Daria US News

What makes Americans tick

May 11, 2024 | People & Culture, Stories & Experience

We Germans are familiar with the American mentality - through films, series and US sports. However, these excerpts only reflect a small part of the many facets of Americans. Time to get to know other character traits of Americans.

The differences in the mentalities of Germans and Americans are perhaps best described in real-life stories.

We interviewed our DARIA co-founder Frank Rahlfin which situations, in his view, the mentality of the people in the USA best comes to the fore.

This is the first story of three:

Two years ago, Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc and destroyed many houses in the harbor region of Cape Coral, among others. An elderly man was seen on television standing in front of his completely destroyed house. A reporter approached him, held a microphone under his nose and asked him how he was doing.

 

The American replied analogously: The house is no big deal, it can be rebuilt. I just have one big problem: I'm looking for my dog.

A German would probably have replied that he had now lost everything and didn't know what to do next.

In the eyes of Frank Rahlf, this short interview on the brink of a huge natural disaster makes it clear that Three cultural peculiarities, specifically in Cape Coral, Florida:

  1. Americans are not afraid of big tasks.
  2. People in the USA seem to be able to live relatively well with disasters.
  3. The days after Hurricane Ian also made it clear that Americans are very supportive of each other. In general, the Americans' willingness to help is enormous, which gives you a great feeling of solidarity.

Two more anecdotes from everyday life in Cape Coral will follow in the course of this blog article - so be sure to read on.

If you're traveling to the States for the first time, it's best to familiarize yourself with other differences between German and American culture. We have summarized the ten most obvious differences for you:

 

The differences in mentality

1. openness and communication

Americans make contacts quickly and show great interest in other cultures. However, you should not expect deep friendships to develop immediately after such an encounter.

 

2. manners

In the USA, the tone is relaxed. The formal "you" form of address does not exist in English. Even in companies, employees often call their superiors by their first name.

3. environmental awareness

Germans attach great importance to environmental protection. In the USA, awareness of environmental issues is less pronounced, although there are attempts at improvement. Anyone expecting meticulous waste separation like in Germany will be disappointed.

4. national pride

Americans show their pride in their country through flags and support for the armed forces. This strong national identity can be surprising for Germans, as we hardly allow this in Germany due to our history.

 

5. health awareness & physical culture

Despite the preconception that Americans eat unhealthily and get little exercise, there is a trend towards a healthier lifestyle. Germans are often surprised by the American fast-food culture, which is, however, increasingly offering healthier alternatives.

6. mobility and transport

In the USA, the car is deeply rooted in the culture and public transportation is often poorly developed. In Germany, on the other hand, the public transport system is well developed and is used intensively.

7. hospitality

Americans are known for their generosity and helpfulness. They support their neighbors and receive guests in a very open and friendly manner.

 

8. love of freedom

Americans have a strong need for personal freedom. Germans also value their freedoms, but often define them differently.

 

9. directness in dealing

Germans are known for their directness, especially in business. Americans, on the other hand, maintain a friendly tone and often avoid direct confrontation.

10. optimism and error culture

Americans are often optimistic and focus on solutions rather than problems. Germans tend to want to do everything perfectly.

 

The mentality especially in Florida

Florida shares many of the cultural characteristics mentioned above. However, there are specific aspects that stand out in this colorful and sunny state. Floridians are known for their relaxed way of life, which is strongly influenced by their proximity to the sea and tropical conditions. This promotes a culture where leisure and enjoyment of life are highly valued. The economic opportunities, especially in the real estate sector, also attract an international audience, making Florida a melting pot of cultures. It was therefore also an obvious choice for us at DARIA to implement our ambitious real estate project in this fantastic location.

Living where others go on vacation

The lifestyle in Florida is strongly characterized by the warm climate and proximity to numerous beaches. This promotes a relaxed lifestyle that emphasizes outdoor activities and community events.

Outdoor and recreation: From water sports to golf, Florida residents take advantage of the year-round beautiful weather to stay active.

Health awareness is also an important part of the Florida lifestyle, with many people emphasizing nutrition and regular exercise.

