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.
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.