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Old 01-23-2016, 04:48 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,768 times
Reputation: 30

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I've been in St. Louis now for about 2 years and 9 months. I moved here from Florida to get a job, and I have lived in quite a few other places. I lived in Florida when I was younger, in Ohio during middle and high school years, went to the Navy and lived in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Japan. I stopped for a while in places like Virginia Beach, San Diego, San Antonio, and San Francisco -- long enough to get an idea of what people are like.

Since moving to St. Louis, I've noticed something very different about this city, but I can't quite figure it out in great detail. Compared to everywhere else, people here seem very unfriendly. Not so much rude, but rather inconsiderate and uncaring of others. People will walk right in front of you at stores, not notice or care that you're there, not say excuse me, etc. They seem to care more about themselves, what they're doing and where they're going, than they do about other people in the same space, like they're totally oblivious. They will make no effort to move if they're blocking the way, or yield when it's appropriate--as if they have no concept of sharing public space with other people. There also appears to be a lack of curiosity about other people.

People I've talked to at my last job would act the next day like we've never met. They would avoid eye contact or greetings when passing in the hallway. The place I work at now is a little better, but there are also a lot of people there from other states and countries. The natives walk around the place like they're better.

I do not have any friends, and cannot see a way to make any in this city. I have heard people talk about the "where did you go to high school" question, which is apparently meant to evoke the most important information about you to the St. Louisan's ear with which to categorize you. I haven't been asked this because I find people so unapproachable to begin with I don't start conversations.

Other explanations I've heard or read don't seem to fully explain it. They talk about people with a lot of money, etc... They say it's like this in West County, but not in [insert any other township in the county]. However, I'm starting to think this place-where-it's-not-like-that to be a myth. I've found the same dull, uncaring, down-looking, arrogant, attitude in every corner I've visited here, wealthy or poor. Keep in mind, I've been to quite a few other places, and have a lot to compare it too. I've been to wealthier areas in other states, and have seen how uppity these people can be. But still, they're friendlier by comparison to most people I've met in St. Louis, even one's not so wealthy. And West County is nothing at all to be so proud of in the first place. There's no structure to the towns, it's not beautiful, not memorable. It's just some place.

Again, I don't think people here in St. Louis are so much rude or out-and-out jerks (they're more passively judgmental and smug). I've certainly seen people like that elsewhere. The difference is that in those other places, despite some very obviously rude and deficient people, there are many other, different kinds of people around. You don't have to look very far to find some friendlier and saner people. In St. Louis, it seems like everyone has exactly the same personality, and it is that personality that I already mentioned.

I'm not the only one who thinks this. I've run into other people from elsewhere who have said the same things I say, before I've even given them my own take.

I don't really know what's going in this city, but I feel it and I'm not the only one. I can't accept things like "well, they have money" as an explanation. Just having money doesn't necessarily turn you into the kind of personality (or lack thereof) that I've seen here. Neither does "being far away from everything else" or "lacking in exposure to different ideas" explain how the mentality that exists here (whatever it is) got that way to begin with. It's easy to imagine a place that's very friendly and stays very friendly due to the lack of exposure to ruder personalities. I.e., insularity only explains why it doesn't change, not how it got this way.

If I had to sum up the impression I get in one word, it would have to be soulless. If I had some way to understand the mentality that exists here, perhaps I'd have a different perspective. However, as I said, interaction is severely minimal. And I haven't heard anything from anyone that would even begin to clue me in to the mentality that exists. Perhaps there isn't one. Perhaps people here don't think at all and are completely clueless about how they appear to outsiders.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:37 PM
 
Location: StlNoco Mo
5,242 posts, read 4,044,580 times
Reputation: 6706
You have stumbled upon our secret.
We are androids here and you must be eliminated.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:42 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,768 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliasfinn View Post
You have stumbled upon our secret.
We are androids here and you must be eliminated.
Seriously. If you could help me understand or find some way to fit in, I'd love to hear it.
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Old 01-23-2016, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
5,221 posts, read 5,573,508 times
Reputation: 3800
I am sorry you had such a bad experience here.

I would run from St. Louis if I had such a bad experience like you've mentioned.

I dont have an explanation for your experience because I have not had the same experience.
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Old 01-23-2016, 06:40 PM
 
Location: StlNoco Mo
5,242 posts, read 4,044,580 times
Reputation: 6706
Quote:
Originally Posted by eulercircles View Post
Seriously. If you could help me understand or find some way to fit in, I'd love to hear it.
You aren't the first one I heard describe St.Louis like that. I don't know what I can say to help you fit in, get on a bowling league or join some kind of club or activity that you like ?
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:17 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
5,097 posts, read 2,913,065 times
Reputation: 9413
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliasfinn View Post
You aren't the first one I heard describe St.Louis like that. I don't know what I can say to help you fit in, get on a bowling league or join some kind of club or activity that you like ?


