Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What kinds of things (particular to your country) do you see in daily life that make you cringe?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) April 10th, 2010

Cultural cringe is a kind of inferiority complex where people feel their culture is not as good as another country’s. It’s something you’d rather people from other nations not see.

I have a couple of takes on this question. First, I’m wondering what was the last thing that made you cringe. Second I’d like to know what kind of thing that makes you cringe do you encounter most often in your daily life?

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47 Answers

slick44's avatar

Rubbing your shoe against the grochery cart wheel.

Grisaille's avatar

Last thing was a spider. Because I’m a 10 year old girl.

What most often makes me cringe is watching people embarrass themselves. That’s awful.

Vunessuh's avatar

I use teeth whitening strips, but when used too often, my teeth become incredibly sensitive. That sensitivity makes me cringe especially when I drink a cold beverage.

When I get out of the bathtub and my fingers are really wrinkly and I touch a dry towel with them, that feeling gives me the chills and makes me cringe.

The sound of Styrofoam to Styrofoam or silverware to dishes.

I’ve seen a lot of nasty, horrible videos online, but there are very few that have actually made me cringe. However, when I see a chick vomiting in another chick’s mouth, that usually does it for me.

Ludy's avatar

I’m from Mexico, and people there is nasty sometimes, I’m so surprised on how clean is in america, some exeptions of course but minimal

flo's avatar

When people put their items even mugs on the ground,toilet floor, and it goes on to be used as usual after that, as if nothing happened!!!

phillis's avatar

Two things immediately come to mind. Since I am unaware how much one of these things is noticed from the world stage, it may or may not apply.

One, I am embarrassed beyond belief, how the U.S. acts during times of war. I am talking specifically about the indefinite imprisonment of hundreds upon hundreds of people without thier having the benefit of a trial. I am equally embarrassed as to how those prisoners are treated. The Lindy picture showing nude prisoners in a pyramid comes to mind, and waterboarding, too. The U.S. makes a big show of being fair, treating people with dignity and respecting their human rights. Remember that big stink they raised about an American getting caned? Yet, when it’s our turn, we aren’t one bit better than those we complain bitterly about.

Two (this is the one I’m not sure makes it to the world stage), I am red faced at how we used Hispanics for decades upon decades, giving all our shit jobs to them for half the legal pay, and now we’re dragging them out of thier homes and splitting up families for no fucking reason. The political climate sure has changed in the past couple of years, huh?

Coloma's avatar

The most obvious to me is nearly everyones complete and utter obliviousness.

Notice how almost everyone you see is diddling along staring at their feet, in parking lots, everywhere.


Wake the fuck up! Pay attention! lol

It really is amazing how in the ‘duh’ so many are.

I am the complete opposite, very aware and alert, if anything I’ll sail off the road admiring a beautiful tree or the flock of birds that just flashed across the road.

It is really sad and dangerous how many just stumble through life with no presence at all.

Trillian's avatar

I can’t bear to watch reality tv because of how poorly people act; abusive language, casual slutty-ness, active stupidity all seem not only the norm and accepted but sought after. Add how stupid, shallow and incompetent we seem from commercials and I just cringe. I’m extremely embarrassed that people from other countries see this and think we’re all this way.

nebule's avatar

I’ve recently begun to notice an incredible surge in our (British) ability to drop insults into normal conversation and relationships…like it’s nothing…it’s just becoming normal to be particularly sarcastic and insulting to people in every day life. Is this just how people are expected to act today? Is it cool? Is it normal? Am I just too polite…or kind? Anyhow…this behaviour makes me cringe , grimace and feel desperately sad….Where has empathy and humility gone?

Chongalicious's avatar

I’m kinda surprised no one has mentioned all the people in places like the U.S. suffering homeless and hungry and all we seem to focus on is other countries around the globe because they are “3rd world”. Don’t get me wrong, it sucks that they have to suffer, too…but I mean, shouldn’t we take care of our home first? These people need us and we skip right over them and go all around the world helping everyone else…seems pretty harsh if you ask me. Kind of a big “fuck you!” to those in our home country in need.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

The last thing to make me cringe was watching my partner spit “chew juice” into a cup while we were cuddled up on the sofa watching a show together. I personally find “chewing” disgusting.

