Is Seattle Depressing?

Question:

I moved to Seattle to renew my life, yet I’ve been as depressed as ever. Shouldn’t I be less vulnerable in a beautiful place like this?

Answer:

I encounter people in this situation regularly. Seattle is a city of transplants, and the adjustment is not always quick or easy. Here are several reasons we could designate a special “Seattle depression” for newcomers in the the Emerald City.

First of all, moving sucks. You may have escaped a messy family situation and a doomed marriage, a rotten job and hell-hole physical setting, but you’ve come to a place where you don’t know many people. Isolation correlates with depression. Often, being with irritating people who you know may still better for your mood than being alone. Seattle has a reputation as a place where people are generally insular and hard to get to know. Whether or not the reputation is deserved your feeling blue and insecure will not help your efforts to integrate.

But I’m an introvert, you may say. People are a pain, and I like to be alone! Just the same, being human, you have tribalism in your genes. You don’t have to change you personal nature, but you might benefit by adjusting your patterns of affilliation.

Besides the isolation that comes with moving, you have disrupted your usual routines. Routine is good for your mood, plain and simple. Humdrum activity is still activity. It gives a sense of purpose it keeps you in motion and it lends structure to your day, whereas now that structure may be hard to come by.

The reduced light that comes with our long winters is undeniably a factor in depression, but an overblown one in my opinion. The problem with winter is not just the reduced sunlight but the fact that we don’t move around as much. Physical activity is good medicine for depression and it just doesn’t come as easily in the Seattle winter.  If you get a boost from taking walks in the summer, get a good parka and don’t let the went winter stop you.

All the disruption, lack of routine, reduced activity, seperation and isolation contributes to a sense of anomie – a breakdown in the usual social norms and standards that give us a sense of regulation, stability and belonging. Even a slight sense of dysregulation and weakened structure adds to anxiety.

As I have mentioned several times before, depressed people ruminate to try to find answers. Ruminating is a vortex. It gives the allusion that we are seeking answers when in fact we’re moving farther from solutions.

You can place all blame the nature of the city if you wish.  But if depression is the fault of this locale, we would have a measurably higher rate of depression.  We don’t.  Incidentally, the only city with a measurably higher rate of suicide is Los Vegas.

So what is to be done? As Mark Twain stated, “It takes a heap of livin’ to make a house a home”. You may need a plan to direct your activity more productively, to find more connection, gratification and pleasure, and tune your thinking to be less depressive. Then, you can begin feeling like you belong, perhaps even like it would be depressing to leave. CBT or cognitive-behavioral therapy is a practical way to do this.

64 Responses to “Is Seattle Depressing?”

  1. Jill Says:

    I used to live in Florida and often heard the “it will be depressing in Seattle due to the rain and lack of sun”. After I moved, I still get this question from friends back in the sunshine state. Honestly, I completely agree with your comments that the effects of the winters here are overstated. It rains much more in Florida, Miami in particular – and the rain in Florida is dangerous rain with lightening. Here, it’s like a gentle mist. You can go out with a raincoat and not get drenched or electrocuted. I also don’t miss the sun. It’s so hot in Miami, you usually spend lots of time indoors or in malls – just to escape the heat. I think the weather her is just lovely.

  2. Human B. Ing Says:

    I’ve seen to Seattle, and I really liked it. It has somewhat of a European vibe, the kind you’d find in Scandinavia: relatively cool climate, high technology, coffee drinking, modernistic architecture, and excellent combination of city and country. At the same time, I think it’s safe to say that Seattle is *a lot* more forgiving socially than Miami, Florida could ever be. In Miami, there seems to be a lot pressure to be the best, with all the glitz and glamour surrounding you all the time. (But I’m sure it’s much worse in southern California.) Seattle seems very laid back. I’ve been told I can be eccentric (my friends’ word) at times, and I felt comfortable the minute I stepped off the plane in the Seattle airport. In Orlando, Florida, I was harassed by strangers on the street with no provocation on my part whatsoever.

    My advice to you is to give it some time. You’re not going to feel right at home in a new city right away. Take some classes on a topic you enjoy, like Asian cooking or Rumba dancing, for example. Join a few political organizations that you agree with. Basically, don’t spend time at home unless you really want to, as opposed to when you have no other alternatives. And if you’re really getting depressed, see a shrink (just not one of those who won’t say anything other than “I see” and “how does that make you feel”).

  3. ME TOO! Says:

    I came upon this question a few minutes ago, and damn if you didn’t take the words out of my mouth. I’ve been here three years now, and there’s something I’m not getting. When you do get close to someone, they rip your heart out for sport. No matter how cool you play it. No matter if and when you choose to be vulnerable. It feels like a bunch of people who never got to be in a clique growing up, now starting a clique where new kids aren’t welcome. Whats more, they know what they’re doing. They want you to feel their insecurity. And the dark and cold is rough. Thanks for putting the question out there. I’ve been wallowing for a couple days now and the question answer and my little rant hepled.

  4. Joe Reality Says:

    Are you serious? Is this the best advise this site can give? Go to New York, Miami, Boston there are “transplants” there as well and you know if you care to visit those towns are not nearly as cold socially as Seattle. The problem here is the locals or whatever you want to label them relocate here to be away from the rest of our normal fellow countrymen. People here are extremely clique, introverted, self-absorbed and continuously deny that their are serious social issues with its inhabitants. Example hold the door for someone, dont expect a thank you. Example 2 have a conversation for an hour expecting to make a friend or acquaintance but when its over people here act like they dont even know you. Neighbors are very unfriendly and people push a liberal political agenda on all the residents. Its a very disturbing place to live and its full of mentally ill individuals everywhere. I look forward to leaving and never returning. People here dont have the backbone to take an true perspective on their city so I hope my comments prove there is hope for a free independent evaluation by a 4 year + resident…….

