“Minnesota Nice”

Minnesotans talk frequently about “Minnesota Nice.”  Many behaviors fall under this category: the Minnesota Goodbye, the Inability to Tell Your Friend They Have Something in Their Teeth, and the I’m Nice to Your Face But Try to Merge on the Interstate and You’re SOL, to name a few.  While some of these things are “nice,” a lot of it is simply passive aggression.

I had a conversation with a friend about this the other day, because it’s one of the things about Minnesota (see that, I said Minnesota instead of MinnesotANS…classic example) that really bothers her (a non-native Minnesotan) and me (born and raised here).  And, I’m guilty of it myself at times.  I’ll admit it.

Overall, though, I’m kind of an honest person.  Translation: I’m not always popular.  I try to squarsh my bluntness, but at the same time I don’t want to lie to people.  This doesn’t always go over well here.  I think lying is often expected, if not appreciated.  People want to hear what they want to hear. Being polite and considerate is good, don’t get me wrong.  But harboring aggression while acting in a passive (or “woe is me”) manner is not good.

So tell me, what is something equivalent to “Minnesota Nice” in your state/area? Maybe Minnesota isn’t alone…

8 thoughts on ““Minnesota Nice”

  1. Nah, Floridians just drive around is gigantic trucks with tires taller than I am and threaten you with instant death if you get in their way. Otherwise we all ignore each other. But actually, I’m not from here, I just live here. I don’t have a home. Waahhhhhhhhhh.

  2. Well I am from here, and I agree – I think genuine-ness is lost in the fascade of “saying what you want to hear”. I too tend to fall in the unpopular because I speak my mind too much catagory. My biggest pet peeve: Lying! And fake people are #2 on that list.

    I will actually avoid a situation to avoid a fake person if I am not in the mood…

  3. So much has been said about the fake gentility of Georgia women, and it is all true. You can say anything about someone as long as you follow it with “bless her heart.” You can be born in this state and live here your entire life, but unless you can say the same for your parents, grandparents, etc. – you’re not “from around here.”

  4. I moved to MN from North Dakota (BIG transition I know) and before I had ever even heard of “Minnesota nice” I thought, Minnesotans are mean!! Big city with big mean traffic and big stores and lots of attitude. Smaller towns are better, but growing up in Fargo, there *really* was an atmosphere of nice.

    Many blessings-

    P.S. Any feedback from you on the ‘saved’ debate… the one about your church?

  5. I think we have a pretty different idea of what ‘nice’ is versus what born-and-raised Mainers think ‘nice’ is. There is way too much ‘niceness to your face’ here. In general, people are way over-prone to keep you at arm’s length. They want to be acquaintances, but never friends. Unless you were born here. Or you have relatives (going back at least six generations) that were born here. Otherwise, you’re from Away and people just look at you funny. *sigh* I keep telling myself it’s not forever.

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