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Americans are much more assertive that most international visitors. They use words as tools to express their opinions and to accomplish goals. Speaking for yourself and attempting to persuade someone to adopt your view are not only not taboo, but expected. The United States has a rather individualistic society, with less social pressure to conform. As a result, you will need to become more assertive and to speak out on your own behalf. Take the initiative and volunteer information that will be of interest. In an interview, talk about your goals and accomplishments. An American idiom expresses this requirement succinctly: If you don't toot your own horn, who will?

Accordingly, Americans begin a discussion with a focus on accomplishments and concrete facts, and later proceed to the abstract. So you should begin any conversation or proposal with the most important information. Be direct, and reserve the small talk for later. To quote another American idiom, you have to put your best foot forward.

It is ok to criticize someone's opinion, as long as you are providing constructive criticism.

Eye contact is also important. It is not a sign of disrespect, but instead an indication of openness, honesty, and enthusiasm.


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