  5. Changed Woman Says:

    I moved here form Colorado in 2003… since then my lfe has been abosolutelu miserable. I was a very happy, carefree person… loved the outdoors and loved life. Since moving to Seattle I have been depressed and find it hard to enjoy hte manyu activities I loved so much at one time in my life. The people here are evil and Christianity is very rare here the Emerald City! You can have it back… I hate it here and will be glad to leave!!!!!

  6. MC Says:

    I completely agree with Joe Reality’s comments about the door-opening and the hour long conversations that lead to the forced awkward anonymity the next time you meet . This is because of one notion that permeates Seattle. It’s the unbelievable sense of entitlement and the cheap thought that one should get something for nothing.
    I owned a floral delivery business for a couple of years, had a few employees, and I can honestly say that there were fewer than a dozen tips.
    The ‘cute flakiness’ that Seattleites employ when they find that they can’t get something for nothing is revolting, and the fact that I have lived at the same address for the last twelve years, and know three neighbors surfacely is proof of community social retardation.
    Okay. I have lived in Seattle most of my life now, and I feel as though the last little bit of buffer I have between myself and the raw nerves that have come from being in such a geek/$/uber leftist clique of a city, with all of its sub-cliques, are just about threadbare. I have tried to conform myself, at least enough to be comfortably uncomfortable, and it’s like living a lie. Every damned day I deal with seeing how much time I have spent trying to create friendships, build community, and generally try and imrpove the ill-manneredness of a place where this is not only not a concern, but the main message seems to be that if you have enough money, you don’t have to connect to anyone for any reason.
    People swarm here because with all of its ‘liberal, pc’ exterior. Yet, there is a sad amount of personal responsibility not being taken to actually create and foster a human base, common sense politics, and the realization that relationship is everything—all else is furniture.
    Sometimes people come here because they know this is the way it is here, and they know they can live in peace here because it is the social norm to be an etiquettedly challenged politiclly correct mannerless drones.
    Others find out sadly after they invest time, money, energy and nerve moving here. They are the most unfortunate of our lot, as they are shocked into reality. I cannot begin to expound upon how many people I have met throughout the years that are angry, bewildered, or near tears about their own feelings of being mysteriously ostracized, and segregated for seemingly rampant, yet confoundedly unknown reasons.
    As well, people complain about being lonely here, they go to docs to get pills, or they lavish you with all sorts of self-involved blathery, when in fact, the real truth is that we are not alone, we are all human, and if we spent a fraction of the time developing social skill and manners, along with the perimeters and boundaries that naturally come with them, as we do devising ways to avoid others, we would be a better place.
    This being said, I am almost done with my attempt at developing myself in this environment, and I have been, until now, so reluctant to let go of my idea about this classist, socially unevolved place. A place where the subculture is mitigated by the sub-clique-ture. I realize this may sound like I hate Seattle.
    I don’t.
    I think there are a great many things about a place this beautiful—but the social culture is not one of them.
    I don’t hate Seattle.
    No.
    I am just…heartbrokenly disappointed.
    IF you are someone who has the urge to employ your precious life energy into a cause, think deeply and thoroughly about whether Seattle deserves it. I am all for Seattle transforming, but I have to say that one should make an INFORMED decision when one can.
    -MC

  7. r.m Says:

    I’ve always dreamed about going to seattle….I work on it everyday, trying to get there. I’ve lived in new york for most of my life and I hate it. The only positive thing here is the city. Thats it…..people are horrible here. I’m hoping they will be better in Seattle….i can only hope though.

  8. vrd Says:

    I moved to Seattle in December of 2009 from SF bay area aka Silicon Valley. A lucrative career opportunity was a prevailing reason for me to move to an area that was overcast year around. My wife could not move with me right away and I was living all by myself. Other than my new boss and an old friend from college who lives here, no one knew me.

    I am originally from India, so I am used to hot weather and lots of sunshine. All my life I dreamed of living in area where it rains all the time. So living in Seattle was going to be a dream come true. So I thought until I moved here.

    I started living on the east-side (Redmond) which is probably less of a city compared to Seattle. It’s very green but the trees also block sunlight. My corporate housing, even though well furnished didn’t have a natural light. Same was the case with office building. On days when it didn’t rain (locals fondly call them “dry days”), there was usually no sun either. If you look up in the sky, you can see a gray cloud stretching as far as sight reaches. At sunset, black clouds remind you of scenes from “The lord of the rings” movie or a video game like “Doom”. And this was in June, when rest of the country was complaining of heat waves. Summer of 2010 was not much of a summer. Sun was very very mild, even on clear days.

    Even though the weather is grim, it’s effect is compounded because of lack of social interactions. I started spending my time in gym and in library where I could just be around people. For me there are two levels of barriers when it comes to social interactions, one because I am new to the city and because I was not born in this country.

    Contrary to some comments found here, I think people in Seattle are more courteous and friendly compared to California. I don’t know if it is superficial but in California, people are too busy and courtesy is non-existent. This place has good family atmosphere. You can see kids spending time with their parents in malls, restaurants and at the YMCA. People at my work are also nicer and laid back.

  9. Karie Says:

    I’ve lived here since 1987 and am counting the months (24) until my husband retires from the federal government and we get out of this hell hole of a state. I have always disliked the climate and found the people standoffish and weird. I have gained a lot of weight and went from a happy, social person to someone I don’t recognize. Jan. 2013 is my month of freedom to move back to the South, and I will be happy to put Washington in my rear view mirror. My kids live here, my grandkids live here, but I will NEVER EVER live here again.

