(mfe) The NYT says: “Americans are a pretty anxious people. Nearly one in five of us — 18 percent — has an anxiety disorder.” – read “The Anxious Americans – The New York Times”
Although my view may not be complete, I must admit that most of my American friends tell me that they loose a sense of tension and anxiety when they “arrive” in Europe. Once they understand how our society works, the tension gets less pretty quickly. Or, as a dear friend of mine once said: “There’s no need to worry that much if there’s no guns around.” Do you think this is true?
Anyway, since I first heard about this, I treat American guests in a different way. I’m still a good host, like I hope I used to be before, but I respect the fact that they will judge situations in a very different way. They might think of things as intrusive, offensive or agressive that for Germans, Bavarians and especially Franconians (or Oberpfalz people like me) are simply normal.
I learnt to take a little bit more care and ask a question two or three times, since the communication partner might think the question was only a formula, a politeness, not real interest.