Kevin said on our live chat:
"Of course some Minnesotans are very welcoming, and some are not.
But Minnesota has an unusually high level of state cohesiveness. Minnesotans are proud of their state, and each other, and they tend to stick together.
Also, there are a lot of activities that are part of the culture in Minnesota that aren't as common in other states. Hockey. Hunting. Hanging out by the lake up north. Not being into those activities makes it hard to break into the inner circles."
Alison said: "Maybe it depends on how outgoing you (the outsider) are. I'm not from MN (not that you could tell), but I don't sit around waiting for others to include me. In my experience, if you make an effort to show interest in others they will most likely show interest in you, MN native or not."
"I think the level of acceptance in any place is based on the number of transplants in that area. There are relatively few here; consequently, people aren't very nice."
Chuck wrote on our blog:
"As a Minnesotan, I believe "Minnesota Nice" is a synonym for passive aggressive, a way to avoid confrontation but still trying to get a point across. In our defense, we folks of northern European descent are not noted for wearing our emotions on our sleeves.
"On the other hand, to tar all of us as distant is probably not fair either. On the third hand, I can definitely see a problem with trying to break into longtime groups; I have had that problem myself. But is that really unique to Minnesota? At any rate, on behalf of the natives, I apologize to all those who have felt slighted and held at arm's length. Don't give up! But don't necessarily wait for us to make the first move either."
Joanna wrote: "I've lived here for three years this month...and unfortunately, I cannot wait to move. I have never had a problem making friends any place that I have lived or traveled to. I am outgoing and positive. I find it easy to find common ground with others....not here. I have tried so many different things to find my "niche" (clubs, meetups, classes, online forums, school, dog clubs, craigslist...you name it!) and I have found nothing but non-committal folks that aren't open to making new friends.
If the topic of me being an "outsider" (I HATE that word) comes up and I express that I don't like it here, those that are from here take immediate defense and basically say, "Well, if you don't like it, get out. We don't want you here anyway." OUCH! Not ONCE has someone said, 'Wow, I'm sorry for your experience. How about you let me show you the Minnesota that I know and love?'"
Scott from the blog: "I have found Minnesotans to be very distant and non-committal. It has been extremely hard to breakthrough and make any friends. Since we don't have family here it has been very challenging especially around the Holidays. I'm happy to see this study - to know that I'm not crazy!
In New York (where I'm from), you know where you stand with others - I have learned that "Minnesota Nice" is another way of saying Passive Aggressive.
From Eric on the blog: "I'm not A Minnesotan,I am thee Minnesotan.
I am a farm raised blue collar Swedish Lutheran Democrat. I haven't made a new friend since I was 5. I've married 2 girls I went to grade school with.
I love to hear a relative is coming for a visit,and I love to hear the exact date they will be leaving.If you are new in town,you and your children will always be new in town.I'm not sure about your grandchildren."