Different Perceptions of Etiquette in USA vs Russia

Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society among members of a particular profession or group, and every country has their own. But today, we’ll be looking at how etiquette is perceived in two different countries: The United States and Russia.

Both countries are multi-ethnic, great powers, and have diverse societies. They are also known for their hospitality and appreciation for a direct way of speaking. Nevertheless, etiquette should not be underestimated due to its importance. We’ll be comparing 3 different aspects starting with Social Interactions. 

Social Interactions

In Russia, people are a little more formal and reserved, and casual behavior is considered a sign of disrespect, therefore smiling in Russia is not common, unlike the US. In the United States, it is less formal and more open, and social interactions are casual with frequent discussions and debates on both personal and non-personal matters. And just like many other countries, smiling is considered a common gesture of goodwill in America.

The next aspect we’ll be comparing is Personal Space and Conversations.

Personal Space and Conversation

Personal space is not really an option in Russia; your space is their space. Americans, on the other hand, prefer more personal space. Since it is considered rude and unfriendly to keep a large distance during a conversation in Russia, people are comfortable talking with very little space between them. They tend to come closer gradually as the conversation proceeds and would rather speak sitting or walking quite close to each other.

Personal space in America is preferred and valued since being physically close to a person indicates a very close relationship and a high level of comfort between individuals. In America people immediately step aside to have some distance for conversation after greeting or giving a short hug. They feel uncomfortable or upset when another person gets too close, especially meeting a new person, so they would start to back away.

The last aspect we’ll be comparing is Relationships. 

Trust and Friendship

Trust plays an important role in mutual relationships and it is imperative for the Russians to be able to trust one another and keep that trust. They also believe in building friendships and staying connected after the trust is built. On the contrary, Americans build friendships become friends first and build trust later. In some situations, they may seem to open up at first, but it can take some time to earn complete trust from them.

These differences are representatives of how perspectives can vary differently from one region to another.

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