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Old 11-09-2009, 01:50 PM
 
139 posts, read 257,935 times
Reputation: 57

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezycom View Post

As for the faux friendliness, this is the only area I've lived in where a friendly conversation is just a cover for someone trying to sell me something or get me in on promoting their personal agenda, whether it's ousting the current condo board or whatever. It's not an initial for friendship and then oh-by-the-way. It's done specifically to get something from me, and then if I serve their purpose maybe they'll be friends later (except I'm gone, ain't gonna happen).
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Gosh darn, that is to true about the agenda!

For me, activity-specific friends tendsto remain with that activity. If I quit it, I quit my friends. My fault too, I guess. Freinds just come and go very lightly.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:57 PM
 
139 posts, read 257,935 times
Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by weezycom View Post
With respect to the unfriendliness of people in the area, for me it's a combination of factors, the biggest one being time, and the second being the amount of faux-friendliness (more in a bit about that). My own experience, and the experience of the vast majority of my friends and acquaintances, is that folks around WDC work harder, longer hours with a greater volume of results (quality...? depends). Plus a greater desire/requirement for face time, so the work isn't being done at home in the evenings or telecommuting. Then add in the increased travel time not just for the commute but for all the errands, and there's still time needed for doing the laundry, taking care of the house, 2.3 kids in 8.65 activities in 147.21 locations, yada x3. A lot of days, a 5-minute conversation starts the dominoes falling and by the time the end of the day arrives, you're over an hour behind where you want/need to be.

As for the faux friendliness, this is the only area I've lived in where a friendly conversation is just a cover for someone trying to sell me something or get me in on promoting their personal agenda, whether it's ousting the current condo board or whatever. It's not an initial for friendship and then oh-by-the-way. It's done specifically to get something from me, and then if I serve their purpose maybe they'll be friends later (except I'm gone, ain't gonna happen).

The best ways I've found to connect to real friends in this area is common interest over something creative or low-key sporting activities. Volunteering for a good cause, just do it for the cause and not the people you meet unless volunteering is in your blood. I've met my best friends in art classes, adult soccer, reading groups, cooking classes, etc.
Best way to have friends and stay happy in the DC area? Be important, rich, beautiful, or otherwise useful to people. Stay that way for as long as you can. You'll never know who your real friends are (few to none) and you won't want to bother trying to find out.
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:28 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,133,018 times
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Wow. I've never experienced any of that. I've had the same great friends for decades and make new ones all the time. I moved to Loudoun a year ago and have met so many nice people and developed great friendships. And no, I am not young, beautiful or important.
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,241 times
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I think that you could take this post and apply it just about anywhere, not just in NOVA. When my husband and I were looking for a new home years ago we would drive through the neighborhoods and get out and see just how many people would talk to us. It didn't happen very often and when it did, it would usually be an older person out walking their dog. We found that it was even less likely to happen in the areas with higher price homes. I don't think it's because the people were snotty, I think it's because the people are so busy trying to keep up with all they have to do to maintain homes of that size, kids, high demanding jobs, etc. Life isn't as simple as it used to be. When you have children and you stay at home you usually meet people at the kid's functions. Likewise, you meet people through your jobs or your place of worship. We are definitely in an era where people are preoccupied with overstimulation (cell phones, PDA's, internet, IPODS...etc) and social skills are not what they used to be. I'm afraid it may only get worse. Let's be real....we're all talking over a computer as we "speak". I think people have forgotten how to be social in the midst of all these other options. I'm only in my late 30's, but I have definitely seen a drastic change since my college days.
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Great Falls, VA
31 posts, read 65,640 times
Reputation: 24
Agreed and that's what I meant in my earlier post (no offense taken, DLumpen or Fairfaxian, and sorry for what you have been through!). Most of us are just trying to get by.
There is the occasional person here who ends a conversation pretty quickly when they find I can't do anything for them. (That's no different from when I lived in L.A.!) But for the most part, people are just going about their lives. I read a saying somewhere, "When I was in my 20's, I worried about what people thought of me. When I was in my 30's, I quit worrying. When I hit my 40's, I realized they were never thinking about me in the first place."
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Great Falls, VA
31 posts, read 65,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlumpen View Post

When I stopped working, most of my friends went with it. So many former and potential firends don't return e-mails or calls. (And some who just say that they're not interested.) There are the people who just don't want to make friends or so much as return a "hi" on an empty path. Rude and unfreindly behavior is just an accepted norm. It's a cold world out here.