This is not the end yet

 This is where the second story from everyday life comes in, that Frank Rahlf experienced in Florida:

Frank is sitting in his favorite restaurant in the outback. An elderly man, maybe 85 or 90 years old, comes into the restaurant.

He walks slowly and pushes a mobile drip next to him, holding on to it with his right hand.

The man sits down at a free table. The waiter comes and asks how he is.

The American replies: I'm not well. I have cancer in its last stages, but I'm sure I'll be back three or four more times. He laughs and gives the waiter a friendly look.

Frank: That's a typical story from Floridathat reflects the mentality of Americans: They live to the last day. People in Florida are active well into old age. Everyone takes part in life. You don't get the feeling that people here retire as soon as they get old, as we are sometimes familiar with in Germany.

Finances: A pragmatic approach

Now that we have dealt with the general attitude to life, let's turn our attention to the financial aspect, which is the basis for a serene lifestyle in the first place.

Americans, especially Floridians, are known for their pragmatic and goal-oriented approach to financial matters. Many Florida residents take advantage of state benefits, such as no state income tax, which allows them to keep more of their earnings and put it towards personal projects or investments.

Given its growing population and continued popularity, the Florida real estate market is a central aspect of many people's financial considerations. And it makes sense. Florida is continually growing. More and more people are drawn here to spend their lives. Cape Coral is particularly attractive, as the amount of land available for home construction is limited. For this reason, we at DARIA take the opportunity to use the available building plots for our villa projects.

Living: Modernity and nature

Living in Florida offers a wide variety, from urban high-rises in cities like Miami to quiet suburbs or beachfront homes. The real estate market is dynamic, reflecting the state's growing population and enduring popularity.

While some prefer the proximity to the cultural and social offerings of big cities, others choose the peace and space of rural areas. Floridian homes often reflect a blend of traditional and modern architectural styles that are both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Between career ambitions and quality of life

The attitude of Americans, especially Floridians, towards their work is often a balance between career ambitions and quality of life. The trend towards more flexible working models such as working from home or freelancing is also noticeable in Florida and is favored by the pleasant climate and the opportunity to combine work and leisure.

The state actively promotes start-ups and the self-employed, making Florida an attractive location for entrepreneurs. The Florida job market is diverse and offers opportunities in areas such as tourism, healthcare, technology and education.

Conclusion

The mentality of Florida's residents shows how the environment, economy and social structures can influence people's daily lives and attitudes. The combination of favorable financial conditions, a life-affirming lifestyle, diverse housing options and a balanced work culture make Florida a unique example of the American way of life. Floridians benefit from a high quality of life supported by the natural beauty of their surroundings and the robust economy of their state.

A moonwalk that sweeps everyone away

Finally, we have a third anecdote that vividly illustrates what you can expect in terms of joie de vivre when you fly to Florida for the first time:

Frank: "We were in a bar in the evening. There was music playing - a Michael Jackson song. An elderly man went onto the dance floor. Afterwards, I found out that the gray-haired American was already 82 years old. He danced and did moves that you rarely see. At the end, he freaked out the people in the bar with his moonwalk. The audience in the pub was a colorful mix: from young adults to old dance geniuses, everything was represented there. The best thing is that it doesn't bother anyone. People let each other live here and respect each other. That's an incredibly important factor for the quality of life."

We can't wait to hear what stories you have to tell when you visit the Sunshine State of Florida for the first time.

Author Rouven Zietz
Rouven Zietz
Journalist and copywriter.

He is a communications expert (Master of Arts) with 16 years of experience in copywriting and marketing. Starting out as a local reporter, he still works as a freelance journalist for numerous magazines and newspapers. As a copywriter, his passion is to get to the heart of communication emotionally and clearly.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for this great portrayal of the attitude to life and the courage of the people in Florida to face life and really live it.
    A very nice description of the Floridians and their mentality. Thank you for these wonderful insights.
    The heart of a country is its people and this is very much reflected in Florida.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your feedback. You have to experience it to understand how this American attitude to life also captures and inspires non-Americans.

      Reply
      • Hello
        Many thanks for the very interesting description
        The American residents.
        I'm really looking forward to it
        The people and the
        lifestyle.

        Reply
        • Hello Thomas, we look forward to welcoming you here. You will like it. Best regards Jutta

          Reply

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