Are We Stuck Up?

Real Estate Agent with Real Living Northwest Realtors

Now, don't get me wrong... I love the Seattle area. I have lived here my entire life! We are blessed with gorgeous mountains, lakes, the Puget Sound, the rivers and streams, and the Pacific Ocean! We have beautiful tall Evergreens all around! It truly is a wonderful place to call home.  But, I have been told by a few people over the years, that we are a little "cold" "unwelcoming" "unpleasant" and yes even "rude" and "Stuck Up"! I myself have done a little bit of traveling, but not enough to compare other parts of the country and say that we are lacking in the hospitality department.

If it is true, why are we like this? We get a lot of rain here. Is that the reason why we have our clouds in our eyes all the time? I notice things that coincide with the stories that I've heard from people that have moved here from out of state. I have looked people in the eye when I'm talking to them (after all, I'm not talking to the wall behind them now, am I?) but I've noticed people don't always look back.

I was talking to a neighbor of mine the other day, a nice husband and wife from Texas. They explained to me that they go into the same local grocery store everyday and say hi to the same people on a daily basis. They have been here for over 7 months and last week the people they see everyday started to recognize them, finally! They said that in the south, the people in the local grocery store would know your life story by the 3rd day! Not because they are being nosey, but because they care to make you feel welcome and get to know their neighbors.

I have also heard that our personalities while driving are insane! We get bent out of shape over the smallest mistake. In other parts of the country people actually allow you to make a mistake while driving. They give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you are new to the area you are driving in. Wow! You mean, it's possible to make a mistake and not get the dreaded eye-roll or the finger or someone yelling obscenities at you out of their car window?!

At the airport in other parts of the country, people will help you. If you are elderly, or have your hands full someone will offer to help you with your luggage. Someone told me a story about flying into SeaTac to visit. She had her new born baby in one arm and a toddler in her free hand, she asked for help, and no one helped. Then someone rolled her eyes and made a snide comment about people "thinking the world revolves around them". In the end she got her luggage, but with no help from anyone!

Have you heard any stories like this? What about the rest of the country? I'm curious if Seattleites need a lesson in manners? I never realized that this phenomenon might be isolated to just the Seattle area...

Comments (11)

Nathan Blair
Salt Lake City, UT

Krissy, I have only been to Seattle once and that was a long time ago, so I can't say much about it.  My cousins lived there for many years and they are very nice people. 

I just wanted to say that I think many people will find something wrong with other people in any city they might visit.  Like you, I hear nasty things about my city (Salt Lake City) all the time.  It's funny though that I find the people here very friendly and courteous, with a few exceptions of course.  Maybe I just choose to focus on the nice things here, like it sounds like you do in Seattle.  


Jul 09, 2007 09:10 AM
Kat DeLong
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ

What an interesting post.  I can give you my two cents based on first-hand experience: I moved to, and lived in, WA in the mid 80's. One of the most beautiful states I've even been in, not to mention lived in! However, I did find many people anti-Californian. Now I don't know if other people from other states had that feeling, but I did.  I nearly got run off the road once (a dark Hwy 12) by an idiot with a shotgun hanging in his pick up's back window!   I got my lic' plate changed soon after that.  And that is just one instance.....there were others.  

On the flip side, I also met and have remained friends with several wonderful Washington folks!

Jul 09, 2007 09:11 AM
John Hurlbut
Keller Williams - Puyallup - Puyallup, WA

Yes, we're all rude obnoxious people here.  It rains every single day of the year.  We hate people from other states moving up here.  We're all horrible drivers and have the worst traffic in the country.  Washington is a horrible place to live.

And if you believe all that, I've got a bridge to sell you, actually two of them one brand new!

I couldn't honestly imagine enjoying living in another state as much as I love WA.  I've been here my whole life and have seen about 30 other states.  None I've liked as well.  The rudest people I found were in New York City . . . I've never had anyone shy away from me on the streets of Seattle if I needed help finding anything or just general information.  Everyone has always been really friendly.  But then, I'm a local . . . we reserve our rudeness for those people from California. ;-)

Jul 09, 2007 09:17 AM
Krissy Jones
Real Living Northwest Realtors - Renton, WA

Nathan-Yes, this is a beautiful place. So is Utah!!! That's one of the few places that I've had the opportunity to drive through and visit. I will be going through Salt Lake again this August!

