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Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Old May 11th 2011, 3:58 am
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Default Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

I moved to the Toledo area, and initially I thought the city was pretty friendly. As I walked by, ppl would say hi, and acknowledge me, but then 6 months to a year has gone by, and I am still on a "hi" and "bye" basis with many of the same people.

Now before you say, have you tried to initiate a conversation? Yes. I have. And I regret it. One guy who appeared quite friendly by always saying "hello and how are you?" I once tried to chit chat with him, only for him to act very awkward. His responses were very brief, and kinda cold/rude, and when we approached the elevator he immediately said "good bye" and went down the hallway to the other side of the building to take another elevator. Weird. I notice he chit chats with other ppl amd gets on the elevator with them but doesn't seem to do the same with me. Must be some type of prejudice he has...not sure what it is.

I've had a similar pattern of behavior with others as well, people are fine with just saying hi to you but have no desire to get to know you beyond that. It has been quite hard making friends. (I am a woman btw)

And some of the men, are very forward, I've had a handful of men invite themselves over to my apartment that I did not know that well--very rude and rather creepy. I even gave my number to a guy, and he called me at 4am in the morning...okay There doesn't seem to be a decent selection of men here and the ppl here are not very open or interesting to say the least
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Old May 11th 2011, 4:24 am
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

That can be the case pretty much every where though, not just the US....sucks a bit, but you're better off trying to make friends doing something that interests you than some random weirdo on the street

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Old May 11th 2011, 4:48 am
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Thank you for the welcoming Bob

but you're better off trying to make friends doing something that interests you than some random weirdo on the street
Well, I figured I had to start somewhere. Since it's hard for me to make friends and/or find out if someone even has the same interest as me.
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Old May 11th 2011, 8:58 am
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Originally Posted by spoiledbaby View Post
I moved to the Toledo area, and initially I thought the city was pretty friendly. As I walked by, ppl would say hi, and acknowledge me, but then 6 months to a year has gone by, and I am still on a "hi" and "bye" basis with many of the same people.

Now before you say, have you tried to initiate a conversation? Yes. I have. And I regret it. One guy who appeared quite friendly by always saying "hello and how are you?" I once tried to chit chat with him, only for him to act very awkward. His responses were very brief, and kinda cold/rude, and when we approached the elevator he immediately said "good bye" and went down the hallway to the other side of the building to take another elevator. Weird. I notice he chit chats with other ppl amd gets on the elevator with them but doesn't seem to do the same with me. Must be some type of prejudice he has...not sure what it is.

I've had a similar pattern of behavior with others as well, people are fine with just saying hi to you but have no desire to get to know you beyond that. It has been quite hard making friends. (I am a woman btw)

And some of the men, are very forward, I've had a handful of men invite themselves over to my apartment that I did not know that well--very rude and rather creepy. I even gave my number to a guy, and he called me at 4am in the morning...okay There doesn't seem to be a decent selection of men here and the ppl here are not very open or interesting to say the least
Compared to the UK, in general, I think that Americans are usually more friendly up-front, but it is as much a politeness thing as anything else. You can end up in a weird BFF situation, especially with people you see every day, because then every time you walk past them, do you stop and talk for 10 minutes?

In the UK, in general, I think people are more reserved and almost suss you out before they decide whether to go down the "friends" route, but if they do, it's usually then a more stable thing.

As with any country or location, it's a case of figuring out the social rules, which can be difficult especially at first. I agree with Bob, though, that bars, street corners, elevators, etc., are not places to make new friends. As for giving out your phone number, I don't know what anyone else thinks, but I would never give my number to someone I just met. Can you put a bar on calls from his number (if so, I would)?
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Old May 11th 2011, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Originally Posted by spoiledbaby View Post
Now before you say, have you tried to initiate a conversation? Yes. I have. And I regret it. One guy who appeared quite friendly by always saying "hello and how are you?" I once tried to chit chat with him, only for him to act very awkward. His responses were very brief, and kinda cold/rude, and when we approached the elevator he immediately said "good bye" and went down the hallway to the other side of the building to take another elevator. Weird. I notice he chit chats with other ppl amd gets on the elevator with them but doesn't seem to do the same with me. Must be some type of prejudice he has...not sure what it is.
Sorry, but it may be the language barrier.

