15 People Share The Most Shocking Cultural Differences They Experienced at Someone Else’s House

We all have our house rules that seem completely normal to us, but for someone else, they might seem downright strange. In an online discussion, people were asked to share the most shocking cultural differences they experienced when visiting someone else's home, and in this article, we'll be sharing the top fifteen responses. 

1. Loving Relationships 

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When you're used to your family dynamics, it can be a real surprise when you first notice how other families relate to one another. One woman said, “When I was a teen, I was genuinely shocked to see that other families actually loved each other and wanted to interact and say nice things to each other.” 

2. No Books at the House

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Imagine visiting someone's family home and realizing there are no books anywhere in the house. One woman commented, “Hung out with my college roommates' family around Christmas. No books in the house, none. She told me her parents didn't want challenging books in their house to make the kids feel bad.” 

3. Americans Don't Drink Both Milk and OJ 

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In every commercial and television show, the typical American family would have breakfast with a glass of milk and orange juice. One man said, “While watching Saturday morning cartoons, I grew up believing that White people would simultaneously have a glass of milk and a glass of OJ in the morning. You can imagine my disappointment the day after sleepovers at friends' homes.” 

4. No Toilet Paper

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Every household has its own unique bathroom habits, some of which are a shocker to the rest of us. One young woman shared, “Back in high school, I visited a friend's house and had to use the bathroom. I asked her where the toilet paper was in the bathroom, and she said, ‘We don't really wipe in this house.' Girl, what?!”

5. Having Snacks at The House

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All kids love snacks, but when you've been raised never having snacks around the house, it can seem foreign when you go to a friend's house. One man said, “I remember going to a friend's house after school. We sat at the kitchen island, and her mom gave us apple wedges with peanut butter, and they talked about school. I was blown away that her mom just gave out snacks and was interested in her life.” 

6. Finish All Your Food 

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Nobody likes to waste food, but forcing children to clean their plates is a bit excessive. One woman shared, “My friend's parents would make them finish their meals, even if they said they were full. The meals looked huge to me, and my friend was overweight.” 

7. Not Saying I Love You

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Some people were raised saying ‘I love you' while others it could be strange to say every time you say goodbye. One woman said, “People not saying “I love you” before leaving or hanging up the phone. I was always taught to say “I love you” to family before hanging up the phone or saying goodbye.” 

8. Saying a Prayer Before Meals 

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While many religious people believe in giving thanks before a meal, this can be strange for someone who's never done this before. One man said, “Saying a prayer before a meal. I live in eastern Germany. I had never seen a religious person before.” 

9. Kids Not Eating 

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Some families believe in ensuring kids are well-fed, but others don't prioritize feeding kids outside of the day's main meals. One man said, “Going to a friend's house and not being fed. When friends came to my house, they'd leave 10lbs heavier, minimum. Most of my friend's parents just leave them alone, so they didn't really eat, or their parents weren't really foodie people.” 

10. Sharing a Towel 

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Sharing a towel with the rest of the household is definitely something that could be shocking to many people. One man said, “My ex's family used one cup towel as a communal napkin. No paper napkins or paper towels. No individual washable cloth napkins. One cup towel for everyone, even at large gatherings for holidays.” 

11. Being Disrespectful to Parents 

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If you've ever witnessed a child being disrespectful to their parent, it can be really jarring, especially if they aren't being disciplined. One woman said, “I was at my friend Dana's house for the first time and spent the night. I remember being so in awe of how freely she spoke to her parents.” 

12. Not Sharing Bedrooms

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Many kids have had to share their bedroom with siblings growing up. It can be surprising to go to a friend's house and realize this isn't the norm for every family. One woman commented, “Went to a friend's house at maybe age nine and was floored that she didn't share a bedroom with her little sister.”

13. Brand New Socks to Enter House

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We've all heard the rule of not wearing shoes inside the house, but one woman took it a step further and doesn't want anyone inside unless they're wearing clean socks. One woman said, “More of just weird, I went to my boss's house. She made us take off our shoes and socks and put on brand-new white socks that she kept by the door.” 

14. Outdoor Toilet

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A bathroom is something you would naturally expect a house to have, but for one man, it was a complete surprise to find out his friend's house only had an outhouse. One man said, “Went to a schoolmate's house to work on a project in the early 90s. The family had an outhouse, and the only running water was in the kitchen. Apparently, when they built they (self) built the house, parents kept fighting about where to put the bathroom, so they just . . . didn't. I never had the nerve to ask her how they bathed.”

15. Carpets in the Bathroom

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Having carpeted floors isn't uncommon, but in the bathroom? That's definitely an uncommon location for a carpet. One man said, “I lived with my grand uncle for six months, and one of the cultural shocks that surprised me was that he had carpeted floors in his bathrooms.” 

 

This post was inspired by this thread

 

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