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.
Newcomers to the area have described Seattleites as being standoffish, cold, distant, and not trusting. 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: "people are very polite but not particularly friendly." A 2008 study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science found that Washingtonians were some of the most introverted in the nation. Some residents dispute the existence of the Seattle Freeze. The rapid growth of Amazon and its accompanying influx of largely young, male technology workers may be making the problem worse.
It has been speculated that the origin of the phenomenon stems from the reserved personalities of the city's early Nordic and Japanese immigrants. Other reasons might include the emotional effects of the climate or the region's history of independent-minded pioneers.
- Jim Gates (March 17, 2014), Is The Seattle Freeze A Real Thing?, KUOW
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