1. Become numb to guns.

Not all Texans open carry or have a concealed handgun, but being a Texan means you probably know someone who does. If nothing else, you’ve become accustomed to the billboards advertising gun shows across the state, and businesses posting signs forbidding open carry.

2. Learn how to park.

Texans don’t often have parallel parking restrictions like LA, San Francisco and the East Coast, but one superpower we posses with us is always finding the most shaded parking spot in the summertime, even if it’s far from an entrance. It’s no joke: leaving your leather seats in the Texas sun for a few hours can burn your enthusiasm for the outdoors.

3. Pick your team.

Naturally, they’re all from Texas, but are you a Red Raiders fan or a Longhorns’ one? Aggies? Many Texans stay in state when they’re choosing universities, and we carry those allegiances with us for eternity (it becomes complicated when relatives stop by).

4. Lose the chains.

Texans drive so poorly in the rain and snow it’s almost laughable to anyone up north. However, it snows and ices over so infrequently in the Lone Star State it’s not often a concern.

5. Git ‘r done.

Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy may not be born and raised Texans – we do have Bill Engvall! – but their style of comedy has definitely influenced what it means to be a funny Texan. From redneck jokes to “here’s your sign”, listening to the Blue Collar Comedy group is a good starting point to becoming a member of our proud state.

6. Know your speed traps.

Everyone has their story about making the drive between two Texas cities in an unrealistically short time; my favorite is from Dallas to Austin, 200 miles, in two hours. Because our speed limits on I-10 and SH130 are higher than anywhere in the country (80-85 mph), we’re experts at opening up our pickup trucks through small town Texas areas and anticipating where the state troopers are hiding… though sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

7. Don’t leave for vacation.

In Texas, going away for the weekend often just means a few days in the Hill Country or visiting relatives out west. Why fly anywhere else?

8. Know your history.

When did Texas become an independent nation? What happened at San Jacinto? Even Texans who fail basic history know the timeline of their own state. And please, please, remember the Alamo.

9. Give outsiders some of that Texas hospitality.

Despite the stereotype of the redneck good-old-boy oil baron cowboy rube, Texans are warm and friendly people and will go to great lengths to make you feel welcome. Whether this means chatting you up in a cafe or offering assistance when your car dies on I-35, we find a way to make your day a little better.

10. Disguise insults as compliments.

In all my travels, Texans seem to do this far better than anyone else on the planet. You’ll only be the recipient of this kind of behavior if you truly deserve it. If a waitress smiles extra wide and says “bless your heart” in the sweetest sappiest tone after you’ve ordered without using “please” or “thank you” and poked her to get her attention, you’ve been Texaned.