From personal experience, "Hi" and "Bye" are pretty much universal and easy to understand, but a more lengthy conversation can result in some people listening to the accent and completely ignoring what you are actually saying (watch for the eyes glazing over).

Brits don't look foreign to the average American so sometimes when we open our mouths, it can take them by surprise. They will either find this charming, where they will want to know more about you, or intimidating - which is when you will get the awkward shuffles, grumbling replies, and the "have a good one" quick escapes.

Last edited by Scott33; May 11th 2011 at 11:59 am.
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Old May 11th 2011, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

That's possible, Scott, although I certainly agree with the other responses too. I lived in Toledo for a while about 20 years ago. Making myself understood in that town was a real chore. Never lived anywhere else where so few people understood me. I'd get the 'Huh?' or the 'I love your accent' - never hearing the actual words I said. Some would just invent words to replace the ones they didn't understand, resulting in totally random and unexpected restaurant orders. To top it off, I have a non-English name which totally blew the steam out of some peoples' ears.

When I moved west, most of that evaporated overnight.
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Old May 11th 2011, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Hello everyone. I am from Texas and my husband is an Expat being here since 2001. I lived in Miami, FL several years ago for three years and those are among the rudest people I've been around. Hardly anyone speaks English there. I have been up north a couple of times and they're all rude up there. There are unfriendly people here, but in general people are much more pleasant.
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Old May 11th 2011, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
Compared to the UK, in general, I think that Americans are usually more friendly up-front, but it is as much a politeness thing as anything else. You can end up in a weird BFF situation, especially with people you see every day, because then every time you walk past them, do you stop and talk for 10 minutes?

In the UK, in general, I think people are more reserved and almost suss you out before they decide whether to go down the "friends" route, but if they do, it's usually then a more stable thing.
100% agree with that. When I first came here people seemed really friendly and would say " we should get together" , "lets get dinner" etc, etc then if I actually called them to set something up they acted like I was mad and it was the first they'd heard of it !!

My sense is people here ( and I am in Southern California ) prefer superficial relationships - I know people that have been " friends" for years and to watch them interact and talk about each other you'd think they just met and couldn't give a toss! It's very wierd - to me anyway.
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Old May 11th 2011, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Originally Posted by Englishman43 View Post
100% agree with that. When I first came here people seemed really friendly and would say " we should get together" , "lets get dinner" etc, etc then if I actually called them to set something up they acted like I was mad and it was the first they'd heard of it !!

My sense is people here ( and I am in Southern California ) prefer superficial relationships - I know people that have been " friends" for years and to watch them interact and talk about each other you'd think they just met and couldn't give a toss! It's very wierd - to me anyway.
Maybe more of trying to be better than the Jones's next door? Too good and important for anyone other than someone wanting and having the 'finer' things in life. Kind of what I call artificial.

Having just come back from the UK, my Sister in Law and a few of her friends got together and went to the pub for some drinks and hung out. I mentioned to them that people really don't do that here. They seemed surprised.
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Old May 11th 2011, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Originally Posted by AmyM73 View Post
Maybe more of trying to be better than the Jones's next door? Too good and important for anyone other than someone wanting and having the 'finer' things in life. Kind of what I call artificial.
That might well be the case for many people. Particularly in larger more metropolitan areas. However, it is not the case for everyone. My husband calls it pretentious or thinks they are "wanna-be"s.

Having just come back from the UK, my Sister in Law and a few of her friends got together and went to the pub for some drinks and hung out. I mentioned to them that people really don't do that here. They seemed surprised.
For the most part, Americans do not hang out at pubs (bars here in the States) unless they are college age or very young newbie adults. The working middle class does not have the time or inclination to hang out and drinking as a social exercise is not the norm.

You do have to understand that it is not our culture and it is really unrealistic to think that we should be more English and/or European in our type of socialization.

As for the "we have to get together sometime" phrase, it is a sticky point here in the States. Just because someone says it, does not mean they seriously mean it. At least not when said to someone whom they barely know. If it is a mother saying it to another mother, then perhaps it is sincere. But a mere elevator acquaintance or someone you see on the train everyday who says this should not be taken seriously.

