The term Seattle Freeze refers to a widely held belief that it is especially difficult to make new friends (particularly for transplants from other cities) in the city of Seattle, Washington. A 2005 Seattle Times article appears to be the first known use of the term, though a 1946 Seattle Daily Times excerpt also describes the phenomenon.
Newcomers to the area have described Seattleites as being standoffish, cold, distant, and distrustful, while in settings such as bars and parties, people from Seattle tend to mainly interact with their particular clique. One author described the aversion to strangers as that "people are very polite but not particularly friendly." While some residents dispute the existence of the Seattle Freeze, a 2008 peer-reviewed study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science found that among all 50 states, Washington residents ranked 48th in the personality trait extroverted. In 2014, a similar report by the Seattle CityClub ranked the population 48th out of 50 similarly-sized cities in activities such as "talking with neighbors frequently". The rapid growth of Amazon and its accompanying influx of largely young, male technology workers may have exacerbated the problem.
It has been speculated that the origin of the phenomenon could stem from the reserved personalities of the city's early Nordic and Asian immigrants. Other reasons may include the emotional effects of the climate (such as Seasonal Affective Disorder), or the region's history of independent-minded pioneers.
- Jim Gates (March 17, 2014). "Is The Seattle Freeze A Real Thing?". KUOW.
- Sommerfeld, Julia (February 13, 2005). "Our Social Dis-ease: Beyond the smiles, the Seattle Freeze is on". Pacific NW Magazine. The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Lacitis, Erik (January 17, 2009). "Friendless in Seattle: A popular Web site is used for relief from our chilly social scene". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
- Madison, Amber (2011). Are All Guys Assholes?. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-101-54755-7.[page needed]
- Maria, Christensen (2007). Newcomer's handbook for moving to and living in Seattle (3 ed.). Portland, Oregon: First Books. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-912301-73-0.
- Thomas, Linda (March 28, 2011). "The Seattle Freeze". KIRO. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- Judd, Ron (January 9, 2015). "If you weren't born in Seattle or the Northwest, you'll never be one of us". Seattle Times - Pacific NW Magazine. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- Rentfrow, Peter J.; Gosling, Samuel D.; Potter, Jeff (September 2008). "A Theory of the Emergence, Persistence, and Expression of Geographic Variation in Psychological Characteristics". Perspectives on Psychological Science. 3 (5): 339–369. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6924.2008.00084.x. PMID 26158954.
- Permenter, Cody (3 May 2016). "How I Learned to Love the Seattle Freeze". Thrillist.
- Amageddon: How Amazon’s culture is taking a toll on Seattle’s future, Geekwire, November 19, 2014
- Reifman, Jeff (March 22, 2015), Peepless in Seattle: Dating, Friendship and the Seattle Freeze
- Wing, Jennifer. "Why is the 'Seattle Freeze' so hard to melt?". KPLU. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- Rolph, Amy (January 6, 2012). "The Seattle Freeze: Real or all in your head?". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- Balk, Gene (December 4, 2012). "Seattle Freeze: Can we blame it on the Norwegians?". The Seattle Times. Retrieved Dec 4, 2012.
- "Such Discussion Can Help Build A Better City [editorial]", The Seattle Daily Times, – via NewsBank (subscription required), p. 6, February 1, 1946, retrieved May 14, 2018