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Old 01-21-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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I would like some insight into what people think about how friendly Austinites are. There are different kinds of friendliness. Is "Texas Friendly" a tendency to greet and smile, a willingness to strike up a conversation, an eagerness to help strangers, or to help neighbors out, or a willingness to cultivate lasting, meaningful friendships? Is is mainly superficial, or are relationships easier to build in Texas than other places? I have family in Austin. But I want to cultivate friendships with people outside my family as well. Will my husband and I be able to forge real connections with people, or will we always be outsiders? (Although my husband is a native Texan and I am a UT grad, we have been away for 35 years.) Of course, that depends on us as well. But I would like to hear some of the experiences of others. By the way, we are in our late 50s, early 60s, so no school kids to make the connections for us.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
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I think everything you said prior to the words "Is it superficial" is generally true of Texans (and Austinites).

A relationship here can be superficial but it requires both parties to make it so.

I think Texans (compared to say, a person from the Northeast) will open the door to friendship quicker. They will also close the door if necessary.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
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I'll 2nd hoffdano.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Back home in California
589 posts, read 1,739,871 times
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Texas Friendly-Toll Road Booth Operator= "Hello." "Thank You." "It's up at the next exit." "Have a nice day."

Massachussets Unfriendly-Toll Road Booth Operator= No Hello, no Thank You, and no inforomation about the next exit, no Have a Nice Day.

Texas Friendly-Driving Manners=You turn on your signal to change lanes, the driver in your blind spot slams on the brakes to let you in.

California Unfriendly-Driving Manners=You turn on your signal to change lanes, and 10 cars from your blind spot and further back, speed up so you can't change lanes in front of them.

If that is superficial, I say gimme more. I've actually changed my own behavior for the better so that I will fit in.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:18 AM
 
Location: G-Town
428 posts, read 1,017,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XLadylawX View Post

California Unfriendly-Driving Manners=You turn on your signal to change lanes, and 10 cars from your blind spot and further back, speed up so you can't change lanes in front of them.

If that is superficial, I say gimme more. I've actually changed my own behavior for the better so that I will fit in.
Ain't that the truth. I think California invented "superficial friendliness".
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:21 AM
 
Location: New London County, CT
8,949 posts, read 11,586,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XLadylawX View Post
Texas Friendly-Toll Road Booth Operator= "Hello." "Thank You." "It's up at the next exit." "Have a nice day."

Massachussets Unfriendly-Toll Road Booth Operator= No Hello, no Thank You, and no inforomation about the next exit, no Have a Nice Day.

Texas Friendly-Driving Manners=You turn on your signal to change lanes, the driver in your blind spot slams on the brakes to let you in.

California Unfriendly-Driving Manners=You turn on your signal to change lanes, and 10 cars from your blind spot and further back, speed up so you can't change lanes in front of them.

If that is superficial, I say gimme more. I've actually changed my own behavior for the better so that I will fit in.
I don't know if its superficial, but it's certainly an untrue example. I have experienced equal amounts of bad driving in Texas and New England-- which is to say most of the drivers are courteous and competent everywhere. I don't know why people blow up the 3 or 4 examples of bad driving they see each week in to such an issue, when they see thousands of good drivers and it goes without mention.

Drove down the Mass Turnpike twice this past month. Was greeted in a friendly manner upon entering and exiting the pike each time. Change was made efficeintly and I was on my way. I'm not expecting a relationship with the toll booth clerk... Their job is to get people on their way and in, Mass, at least they do it in a friendly manner.

I think Texans set up a self fulfilling prophesy when their up north. They think the people will be unfriendly and everything is skewed by that expectation.

I have lived half my life in New England outside NYC and half my life in Texas. I just moved back to the Northeast, and, my impression is that the people in Connecticut are more private, but certainly not less friendly.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:26 AM
 
Location: New London County, CT
8,949 posts, read 11,586,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
I would like some insight into what people think about how friendly Austinites are. There are different kinds of friendliness. Is "Texas Friendly" a tendency to greet and smile, a willingness to strike up a conversation, an eagerness to help strangers, or to help neighbors out, or a willingness to cultivate lasting, meaningful friendships? Is is mainly superficial, or are relationships easier to build in Texas than other places? I have family in Austin. But I want to cultivate friendships with people outside my family as well. Will my husband and I be able to forge real connections with people, or will we always be outsiders? (Although my husband is a native Texan and I am a UT grad, we have been away for 35 years.) Of course, that depends on us as well. But I would like to hear some of the experiences of others. By the way, we are in our late 50s, early 60s, so no school kids to make the connections for us.
Texas Friendly. In my opinion, while the intention is not to be superficial, the reality of most of the friendships, relationships and surface level conversation is just that. The relationships I have with friends I have met in the northeast over the year are much deeper, and more meaningful to me. The relationships in Texas were ones of convenience-- we worked together or belonged to the same volunteer organization. Once one of us left the organization, the "friendship" tended to end as well.

Texas friendly also seems to have a twinge of invasiveness attached to it. This has been discussed before. Ive been asked more than once "What church do you go to?" by someone who doesn't know me well at all. My gut instinct is to answer with "None of your damned business." However, its a common question here-- as arrogant and presumptive as it is, and something, in my opinion, you have no right to ask a stranger.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,963 posts, read 43,110,786 times
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Pretty much all of the above.

An example of "superficial" Texas friendly. 25 years ago I lived in a particular neighborhood and frequented a nearby convenience store and got on "Hi, how are ya, how're the kids and family" terms with the proprietor. Then we moved. A year ago, I dropped by that convenience store for gas on my way to somewhere else, and he recognized me and we both remembered each other's families enough to ask after.

Proprietor of local pizza store in tiny town - I probably went in there to buy pizzas six or ten times while it was open. Ended up in the back office looking at photos from Scarborough Faire and we talked cooking and I loaned him a copy of MFK Fisher's The Art of Eating and told him to take it with him when he went off to Iraq (he needed reading material more than I did, if he was going to be over there).

Used to have a co-worker who used to work for Liz Carpenter. Liz used to have parties, lots of parties. Attendees, according to this co-worker, would include everyone from Lady Bird Johnson to the checkout clerk at the grocery store where Liz bought supplies for the party to whom she took a shine while checking out and getting into conversation with her.

That's superficial Texas-friendly. But we tend to form life-long relationships (moreso than the above, that is, 25 years is pretty long even if you only see each other once in a while) as well. And help each other out when it's called for.

Of course, as you said, it goes both ways.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:30 AM
 
2,238 posts, read 8,679,137 times
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If you allow me to pass you on a rural road by pulling over, you get a Texas Friendly wave.

If you don't, you get a Texas Friendly finger.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Cypress, TX
587 posts, read 1,354,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlassoff View Post
Texas friendly also seems to have a twinge of invasiveness attached to it. This has been discussed before. Ive been asked more than once "What church do you go to?" by someone who doesn't know me well at all. My gut instinct is to answer with "None of your damned business." However, its a common question here-- as arrogant and presumptive as it is, and something, in my opinion, you have no right to ask a stranger.
That's interesting. I would never think that was invasive, but I think it's just differences in different areas of the country, etc. I think the northeast does tend to be more private, which doesn't necessarily mean less friendly, although I believe it certainly could be perceived as such by those of us who are used to the more open approach.

Growing up in Minnesota ("Minnesota Nice", anyone?), I found that the people in Austin were very similar. I am very open myself and wouldn't even think twice of someone asking me that question.
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