  10. Tom Linde Says:

    Twenty six years of unhappiness, isolation and weight-gain, plus a retirement separated from children and grandchildren, all due to the characteristics of the city? I hope your return to the South brings some happiness. Maybe you’ll find a sense of personal responsibility there.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    The summers are absolutely beautiful here in WA state. HOWEVER I can’t deny that the winters here are horrible. You can try to tell someone to speak to there shrinks and get loaded on “happy pills,” but that can only last for so long. I have to agree with some of the comments about how the people who are from WA are extremely flat out rude. I have become friends with a handful of people, and then all of a sudden they flake out on you and you never hear from them again? WEIRD! I had to take a step back and evaluate myself, because I thought there was something I was doing/saying to maybe offend my friends, but I can honestly say I have been so loyal and kind and all I get out of this was a big fat kick in the ass! I can not wait to move back to the east coast and surround myself with people who are in tune with reality.

    My advice.. if you have the money buy a summer cottage, and then fly the heck out of here during the winter times… ALSO don’t get close to people here. They have no souls, and will try to manipulate and sabotage your life.

    Just saying.. but you are your own person… but don’t say i didn’t warn ya!

  12. Tom Linde Says:

    Seattlites have no souls and will manipulate and sabotage? Yeow! I have no idea how a geographic location could shape the whole population in such a way. I do know there are quite a few inhabitants with a very different, very positive experience.

  13. Stacey Says:

    OMG you people are depressing. Your shitty attitudes and inability to make friends are the problem not Seattle. Try moving to a location with a better attitude….your depression is YOUR fault not Seattle’s. American people seriously complain far too much…like whiney bitches.

    Anyway, Seattle was great lived there for 3 years but moved back to SF bay to be with my family. I am actually considering moving back up again too!

  14. Tom Linde Says:

    Whew! One satisfied citizen.
    Thanks, Stacey.

  15. tiger Says:

    Mind, body, spirit, right? All work together. Each one matters and if one is out of whack, it effects all three. Since we’ve moved here we’ve been adamant about keeping up with all three. IN BALANCE. Stanley Park in Vancouver, Green Lake Park, many of the beautiful trails. Attending on-line college, checking out the different towns like Bellevue Square for Xmas etc. One thing that is severely missing is Christianty. It never occured to our family how the lack of large populations of Christians so deeply effects communities. We did a search on-line trying to find Wednesday night services. Very few and far between. Then we found a site that helped explain this. The article was about a man who planted new churches. He pointed out that Washington has never been a Christian founded place. Many other parts of the country were initially populated this way.

    We have come to realize just how deep our need for this (fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Jesus) is, and how much we took this for granted. There is a heavy, dark, spirit here. If you have never considered looking to Jesus and are heavily depressed here in Washington, this may be part of the cause. It’s the most important thing I have learned since we’ve been here, and that’s how much I need my Saviour.

  16. Jeff Says:

    One pattern I notice here is the neighborhood, and social status play a role in posters attitudes. It seems like people in a place like Bellvue are happier than less affluent areas. This seems true regardless of the city. I always liked the musicians from Seattle (Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Cantrell, Kim Thayil, etc.). I’m into jazz and trance music as well-are there any good venues for those kinds of music? Politically, i’m Libertarian-you cannot legislate morality and the system has proven it can’t manage it’s own money.

    Personally, I look forward to visiting the area.

    I hear from other NW that Portland is better (friendlier, less metro yuppie BS-more real as opposed to superficial people in the South Nashville is that way compared to Atlanta-I can dress nice, etc. but why be an ass about it?).
    In the South, I’d take Nashville, Tn over Atlanta, GA. Because, I like a town that has plenty to do (without a Nordstroms on every corner, just clean, decent, high quality without the uber ego mass consumerism tends to support), yet with a friendly vibe without all the mega ego glitter people (i.e., South Beach Miami, Orange County, etc.). Where in the NW is like that (Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, etc)?

    PS: On depression have any of you tried lugol iodine? It’s a good product.

  17. GGVV Says:

    I was born and raised here and then I had the fortunate luck to travel to move around and experience not only other cities but the world. When I returned here 5 years ago after 10 years in the Bay Area I came back to a culture shock. True the city had been in a transformation before we left but its by far worse. Oddly despite the “tech” growth the city is more white trash than ever. In my youth I knew funny, smart, sharp people.. they are gone.. and the type that moved here are largely small town redneck people who seem to perpetuate the stereotype that is one I never heard/knew of. Then I seemed to find that natives are nuts and somehow the exceptions left.. And the immigrants took on those qualities to survive.. you have to here. I had never in my growing up here asked people “where you from” as they do now? I have never in my growing up here asked people “what high school did you go to” And yet that is the number one and two questions that are asked – regardless of the person – a Doctor or a Waitress will ask those questions as a type of screen or judgement. And assume its the latter as that Judging people here is a big part of the persona.. I call it the Homeopathic diagnosis .. They are going to figure you out and then tell you what is “wrong” with you..as if you need to know this or care.

    I have spent the better part of 5 years actually trying to avoid people – so call me part of the problem but I simply had to to survive.. I have come away from numerous encounters absolutely puzzled to the level of ignorance and arrogance displayed. Its mind boggling and distressing. There is something very very wrong with the people here. If you like it you fit in and more power to you. I can go any city and not come away wondering if it was “me” as I do here. I am not the same person here I am elsewhere that much is true and that is because I need to cope. I am leaving at year end and I feel for the first time hopeful and relieved.. oddly moving to a red state because the faux liberal politics like the people isn’t genuine. I figure I can keep my politics out of the picture and simply find other more important things to connect to.

