1. Show you care about more than Austin.
Every Texan, especially those who travel, has heard it before: “Oh, you’re from Texas? I love Austin!” As a Texan, I would take it as a major compliment if someone actually knew about other obscure areas and didn’t even mention the capital.
2. Support our teams.
You don’t have to be the most knowledgeable about every franchise and the record of every football or baseball player, but sporting the colors and cheering when we score is something we will remember.
3. Drink our beer.
Texas doesn’t have the reputation of microbreweries in the Pacific Northwest or the traditional ales in New England, but its selection remains popular among locals for being cheap and tasty (if you disagree, don’t make me bring PBR into this). Shiner Bock and Lone Star Beer are just a few of what you should be sipping to make a Texan smile.
4. Don’t claim to be “from Texas.”
If you just moved over from the coast and are planning to stay for the foreseeable future, there’s a certain balancing act to follow to satisfy your fellow Texans. You could start by saying you moved here not too long ago, loved everything so far, and will probably stay. After a number of years, you’ll realize just how Texan you’ve become and won’t feel the need to justify it to strangers.
5. Tip your hat — literally.
If you really want to go old school, get yourself a proper cowboy hat and tip it or touch two fingers to the brim if you want to show a fellow Texan respect. You can also remove it when you enter a house or if something tragic happens.
6. Ask for seconds.
Loosen your belt and eat that BBQ until you burst. There’s no greater compliment to a Texas cook in a restaurant or at home than to ask for more.
7. Wave when you pass.
It’s simple road etiquette that should be standard across the country, but isn’t. If someone lets you pass on a crowded interstate, give them a wave, or at least lift the front of your hands off the steering wheel. Even one finger — not the middle one.
8. Just treat us normally.
Texans are not an invasive species set out to infect and convert all other Americans and people of the world to our way of thinking. So many outsiders have struggled to think of what to say to me when they learn I’m from Texas. Just treat me like a normal human being — and the rest of us lucky enough to live here.