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Tayfromcarolina

The "Nice" Factor

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I saw this article in Sports Illustrated and Charlotte Forward Emeka Okafor said it was "Nice here" and how people come up and talk to him. And it made me think, how long can we in Charlotte, and North Carolina keep the "Nice Factor"?

People are moving here to find a nice place to work, play, live. But as they move in what happens to the current way of live. Can we sustain the "Nice Factor" and not become an area people run from? i.e. many cities of the northeast.

lg_okafor.jpg

"I like it here. People come up to you on the street and talk to you."

Charlotte Bobcats Forward Emeka Okafor

"Nice" Picture of Charlotte Skyline in background too.

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yes, that is definitely the arlington.

not bad.

People in the south are often more polite and warm in casual interactions. I think people who are from areas where that is not the custom, tend to adapt and become warmer, too.

Some aspects of it are culture, which usually tend to be adopted, but also dillute slightly, with newcomers. Much of it, however, also comes from times when the south was much less urban. the more strangers people interact with, the less attention they pay to each individual.

Beyond just the friendly people thing, the adjective for the city itself always seems to be 'nice'. For the most part, charlotte tries to be more on the sterile side than the bold/gritty side. Even Charlotte's urbanity has tree-lined streets, sidewalks, and clean look. I think "nice" will be the first adjective that people will label charlotte for a while more.

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I love that fact that people in Charlotte rarely honk their car horns. In NY and NJ, people start honking like maniacs if you don't accelarate your car about a millisecond after the light turns green.

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Ive lived in Philadelphia for 5 years. I was "stunned" at the over-all rude factor in this area when I first moved here. I have a few thoughts on why it is though.

This area, especially Philadelphia proper, has in no way seen the prosperous times Charlotte has over the past say 30 years. I think there is much more competition for jobs because of that here in Philly. When I lived in Philadelphia city limits I often felt like it was me-vs-the rest of the city. The mentality seems to be every man for himself. In Charlotte there seems to be more of an attitude that everyone is in it together. By "it" I mean life in general. People seem to care in Charlotte.

Having said that, I learned after about 2 years not to take anything personally iin Philly. When people dont speak to you in philly its not just you they avoid, its everyone they dont know. Oh well. I hope this makes some type of sense.

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No offense but I have never had anyone come up and talk to me in Charlotte. Actually, they just stare at you there, and it's kind of scary. There are nice and rude people everywhere. Besides, you can't even compare Charlotte to other cities like Philadelphia or NY because you don't have the pedestrian activity and traffic they have. When I am walking down the street in Philadelphia or Manhattan, I don't have time to say hello to everyone I pass (and your taught not to talk to random people too) or if I bump into you, I don't have time to stop and say sorry because I have to keep up with the foot traffic. A lot of it is called having street-smarts - I think a lot of it gets mislabeled as being rude.

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No offense but I have never had anyone come up and talk to me there. Actually, they just stare at you, and it's kind of scary. There are nice and rude people everywhere. Besides, you can't even compare Charlotte to other cities like Philadelphia or NY because you don't have the pedestrian activity and traffic they have. When I am walking down the street in Philadelphia or Manhattan, I don't have time to say hello to everyone I pass (and your taught not to talk to random people too) or if I bump into you, I don't have time to stop and say sorry because I have to keep up with the foot traffic. A lot of it is called having street-smarts - I think a lot of it gets mislabeled as being rude.

Your absolutly right regarding not having time to say hello. I guess I could break it down more and give the grocery store as an example. In Philly when I get to the check out more then not the cashier will simply start scanning with no type of greeting. If I say "Hello, how are you" to the person I will get a "ok". Now it may seem trivial, but in Charlotte the person would have asked me how I am doing as well.

I can even remember a friend of mine who lives in Philadelphia visited Charlotte with me once and as we were walking into Harris Teeter in Concord this lady caught our eye about 15 yards away. She started smiling and confidantely said hello and asked how we were. My friend just looked at me when we got in the store and smiled real big. He had no idea what she was smiling at as for. And no idea what she was going to say. I LOVE that about NC.

Regardless of a cities size. When you get into the actual neighborhoods in a city, there should be a sense of belonging. I felt that in Charlotte. I often do not feel that in Philadelphia

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Yeah, I think that's just typical for the South. Although I was surprised to run into some nice folks in LA as well, something that I certainly wasn't expecting.

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It agree that rudeness is a problem around philly (my whole extended family lives there, so i have quite a few observations of that.). I'm not just talking about people not having time to smile or say hello. But also agressive rudeness to strangers. For example, i was traveling on business a few months ago, and I went there was a longish line at a group of check-in kiosks. I saw one on the opposite wall briefly enough until i realized it was out of order. Someone litterally screamed at me from across the room "IT'S BROKEN, YOU DUMB ASS, WHY DO THINK WE'RE STANDIN' HERE". That completely ruined my day, and i was late as it was. I have lived in nc for 10 years, and i can confidently say that type of stuff would never happen here.