Kathy- Yes, in the 80's especially there were people that wanted Californian's to stay in CA, but I don't find that to be true anymore. I am lucky to have some wonderful friends here as well. Thanks for the comment!

John- Haha! You are right. Sometimes it is so easy to dwell on the bad stuff, isn't it? I do love my home state too! I haven't been to NY yet, but I have heard the opposite about the people there. I've heard they are very friendly. :) Hopefully someday I'll be able to see for myself if it's true. Thanks so much for commenting!

Jul 09, 2007 09:33 AM
Kat DeLong
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ

I bet you're right as rain (sorry, couldn't resist LOL).  The 80's were a different time. I still LOVE WA, is BEAUTIFUL.   Wonder whatever happen to that mean truck driver?


Jul 09, 2007 09:45 AM
Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs
People and their culture are different. We are worlds away. New Orleans culture will vary by neighborhood but most people are fairly open and welcome strangers. The South has a different past and the people are not as smart as you guys. I am here because of the variety and spice of life and great weather. We rarrely get Ca. people to move here. People from Texas generally complain and look down on us. So that is life! 
Jul 09, 2007 10:42 AM
Krissy Jones
Real Living Northwest Realtors - Renton, WA

Kat- You are so funny! I bet he got ran off the road somewhere a few years back! ;)

Eric- Yes! People and their cultures are very different! I think that is why I love my job so much! I love to meet new people and learn about their lives and what their culture expects of them. I have a cousin in New Orleans and she loves it! I don't think smarts has anything to do with it. I think we are all capable of learning, but we learn in different ways! You guys can jam out on a guitar or other musical instruments like there's no tomorrow. I think that makes you brilliant! Thanks for the comment!!!

Jul 09, 2007 11:01 AM
Kat DeLong
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
I hope it was by a CAL driver.  LOL
Jul 09, 2007 11:07 AM
Devon Thurtle
Heffernan Law Firm - Kirkland, WA
Definitely NOT true.  I think the attitude here is different - not stuck up - but instead giving a sense of: "I'll stay out of your business" with the caveat that, generally, Seattleites are happy and willing to help.  It's a misperception by others that people are "rude" or "stuck up" just because they don't want to impose!
Jul 17, 2007 07:59 AM
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate

I honestly can't remember my experiences in Seattle being anything other that good ones.  However, I can tell you that I just moved to Mooresville NC two years ago from California and I would say California is on the Seattle side of evil drivers with lots of road rage and people always in a hurry or too cool to smile.

 It truly is the exact opposite here in NC.  NO ONE honks their horn.  No matter how bad the traffic is everyone always lets you merge in to their lane from a side road or driveway.  People smile and wave even if you don't know them.  Grocery clerks actually walk up to you to get your cart to ring up....I could go on and on.  Heck, we moved here simply because it was not just beautiful but great real estate values and such a gentler, kinder world.

Visit some time, I'd love to give you a tour.  Also, check out my blog on Lake Norman.  My kids are both thinking about moving to Washington so I'll keep your info!

Jul 17, 2007 10:24 AM
Krissy Jones
Real Living Northwest Realtors - Renton, WA

Devon- Generally I think it's true too, that we just try to stay out of other people's business. I just have noticed a lot more people willing to chit chat with me since I've made it a point to try and start up a conversation first. I haven't had anyone turn a cold shoulder on me, and if they do maybe they're just having a bad day!

Diane- I would hope that you don't think badly of people in Seattle if your kids will be moving here! That would be horrible! It really is a great state to live in! I will have to take you up on that offer someday. I have never been to the East Coast and would love to visit NC! Thanks for keeping me in mind for your kids, I will take great care of them!

Jul 17, 2007 10:35 AM