What American type thing makes me cringe most? Probably the trend for obese people to also have obese kids. When I was a kid I remember the public sight of a “chubby” kid or adult being rare whereas now most people I see during the day are at least overweight/fat and many of them are obese. It makes me angry when people say, “gawd, you’re so skinny, you probably can eat anything you want!”. No, I can’t eat just anything I want and I don’t let myself because I don’t want diabetes, high blood pressure, artery clogging cholesterol and not being able to look down and see my own cooter or feet.

philosopher's avatar

Music turned up too loud or any shrill notices. Like people attempting to play an instrument that have no talent; but feel the need to make sure everyone hears their poor attempt.

Fyrius's avatar

The advertisement slogans in the supermarket.

“Guaranteed to be the lowest price!”
“The lowest PRICE is the PROOF” (It rhymes in Dutch. It doesn’t make more sense in Dutch. Knowing them, the lowest price is the assertion, not the proof.)
“Sometimes I want the leading brand and sometimes I want the shop’s home brand. But what I never want is to pay too much.”

No one even bothers bragging about quality any more. We only care about cheap here.

I am honestly embarrassed to think what tourists shopping here think of us if they can read it. It shows that the stereotype of Dutch people as stingy tossers is completely justified.

Stuff like that almost makes me wish they would agree to putting “the internet” as my nationality on my passport.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Leaf blowers

Coloma's avatar


Oh man..I hated leaf blowers forever, but…mea culpa…karmic humor, I actually bought a blower last year because I have finally reached critical mass when it comes to yardwork burnout after 20 something years of it now.

It has also become a source of great jokes….I call my gardener and tell him..’ Scott, I need a blow job’ and laugh that I can now ‘blow myself ’ when he’s not available. lol

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t know if they are unique to the culture of my country but the following makes me cringe (and I see them regularly!): girls that wear orange makeup and scraped back hair (hairsprayed to within an inch of it’s life), people stumbling around in the middle of the road at night because they are so drunk that putting one foot in front of the other (I live very close to a nightclub and friday and saturday nights aren’t pretty!!), people fighting in the street having just fallen out of said nightcub, people that spit, people that wear socks with sandals, all the “no win, no fee” adverts on TV, constant text speak (one of my colleauges has even been known to send formal emails in text speak), largely overweight dogs (makes me sad as well as cringe), the amount of Bull Terriers in our dog rescue centres, flip-flops (especially on men – sorry if that sounds sexist), men wearing pink (again, sorry for the sexism), the fanbase of certain boybands (Take That and Westlife for example), young people smoking and drinking in the streets, my list could go on and on…..

Blondesjon's avatar

Morbidly obese children. Shame on you parents!

Chongalicious's avatar

Also. Jersey Shore, a reality TV show. I’m Italian-American too. I disown those assholes as people from the same country. SERIOUSLY, it’s insulting to have people compare me to a dumb bitch like Snookie.

TexasDude's avatar

Lack of mindfulness and disrespectful children.

Coloma's avatar

Noisy and loud too. haha

And apologies ahead of time if this offends anyone…BUT…(in my humble opinion)

how we dress up our dogs! lol

I know some small breeds need extra warmth, but I think dressing up ones dog beyond the basic Xmas bow on it’s head is completely stoopid! lolol
That goes for the entire mega world of dog fashion!

earthduzt's avatar

skinny jeans on guys

jerv's avatar

Willful ignorance.
Pride in being willfully ignorant.
Atrocious academic skills (spelling and basic math)
Selfishness. There are other cars on the road!

doctiresquire's avatar

people who look and act like no one raised them ..loud mouthed dumb people manners…they don`t care if they go to jail attitude.. no respect for other people..its reaching its boiling point…the concealed hand gun laws may put an end to some of them…hopefully

SABOTEUR's avatar

1. Drivers distracted by cell phones or texting.
2. Guys with an obsession for advertising their underwear (like I really need to see your ass hanging out…!).
3. Anything on the Fox News Channel.

