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View Poll Results: Do you think living in a big city can make you a bad or mean person?
Yea 18 30.00%
Nay 42 70.00%
Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-16-2009, 08:54 AM
10,630 posts, read 23,428,571 times
Reputation: 6703


I suppose living in a big city could "make" you mean if you hated it and were miserable all the time. That could happen to you, too, if you lived in a suburb or a smaller place and hated that lifestyle.

I love life in a city. I also love that city life gives you lots of encounters with random people. In a lot of ways big city life forces some civility on people, too - you live in close proximity, so you learn to (mostly) get along and develop patience for some things. It's also easier to meet, or at least see and sometimes interact with, a wider variety of people, which I think encourages a higher level of tolerance - a trait that I associate with "niceness."

When people get impatient (and sometimes admittedly mean) and snap at some unsuspecting tourist for taking up the entire sidewalk or standing on the left side of the escalator it's because the tourist has violated an unspoken rule of how things need to work to keep them running smoothly.

There are mean and nice people everywhere, but for me personally I find city living to be the ideal.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:46 AM
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,900 posts, read 13,251,135 times
Reputation: 1819
Right after 9/11, people in NY generally were a lot nicer to one another. I would say that NYers continue to be nicer to this day, but nothing like how it was after 9/11.

As far as myself...I feel like in order to live in a big city, you need a certain attitude. You can't be a pushover (this is especially true with us NYC teachers!) and need to stand up for yourself often. I like to help locals and tourists on the streets if they need it, but if someone ever messed with me, they'd get it. There's a difference between being mean and having an attitude. It's just second nature for me to stand up for myself. I teach in a run-down neighborhood in the south Bronx, and one woman was giving me problems for no reason (sitting beside her). She kept telling me to go sit somewhere else and I told her no. You can't let people walk all over you here. I joke around and say that someday I'm going to get shot since I stand up to anyone who tries to do/say anything to me, lol. But I know the right and wrong times to do it. It doesn't matter where I live, I'll still have this same personality trait. It's your typical "NY attitude"
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