Seattle Freeze

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The Seattle Freeze refers to a belief that it is especially difficult to make new friends (particularly for immigrants from other cities) in the city of Seattle, Washington. According to KUOW radio, the term may have been coined in a 2005 Seattle Times article.[1]

Newcomers to the area have described Seattleites as being standoffish, cold, distant, and not trusting.[2] While in settings such as bars and parties, people from Seattle tend to mainly interact with their particular clique.[3] One author described the aversion to strangers as: "people are very polite but not particularly friendly."[4] In 2008 a peer-reviewed study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science found that among all states, Washington residents ranked 48th in the personality trait extroverted.[5] Some residents dispute the existence of the Seattle Freeze.[6][7] The rapid growth of Amazon[8] and its accompanying influx of largely young, male technology workers may be making the problem worse.[9]

It has been speculated that the origin of the phenomenon stems from the reserved personalities of the city's early Nordic[10] and Japanese immigrants.[11] Other reasons might include the emotional effects of the climate or the region's history of independent-minded pioneers.[12][11][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jim Gates (March 17, 2014), Is The Seattle Freeze A Real Thing?, KUOW 
  2. ^ 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 June 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ Madison, Amber (2011). Are All Guys Assholes?. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-101-54755-7. [page needed]
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Thomas, Linda (March 28, 2011). "The Seattle Freeze". KIRO. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ 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 January 9, 2015. 
  8. ^ Amageddon: How Amazon’s culture is taking a toll on Seattle’s future, Geekwire, November 19, 2014 
  9. ^ Reifman, Jeff (March 22, 2015), Peepless in Seattle: Dating, Friendship and the Seattle Freeze 
  10. ^ Wing, Jennifer. "Why is the 'Seattle Freeze' so hard to melt?". KPLU. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Sommerfeld, Julia (February 13, 2005). "Our Social Dis-ease: Beyond the smiles, the Seattle Freeze is on". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  12. ^ Rolph, Amy (January 6, 2012). "The Seattle Freeze: Real or all in your head?". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  13. ^ Balk, Gene (December 4, 2012). "Seattle Freeze: Can we blame it on the Norwegians?". The Seattle Times. Retrieved Dec 4, 2012.