  18. Marlene Says:

    Thinking about relocating to Seattle and “looking around” the web for comments to make a more informed decision about the desirability of Seattle. Finding this site, I am wondering what is up with this place? Is is possible Seattle is ranked below Boston for friendliness. Just how long are the winters in Seattle. In upstate NY they are too long already.

    The social moronism comments are mystifing.

  19. Buck Says:

    I arrived in Seattle in January, 2010 and must agree with the critics on how unfriendly Seattle has been for me. In addition, with its various bodies of water that you have to ferry around or loop from state route to highway and back again–its simply disconcerting overall. Then add lots of gray and/or rainy days to the mix and its pure hell on earth. I cannot wait until I get everything ready for all systems go and I’m out of here. The rain in Seattle is symbolic of its angst.

  20. itsnotyou Says:

    OK
    Been here 10 years, and I have lived ALL OVER the US.

    At first, I was here as a younger person, single and willing to deal with some difficult personalities. I had fun, went out a lot, and was excited to be in a city of seemingly intelligent, well-read, fun-loving people.

    I think it was the booze.

    Since then, I’ve had therapy-inducing bosses, met a slew of “friends” who all flaked out on me, and know of at least one complete mental breakdown and two suicides.

    Welcome to Seattle.

    What is the deal?

    Well, we’ve got the Nordic “standoffish” element, a tradition of Lutheran-style self-sufficiency and pride.

    Then, you’ve got the influx of Asian cultures. No offense, but again, you find a lot of tough attitudes and less social grace.

    The music scene was cool a decade or two ago. Now, it’s a lot of wannabes. There is a good music scene, but it’s no where near as dynamic.

    The Microsoft/Amazon/Boeing/etc. world brings with it tech geeks from the world over. Many are nice, but few are interested in fully integrating because they are here temporarily. But the engineer/developer autistic lack of emotion and social interaction is unreal.

    Of course, the weather, but another problem is how EARLY everything seems to shut down. It’s not just the darkness, but the deadness.

    Then, you’ve got the competitiveness. Everyone seems to judge your car, your stroller, your gear, your taste in music, your tattoos or lack thereof, your education, your work (at a startup? cool. Someplace normal? whatever).

    The food sucks. The culture sucks. The festivals suck. THEY SUCK. The stupid naked biking? The crappy Fremont trash festival? The Seafair bullshit? The terrible parades? The farmer’s markets are ok, but you get bored the 3rd time. No street food. No street musicians.

    Our postcards show Pioneer square, but you go down there and it’s all BUMS and VAGRANTS.

    The city puts halfway houses for criminals and sex offendors and drug addicts IN BELLTOWN, the up and coming “hip night spot” neighborhood. Great idea, idiots.

    The squabbles over bullshit and the stupid financial decisions. Hey, let’s put a tunnel through the city for a ROAD, but FUCK building an actual usable light rail or subway system. Let’s charge people for using the 520 bridge, when all you fucking needed to do was TAX MICROSOFT or PUSH THEM TO MOVE SOME FUCKING OFFICES OVER TO THE SEATTLE SIDE. Like they couldn’t put some up in Everett already or even Lynnwood?

    Ah, Lynnwood. And south everett. And Renton. White trash black holes.

    Car theft galore.

    Everyone acts so PC, but they all judge.

    Even the architecture is telling. Most of the city has the WORST looking homes, just crap. Yes, some are creative with their yards, but still.

    And try taking care of a yard here. It’s a freaking petri dish on speed. Everyone is pulling weeds like a methhead. Please.

    The neighbors suck. I’ve had parties, events, dinners. They don’t reciprocate. Or if they do, it’s minimal and uncomfortable.

    Even if you have kids, people don’t know how to interact. Other parents can’t seem to notice your kid even if you gush about theirs. Those who know each other stick to each other like glue. God forbid they let anyone into their little playdates.

    YOu can’t swim in the water here. Too freaking cold.

    The restaurants, for the most part, suck. The service is beyond rude. It’s like they don’t want your dirty money. Seriously.

    People stare at you if you look different. And everyone wears REI wear, even to the opera.

    It just feels dead. I hate it. I’ve been here over 10 years and every single aspect of my life has gone downhill, even though I’ve worked hard to make things work. I’ve fucking had it and I can’t wait to figure out a way to get out of here. It’s been nearly impossible to get work lately, though, so that sucks too. You either are loaded here or fucked.

  21. JDR Says:

    This last post hit the nail on the head. I too came here 12 years ago when I was young and thought Seattle was the best place on the planet that the rest of the world should emulate. However, over time, I slowly have woken up to the fact that this place is god-awfully depressing. There’s so much about it I love. It’s a gorgeous city that’s being planned incredibly well compared to most. The public transit isn’t the best but this is a small city so it’s not like you’re going to find a NYC style metro here. For a city, it’s fairly clean and well organized, which is probably much due to its Scandinavian roots. But ah, that’s where the bad begins….

    So many people are socially retarded here. First off, you have the standoffish Scandinavian roots and then you mix in a good dose of techies and another round of misfits and you’ve got yourself one great social cluster fuck. I think the grunge era kicked off a wave of anti-social transplants and now there’s a flood of techies. If you’ve ever come across one, you know that many have the social skills of a blank wall. Communicating with many is like pulling teeth. Don’t get me wrong, some are wonderful and fascinating and incredibly intelligent but most seem to be better at relationships with computers than they are with actual humans. The worst offenders are the douchebag hipsters who are so busy trying to be as ironic as possible that they have forgotten they’re human.

