T Nation

Living In the Southern U.S.


I keep hearing all of these comparisons of the North to the South and quite frankly, they're true. In the time that I've spent on vacations in the south (Tennessee, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama), I've noticed that the people in the South are way nicer than in the North. It seems like even if you're a total stranger, you could have an hour long conversation with somebody even if you're at a random gas station if you wanted to. I guess the whole "southern hospitality" thing is true. Anybody else notice this?



waits for black guy


People from the south say people from the North are pricks, but then again I know tons of genuinely nice people from the North.

People say the south is super nice, I know tons of douchebags here.


I don't think it's true. It just depends on who you run into. There are assholes and a few nice people everywhere.

I wonder if this was ever true.


Southern people are probably less guarded and more extroverted.
They are probably also more likely to get drunk at your house party, and start a fight with someone.
They are also more like to make up after.

I'd say the paradigm might have more to do with weather than culture.
The cold depresses people and draws them in. The disposition affects year round character as well.


x2, except the fighting would be a.class thing, region aside.

Having travelled the US extensively, I would agree the north east is more introverted. Nice people when they feel comfortable with you but generally closed and even crabby otherwise.

I remember ordering a sandwhich at a Manhatten deli and saying "thank you" when the guy handed it to me. He kinda looked alarmed and actually said "for what?"

Just one example but fit the mould I see there and in Philly, Baltimore et cetera.

Common courtesy is generally expected in the south.


That's mainly what I was getting at. Just the level of politeness (even a word?) is noticeable, and I like that. Having traveled the South a lot, I have to say that I really enjoy it down there and wouldn't mind living there. I'm hoping to live there one day when I'm out of the service. It just seems like a simple life.



Life is what you make it where ever you are. Life in the south is life, with a general sense of courtesy.

You can take a stress free, simple job and live a quiet life in a small town some where or you can get involved in a stressful career with a big company in a big city. Or mix the two, thanks to oil.

Houston for example is a huge, internationally populated metropolitan city (4th largest in US) but Bellville is a ranching community just 30 minutes out. Night and day lifestyle/cultural difference. Suits and ties in a Mercedez Benz (generalizing) vs. cowboy hats, boots and diesel engine pick ups.

You do still run in to more general courtesy in Houston than say, Chicago. Lately the US has been moving here en masse however so we don't really have our identity any more.


North and South in any country hate each other. Hell, even North and South Cali do. Must be the preponderance of Ivy League Universities and Democrats.


I think the diesel truck crowd is the same as the luxury car crowd. Diesel's are heavy, expensive, expensive to work on and are horrible off-road. Most ranches only use them for hauling cattle. They're just a status symbol imo

Most city folks drive the lifted diesels with custom rims and exhaust. That never go offroad.


Just a thought: "visiting" is very different that living here. I've lived in SC for nearly 12 years now after relocating from NY. Pluses and minuses to both, but if I were you, I'd reserve judgement till you live there awhile - meaning over a year. My observations are basically this: most if not all "transplants" here have eventually come to find each other. And virtually all of us say the same thing: we all have a few local friends, but we are mostly treated as outsiders trying to change everything and make it like the north. I'd entertain the idea that it was just me, if not for the dozens of other people I've met that say the same thing to me. Trust me: in their eyes, the war is not over.


"Extroverted" and "introverted" are both misnomers here. They are not the correct terms. But yes, there are definite differences in the cultures between the Northeast and the South. Southerns tend to be friendlier to strangers. Northerners treat strangers with suspicion first.

I can give a perfect example of North/South clash. Years ago I was returning from my friend's place in WV. I was a little lost, pulled over, did a U-turn and then pulled slowly off to the side. There was a car behind me that would not pass. My IMMEDIATE reaction is WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS IDIOT AND WHY AREN'T THEY SIMPLY PASSING ME????!!!! Car slowly pulls up alongside and a middle aged woman rolled her window down and asked me if I were lost. She gave me directions and had me on my way.

The above DOES NOT HAPPEN with any frequency in the Northeast.


lol, do you make comments like "this is how we did it up north"?

The war of northern aggression is definitely over :smiley:


Like I said - there's a difference is living somewhere vs. passing through. The arguement that "northerners" are ruining our heritage is kind of ham-handed if you ask me. There are absolutely kind, generous, friendly people that I've met and I'm proud to call them my friends. But there are also plenty of folks that would be happy to burn a cross in your yard. You just don't meet those kind when you're getting gas in town for an hour before heading on to Disneyworld.


And Belleville, TX is in the heart of cattle country. The trucks out there are used as tools, and are designated "Farm Trucks", though people cheat the title all the time. A gas F-150 just wouldn't cut the mustard for them. Plus diesels are easy to work on, most ranchers are pretty handy and I would disagree they are expensive to maintain.

But yes, some people do buy trucks as expensive as a Benz for status and bc they like trucks more than cars. Not who I'm talking about. Personally, I like my King Ranch. Way nicer than any benz I've ever seen inside, different perhaps. And I don't ranch.


I will admit there is a fair amount of Yankee hate in the south. But its mostly focused on the loud, impatient, and rude city Yankees. I've often noticed that Northern people behave with a supercilius air and consider their culture, intellect, and upbringing to be far superior to that of someone raised in the south.

Burning crosses really?


Yep. Houston is growing like crazy, people are moving here from all over the place. They come in, make a home and then wish they were still back where they came from (of course) and try to impose themselves on us, politically, socially and even economically. We are all US citizens of course but the mentality is similar to the immigration debate.

The fucked up thing is that people are chasing jobs, and then vote for politicians who support policies similar to the dead economies they just left, as if failed ideologies would work here. Nobody cares that people move here really, just don't bring your brokenness to a successful region. Climb on board if you want but no sense sinking us too.

Ya'll have totally fucked Austin up though. It's still touted as "Weird" and "Non-Texan" (What ever that means, it's our damn capitol city) but it was cool because it was so under-commercialized, grass roots, laid back yada yada. These days it's like half local, the other half are from largely the west coast and also the NE and low and behold the "cool" they came for was ruined as corporations they were familiar with followed them and they spent their dollars just the same.

It's not the city they found so endearing anymore. So of course people have a problem with others moving in and trying to change things. It's like a houseguest overstaying their welcome and you come home from work one day to find newly colored walls, different curtains and different appliances.


There are always going to be gross over-generalizations made about the populations of the north and south. I'm not implying "all" or even "most" of the south is this way. Obviously if I've been here as long as I have, it can't be all bad. My point is that people should decisde for themselves based on being someplace for more than 5 minutes passing through town. If your experience with the north is the snowbirds, then yes likely the north will seem full of assholes. I live is a town that has two different resturants tht will not serve black people. That's a fact. Now I don't assume that everyone behaves that way, but it exists today in 2011. So to answer your question: yes, really.


The snow birds or half backers from Florida are absolutely the worst. I have lot of friends from the Northeast, however most of them are from rural areas.(upstate ny)

Racism exits as it does everywhere in the country. I am kinda curious what town that is. I've been to most towns in SC for business travel.


Hmm....I am gonna stay out of this one, just going to add that yes, Common Courtesy is a rule here.