Cultural differences: United Statesians vs Europeans (and possibly the rest of the world) #6: Trash talking vs Pulling Someone's Leg
Irish people in particular are renowned for ‘taking the piss’ or ‘pulling your leg’, often feigning insult/insulting others in a joking way or keeping a straight face while telling a complete untruth, and allowing the other person to believe them for some time.
The equivalent Americans have is to trash-talk each other but this takes place only once a friendship has developed, and even then it is always accompanied with a smile.
As a tool that is used by Irish people as part of getting to know someone and to develop a friendship, unfortunately it does not translate over well state side, as Americans rarely perceive the playful nature of the comment, and instead take the remark at face value. Tragically, the friendship that the European is trying to establish is only jeopardised by this tool, as Americans do no understand that the more you pull someone’s leg the more you respect them!