Follow us:

Mónica Guzmán

Stories at the intersection of tech and life from a boldly connected city.

June 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Why is Seattle thought to be passive aggressive? One site collects answers that resonate

If you haven’t heard of Quora, it’s a question-and-answer site (get it? Q or A?) that took off a couple years ago and has been collecting an encyclopedia of knowledge so new, speculative or anecdotal that it goes right for the richest and most questionable source: people’s minds.

Nobody likes a stereotype, but Quora can be surprisingly good at getting to the often fascinating conversations at the root of them.

Take Seattle. Ever since I moved here five years ago I’ve heard mutterings about how people here are supposedly passive-aggressive. Is it true? Not for everyone. Not for me. Everyone experiences cities differently. More important, it seems, is that these mutterings are popular enough to exist at all.

In this Quora thread, Seattleites attempt to explain the stereotype. As is usually the case with Quora, a few provocative, often contradictory points stick out:

“Small talk is offensive. Its not intellectual, it doesn’t add value, and people don’t appreciate it. … On the other hand, trust someone to appreciate something interesting you are working on, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

“…People in Seattle are more than willing to engage in small talk, but “freeze” when the discussion threatens to go deeper. People here are friendly, but they’re not so good at making friends.”

“The weather keeps people indoors, as many parks and green spaces as we have, they are largely underutilized for most of the year.”

“Consensus and individualism are unspoken values. … Seattlites in general just prefer to ignore social disagreements rather than hash them out, especially if you aren’t in a close social circle.”

“I tend to think Seattlites want to be a real collectivist/community based society but don’t want anyone knowing their business or telling them what they can’t do.”

“If you are judging Seattleites from how they act outdoors, you are judging them at their worst. Seattle takes place indoors: at homes, at coffee shops, in class, at Cub Scout meetings, etc.”

“Of all the west coast cities, Seattle is certainly the least passive aggressive. … Seattle is just really, really wet.”

See the whole thread here.

0 Comments | More in Identity, Seattle, Social

COMMENTS

READER NOTE: Our commenting system has changed. Find out more.

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►