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Old 01-30-2008, 07:05 AM
 
Location: west Omaha
475 posts, read 2,035,030 times
Reputation: 207

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Quote:
folks that move into a small town are not treated the same as natives.
Bearing in mind... the vast majority which would fit into that category over the past decade, are unpopular for reasons other than their being new in town. Although many small towns, realizing their long term fate in the absence of this outward migration offsetting influx... are increasingly welcoming 'them'.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,518,199 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattpoulsen View Post
I have lived in small towns and the "outside factor" is a function of your own paranoia. People from big towns (and I'm now a big city guy) go to small towns and don't feel like they fit in and because they don't know anybody or don't understand the slower pace they seem to think that people are accepting them. My experience has always been that small towns are very accepting of outsiders. But they're not going to be if you have a chip on your shoulders about it. It goes both ways.

I have to agree with Matt. My son (city kid his whole life) has recently moved to a small western Nebraska town and has had no issues related to the east/west, rural/metro, city/country, or small/big perceptions/
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,331,051 times
Reputation: 2405
I want to address the whole "outsider" thing unique to small towns. (And I mean really small towns, ie, less than 1000)

It's there. Although I think people are misunderstanding what it is.
Having moved into a lot of extremely small towns in central and western Nebraska, I've seen it in every town we moved to. (Dunning, NE was the exception.) People tend to be a bit stand-offish. I mean they're nice enough when you talk to them. Are happy to welcome you into their churches, groups, etc. Interested in finding out where you're from. But beyond that they don't really open up.

I don't think it really has anything to do with anything though beyond just being new in the area. Every small town I've ever lived near has been in an area experiencing minor to severe out-migration. Ie, there's a very high liklihood that you who just moved into the area is soon going to move right back out. Particularly the more of a fish-out-of-water you are.
My son, 2nd grade, made a comment this fall when a kid in his class, who was new this fall, moved about two months into the school year. "How come all the kids but Kyler, me, and Trevor leave, Mom?" because that's how it's been each year since he was a kindergartner. Kids move in. Kids move out. He makes new friends. And then they leave. And we've only been in the community for four years...

Imagine how adults feel. They've been my son for decades. "How come they all leave?" You make friends and then they leave. Yes, that is true everywhere, but truly small towns feel it more for the simple fact that there are so many fewer people.

I've noticed there seems to be a bit of a trial period. People tend to be a bit stand-off-ish for the first year or so until you're making it clear that you are indeed planning to stay. That you're taking an active and involved interest in your new home. That kind of thing. Then they start opening up.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,518,199 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsMeFred View Post
It's there. Although I think people are misunderstanding what it is.

Having moved into a lot of extremely small towns in central and western Nebraska, I've seen it in every town we moved to. (Dunning, NE was the exception.) People tend to be a bit stand-offish. I mean they're nice enough when you talk to them. Are happy to welcome you into their churches, groups, etc. Interested in finding out where you're from. But beyond that they don't really open up.

I don't think it really has anything to do with anything though beyond just being new in the area. Every small town I've ever lived near has been in an area experiencing minor to severe out-migration.

Imagine how adults feel. They've been my son for decades. "How come they all leave?" You make friends and then they leave.

I've noticed there seems to be a bit of a trial period. People tend to be a bit stand-off-ish for the first year or so until you're making it clear that you are indeed planning to stay. That you're taking an active and involved interest in your new home. That kind of thing. Then they start opening up.
What you said I think is a key and with that said, I don't think its a dynamic of small vs big, its the dynamic of connecting with someone just to have them leave.

Why is that an important thought? Because it exists in the big city, especially if you are in an area that has high civilian with a large military base (e.g. Bellevue and surrounding towns).

I have seen many people (the civilians) deal with that exact situation. They get to know a military family that moves in, become good friends, and then see them leave 3 years later. Get to know another and then seen that one leave 3 years later. This is something that people in stable areas might not have ever experienced and to them it hurts to have those friends leave - so what do they do? They tend to stop making deep friendships with those that might have the tendancy to move. They will keep the surface friendships, but not the deep ones they have with folks that they know will be there.

From that insight ItsMeFred just gave, I don't think is a rural issue, I think its human dynamics and the people in the stable areas (ones that aren't moving) are protecting themselves from being hurt when the visitors end up moving (3, 4, or 5 years later).
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls Vicinity
116 posts, read 306,064 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsMeFred View Post
I want to address the whole "outsider" thing unique to small towns. (And I mean really small towns, ie, less than 1000)

It's there. Although I think people are misunderstanding what it is.
Having moved into a lot of extremely small towns in central and western Nebraska, I've seen it in every town we moved to. (Dunning, NE was the exception.) People tend to be a bit stand-offish. I mean they're nice enough when you talk to them. Are happy to welcome you into their churches, groups, etc. Interested in finding out where you're from. But beyond that they don't really open up.

