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Old 02-16-2011, 01:08 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 928,712 times
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Reading this forum I've noticed two things that come up a lot when midwesterners in general and Iowans in particular are discussed: They're really nice and friendly (no big surprise to anyone who's spent time there) but they can also be really blunt. I think of my own grandmother in particular; she was a sweet lady who was loved by almost everyone who knew her, but she would also tell you in no uncertain terms if she didn't approve of you or what you were doing.

How do we reconcile these two seemingly opposite traits? Where does it come from? What makes Iowans the way they are?
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Rockford MN
72 posts, read 228,893 times
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I don't think they are really opposites. At least the honesty is refreshing. Certainly isn't that way with many people out here. If people are able to understand that the other person is being blunt, and not have such thin skin, I think everything would work out
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:31 PM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,781,426 times
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We don't reconcile these traits. We accept that's how Iowans are, and not try to change them.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:11 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 928,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke9686 View Post
We don't reconcile these traits. We accept that's how Iowans are, and not try to change them.
Never said anything about wanting to change it, I just want to understand it, something I still can't quite manage despite having lived there the first 21 years of my life.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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German, Irish and Scandinavian. They're open about their feelings and blunt, but I've noticed it's without that southern touch of disgust and the eyes of disapproval. My grandma was the same way - she'd always tell me straight up what she thought about everything, but I didn't get this harsh JUDGING that I've gotten in other areas. I wasn't meant to feel like I was a freak or bizarre if I didn't conform to everything.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Bettendorf, IA
446 posts, read 1,222,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
German, Irish and Scandinavian. They're open about their feelings and blunt, but I've noticed it's without that southern touch of disgust and the eyes of disapproval. My grandma was the same way - she'd always tell me straight up what she thought about everything, but I didn't get this harsh JUDGING that I've gotten in other areas. I wasn't meant to feel like I was a freak or bizarre if I didn't conform to everything.
..."without that southern touch of disgust and the eyes of disapproval." Huh? I've lived in the South several times and I can't associate whatever it was you said with anyone in the South. I don't think southeners glaringly disaprove of anyone anymore than they do in the North. I have to admit though that, the 'southern touch of disgust' made me giggle.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:19 PM
 
180 posts, read 451,527 times
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From my experience in living in many places and from my own family, a lot of it just seems to be that generation.

The older, more experienced people seem to not hesitate to say whatever they want. If they don't agree or someone does not share their traditional views, they are not afraid to say it. They are not worried about offending someone or being politically correct.

My experience with the midwest vs the south and east is that at least midwesterners seem to handle things with a little more tact and respect. They don't seem to retaliate or hold an obvious grudge as much as others. They don't act as stubborn and superior as Southerners. Sure they have their own views, but you just don't see the protests, riots, and violence just because someone disagrees with someone else.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:05 PM
 
11,150 posts, read 22,278,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scimitar12 View Post
..."without that southern touch of disgust and the eyes of disapproval." Huh? I've lived in the South several times and I can't associate whatever it was you said with anyone in the South. I don't think southeners glaringly disaprove of anyone anymore than they do in the North. I have to admit though that, the 'southern touch of disgust' made me giggle.
Well I've seen it a lot more in rural areas in the south. My friend moved from the Midwest to the South for 9 months to work in Arkansas. She noticed right away that people would say some pretty opinionated things, and they would openly talk about things as if that's what everyone thought and felt. They would feel her up to see if she agreed, and if she didn't, it was a pretty cold shoulder. I went to visit her and it all seemed a little more conformist - as opposed to Iowa where growing up it was a lot more live and let live. I'll live my life and you're free to live yours. Of course people tended to conform on a general level, but as far as things like having lesbian neighbors or friends/family/neighbors who weren't religious - that wasn't really cared about. As long as they weren't causing crazy harm to everyone and everything, then whatever floats your boat.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,151 posts, read 1,426,177 times
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In my experience, Iowans probably rank among the least-friendly of the Midwestern states. But the "blunt" thing is right on the money, Iowans exemplify "what you see is what you get". For example, the friendliness that eminates from say, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, etc. is mostly for show (especially Minnesotans - they're more outwardly friendly than Iowans, but they're also more patronizing).
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,566 posts, read 8,482,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scimitar12 View Post
..."without that southern touch of disgust and the eyes of disapproval." Huh? I've lived in the South several times and I can't associate whatever it was you said with anyone in the South. I don't think southeners glaringly disaprove of anyone anymore than they do in the North. I have to admit though that, the 'southern touch of disgust' made me giggle.

If I may provide an illustration.....
The weather up has been somewhat chilly and when one pushes snow for an extended period ones mustuach tends to collect a residue. An Iowagen (or Minnesotian for that matter) accepts this as normal and merly comments matter of factly that one might want to simply wipe ones nose. Recently we had my wifes cousins from GA. visit, when upon seeing this (normal to us) event looked at me as if I was some type of untermensch crying with "OMG Ya'll are just gross".......As if she was beyond haveing a snotnose.....
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