    Then there’s the freakin weather…something like an average of 226 cloudy days a year. Everyone here pretends that it’s not that bad and that the summer makes up for it but I call bullshit. 10 weeks of sun does not make up for 9 months of hell. It’s so insanely depressing and the worst part is that when it’s grey, so are people’s moods. People are so nasty in the winter here (not outright like they can be in the east) but a more passive aggressive style nastiness that seeps into everyone and everything like mold. Try calling someone out for bad behavior or the aforementioned flakiness and you’ll get a reaction of complete and utter shock. How dare you! Who do you think you are!?

    So to any of you out there considering a move here, I say go for it. Give it a try…but please do yourself a favor and have a backup plan. Unless you come from another place with similarly horrendous weather, you’ll want to jump off a bridge after your first winter here. Make sure you can escape if you need and move on to somewhere sunnier and happier. For a few of you, maybe you’ll find that you love it. For most, you’ll want to run as quickly as possible.

    I leave here in 6 months and will always remember my time here fondly but I can say without a doubt that I can’t wait to leave. For all of it’s wonderful qualities, the darkness of both the weather and so many of the people is overwhelming and I feel like I am barely keeping my head above the water. seattle is doing many things right but a perfect city it certainly is not. Don’t let the locals hear you say that. They can’t stand to hear anything negative about the place and certainly can’t stand to hear anything that is real or isn’t PC, and if you’re from the East coast, you’ll probably have a particularly hard time with that one.

    Cheers,
    JDR

  22. Gail Says:

    I moved here from NYC last summer and thought I hit cloud 9. I felt beyond happy to have an apartment all to myself–for the first time in several years, and appreciated the beauty and ease of life here, compared to NYC. I’m honestly beyond sad that this has not been working out at all. I’ve joined multiple groups, am active in run groups, you name it, but nothing. In NYC you def have your fair share of nut jobs, and I firmly believe that no place is going to be perfect, but being amongst people who WANT to be social and meet new people is few and far between here. I hate giving up, but this is more than unhealthy for me personally. I love this city and see so much potential, but if people haven’t been able to brake the social ice cube since the Nords came here, it ain’t gonna happen.

  23. Dagny Says:

    I’m so happy to see that others feel the same way about Seattle. I have just recently moved away after living there for five years. I completely agree about Seattlelites and the total lack of social grace. I did make a few close friends in Seattle (including a vibrant native New Yorker) and would often complain to them about people not saying thank you, people who know me not saying hi, etc. Often the few friends I had would explain this behavior by saying “So and So is just socially awkward.” I never bought this excuse–I’m very much a nerdy introvert to the point of “social anxiety disorder” but still learned how to say please and thank you. While living in Seattle, I was constantly paranoid that someone would stab me in the back, and it did happen frequently. I do believe that if you show any ambition or talent or any positive trait, you will be circled by the Seattle vultures who want to drag you down to their level….While in Seattle, I also began to have a morbid fascination with death, I think because of the terrible weather and lack of social interactions. I couldn’t stand the paranoia and existential anxiety any more, so I left, after five years, several therapy appointments, and a couple bottles of Prozac later. I now live in a sunny northern state, therapy and Prozac-free, and couldn’t be happier.

  24. John Says:

    I hope people make it down to reading my comment as I think I have a few insights to share as well.

    I have lived in Seattle for 5 years, midwest for 4, south east for 2, north east for 1 and California for 2 where I live now and the rest of my life outside US. This is a fact, I am in my 20s and I spent my 20s in Seattle.

    I must say I completely AGREE with the comments above that people in Seattle don’t have a sense of amicability and courtesy towards a fellow man. I was rather surprised at the flakiness of people (ok everyone is flaky?) then I will say the lack of responsibility of people there to treat someone else with the same respect and dignity that they treat themselves. Someone please scream “introvert”, it’s true, I am one, but that doesn’t mean I’ve cut off all social communication in order to pursue something higher, it just means that I’d rather read a book and talk about it later with a friend than go to a nightclub. (If you’re an extrovert, change your plans, this city IS NOT for you).

    You can measure how much social responsibility in within people by looking at 2 things imho, 1) how they incorporate you into their society and friend circles and 2) how likely you are to actually meet your significant other

    Seattle ranks depressingly low in both categories. Imagine living a city where society is like high school but only there are no classes, everyone equally doesn’t give a damn. It’s cute when someone forgets to show up to a coffee date, not so cute when they move out with 1 day’s notice. Really is this life? I accepted it was actually, then I moved to California. For the first time in 5 years, I had actually felt that I was back in reality again. It took at good month for the California sun to dry out my soggy skin (metaphorically) and for me to lose that “I don’t want to meet people anymore” attitude. For all the negativity and superficiality that California is perceived with, I found the people to be surprisingly full of life, active and engaging, I went to the beach more often than ever before, I went hiking, swimming, surfing, I discovered I had more hobbies than to just run to the gym whenever I ran out stuff to read. I discovered that there were people that wanted me to be with them as a part of their life as much I wanted them to be in mine. In short, I discovered life.

    Blame the rain, blame the grey skies, blame the trees, Seattelites (as they are called) have no excuse. You have created a city reeking with pessimism and negativity where people avoid each other simply because they feel that others aren’t hospitable. This is toxic and spreads quickly. I can attest that I have lived in London, which has worse weather btw than Seattle but people have that passion, that energy, that soul, that drive to do meet others, have a life and make something of themselves. Seattle is missing that. What’s left are the ones who choose to stay behind whose life fits the city’s persona. Lack of responsibility, PC and liberalism are great but when your friends flake on you, let’s just admit, it ain’t great.

