Everyone is Friendlier Than People from New Jersey


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Everyone is friendlier than people from New Jersey.

I am a born and bred South Jersey girl, and honestly, I never really believed the above statement was true until I was away this past weekend. I drove oh so far away, it took a whole hour and fifteen minutes to get there and I crossed an actual state line, but I may as well have been in another country. I walked (like Forrest) around this little PA town and everyone (and when I say “everyone,” I mean EVERYONE) greeted me as I passed by. Fellow walkers, people on bikes, working people – every variety and age of human being said, “Hello” and/or asked How I was.

At one point, after walking for about an hour and having everyone and their brother (literally) acknowledge me in some way,  I passed by a house where three adults were standing far back on the property in the middle of a discussion. As I came closer I thought to myself, they are totally gonna stop talking and say “hello” to me. And you know what? THEY DID.

People from New Jersey think they are friendly. We recognize that Southerners are certainly way higher up on the Friendliness scale than we are but other than that, I don’t think we actually believe the whole “New Jersey people aren’t friendly” thing.

We honestly believe that we are friendly.

I feel friendly. I talk to people in grocery lines. I smile at people walking by. I almost always at least say “Hi” if I pass a dog walker on the bike path. I even bring Welcome Gifts to new neighbors.

I  truly believed, until this past weekend that is, that I was friendly. Maybe not Southern friendly, but friendly.

Traveling to another state shot that idea to crap. I realized that, yes, I AM friendly, but in a NJ friendly kind of way which probably doesn’t translate to other areas of the world as “friendliness” but to us New Jerseyians, it totally does. We get it.

For instance, if I am walking down the street and someone is passing by on the other side, I will politely ignore them so as not to disturb them from their internal revelry. NOT acknowledging a passerby so as not to disturb them, translates as friendly to a NJ person. If however, I am passing on the same side of the street as another person, I might nod and smile, I may even go so far as to say, “Hi.” And that right there is like Girl Scout Badge Award Winning Super Duper friendly in New Jerseyland. We are friendly in our own minds.

At least I am.

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17 thoughts on “Everyone is Friendlier Than People from New Jersey

  1. See, I would find it odd if someone said hi to me on the same side of the street. I say hi to neighbors I recognize and coworkers, some store clerks. But after that, you’re not supposed to.


  2. I am also from South Jersey just knew we were friendly, however, we won’t take any stuff but we are definately friendly.

    This was my thought until I moved to AZ. Then I learned that compared to other states we aren’t so friendly. The national call center I worked even prepared the other co-workers to be ready for NJ and NY attitudes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the idea of different regions having levels of friendliness. Wonder why that is? Here in Tx it is considered rude if you don’t say hi, wave, hug, nod, start conversations with strangers, anywhere you go. haha and if you accidently bump someone in the store…the sorrys and excuse me’s can go on for awhile!;-) Anyway, loved your post, and I think you are very friendly! 🙂


  4. I am a Jersey Girl (north) and I stand by our friendliness quotient! I haven’t lived there in years, but when I go back am relieved to be back “home” where you can just start up a full conversation with anyone at anytime. In fact, the other person will probably beat you to it. The problem is that we are also equally as likely to tell you off, but it’s with love, always.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a “central…downtheshore” Jersey Girl I am amazed at the rap we receive when we “admit” to being from Jersey. I mean, sure, we tend to tell it like it is and drive like we know where we are going (code for don’t get in our way!) but I have always felt friendly!! I live in Florida most of the year now…it is really easy to spot a fellow Jersey Girl…and we tend to stick together :). My sister just moved to the Midwest and the one thing she continually says is, “They are sooooo nice!” Maybe there are levels…?????? Lol Great post!


  6. Having lived for three years in New Jersey (and being a Southerner) I can testify to this myself. Of course, I lived in central Jersey, near Trenton and New Brunswick, which may be less friendly than south Jersey. Moving to Princeton was culture shock for this Alabama boy! Down here everyone greets strangers with a warm smile. In New Jersey I found that people weren’t friendly unless they knew you. However, once they got to know you they could be just as warm and friendly as anyone. In a way I found this refreshing. You usually knew where you stood with people, and you didn’t have to put on any airs with strangers (which I feel we often do down here in the South). And when someone became your friend, you had a true friend who would do anything for you. Maybe every region has its strengths and weaknesses.


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