I do have to ask and I ask in all seriousness for you to think about your behavior back in the UK when you started a new job or were introduced to a new employee. Did you immediately latch on to that person and invite them to lunch, out for drinks after work, or to your home? And if you ever did ask, either immediately or later on, were you sincere and followed up with that person? Did you attempt to make friends with the person you see daily on the commute to the office or at the elevator?

Americans are not different than others. The majority of us don't think we are better than foreigners. We do tend to be more involved with our own lives and with our friends and family and tend not to branch out and embrace new acquaintances like the prodigal son.

When you meet someone new at the elevator bank or in the office why not start the acquaintance off with a question or two, i.e. where's the best place to have a quick lunch, or to some afternoon shopping?

Sending out signals that you are open and available to every newcomer you meet will make people shy away from you. It makes them suspicious of your intent as well as making you look pushy and intrusive and this most people will definitely shy away from.

Join organizations that interest you. Go to meetup dot com and join a book club, a food club, a wine club, etc. Mingle with people who share something in common with you. It helps to break the ice.
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Old May 11th 2011, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
That might well be the case for many people. Particularly in larger more metropolitan areas. However, it is not the case for everyone. My husband calls it pretentious or thinks they are "wanna-be"s.



For the most part, Americans do not hang out at pubs (bars here in the States) unless they are college age or very young newbie adults. The working middle class does not have the time or inclination to hang out and drinking as a social exercise is not the norm.

You do have to understand that it is not our culture and it is really unrealistic to think that we should be more English and/or European in our type of socialization.

As for the "we have to get together sometime" phrase, it is a sticky point here in the States. Just because someone says it, does not mean they seriously mean it. At least not when said to someone whom they barely know. If it is a mother saying it to another mother, then perhaps it is sincere. But a mere elevator acquaintance or someone you see on the train everyday who says this should not be taken seriously.

I do have to ask and I ask in all seriousness for you to think about your behavior back in the UK when you started a new job or were introduced to a new employee. Did you immediately latch on to that person and invite them to lunch, out for drinks after work, or to your home? And if you ever did ask, either immediately or later on, were you sincere and followed up with that person? Did you attempt to make friends with the person you see daily on the commute to the office or at the elevator?

Americans are not different than others. The majority of us don't think we are better than foreigners. We do tend to be more involved with our own lives and with our friends and family and tend not to branch out and embrace new acquaintances like the prodigal son.

When you meet someone new at the elevator bank or in the office why not start the acquaintance off with a question or two, i.e. where's the best place to have a quick lunch, or to some afternoon shopping?

Sending out signals that you are open and available to every newcomer you meet will make people shy away from you. It makes them suspicious of your intent as well as making you look pushy and intrusive and this most people will definitely shy away from.

Join organizations that interest you. Go to meetup dot com and join a book club, a food club, a wine club, etc. Mingle with people who share something in common with you. It helps to break the ice.

Very true, especially in the larger cities. I don't know of anyone being here nor the UK that would ask someone for drinks or lunch that they don't know. If it's a work relationship, they might go as a group as I have done, but nothing outside of there with anyone. Besides, it is not really a really safe thing to do.
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Old May 11th 2011, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

I'm not the voice of experience because I've only lived in a handful of towns, and certainly no big bustling cities unless Belfast counts, but IMHO I don't think there's such a think as an 'unfriendly' city. I've run into equal amounts of nice and not nice people in all places I've lived.

Then again, I'm pretty reserved so I don't go out looking to make acquaintances so my exposure to unfriendliness is very limited
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Old May 11th 2011, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

LA is tough, even other Americans say so, so it's not just my B.O.
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Old May 11th 2011, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
LA is tough, even other Americans say so, so it's not just my B.O.
That's one place I've managed to avoid visiting. I've never been to California. The closest to that direction I've been is Las Vegas. I've really never wanted to visit California, especially LA because of the media coverage of all the gangs. I guess that is what kept me away.
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Old May 11th 2011, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Some of the most unfriendliest cities you have lived in?

For the most part, Americans do not hang out at pubs (bars here in the States) unless they are college age or very young newbie adults. The working middle class does not have the time or inclination to hang out and drinking as a social exercise is not the norm.
Americans think that over the age of 30 you are too old to go out drinking at bars/pubs/clubs, which is why its typical to see the under 30 or colleged age crowd out drinking more often.
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