  25. Tom Linde Says:

    The rants just keep rolling in…

    I would like to figure out what the basis is for some truth in these opinions. But I find myself first just scratching my head at how very opposite these experiences are from my own (I was not raised here). Then, I find myself relieved that these individuals have gotten a ticket out of town.

  26. cattz Says:

    Bleh….why are people talking here about how Seattleites suck?–have you seen the….rains? THE RAINS. Would you think any creature could possibly have positive, warm disposition in this kind of climate?? Wasn’t it clear after several days here that any normal, sane being can’t enjoy life and remain sane in this environment? I’ve been here for a couple of weeks during rainy season (diligently investigating if I could tolerate WA while working for a big tech company–oh yeah I love PNW…in summer) NO. Hell no!! Have you seen the disgusting, maddening rain outpour? Grey skies, fog? I went for a walk after dark–the only thing that was missing was Jack the Ripper–and people wonder why many serial killers came out of PNW?? I figured I was going to kill myself if I spent several months in this hellhole. I love camping….being out and about…sitting on the ground under pine trees…relaxing on a mountain river…NOT HERE! NOT being soggy, drenched, wet getting mold on my gear! Composted like fall leaves….! No wonder, Gail you had fascination with death here….dead this place seems to be. And the whole “outdoors” thing…ahaha WHY do they say PNW people are outdoorsy? This is the best joke. Really, anyone can go camping especially for some serious camping when it rains so much? Sorry…no, people ARE trapped indoors here during whole Fall-Winter-Spring season unless they drive up to ski or are willing to be wet and cold. There’s no outdoors option here really, other than miserable camping in filth, or brief summer season. I’m ready for some sunny pine forest now! in California.

  27. cattz Says:

    PS: Seattleites spend way too much time trapped indoors–which is unnatural and very bad for mental health–also they have to breathe unhealthy air a lot due to this, which could be affecting their brain, as simple as that. A creature–human or animal–needs to be able to run around, be in natural settings–when deprived of this trapped in a stone cage combined with constant rains and lack of sun, the creature becomes evil.

  28. Tom Linde Says:

    Here is my own complaint about Seattleites – generally speaking, they’re pacifist to a fault. Here on my site, we have a growing thread of insanely bitter rants, and hardly an assertive response from anyone. I myself am not inclined to defend Seattle. It has its flaws just like any city but on the balance, I love it. I love the neighborhoods, the surroundings, the culture and its people. Except…well, they’re kind of meek. I myself am tempted to respond to the postings above with something like:

    Leave, you angry, sanctimonious jerks. Who’s getting in your way? Surely you’ll find some other sun-bronzed, self-satisfied, prickly, concretins* wherever you go. Together, you can blame everyone but yourselves for your own misery.

    Now, I’m a bleeding-heart social worker and so I assume there’s someone who can put together a counter-rant better than mine.

    One more thing for anyone struggling to find involvement here. In addition to the countless volunteer causes, organizations, clubs, movements and so forth, be sure to try Meetup.

    *For the origin of this word, see the fourth paragraph here.

  29. BigJake Says:

    Seattle is beautiful with a lot of stuff to see and do, but it gets very depressing after being there for awhile. Most people seem very unhappy and antisocial, but if u ask them they would probably say they love Seattle. Thats just because they have found a way to comfortably disconnect. The culture is greatly affected by the masses of people working for software development and tech co. It’s fairly easy to depict if u think about it. Those are soulless jobs. They can tell u about writing a line of code, but I doubt most could change their spare tire. Plus there’s so many transplants from Asia and India its no wonder everyone seems so disconnected from themselves and reality! People are fundamentally different. So you get the best and the worst: a beautiful city full of a bunch of people making great money with an annoying sense of entitlement, passive aggressiveness, and depression. You might almost call them whinny little bitches. Seattlites also like to be social activists, although it seems to come from some odd form of narcisism. The only thing I can say is give Seattle a try, but don’t stay too long. Make some money and go back home.

  30. Liz D. Says:

    Occam’s Razor, Tom Linde. You are from Seattle, and you are being really mean and rude on this site, where people are saying that people are really mean and rude here.

    Just a thought: Maybe so many people from so many different places report that Seattle is different than other places because it is different than other places. For one, I have been very fond of the places where I’ve lived, but I would never think it is appropriate to act the way you have toward someone who didn’t like that place.

    If you want to know why people think Seattle has some very unfortunate social norms, you should look in the mirror. It is unfortunate that you think it is ok to act this way, and it PERFECTLY illustrates why so many people feel sad about living here. Myself included.

  31. Thomas Bradley Says:

    Unfortunately, I agree with the majority of the negative posts… I’m a lifelong, 42 year resident, born and raised in Seattle.

    Now, there are positives. While in the Army, I spent considerable time in Missouri, Texas and SE Arizona. I enjoyed my time in all the places, but sure as Hell would NEVER – like EVER – live in Missouri or Texas. Besides the weather and humidity, and the general lack of scenery, the ‘thinking’ in these states seemed to be 20+ years behind Seattle. Almost like Pleasantville.

    Seattle is very vibrant in its ‘thinking’. Overall, its creative (not in the sense of arts), progressive and active. Most importantly, it’s innovative. Always feels like a new idea is coming up.

    However, I, too, have wondered for several years now just how much my overall quality of life, mental attitude, and ability to live in a creative rather than survival state, is being impacted by the weather.