Good advice. Try being a joiner for a few months. I'm assuming you are a fairly young person without family in St. Louis. It takes some effort to break into a new place because no one is obligated to open doors or pave the way for you or meet your expectations. Softball teams, bowling leagues, churches and meet-ups might work. Volunteer if you have the time.


I see dozens of threads like this on these forums about almost anywhere....not just St. Louis. I moved to a new city 2+ years ago 1,000 miles from where I lived before with a vastly different culture and vibe and no family or friends. You really have to make an effort to fit in. I moved away from St. Louis in the 1970s but visit often and I really don't recognize the place as you describe it so maybe you are in the wrong bubble of friends or activities and need to branch out more.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:24 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,041 posts, read 5,068,185 times
Reputation: 4045
Quote:
Originally Posted by eulercircles View Post
I've been in St. Louis now for about 2 years and 9 months. I moved here from Florida to get a job, and I have lived in quite a few other places. I lived in Florida when I was younger, in Ohio during middle and high school years, went to the Navy and lived in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Japan. I stopped for a while in places like Virginia Beach, San Diego, San Antonio, and San Francisco -- long enough to get an idea of what people are like.

Since moving to St. Louis, I've noticed something very different about this city, but I can't quite figure it out in great detail. Compared to everywhere else, people here seem very unfriendly. Not so much rude, but rather inconsiderate and uncaring of others. People will walk right in front of you at stores, not notice or care that you're there, not say excuse me, etc. They seem to care more about themselves, what they're doing and where they're going, than they do about other people in the same space, like they're totally oblivious. They will make no effort to move if they're blocking the way, or yield when it's appropriate--as if they have no concept of sharing public space with other people. There also appears to be a lack of curiosity about other people.

People I've talked to at my last job would act the next day like we've never met. They would avoid eye contact or greetings when passing in the hallway. The place I work at now is a little better, but there are also a lot of people there from other states and countries. The natives walk around the place like they're better.

I do not have any friends, and cannot see a way to make any in this city. I have heard people talk about the "where did you go to high school" question, which is apparently meant to evoke the most important information about you to the St. Louisan's ear with which to categorize you. I haven't been asked this because I find people so unapproachable to begin with I don't start conversations.

Other explanations I've heard or read don't seem to fully explain it. They talk about people with a lot of money, etc... They say it's like this in West County, but not in [insert any other township in the county]. However, I'm starting to think this place-where-it's-not-like-that to be a myth. I've found the same dull, uncaring, down-looking, arrogant, attitude in every corner I've visited here, wealthy or poor. Keep in mind, I've been to quite a few other places, and have a lot to compare it too. I've been to wealthier areas in other states, and have seen how uppity these people can be. But still, they're friendlier by comparison to most people I've met in St. Louis, even one's not so wealthy. And West County is nothing at all to be so proud of in the first place. There's no structure to the towns, it's not beautiful, not memorable. It's just some place.

Again, I don't think people here in St. Louis are so much rude or out-and-out jerks (they're more passively judgmental and smug). I've certainly seen people like that elsewhere. The difference is that in those other places, despite some very obviously rude and deficient people, there are many other, different kinds of people around. You don't have to look very far to find some friendlier and saner people. In St. Louis, it seems like everyone has exactly the same personality, and it is that personality that I already mentioned.

I'm not the only one who thinks this. I've run into other people from elsewhere who have said the same things I say, before I've even given them my own take.

I don't really know what's going in this city, but I feel it and I'm not the only one. I can't accept things like "well, they have money" as an explanation. Just having money doesn't necessarily turn you into the kind of personality (or lack thereof) that I've seen here. Neither does "being far away from everything else" or "lacking in exposure to different ideas" explain how the mentality that exists here (whatever it is) got that way to begin with. It's easy to imagine a place that's very friendly and stays very friendly due to the lack of exposure to ruder personalities. I.e., insularity only explains why it doesn't change, not how it got this way.

If I had to sum up the impression I get in one word, it would have to be soulless. If I had some way to understand the mentality that exists here, perhaps I'd have a different perspective. However, as I said, interaction is severely minimal. And I haven't heard anything from anyone that would even begin to clue me in to the mentality that exists. Perhaps there isn't one. Perhaps people here don't think at all and are completely clueless about how they appear to outsiders.
Poor flower, whatever you do, please don't spend any time in the Northeast.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:32 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,768 times
Reputation: 30
Well.

Thanks for these replies. They tell me everything I need to know.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:53 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,768 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliasfinn View Post
You aren't the first one I heard describe St.Louis like that.
Hmm. Me neither.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:09 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
1,221 posts, read 2,164,363 times
Reputation: 763
Where do you live in St. Louis? That can make a big difference. I generally hear complaints like yours from the more suburban areas. I moved here 4 years ago not knowing a soul and I've made more friends in that time than I ever have before (save college). I've also lived in the City that whole time, if that tells you anything. In fact, the adjectives I would use to describe most of the St. Louisans I interact with with would be "easy-going" and "friendly."
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