarities, there also a ton of ways that life in the U.S. is nothing like what Europeans experience. For Allie Hutchison, a writer who grew up in America and has spent the past seven years in Europe, there’s one thing that stands out as the biggest difference: what creates bonds between people.
Americans emphasize similarities
If you’re used to establishing relationships in the U.S., chances are you do so with the goal of finding interests that you share with other people. From an early age, American children connect with each other over their love of certain sports, games, cartoons, toys, etc. — and that strategy typically extends to the friendships American adults cultivate.
That fact is especially evident with the Super Bowl coming up. Fans of both teams will unite to root on their favorite franchise … and on a broader scale, anyone who enjoys football or commercials or Taylor Swift can find some common ground to establish new connections.
Generally speaking, conversations in America gravitate toward subjects about which there is a shared interest.
Europeans embrace variety
Hutchison realized after living in the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Portugal that conversations introduced new interests rather than reaffirming existing ones. This has led to the discovery of some entertainers and pastimes that she would’ve otherwise missed.
Not only are Europeans more open about admitting they’re not familiar with a topic, Hutchison said, but they’re also eager to learn more about it.
Of course, there are plenty of exceptions in both the U.S. and Europe. But no matter where you are, there’s something you can learn from these observations. If you’re trying to make connections, there’s power in both the things we have in common as well as our many differences.