The politeness in the south (or whatever cultural boundary it may be) certainly helps to not ruin your day, or make a bad day worse... but to be fair, i also think much of it is false. That is okay for strangers, but at work, in friendships, or other relationships, it often serves to avoid solving relationship problems. If they have a problem, it seems to turn into longterm passive agressiveness. Obviously not in all cases, but it is much more prevalent in this much more polite culture. Maybe this can be considered "relationship indolence".

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The politeness in the south (or whatever cultural boundary it may be) certainly helps to not ruin your day, or make a bad day worse... but to be fair, i also think much of it is false. That is okay for strangers, but at work, in friendships, or other relationships, it often serves to avoid solving relationship problems. If they have a problem, it seems to turn into longterm passive agressiveness. Obviously not in all cases, but it is much more prevalent in this much more polite culture. Maybe this can be considered "relationship indolence".

I totally didnt realize how tru your statement is until I moved from Charlotte. Im a born southerner, and having been away for 5 years I must say that over-all southerners are much more passive. And your right, this can cause more problems in the long run. However, there is a thin line between assertive and rude. As alot of my new yankee friends tell me. Southerners smile to your face, and stab you in the back as you walk away. Figure of speach of course.....

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To be honest, city growth has nothing to do with the "nice factor". I think that Chicago is a very nice city. People generally are friendly and speak to you. I find that generally true if my attitude is good.

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As alot of my new yankee friends tell me. Southerners smile to your face, and stab you in the back as you walk away. Figure of speach of course.....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, I feel the same way. Some people really are nice, but most of the time it just feels fake to me, like they were brought up that way but they don't really mean it. Please forgive me, I don't mean to offend anyone, but I have also noticed that people stare a lot more down there and it's kind of awkward. For example, if I am driving on the highway I usually catch people out of the corner of my eye staring, and sometimes they do a 360 with their head when they pass you, lol, and I don't understand what they are looking at?? I guess because of the "small town atmosphere", everyone seems to be more "nosey" and "in your business", and I hate that. Does anyone else notice it?

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I have also noticed that people stare a lot more down there and it's kind of awkward.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ok I have never heard this one before. Maybe they're waiting for you to smile or something.

I will look dead at someone with the intent of smiling and not do so until they look up at me. I smile and talk to everyone. It tickles me to think of the conversations that I've had over the most random stuff with the most random people.

I honestly worry about how nice we can stay with the large influx of people from "not nice" areas.

I used to work at a real estate law firm and when people from other parts of the country would come in they'd always comment on how nice people were here. I got quite a few compliments for being so nice, myself. And it was genuine kindness! :P

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To be honest, city growth has nothing to do with the "nice factor".  I think that Chicago is a very nice city.  People generally are friendly and speak to you.  I find that generally true if my attitude is good.

Absolutely, but I think that is also common in the midwest. I lived in Chicago for a bit and was overwhelmed by the "nice" factor there, having been born and raised in Charlotte. There also seems to be a lot of transplants from the south there believe it or not, at least that was my conclusion and the conclusion of those I worked with. I even worked with some southern transplants. I think the areas you have to watch out for are the southwest and moreso the northeast.

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I don't know about that, maybe they like your car or something. I mean I see the ladies staring at me all the time :silly:

Don't you just love that! :wub:

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I have noticed some comments on this thread that are actually derogatory. They are pretty transparent and it's easy to see that there is an element of prejudice towards southerners.

To say that people in Charlotte' smile and stab you in the back' is the most ridiculous thing that I have ever read. I used to hear this about mexicans, Greeks, Italians and Jews. Lots of ignorant northerners in Charlotte apparently?

I hope Urban planet doesn't turn into a Skyscraper mentality of insults and prejudice.

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i hope urban planet stays above the fray, too. but i hope you did not read that prejudice in my language. I prefer the politeness of the south.

human beings in general inevitable conflict every once in a while. I think the "nice" culture in the south (and probably midwest, too) sometimes makes it harder to overcome the conflicts because they are danced around. BUT I think there are FEWER conflicts because there is general sense of being polite and considering the other person's feelings.

By the way, people are people... and all people are flawed somehow. if the problem with the culture in this area is that it is too nice, i'd be quick to accept the insult. :). People are flocking here, so this culture is preferred by quite a large group (myself included).

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lol... you have a TL... I'D stare at 'you'.

Haha. I've had it for almost a year now so the personal novelty has all but worn off, I'm still left with a beautiful car though, but I don't notice so much anymore. I have a tendency to stare at other automobiles and go "wow" when I see them. I love Audi's and BMW's, so they get my stares when one passes.

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