Monday, April 09, 2007

Are Southerners more sociable?

Is there a regional difference in attitudes toward invitations and announcements for graduations, births, and other significant life events?

That issue came up in Friday's "Ask Amy," the Ann Landers-esque column the Observer runs. A letter-writer from New York City was offended at receiving a flurry of graduation announcements and baby shower invitations "from south of the Mason-Dixon Line" and assumed they were transparent grabs for monetary gifts.

Amy chastised the writer for an "ethnocentric" perspective and said "it is possible that Southerners are merely more sociable than you Northeastern city dwellers." Read the whole exchange here.

What do you think? Does this exchange come from a true difference in regional attitudes in the Northeast versus the South, or is this just one attitude among many?

Personally, I've never been offended at getting an invitation or announcement from someone who lives far away - and I've never assumed I was obligated to give a gift to someone I wasn't close to. But I've never tracked whether I've received more from acquaintances "south of the Mason-Dixon Line" than other regions of the country.

Post your thoughts here or send 'em my way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lady in the drive through said "Here ya go hun," they'd NEVER say something like that up north. They actually seem genuinely sincere down here! (shocked)

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its more of an urban-rural thing rather than north-south.

Smaller cities/towns have people more apt to be talkative and inviting, in my opinion.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trust me I now live in the northeast after growing up in Charlotte and it is true people in the south are friendlier.I sometimes think people are taken aback by my friendliness.

4:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I have never livd in the NORTHEAST and have heard People their have a distance they keep because of "to many People syndrome in one space" I do think Southerners are freindly towards themselves in their own circles more than they are outgoing; Two cultures really dont mix very well here; In the South you are supposed to shut and sit down and put up with it; Up North city officials that dont do it the People way. That my freinds is the difference. Southerners will be excommunicated from their pac and loose their jobs at the hands of a "GOON SQUAD". Kind of like who works for BUSH. Up North we have a MOB mentality for the common person and dont tolerate Hypocrasy; Southerners may not agree with something but not speak up and thats why change has not occured in Charlotte. You want a WORLD CLASS city then all of us Southerners , Northerners and all over must say whats on their minds and dont keep it in , it will kill you. SO give up your DEMONS Charlotte say what you want and be a free AMERICAN. GIVE UP YOU DEMONS and SPEAK OUT against tyranny.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SUCK IT OUT SUCK IT OUT and release your true feeling and demand your CITY GOVERNMENT to put the infrastructure in or stop sending pamphlets to NEW YORK FIRMS about all the Jobs here and the schools and roads that are here. Tell your Government that you have had enough wasting money and get the OUTERBELT in or dont bring all these People down here.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte has dwindling job growth and no Schools and no current roads. We need a tax base to do all this infrastructure and thats why there is fighting amongst ; Lack of resources; We have plenty of clear land but no tax base to build the roads and schools that you need; I AM from COLUMBUS, OHIO put me in OFFICE and I will ' Nail their asses to the wall; Im a HIC like the rest of yall and they hate me becuase I take off the rosy colored glasses about this city; You want a middle class back we need the AFSME UNIONS for the city Government, Police , Sheriffs and Others thats stabilizing the economy. Ill NAIL em to the wall

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived here for 20 years now. Moved here from NY. I will say that in the business environment it is a lot easier going in the South. But as far as the outside of work social environment I think it's about the same. The thing I really notice is that Northerners speak their minds. Southerners do it behind your back.
There is also a TON more prejudice down here. It's crazy.
With that said, I still like it here in Charlotte.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually find Northerners to be more outgoing and sociable. Southerners seem to wave, hold the door, and say please and thank you and actually sound like they mean it, but that is as far as it goes. I find it very hard to have a conversation with a random Southerner than a Northerner. I feel like Southerners are too caught up thinking they have such great manners that they sometimes end up coming off rude and stand offish. I feel like I have to watch what I say. Northerners are definately more open minded and outgoing in that respect. Of course these are all stereotypes so someone will always disagree.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having lived for 3 years with someone from north of the Mason-Dixon line, I've learned something. Northerners would rather say what's on their mind or state facts regardless of how the other person feels, and Southerners would rather bend the truth or ignore unpleasantries altogether because they'd rather not hurt anybody's feelings. Ultimately neither way is better than the other - it's all in the way one is brought up which probably dictates which way you prefer.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you have anything better to write about Leigh Dyer? All your going to do is start a pissing match! Who cares!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, we are all human beings. That explains a lot.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Man, I am sick of the south. Give me some sweet tea, a six pack of Greensboro women and my Bloomberg terminal and I'll go live in Boston.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a proud native Charlottean who has NEVER been afraid to speak her mind! It's true that Southerners are nicer and friendlier. I have both Northern and Southern friends and sometimes I find my Northern friends to be way too blunt, almost uncaring of others' feelings. Southerners tend to utilize their manners and use pleasantries. I'm happy to be friendly with anyone and everyone but once you're rude to me, you will receive an equal dose of rudeness right back. Northerners have no problem hurting others' feelings, which I find to be a big fault in their character. They need to work on being a little nicer in general.

We have so many Northern transplants here that Charlotte has forever lost the Southern genteelness it used to have. All we have left now are NY license plates, rudeness and non-appreciation, ugly McMansions, and cringe-inducing Northern accents.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved here from NJ two years ago and people in this area are by far a lot more friendlier and have better manners. I hope the south never loses this characteristic, but alas, more people from the north are coming down (yes, I am being a little hypocritical).

