People Are Sharing “Unspoken Rules” Of American Culture, And I Follow Most Of These Without Even Realizing It

People Are Sharing “Unspoken Rules” Of American Culture, And I Follow Most Of These Without Even Realizing It

Whether you realize it or not, Americans have a set of "unspoken rules" — things like not cutting people in line and which lane you can use to pass people when driving. Lucky for us, people of the BuzzFeed Community shared other American ~rules.~ Here is what some people said.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

1."Don’t ask people how much they paid for their house or big purchases."

"For sale sign in front of a single-family house with a lawn and a porch."
Feverpitched / Getty Images

2."Do not show up at people’s houses to visit them without asking them first. Americans will not put up with that. Also, do not call American people late at night unless it’s an emergency."


3."Unless there isn't one available, choose a urinal which is not next to one being used."

A person in a striped shirt and white shorts is standing at a row of urinals in a public restroom
Ruben Bonilla Gonzalo / Getty Images

4."Two rules are: get a license for anything you can think of, and do not stay at a table in a restaurant for over an hour."


5."I was taken to a metropolitan ER by some friends who not only knew how expensive ambulance rides were but also knew they could get me to the ER faster than an ambulance could be called. So after around five hours in that ER, it was determined I was having an aneurysm in my chest."

"I was transferred to another hospital in the same city via ambulance (the weather was bad, so thank God I was not in a helicopter cause that would have been even more expensive), but long story short, one 20-minute ambulance alone ride cost almost two times more than one emergency surgery at 2 a.m. and two cat scans, six blood transfusions, two MRIs, and a week in the ICU, plus countless other procedures/consulting and therapy/labs/tests.

For the record, I have what's considered 'really good insurance' in the United States, yet this was still the case. Always ask first. I know it's tough to see someone suffering and want to help, but I'd say if a person has a pulse and can converse with you, consider taking them yourself. It could save them tens of thousands of dollars."


6."The personal space rules can’t be emphasized enough. Just keep your distance."

A group of people ride a crowded bus, with a woman in a floral top seated and others standing around her, looking at their phones or talking
Drazen_ / Getty Images

7."Do NOT attempt to cut the line! I KNOW I was here before you!"


8."Don’t ever touch a pregnant person's belly."

A pregnant person is touching their belly while wearing a sweater and light shirt. No faces are visible
Nataliaderiabina / Getty Images

9."Don’t touch a cop's K-9 dog without asking."


10."One thing that's different in America than it was when I lived in Europe is the price of just about everything. Prices listed do NOT include taxes in the U.S., whereas in Europe, they're included."


11."Those speed limit signs on the road technically indicate the maximum speed you can travel; however, they are practically interpreted to mean the minimum speed you should be traveling."

Speed limit sign displaying 70 below a road bridge with a hillside and trees in the background
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

12."My son recently learned how to snap his fingers, and we had to have a talk about how doing so to get someone's attention is considered rude."


13."We walk on the right side of the sidewalk. The same way we drive."


14."A good rule of thumb, if you’re ever pulled over at night, is to turn on your dome/overhead light and keep both hands on the wheel until the officer is at your window. It shows you have their safety in mind."

A young man in a white shirt leans out of his car window at nighttime as a police car with flashing lights is stopped behind him
Dusan Ilic / Getty Images

15."On another note, in the States, asking 'How are you?' at the start of a conversation is a social nicety. We don't actually want an answer beyond a neutral response like 'fine.' Now, if you're asking in the middle of a conversation, and especially if it's with a friend, that is an invitation to truthfully open up about your life."


16."I waitressed for years, and it’s not rude to call your waiter over IF you do it nicely. A simple 'excuse me' if they're nearby will do.'"


Is there anything you could add to this list? If so, share it with me in the comments below!