I recently came upon this article ranking the states from least to most friendly. Turns out, I unknowingly moved from one of the friendliest states in the country to two of the least friendliest.
Smack dab at the bottom of the list (as in, the least friendliest state of all) is New York. And at No. 45 sits Washington (the “Seattle freeze” strikes again). In the Top 5, coming in at No. 4, is the Lone Star State of Texas. I know, I know. All of these listicles should be taken with a grain of salt. And I do believe that. But, I have to say, I also believe there’s something to the list.
Why do I feel that way? For starters, I spent a lot of time out and about alone in NYC. I went to shows, took the subways, dined out, shopped, even went to some networking-type events – and while I’d see people and sometimes we’d even have a decent conversation, there was never a true connection lasting beyond that moment. Everyone was pretty much in a constant state of moving on to the next thing…honestly, I relatively quickly picked up this mindset. Get out of my way, people, I’ve got places to be!
That brings me to Seattle, where I found it slightly easier to make actual friends than NYC. My coworkers alone were the start and bulk of my social group there. And we know, that was never going to happen in NYC (ahem, donutgate). I will say, many of the people I became friends with weren’t from Washington, so I don’t know if that makes a difference in my completely anecdotal research. But to add another layer of perplexity, my bestie Kyle, whom I met in Seattle, is from New York. I think we just broke the list.
Now let’s come full circle to Houston. I obviously grew up here and had made friends along the way. But even beyond that, there’s just a different feeling. My coworkers here were like family, and I keep in touch with most of them to this day. I genuinely want good things for them, even though I no longer see them on a daily basis. And on the streets and in public places like grocery stores or malls, strangers have no problem chatting you up or complimenting your outfit.
My final piece of evidence…During the World Series, I saw story after story of Washington DC fans coming to town and being completely taken aback by the friendliness of the Houston residents and Astros fans they came across. How heartbreaking is it that people coming to see a baseball game would be surprised at what I had always considered basic civility?
The bottom line here doesn’t really seem to be a line at all. You can’t just judge someone based solely on where they live…or who they were rooting for in the World Series.