5 Things Americans Do That Other Countries Find Disgusting (I Had No Idea!)

It's kind of cool that for the last 240 years, the U.S. has acted like a reckless, young-gun police officer who gets the job done, but plays by his own rules (think Mel Gibson in "Lethal Weapon"). But this behavior has caused the rest of the world (like Danny Glover in "Lethal Weapon") to perceive us as arrogant children who don't have any respect for history.

Because of this, Americans are far more heavily scrutinized than many other tourists, which may not be fair, but it happens. The travel-minded YouTube channel geobeats has compiled some American habits that, for whatever reason, foreigners find offensive.

1. We refer to the United States as America.

South American countries, in particular, take offense to how the U.S. has laid claim to the phrase "America," as if the rest of the countries in North and South America don't matter. It's kind of like how the rest of Bon Jovi should be mad that their whole band is named after their singer.

2. We wear flip flops and sweatpants in public.

In other countries, seeing an American lounging around in flip flops and sweats really bums the hard-working locals out. I have to agree here. Folks, it's vacation! Look like you've vacated your house, at least!

3. We accept gifts too willingly.

Other countries seem to enjoy a healthy amount of shame, so it's odd to them when Americans take free things without at least pretending like it's weighing on their conscience.

4. We open gifts in front of the giver.

Another gift-centric one: In China and India, it goes against customs to open gifts in front of the giver. Imagine how boring their bridal showers are, though!

5. We give thumbs-up.

While it's customary in the U.S. and generally appreciated in Europe, in some Asian countries like Japan, leaving a tip isn't typical and is often even considered an insult.

I've also been told that beckoning someone towards you with your hand is offensive to Japanese people. A good way to avoid things like this is to read up a little bit about the country you are going to visit before diving in. Our American accents will most likely flag us immediately, but a little respect can go a long way.