Ya'll need to learn how to drive though. Use your signals please.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"cringe-inducing Northern accents" ?

Honey you have GOT to be kidding, right ? Nothing is worse than a backwoods, redneck, inbred, southern drawl. It SCREAMS ignorance.
Just ask anyone, anywhere. It's not just Northerners who despise it. It's the entire rest of the planet.

Uh Oh, should I have kept that to my self and minded my manners ?

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been here 20 years and I'm slipping.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Ohio where I am from People can say what they like without retribution; Its amazing since I have lived here for a while how People try to "shush you" when you say Government Unions , Lottery or anything that is a sign of progression; People if you want to preserve freedom what soldiers are dying for In IRAQ, Please pipe up. If you dont want Northerners here or Lotteries out , contact your Government and tell them you dont want this many People here, thats the way to get things done. I think bringing more people here from all over the U.S. is infrastructure suicide.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte needs to "shit or get off the pot". Either create a tax base for a few years to build schools , finish the outerbelt and wide the roads around the Outerbelt or quit talking about it.
Charlotte needs to quit sending pamphlets to NEW YORK and other places promising goodies down here. They need all new faces in your MAYORS office and city council next time and not the masqerade faces about this city. We have two cops dead and more coming if we dont do things better.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what in the hell do the last 2 comments have to do with being "social" ?

a$$holes !

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(The thing I really notice is that Northerners speak their minds. Southerners do it behind your back.
There is also a TON more prejudice down here. It's crazy.)

I have lived down south for over 12 years and in 3 different southern states. This is one thing I must agree on. Northerners tell it like it is. Southerners will smile at you, say all is ok and wait till you walk away and in the back it goes.... especially if you are a "Yankee".

Plus.... get over the whole war thing ... it has been over for 145 years and yous lost. Just deal with it. We are ALL AMERICANS now.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the one accent EVERYONE EVERYWHERE makes fun of: a southern accent. Now that is some cringe-inducing stuff. Just makes you feel stupid listening to it.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too funny, I'm from California and have to say that the southern drawn out drawl grates on your nerves and makes you wonder....

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that so many non-southern born and bred posters verbally blast southern sociability using crude hurtful language and broad generalizations that often cross the line into prejudice.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And don't you also find it ironic that so many southern-bred posters verbally abuse people from outside the South, their accents, and think everywhere outside the South is some crime-infested, dirty cesspool? They make generalizations that everyone else is rude and think they have so many great "manners" because they wave and ask what church you go to, even though thats about as far as it goes. Southern hostility at its finest. They are only hospitable to each other, not of people from elsewhere. I have heard far worse things from Southern posters on these boards about other people and places than anyone anywhere else.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought this blog was about the difference in people being sociable/non-sociable, but as always, it has turned into a southern/northern bash. I have a friend that I work with from upstate NY and my husband and I invited her family over for dinner and she thought it was weird because she said that they didn't do that up there. My husband is from NYC and he had people over all the time for dinner, so I think it depends on the person and it cannot be generalized that southerns are more/less sociable that northerners. Waving and manners does not mean that someone is social.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to blogging, only having posted one other comment, but this blog has my dander up! To the yankees who have moved south and find the southern traditions and accents offensive...YANKEE, GO HOME! I was born and raised in Michigan and now live in upstate New York and I much prefer the South, Meck County in particular to the best part (if there is one) of either Michigan or New York. A couple of posters stated that Northerners say what's on their mind and Southerners keep it all inside. Well, IMHO, what they call saying what's on one's mind amounts to tactless rudness. My Dad always said "It's not WHAT you say, it's HOW you say it" and that so applies to the rude yankees, they don't care who they hurt as long as they say what they think, neverminded that they could rephrase, get their point accross and not stomp all over someone else's feelings. I've never seen anything like the tactless, rude, manner-less people I've met up North. And before you say "Reb, go home", I'm in NY because I have to be, not because I want to be. Given my druthers, I'd be right back in Meck County, NC, with people who care about such things as manners, etiquette, and being good neighbors!

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte has not forgotten or lost it's Southern genteelness. The difference now is that the people who are part of this social milue orbit a tight little world that excludes pretty much everyone who has not been born into a virtuous well-bred family.
Even at the heigh of the Southern genteelness the polite society crowd in Charlotte NEVER had the dominance like their polite and devestatingly pretty southern sister's in Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans. To this day the elite in those cities show flaunt and bask in their glory.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who has had the pleasure of a short visit to the South has come into contact with our infamous hospitality. We do so enjoy our neighbors from the north. They have such a delightful sense of humor. Why I remember the cutest little ol couple from PA wondering the grounds of Boone Hall, outside of our beloved Charleston, SC. It had been raining much of the night which left the roads very muddy and one in their group asked me how I kept my white tennis shoes so clean. I informed them "Well Sir, here in the South we don't walk in the mud but you can walk on the grass". Not only are we friendly in the South, we also offer very good advice. On the subject of advice 4 phrases from the South that will get you out of many awkward social situations are "Bless your hear, I'm sure it was something special, I'm sure I could imagine and the ever popular phrase.. You're parents must be so proud" Ask any Southerner politely and you will be amazed as to their genuine meaning. Ya'll come back now. Ya hear.

1:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home