    I’m not going to blame the weather and environment as the cause of any issues I’m having, that’s ridiculous and makes me a victim rather than a creator. But, I’m naive if I don’t say they make an impact to some degree; the fact that I even consider they might reveals as much.

    I find myself longing, much more frequently, for sunny skies/weather. My brother couldn’t take the rain any longer, and move to Southern California years ago. He loves.

    Yet, I have another sister who returned from Northern California a few years ago; tired of the heat and environment. She really enjoyed being home for the first few years, but now the weather is wearing on her, too.

    And another who’s in Indiana… who HATES living there. People are VERY nice, but she said it’s like living in the 1970s; or like Leave it to Beaver. Same things, same people, decade-after-decade. No progressive thought, creativity or tolerance. Very rigid and almost cave-man like mentality.

    Growing up here in the 70s-90s, there USED to be a very strong sense of culture, community and kinship in Seattle. That’s all gone. Community does not exist here.

    The transplants started coming here in the 80s for Boeing and Microsoft work. We called it the “California Invasion” because so many SoCal people came here.

    Now, as of a few years ago, close to 60% of the Greater Seattle areas residents are transplants. This is good for the sharing of ideas, creative spirit, and what not. But, its’ terrible for building and maintaining community. No one is ‘from here’ there’s no sense of ‘home’ that used to exist.

    And, I agree with the difficulty in getting to know people. It’s labeled ‘The Seattle Freeze’. It’s really odd. People are passive-aggressive, won’t say – directly – what they want or need, but bitch when they don’t get it. And NO ONE makes eye contact! You can pass 40 people on a block and no one will look up; if they do, they glare. And God forbid you smile at a woman who’s walking; she’s liable to drench you in pepper spray!

    All that said, we live in the U.S. So, we’re free to live wherever we want. If it gets to the point where I literally can’t tolerate the weather, I’ll move.

    But, the past few years, I’ve found that flying somewhere – anywhere – for sun for 4-5 days at a time, 2-3 times a year, REALLY helps. Mexico or SoCal. And, I’m not a big spender. These trips cost me less than $1,000 each. So, with proper budgeting, it’s not hard to manage; hell, it’s less than a monthly car payment!

    And, after visiting more and more places (recently San Diego, Phoenix, Toronto and Denver), THE MORE I REALIZE how many great things there are about Seattle. (Side note: people raved to me about Denver and Colorado for years before I recently spent time there over 3 visits. Maybe the buildup in my head of some type of utopia was at play, but I just don’t get the hype. Yes, it was sunny. But, after 4 days of being landlocked with NOTHING around but flat prairies and mountains, albeit beautiful, that you can only look at, I felt land-locked and could NOT wait to return home. Same with Phoenix… EVERYONE stays inside for more than half the year; yes, it’s sunny, but none of them see it, directly.)

    I’ve followed this post for more than a year now and thought I’d share experience. Hopefully it helps someone.

  32. christine Says:

    YES, Seattle is VERY depressing! And for any who disagree, they are in
    denial, yes that means you too TOM LINDE.
    I’ve found that the problem with this place is that it’s deceptive.
    From the people to the actual place. Each is the same. It entice you in
    with it’s natural beauty, then chew at your soul with it’s weather and
    darkness. People do the same. Seattlites seem to be fit, well read,
    liberals with a care free attitude. That entice you in. But say awhile
    then you will find your soul being chewed up bit by bit.
    From their aloofness to blantant non caring attitude. I find most to be
    suffering from various forms of mental illness. I would say narcissism
    is a high one on the list.
    The coldness in the air and the coldness you feel from your “neighbors”
    is no coincidence. Seattle is a cold place. I am counting down the days
    until I am out of here.And might I also add, I’ve lived in quite a few places. Some not so
    good areas at times. But I’ve NEVER felt as unsafe as I do in Seattle!
    Honestly, my first encounter with the downtown area was unreal. I
    couldn’t believe all of the blatantly mentally ill and drugged people
    walking around in various forms of dress…from corporate looking to
    homeless. This place is full of mental illness.
    I believe mental illness is of the devil. The devil brings negative
    thoughts to us and they play out in our minds by what we allow inside
    of them. Seattle’s darkness is like a curse, casting mental illness in
    various forms on it’s residences causing the depression.
    It’s a boomerang affect. We fell isolated because we stay in due to the
    weather. We are human and all want that human connection, but when we
    try to reach out for it, it seems awkward because no one knows how due
    to being isolated inside. And while inside you are on computers or
    reading books and not having that physical contact with other humans.
    So the awkwardness remains in a rotated cycle. I have a neighbor
    outside of my window who sits at his computer ALL day. Literally…his
    wife brings him his dinner TO THE COMPUTER. I see this due to the fact
    that my only front window faces his window. Its a shame but it retards
    the growth of the human being.
    So the city feels like a bunch of people with childhood issues
    unresolved. As if they all was raised by narcissistic parents who never
    taught them how to be social or any manners.The coldness in the air and the coldness you feel from your “neighbors”
    is no coincidence. Seattle is a cold place. I am counting down the days
    until I am out of here. Also too, there definitely is a dark presence
    in the air here. The beauty of the city is overshadowed by the dark
    grey mass in the sky most of the year. The beauty that it’s residence
    have outwardly (most are fit) is overshadowed by the hollowness they
    have in their hearts for forming any meaningful relationships with
    anyone outside of their comfort zones.

    It feels like a cursed place. Although I tried to get my money’s worth
    from moving back here a few months back, I would rather forgo my loss
    and move back east where the people are real. If they disrespect you
    it’s not deceitful like it is here.
    This place feels like a Twilight zone movie where you are the only one
    in an altered reality. Ive alway’s been drawn to the odd and seem to
    love fantasy. But when you are literally IN a place that makes you
    question your own sanity, that cannot be healthy for your sanity.
    So to those thinking about moving here, be aware of all aspects of the
    beauty. This is truly a KALI state full of darkness with a brief
    percentage of sane people and few month of the light.

