Comparing the politeness and attitudes of America and England

Janine Fagan

Janine Fagan

I find myself again realizing that the English people are definitely ruder than Americans. It has taken me until now to realize just how different the attitudes are. It may also be the fact that I was entertaining a friend of mine from Vermont over the holidays that made it all the more noticeable.

I think there is also the fact that the two states, Vermont and South Dakota, that I have spent my college years have been very rural.

The American culture just seems to come with a friendly “hello” or “what’s up.” Everybody is always so eager to help or assist you, whereas in England, you are lucky to even receive eye contact from some people.

When I think about it, I find it ironic because America is the place of doing everything yesterday. Americans have ways of speeding up almost everything they do. Americans are people that want everything done instantly, but still seem to offer a friendly smile and simply care about what you are doing or the situation you are in.

The English offer a stiffer attitude to time and punctuation. We most definitely look at time as a linear line, and we just get all worked up if we think that Billy Bob is not pulling his/her weight. You don’t take naps in England, and heaven forbid you need to leave early from work.

Now, I would be silly to say all people are like this and that there are no Americans that don’t have the same outlook or attitude as the English people I am talking about.

Maybe it’s just the changing attitude of the world and not an English society thing. Maybe a lot of Americans from rural parts of America have the same opinion of city people right here in this country. Maybe it is an individual thing and it depends on the person or the situation.

When you are away from what you have always known, I think you change and grow.

It’s funny because I love Newcastle and I am very proud of the fact that I am English. I love my sense of belonging to where I grew up and would never want to know life in a different way, but it saddens me to think that as a culture we have forgotten to care.

Janine Fagan is from Newcastle, England. Write to her at [email protected].