My latest beef in the jobless trend: Obama laughing about the high jobless rate. The reporter interviewing him when he laughed was really freaked (like I was) and asked him if he was "punch drunk." Obam'as kids fly to be entertained every week, and he goes around like a tycoon. The bad economy allows him to spend more money than he would ever be allowed otherwise, and so much of it goes to pork. The shovel-ready construction projects didn't help, and there is even an increase in the number of job losses in the construction area.
You have been having a really rough time. I'm sorry to hear about all you have been going through. It seems like people feel that bad luck is contagious, so they back away when someone they know has a job loss or illness or death in the family. Or else they just don't know what to say, so they want to avoid the discomfort.

I missed Obama laughing about the jobless rate. What was that all about?
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:08 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 4,858,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlumpen View Post
Gosh darn, that is to true about the agenda!

For me, activity-specific friends tendsto remain with that activity. If I quit it, I quit my friends. My fault too, I guess. Freinds just come and go very lightly.
Oh, no! You have to take those good friends with you to other activities as well. The summer cookout, getting a group together for a new blockbuster and pizza afterwards, meet up for brunch or a play or watch the fireworks on the 4th, things like that. Those are just the places I make the first connection to good friendships. Any friendship is going to take some attention to keep it going. And it's so worth it!
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:49 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,963,718 times
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Dlumpen, you just made my day!
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:28 PM
 
139 posts, read 257,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
Dlumpen, you just made my day!
Glad to be of service, sir. (respectfully bows)
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:41 PM
 
20,916 posts, read 39,207,929 times
Reputation: 19212
I think the OP's complaint is not geographically oriented to NoVA. That sort of aloofness is everywhere. I'll offer these possible reasons:

- Single Family Homes. Back in the 1950's my world was one of row homes, (not town houses). The immediate proximity to many neighbors practically forced you to know them and be sociable. Today, we are further apart than ever.

- Affluence. Back in the 1950's we weren't that far removed from the privations of the Great Depression and WW-II. People worked together for their economic benefit. We are a lot more financially flush today. I got MINE! Who needs neighbors?

- TV and the Internet. Big culprits IMO. Now we can get all we need to know from cyclops or the web, no need to talk to neighbors. We get wrapped up in websites like this where we spend hours blogging our brains out, rather than having coffee with neighbors. Climate controls like A/C keep us nicely cocooned within our 4 walls.

- Politics. We seem much more divided than ever before. We think the OTHER guy is a jerk, most of us assume it. We marginalize everyone who does not agree with us.

- Cars. Most of us drive cars everywhere. Back in the 1950's a lot more people rode streetcars or buses, and most families had but ONE car; now, our cities and suburbs have as many cars as they do people, or darned close to it. We ride to work ALONE, further alienating us from our fellow man.

- Suburbs. Almost everyone has to have a car to get anywhere, isolating us from each other. No corner bar where we could have a beer and then walk home. These days, we get in a car alone and go places alone and it's no wonder why we feel alone.

- Crowds. Studies have shown that when you crowd rats into a box they get aggressive and territorial. Same for walking down the streets in DC; some people won't share the sidewalks and some groups walk shoulder to shoulder and take up the entire sidewalk. I've seen all sorts of this behavior on the Metro lines.

There are more reasons, but why flog it further. In the old days we were equals, trying to get by, helping each other get by, sharing the same sacrifices and dreams, rode the bus together down to the plant and had a beer in the corner bar on the way home. These days we've been divided and conquered by single issue politics, cars, suburbs, TV, WWW, video games, and we isolate ourselves within the security of our homes, all the poorer for the lack of community.
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