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Old 08-22-2007, 01:30 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,865 times
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Ok. I might be moving to Seattle from Texas.

What is this I hear about people in Seattle and the NW in general being friendly on the outside but passive/aggressive on the inside.

I know some genuinely nice people in TX and some a**holes too but for the most past people are sincere when they're being friendly to you.

I did stay in Spokane, WA for a couple of weeks and I noticed a nearly total absence of racial diversity and cold attitudes in general from everyone including people I knew (customers, boss, colleagues).

Can someone just resolve this issue once and for all....What is the essence of people in the NW, and in Seattle in particular.... are they really close-minded and introverts with a fake smile? Please help.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:56 PM
 
231 posts, read 1,018,375 times
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I was born and rasied in the northwest and have continued to live there (including Spokane and Seattle) for almost my entire life. My wife is from Texas so I think I have some perspective on your situation. In general, people in the northwest have what some refer to as the 'northwest reserve.' That term is an attempt to capture the fact that people are generally nice and rarely rude but are much more reserved in opening up to new people than in certain other parts of the country. My wife struggled with it quite a bit at first because Texas is quite different in that you can walk into a bar and make friends with a group of people straight away in most cases. Personal relationships take longer to build in the northwest. I don't think it is a case of people being closed mined or fake, it is just the culture.
In my opinion, people tend to be friendly in both Spokane and Seattle. Expect an adjustment period because the culture is different than Texas. Once you are around for a while, I think you'll see it is not worse, just different.
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Old 08-22-2007, 04:50 PM
 
110 posts, read 558,780 times
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I'm from the Vancouver area and we just moved to Austin.
Long story, but we're moving back to Vancouver shortly (nothing to do with Texas itself though!)---
I totally agree with what kena said--- there is that NW Reserve but, in general, people are polite. You're not going to hear Yes, Ma'am, No Sir like you do in Texas.
Good luck to you!!!
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Duvall, WA
1,677 posts, read 6,341,481 times
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Having just moved to the Northwest from CA, we're experiencing this. People working in stores and at restaurants and such, in fact, they are very friendly, but everyone else seems to give us dirty looks. Our neighbors pretty much mumble and sneer at us when we greet them. It's very off putting.

I find that the more I smile and say, "hi" to strangers, the more uncomfortable it makes them, so that's my new thing. I smile and say, "hi" to everyone, and only very rarely do people smile or say hello back. *shrug*

V. =)
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:21 PM
 
79 posts, read 325,848 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by workingclass View Post
Ok. I might be moving to Seattle from Texas.

What is this I hear about people in Seattle and the NW in general being friendly on the outside but passive/aggressive on the inside.

I know some genuinely nice people in TX and some a**holes too but for the most past people are sincere when they're being friendly to you.

I did stay in Spokane, WA for a couple of weeks and I noticed a nearly total absence of racial diversity and cold attitudes in general from everyone including people I knew (customers, boss, colleagues).

Can someone just resolve this issue once and for all....What is the essence of people in the NW, and in Seattle in particular.... are they really close-minded and introverts with a fake smile? Please help.
What you described has been my observation.

Also, knowing a little about Texas I think you might be frustrated that people here won't just want to talk to pass the time, either. Here, you can meet someone, expect that they won't talk to you much, and then expect that they'll pretend not to recognize you if you run into them again.

Not trying to bash the NW people, they're just kind of different compared to people in a lot of other parts of the country. They also seem to think that this is the best place in the world and everywhere else is awful. I personally get sick of hearing it since I disagree.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
4,753 posts, read 12,814,625 times
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Close-minded introverts...yes. My husband (who is from the East Coast) explains it like this: Seattle is the only town we've ever seen where you can be in an electronics or other type of store in the television section and all the TVs are playing a game featuring the hometown team and all the people standing around are watching and if you speak anything aloud or (God forbid) actually cheer for the team, people in Seattle give you strange looks and move away from you because the cultural norm is that you are expected to be still and SILENT. Very weird. And people are way too inclined to stay home all the time playing video games or surfing the Web...social interaction seems to overwhelm many Seattle-ites. Just like Veronika above, my husband gets a perverse pleasure in saying, "Hello," and smiling to Seattle-ites and watching them squirm with discomfort. We have lived a lot of places and this is unique to the Seattle (and Eastside) area.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:13 PM
 
59 posts, read 254,012 times
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I think there is a lot of truth to the other posts.

People are polite. People can be friendly. There are lots and lots of nice people. Agreeable people. Pleasant people. Not agressive, rude, or even cold.

It's just that people aren't particularly outgoing. Which is a problem for me, since I'm pretty reserved and shy, myself. Since I tend to wait for the other person to make the first move, socially I haven't fared well here. I tend to spend all my time with my husband and a few friends, all of whom are from other places, incidentally.

If you wave or smile and say "hello," they'll usually do the same. But that seems to be the extent of the interaction they desire. Kind of reserved, not super social.

In general.

But it's not all bad. It's just a tradeoff. I've lived in a lot of other places and what I've noticed around here are that you get less extreme behavior. People tend to be mild mannered, polite, understated, and kind of focused on doing their own thing.
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:06 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,865 times
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Thank you to all who replied...This seems to be unanimous.
I think I'm gonna have some adjusting to do when I get there. I'm in outside sales and will be out and about all day. My wife and daughter ...it's another story..they're both kinda reserved and shy ....
This assignement is temporary for 2 years so I think we'll be able to do it for that long.
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:37 AM
 
79 posts, read 325,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workingclass View Post
Thank you to all who replied...This seems to be unanimous.
I think I'm gonna have some adjusting to do when I get there. I'm in outside sales and will be out and about all day. My wife and daughter ...it's another story..they're both kinda reserved and shy ....
This assignement is temporary for 2 years so I think we'll be able to do it for that long.
Yeah, 2 years shouldn't be a problem. This information might also be helpful: people in WA tend to be flaky if they feel they're being pressured at all on anything. Also, a lot of people here avoid confrontation; so you might not see many people outright saying what they mean.
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:41 AM
 
Location: City of the damned, Wash
428 posts, read 2,321,199 times
Reputation: 260
Hi everyone!!

Seriously, I don't feel like I'm really from here. I'm shocked when someone says hello. No, I don't say hello very often, but I've been trained that way.
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