Friendship or friendship? How to make friends with us in America
They say Americans do not know how to be friends. Lies, of course. Americans can do everything that we can, and something even better. Simply, we understand different things as friendship.
We will have to start not even with how we are friends and why, but with how we arrange life. For example, mobility.
We - the post-Soviet population - are sedentary people, descendants of peasants. Our ancestors were allowed to move relatively freely only in the middle of the last century - if not distracted by fake Christmas decorations, such as the abolition of serfdom, but look at the facts. We began to withdraw from the places only the last twenty-five years, many not from a good life at all.
The expression “where he was born, there and was useful” is familiar to everyone, according to this saying, we lived right up until recently.
The average American, according to the Census Bureau, for his life moves 11 and a half times, that is, approximately every 7 years. “We follow the work,” they say and build their modus vivendi on it. This means that, having received an interesting offer, an American sells a house, packs belongings in a truck U-haul and goes to a new place.
We will persistently look for work where we live, and live where we were born. Until we return to the land from which we are taken, strictly according to the Old Testament. For several reasons: not used, afraid of discomfort, family experience of moving was not. The economy here is not the last factor, especially in peripheral cities, from where it is very difficult to get out, even with a strong desire. Native land firmly holds us in his arms.
Americans have been preparing for mobile life since the age of six: primary, secondary and higher schools - these are three different educational institutions in three districts of the city.
Even if his parents did not budge, the teenager manages to move three times during the first sixteen years. And if you remember the saying “two moves are equal to one fire,” we believe that a person has already been in one and a half fires - in terms of emotional stress, of course.
So that those, God forbid, do not get bored, the American school rotates students every year. Finished the class? Since September, you already study with other guys. They say they sometimes arrange rotation even during the school year.
So we come to the first of the important concepts of the American way of life - socializing. Socialization is a skill to build relationships and find a place in a new society.
Socialization training also starts from a young fingernail: it’s not going to walk around and look like a beech at an American school - they won't give it. Unlike our school in the States, they practice group training. Pupils are constantly doing something with a team - laboratory, workshops, theatrical performances. You will surely name two or three Hollywood movies, where in the course of the action happens a concert of school amateur performances, where the hero is disgraced or famous. Usually in the plot of the plot is the first, and in the final - the second. Do you remember many of your school concerts? I - not one. Is that the review of the system, chants and songs - disgusting for their stupidity occupation.
At the same time, I have known my friends for almost 30 years, and almost all this time we have lived side by side, in the same city. Most Americans I knew were from somewhere else, but from the question “where are you from?”Almost every conversation usually began.
Do not become attached to cities or to people. To be able to find yourself in a new place, in new circumstances and with strangers. Here are the skills that are so diligently brought up in the American school, very important - yes, only strong friendship that does not break and will not disintegrate from the rain and blizzard, as the song sang, on such a ground does not grow.
If today I have a revision of sayings and sayings, I will not stop. “Out of sight out of mind” is best suited to describe how relationships are distant from a distance. To maintain friendship, being far away, extraordinary effort and perseverance are needed.
Listen to the language, it usually opens up more meanings.
Where do our friends come from? We “meet” or “get to know” them, sometimes we “wind up” like cats. The Americans, on the other hand, “do”, and the verb “to make” is tightly attached to the act of production.
Make a friend and make friends - it sounds funny, right? Only not for them.
My daughter is in high school for the first year and now she is taking this course of a young fighter in socialization, just as written.
The first two months she suffered not only because instead of Brooklyn, she had to go to Manhattan, 40 minutes longer than the previous one. And not even because the program has become more complicated. Because she “made friends” more slowly than her former classmates from the Brooklyn Mark Twaintrapped in the same school. So I learned that New York schoolchildren compete even in the speed of this very socialization.
Not having acquaintances is unacceptable, having few acquaintances — suspiciously, and even making them more slowly than peers — gives away looting.
I think that this model is learned from adults, it is unlikely that a man of 13 will come up with this.
It’s just crazy for me to hear, because in 10 of my years at school I made friends - at the most - with five or six bookworms, and they are all still there. And my girlfriend had to go to Illinois in the summer to see Evelyn, Evelyn now lives on a farm with her grandmother moved to the Bible.
Now about the second sacred cow of American public life, it is called “Networking, Or building networks. Unlike Twitter, there are only real people who can be touched, although they do not like it.
Networking can be anything: a charity auction, a collection of money for homeless cats, a campaign "Walking Against Prostate Cancer", a job fair, days of Greek culture in Western Pennsylvania. The main thing - to gather more people and get acquainted.
There is no friendliness here, the goal of networking is to see as many people as possible, find out who does what and can be useful. It's also a great way to screen out inadequate.
Network construction is an important thing in today's atomized world, where people are increasingly separating themselves from each other, communicating only online. Even Facebook with its capabilities has not yet managed to kill this very networking. What can I say - when I sent out a resume for several months in a row, receiving no answers, it seemed to me an impossible dream to meet a live, warm recruiter or businessman. If I had been smarter then, I would have gone to some meetings of American Jehovah's Witnesses, maybe I could have gotten a job soon. Dear, by the way, people, unlike our sectarians.
School, college with a system of student fraternities (fraternities), work - an American acquires contacts everywhere. The most pedantic try not to lose sight of anyone - you never know who will come in handy once?
What about the rest?
For us, friendship is an almost sacred concept. With friends, we spend such a part of our life that we become attached to them as to a family. God forbid, a friend will get radical views, change, fall under the influence - it can easily break our heart.
In this respect, many dear to us melodrama, we live in it, like a fish in water.
An American from childhood learns to look at friendship practically. The pathetic word "career" for him is completely mundane. "Made a janitor career" - here we begin to laugh, and the American does not even lead an eyebrow.
The words “career” and “friendship” are much more prosaic for them: first you build, then you keep in working order - and so, until you die.
And it's not a cold calculation, they just look at any relationship as work. How many times have I seen a sour expression on Slavic faces of my acquaintances to whom I have told about it! Friends can not be dragged in the morning with a bottle of whiskey, because you again grabbed with his wife? Why such a friendship!
An American, you know, will exclaim the same thing.
Printed with permission Author
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