New York University has an advice for international students in dealing with Americans.
1. Americans generally believe the ideal person is self-reliant.
2. Most Americans see themselves as separate individuals, not as representatives of a family, community or other group.
3. They dislike being dependent on other people, or having others depend on them.
4. In India, we define this trait as selfishness. But they see it as a healthy freedom from the constraints of family or social class.
5. In U.S., it is assumed that people need to be alone some of the time and prefer to take care of problems by themselves.
6. People are ready to “do business” very soon after meeting, without much time spent on preliminary conversation.
7. In United States people act competitively, are proud of their accomplishments and expect others to be proud of their own accomplishments.