It was kind of interesting to me that out of all the people in our training group, the ones that were the quickest to form social bonds were the people from way out in the country and the city people just kind of quietly kept to themselves.
But I was definitely accepted as one of the bumpkins.
Oh! This is actually an example of Rural vs Urban manners.
In rural/less densely populated areas, the polite thing is to offer people your time and social energy which is why country people will talk your ear off at the slightest acquaintence- it’s kind of lonely when you have to make an effort to see people, so you Make An Effort ™
In Urban/Densely populated areas, you’re meeting people whether you want to or not, because you are physically close to each other constantly. So the Polite Thing there is to kind of ignore other people and keep strictly to business, so you’re not imposing upon thier (probably already drained) soical spoons.
The city folks will warm right up to you once they get to know you well enough to know that talking to you won’t piss you off.
I grew up rural and live in the SF Bay Area now, and this is exactly how it is.
Appropriate city behavior is about *efficiency*, creating the least friction possible in every interaction because everyone has somewhere to be and is trying to pretend they don’t have strangers in their personal bubble *all day long*.
In SF, chatting with the bank teller a second longer than necessary is rude AF because there are 10 people in line and the teller is running behind and you are inconviencing *everyone*. They will deal with 1000 customers today and they genuinely don’t have it in them to form a friendly relationship with you.
In the little forest where I grew up you could stop your car in the middle of a one lane street to chat up a friend on the sidewalk. Any other cars would just go around you. There wasn’t much traffic, it was fine. If you’re one of 50 people the bank teller is gonna see today and there’s no line, it’s actually nice to ask how their day has been and commiserate about the roadwork at the single downtown traffic light.
City & country folks are operating under very different pressures and both are “right”, but it can be hard for city people to remember how to just…shoot the shit with strangers.