Violet's avatar

Leggings, Uggs, Lady Gaga, too much eyeliner, not saying thank you when someone holds the door open, tiny women driving huge SUV’s, little ankle bitting dogs in special dog carriers, people who don’t use their turn signals.

jeanmay's avatar

The Brits abroad. I used to live in the Czech Republic where beer is cheaper than water. You can get next-to-nothing flights there from the U.K., which makes it a prime hot spot for stag dos, hen nights and general booze cruisers. The Czech’s are very reserved by nature and public loudness is frowned upon. Subsequently the residents of Prague cannot stand foreigners, especially those from the U.K. I always used to cringe when I saw big groups of lager louts stumbling around.

Our whole attitude to alcohol in the U.K is disgraceful, and if you choose not to participate in drunken rowdiness you are practically viewed as a social outcast. There is so much pressure to drink, and to drink to get drunk rather than for pleasure. We should take a leaf out of France’s book, where most social gatherings are for the purpose of socialising, with drink a welcome boon, rather than the other way around.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Fat people.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I mean, 200 plus pounders who are not tall, just big and unnecessarily fat.

faye's avatar

Politicians running down the other guy as their platform, people picking their noses, girls wearing low riders with their fat bellies overtop. Pretty girls who are not that over weight- such a fashion fail.

Ltryptophan's avatar

able bodied, transient, drunken, dirty, bums.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Do a bum a favor and give’em some nail clippers!

chamelopotamus's avatar

Our lack of recycling compared to the mandatory recycling in Europe…so much smarter….

philosopher's avatar

I agree.
How are you?

JeffVader's avatar

Oh God…. those horrible Jegging’s things. It really doesnt matter what shape someone is, they just look bad…. & not in a good way!

TheOnlyException's avatar

Do chavs count?
It pisses me off that they are specific to British ‘culture’ (I think…), but I suppose every nation has its own version of ‘chavs’. (But whenever I’ve gone to switzerland and france and other places within Europe I never see anyone that looks like they do.)

But it depresses me whenever I see them,
I just can’t help but wonder ‘what the bloody hell are you doing with your life’
Especially the chicks walking down the road in mini skirts and ugg boots (another pet peeve of mine..) wearing fake tan in wotsit orange and hoop earrings similar in diameter to a hole in the ozone layer…

They complain about not being able to afford basic essentials because the council doesn’t provide them enough money, and they blow it all on hair straighteners and tattoos as if they weren’t trashy enough already..

Okay I’m going to stop before I start to feel too much like a product of private school education shudder


TheOnlyException's avatar

@JeffVader those have spread through my college like a bad smell. You should see them try and stuff their phones in the pockets, I’m surprised they get them back at all…
leaves nothing to the imagination

Violet's avatar

@philosopher I’m pretty good, how are you : )

philosopher's avatar

I am happy Spring is here; and my Son’s break is over.
I am happy you are here too.

JeffVader's avatar

@TheOnlyException They really dont do they….

TheOnlyException's avatar

@JeffVader Sitting at the bar and admiring the young girl tucked into her skin-tight jeans, the single gentleman asked, “You’ve got to tell me, miss, how anyone gets into those pants.”

“Well,” she smiled, “he starts by buying me a drink.”

haha felt a bad joke was relevant..

JeffVader's avatar

@TheOnlyException Hahahaha…... scary thing is I know at least person who’d think that line was absolute gold dust!
Well, 4 GA’s cant be wrong :)

TheOnlyException's avatar

@JeffVader Hey! 4 GA’s indeed… didn’t jeopardise my credibility for nothing ;p
wish I’d get appreciation like that for my terrible jokes in real life.. :(

JeffVader's avatar

@TheOnlyException Hehe…. well, all the best humour takes risks! Yeh, I know what you mean… not all my amusing quirks are universally appreciated either :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Jerry Springer, Maury Povich and anyone who in on or attends those shows.

philosopher's avatar

I see a growing lack of empathy for others. I see people who are consumed with material wealth.
I find that too many people know little about Science and History. That too many people make Political decisions based are party rhetoric (hype) instead of Scientific documentaion.
I personally dislike the extreme right and extreme left equally. Thy both lack vision and common sense. They both supports what is best for them not most American’s. Not the working Middle Class,

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