I don't think it really has anything to do with anything though beyond just being new in the area. Every small town I've ever lived near has been in an area experiencing minor to severe out-migration. Ie, there's a very high liklihood that you who just moved into the area is soon going to move right back out. Particularly the more of a fish-out-of-water you are.
My son, 2nd grade, made a comment this fall when a kid in his class, who was new this fall, moved about two months into the school year. "How come all the kids but Kyler, me, and Trevor leave, Mom?" because that's how it's been each year since he was a kindergartner. Kids move in. Kids move out. He makes new friends. And then they leave. And we've only been in the community for four years...

Imagine how adults feel. They've been my son for decades. "How come they all leave?" You make friends and then they leave. Yes, that is true everywhere, but truly small towns feel it more for the simple fact that there are so many fewer people.

I've noticed there seems to be a bit of a trial period. People tend to be a bit stand-off-ish for the first year or so until you're making it clear that you are indeed planning to stay. That you're taking an active and involved interest in your new home. That kind of thing. Then they start opening up.
I tend to agree with you on a LOT of this. But, why purposely alienate new people, which is what really happened to us, and again we're not the only ones who felt that way, UNLESS, it was a "let's see how much BS we can get away with" like a kid in foster care; acting out, if that makes sense.

It's depressing for the towns as well as people who've experienced it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Sandhills
2,177 posts, read 3,164,080 times
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Its been mentioned in a couple posts that outsiders moving into small town Nebraska aren't accepted or however you put it. Try getting involved in local activities, share a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, let the folks get to know you.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,331,051 times
Reputation: 2405
I agree.
Not only do you make new connections (the first thing we do when moving into a new community is find a church), but you also express interest in the well-being and success of the community.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Omaha
189 posts, read 157,995 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeSD View Post
I tend to agree with you on a LOT of this. But, why purposely alienate new people, which is what really happened to us, and again we're not the only ones who felt that way, UNLESS, it was a "let's see how much BS we can get away with" like a kid in foster care; acting out, if that makes sense.

It's depressing for the towns as well as people who've experienced it.
My head was 'in the sand' when I moved my family to the same county of Nebraska you refer to.(Yes, I admit it) My parents grew up there and I ENVIED my small town and farm cousins. We left the farm for Sioux City since my mother did not want to stay in a rural area.Thus years later I followed a dream and moved back to Nebraska 30 years ago. In my opinion all was great. I connected with others, joined church, lodge, and went to the local coffee shop for conversation.

However my wife and kids complained of the 'outsider treatment'. We were not able to follow my suggestion and stick it out. A hard winter 78-79 and images of being snowbound in the farmhouse(The Shining) With or without me, they were not staying in Nebraska.

My mother summed it up her way- In a big city, you have a variety of clubs and activities to choose from. Noone will fit in everywhere. But in a small town choices are more limited. Should you lack similar interests or fail to fit in with the clique's, you are more or less shunned. Make one enemy, and it 'travels faster' due to the isolation.

Yet I STILL prefer the small towns myself. Personal preference. And here I am in Omaha. I had bad experiences with a small town in Michigan. But I'm a big boy, can handle it. (That is a long story about how gossip can spread)

Children should not have to go through what your son did. To make it worse, classmates go home and either pick up or share that bias, then it spreads through town.

In hindsight, I should have left ASAP after listening to my kids, the weather made that choice for us. But for myself as an individual, I would make every attempt to join in and help that town. For the family, NO. We'd have to be 'natives'.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
1,119 posts, read 3,809,958 times
Reputation: 405
Default small town Nebraska..

To start, I want to state that I take pride in the whole state of Nebraska..

Nebraska has 'earned' the hype of being a friendly state, because 9 out of 10 people are treated especially well here, the 1 out of 10 are the ones that make a lot of noise here, and this is to be expected..

I understand DTO's case, small town people are in no way shape or form any less functional than people in large cities like Omaha. However, people are a species of habit 'so to speak' and people in the small towns really haven't grown accustomed to certain traits of human nature because of low exposure.
In the larger cities like Omaha, DTO is viewed as another man trying to earn his keep.

Humans are a tribal species, and you can see this in the history books, all of them as a matter of fact from the beginning all the way to now. What is real interesting is to see the small town that has a specific type of element that they adapt too.

The problem isn't that people here are unfriendly, cause they are. It's just that small-towns each have their own culture and it's amazing to see how many culture's can develop in one state..

I'm sorry if I've gone National Geographic on you all, LOL... It's just how I've come to see it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
1,821 posts, read 4,624,248 times
Reputation: 5065
This kinda of like talking about what is better, french fries or chips, they are different yet when it gets to the nitty gritty they are potatoes.

The culture thing is totally right, the fact is that city culture and rural culture have their differences and can clash. Most people can accept differences, but this world isn't perfect and you will always have others who won't accept certain differences. There is still racists, sexists, etc.. in the world, just like people who can't accept city or rural culture. Hopefully, if your lucky you won't run into one of these people, if you do then "sticks and stones may break my bones," move on to a better life like ColeSD did and hope for those people to get a clue.
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