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Old 01-15-2010, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,130,840 times
Reputation: 553

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Can you think of specific things that big-city newcomers do or say that they might not realize are insulting or off-putting?

For example, just yesterday I said to a co-worker that it must have been great for her growing up on a farm. What a great life for a kid. She became pretty defensive and retorted that it was a lot of hard work and joked about having to get up very early in the morning--with the cows and the chickens. Even though Madison is not exactly a small town, many of the people here come from small towns and give the city a kind of small-town charm along with small-town sensibilities.

I would like to stop walking around on eggshells, but at the same time I would also like to be a good neighbor and co-worker and stop accidently putting my foot in my mouth or stepping on toes. I did not grow up in NYC. I have lived in the midwest before, down south, and in upstate New York. Still, here in Wisconsin I have noticed a lot more sensitivity and defensiveness. One aquaintance told me that many people from the "big city" (New York, Chicago, etc.) turn their noses up at the local people. I sure don't, but there are still these moments when I go home wondering what in the world just happened. Why did the person I was talking to get so offended or suddenly clam up?

Help me out, ok? What tips can you offer? What gets under your skin?


Thanks.

Last edited by Nala8; 01-15-2010 at 09:23 AM..
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Over the Rainbow...
5,963 posts, read 10,869,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nala8 View Post
Can you think of specific things that big-city newcomers do or say that they might not realize are insulting or off-putting?

Thanks.


Some of these:

"Well where I come from" This is the most irritating one.

"Where are the large malls?" "You mean that's all there is?"

"We need new laws for _________________"

In terms of speaking they want to make things just like the very place that they left. I find this sets in when people become dissatisfied with their move.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,130,840 times
Reputation: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskapat528 View Post
Some of these:

"Well where I come from" This is the most irritating one.

"Where are the large malls?" "You mean that's all there is?"

"We need new laws for _________________"

In terms of speaking they want to make things just like the very place that they left. I find this sets in when people become dissatisfied with their move.
Thank you. Oh dear... I have done this, too. As in...

"Well in New York City, the poetry scene is hot. Poets are more outspoken..."

"Where are the open mics?" "You mean that's all there is?"

"Madison needs new regulations and more accommodations for public transportation."

I will watch my mouth and change my errant ways.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,487 posts, read 38,399,828 times
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You might want to read (and get a kick out of) this brochure that was born out of just such a discussion on one of my horse lists - people who move to the country and then try to change everything. It has some good pointers in among the humor on how to get along with your country neighbors and not be considered a "citiot".
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Over the Rainbow...
5,963 posts, read 10,869,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nala8 View Post
Thank you. Oh dear... I have done this, too. As in...

"Well in New York City, the poetry scene is hot. Poets are more outspoken..."

"Where are the open mics?" "You mean that's all there is?"

"Madison needs new regulations and more accommodations for public transportation."

I will watch my mouth and change my errant ways.



LOL...same here on what I bolded. I quess it's just basically the same with some newcomers no matter where they go.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,130,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
You might want to read (and get a kick out of) this brochure that was born out of just such a discussion on one of my horse lists - people who move to the country and then try to change everything. It has some good pointers in among the humor on how to get along with your country neighbors and not be considered a "citiot".
Although I haven't been trying to change everything, I have been acting like a "citiot" (hehehehehe...) for sure. My big-city mouth...

After reading the brochure, I can see that my chattiness and desire for more openness or connectedness in a community where most people value privacy has also been a problem. It's been driving me crazy, and now it looks like I have been driving a few folks crazy as well. Who knew?

Thanks!

Last edited by Nala8; 01-15-2010 at 09:39 AM..
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,130,840 times
Reputation: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskapat528 View Post
[/b]


LOL...same here on what I bolded. I quess it's just basically the same with some newcomers no matter where they go.
You live, and you learn, right? Sigh...
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:44 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,682,398 times
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The locals only had problems with one new guy.( college professor who bought land near me )

He built his new house very close to the state hwy for easy access and minimize snow removal. ( right to the legal inch) and then winter came.

Here in Minnesota, it is legal to ride your snowmobile in the ditch of highways.
He pur up no tresspassing signs in fromt of his house that got run over cuz they were in the legal path for snowmobiles.

He then tried to attack snowmobilers with a long bull whip when they passed close to his house. Finally he put logs and huge rocks in the ditch to block snowmonbiles.

Sheriff Deputy came out . he removed the logs and huge rocks, and learned to live with his mistake of building his new house that close to the highway.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,487 posts, read 38,399,828 times
Reputation: 23066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nala8 View Post
Although I haven't been trying to change everything, I have been acting like a "citiot" (hehehehehe...) for sure. My big-city mouth...

After reading the brochure, I can see that my chattiness and desire for more openness or connectedness in a community where most people value privacy has also been a problem. It's been driving me crazy, and now it looks like I have been driving a few folks crazy as well. Who knew?

Thanks!
Well, it's entirely possible to be chatty and connected and open in rural communities. Best way to get started on that is to ask for help or advice from people who've figured out, over generations, how things work in that area. (Or, you could just get a bull - guaranteed way to meet your neighbors!)

However, seeing the quotes you attribute to yourself, I can see how you'd have been having a difficult time connecting. "Here, let me tell you how much better it's done where I came from so you can be just like there and SO much better!" isn't likely to win friends and influence people much of anywhere, I don't think, big city OR out in the country.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: On the west side of the Tetons
1,355 posts, read 2,117,799 times
Reputation: 2622
Attend local meetings to get an idea of what the community values are. Go into it with an open mind and, for the first meeting, a closed mouth. Listen to what's important to the locals, then choose something that you can really get on board with and offer to get involved. We have one guy who always shows up ready to start an argument: we need to pave the dirt roads; we need to install streetlights; he shouldn't have to fence in his property to keep livestock off of it; it stirs up too much dust when the farmers harvest; he had to wait 20 minutes while cattle were on the road; where he moved from, this would never happen...and on, and on.

Everyone rolls their eyes and wonders why he moved here in the first place. He doesn't want to be a part of the community, he wants to change everything about it. There is a huge difference between someone making thoughtful suggestions about how to improve a community that they really care about and someone who refuses to adapt, while insisting everyone else change to accommodate him. He shows no respect to the people and the way of life here. It's insulting. I don't mean to imply that we're so ignorant and closed-minded that we're opposed to any change. It's just that, not all change is for the better and we don't think it's too bad here as it is.

Just by asking the question that you did, you show that you want to be a respectful (which, in turn, will allow you to be a respected) member of the community.

TexasHorseLady, that brochure is perfect!
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