I remember confiding with a life-long Seattle resident a few months after our move to Seattle, “I think I’m scaring people.” Her immediate reply was, “Good! Keep scaring them!” It was assuring to me that she didn’t advise me to make adjustments because I was lonely and homesick. Asking me to change who I was would have been too much.
Having been raised in the South where most people never meet a stranger and receiving an invitation to dinner from the person you met in the grocery store checkout line is a strong possibility, I found it difficult to break through with people in Seattle. I chalked it up to Seattle having more of a gritty, urban vibe than Dallas because no one told me about the Seattle Freeze until after I had been living here for a while.
Seattle freeze? What’s that? I was in nesting mode, getting my family situated in a new city and in a new home, so most of my interactions were with people I passed on the street, or anyone I crossed paths with in the grocery store and other retailers. I mostly kept my head down, focused on my work, so I didn’t pay much attention to the difference.
It wasn’t until I came up for air and recovered my social mojo that I noticed it. People are nice, but, in general, you are not included in what they have going on unless you are an immediate neighbor (God bless my wonderful neighbors). That’s when I formed the “Bethany Needs a Life” girls’ night out group. Sadly, I think only one or two of those events actually happened! It’s quite a dilemma. I want a life, but I’m a bit too busy and overwhelmed to get many social engagements off the ground.
Something I have learned about myself since moving to Seattle is I am much more adept at networking than I am at making friends. Most of the time, I wait for the other person to cross from friendly to friendship. This brings me to the point of this article. Do not be alarmed by my friendly manner. I am not trying to be your best friend or steal your best friend. If we have a coffee and later I send you an article on a topic I think you will find interesting or insightful, that’s just me being friendly. If I have your phone number, I might text you a photo of something I think you’d like. Again, do not be afraid. I enjoy the engagement and the connection, and I like being of service. It is just my nature.
When I was searching for what it was I wanted to be when I “grew up” at age 35, I discovered, in a nutshell, I want to help people. Luckily, my life’s call goes hand in hand with my friendly, southern personality. So, just sit back and indulge me with a simple “thank you” or a smiley emoji reply when I know you’d rather delete my message! “Why is Bethany hounding me?!” you may ask yourself. Oh, Seattle, if I have my way with you, I will melt your ice a little bit.—Bethany (AKA Southern In Seattle)
Love this look? I found the cutest black sweater dress with slashed elbows here. No one should be without a strappy high heel sandal. Check out this pair. Lastly, the fall has many faux fur offerings. I adore this reversible one. And if you are dying for my red fur above from the 1980’s, I found its twin here. Have a great week!