    And the poor children, there’s truly not much for them to do here. The
    ToysRUs store was taken out, and their camp programs are sky high.
    Museums are not truly child friendly as other cities. And for all of
    the vegan and animal lovers who big idea was it to put concerts in the
    zoo? Do you think that the animals really want to hear music all the
    time?
    And try complaining about someone here. Your’re bound to be the one
    accused in the end. It’s a city full of phony people, displaying human
    emotions but having something missing. Only a pocketful of people
    understand this and try to make a difference. Moat of them are
    transplants from someplace else also. So we’re not crazy to criticize.
    What we feel IS real, the people here are like kids lacking proper
    parental upbringing with attention and genuine love. They like it here
    because it is a place where THEY fit in. The problem is that they don’t
    change or grow because they stay in denial and keep living the lie. So
    we should move on. There is life and FEELINGS to be shared and had in
    other cities . And the truth is the natives would not be any happier
    than to see you go.
    Seattle isn’t at all what it seems to be. Just be aware of this when
    making your choices.

  33. Jim Says:

    I unfortunately totally agree with most of these negative comments. I came here from southern california about a year and a half ago. And though I didn’t have much of a social life before coming here(video games no life and such). When I arrived I vowed to change. I thought to myself “I finally want to turn it around, and change and have friends and leave the house a lot. So to start, I joined a martial arts gym, and also went dancing on sundays and a few other days of the week. I did this for several months, and guess what? I still have no friends. All of I have met so far are a few acquaintances at best. For a while I thought there was an issue with me, that there is something wrong with me or something. But now I know i’m not alone in this. The weather as well seems to grate on me. As of now I don’t have a car and it’s getting more difficult to leave the house when it’s like 20 degrees. Coming from california I’m not even adapted to the cold very well, and no matter how many layers I put on, it won’t do any good while spending 30 minutes walking to and waiting at bus stops.

    I swear this place is really fucking me up mentally. It feels like a dark hole I can’t get out of. I came here hoping to start over and build my life and i dentity. But instead, it’s simply sucking away whatever life and identity I have. I have pretty much given up trying to make friends here now. It’s no use. I’ve been told i’m a likable person by other people on many occasions, but being in this soul sucking society has made me doubt that.
    I don’t normally like to rant like this, but I feel i’m at my wits end.
    I just don’t know what to do now. I’m tied down here. At least every day I contemplate suicide now, this place has given me a state of gloom that my mind feels will never lift.
    Is the only other option to try and teach myself that I don’t need a social life? That I can work, come home to a dark house and spend all my days like that?
    And the weather just happens to be icing on the cake as well, not only am I alone inside of my house, but the freezing weather outside deters me from doing anything interesting on my own. Heh, unfortunately i’m not old enough to drink yet. Even then if I went into a bar, i’d probably be sitting alone while the cliques around me stare and refuse to let anyone talk to them except their friends who they have known since school. This is the loneliest place I’ve ever been in.

    I’m at wits end and it feels like there’s no way out. This city has killed me.

  34. Ruthie Says:

    Jim! Don’t give up hope! I’m a Californian living in Seattle since 1997 off and on. Yes its hard sometimes, but so is Cali. It took me a few years but I have met some amazing people here! And yes I’m on this site because yes the darkness is depressing. Just make sure to take vitamin D and keep getting outside. Winter is hard, summer is amazing. Hang in there! Or do what I do and travel winters somewhere warm…

  35. Sarah Says:

    Interesting posts! I’m from the Seattle are and have lived in tons of places across the country…most recently living in VERY sunny California. I think every place you live has good and bad to it but I do agree that if you don’t exactly “get” Seattlites, it’s hard to feel comfortable there. My energy level is considered fairly cheerleaderish/goofy in the PNW but people also really liked that about me because I was comfortable being the one to do all the inviting, organizing, etc. In California, I’m considered kind of weird if I feel like caving out for a few days and avoiding people. I think if you live there you have to expect less of what you might be use to getting back from people and understand that because of the lack of sun, they ARE, in fact, almost ALL, slightly depressed. This is why they might seem friendly when you meet them and then they don’t call. It’s not YOU. This is why they don’t always smile on the street and the energy feels LOWER. It IS. It DOES infiltrate into everything there. Even the restaurants are quieter! There IS no street festival/celebratory vibe that people from four seasons or all sunny weather are usually use to. It is MUCH easier though to have an understanding of this dynamic and to accept it. They get their energy from within, not from people or the environment.

  36. Sarah Says:

    Jim. It isn’t YOU. If you can’t move right now, please go to a tanning booth ASAP. TRUST me. It’s worth the ten bucks or whatever. If you have enough money for a light box, get one.

  37. Robert Says:

    Of all of the cities in which I’ve lived, Seattle is the only one where it seems that newcomers need a support group in order to cope.

    Seattle is a “tough city,” not in the way that economically depressed or crime-ridden cities are tough, but in a more psychological way.

    I’ve lived in Seattle for just over 10 years and was very close to moving away after the first two.

    Rather than rant about what I dislike about Seattle, here’s a little bit of what I’ve learned.

    It’s considered in poor form to complain about Seattle out loud at work, to neighbors, people you’re just meeting, etc.

    You’re not the only one who doesn’t like it here. There have been news articles in the local papers written about how much people who move here have a tough time with it.

    Other disgruntled transplants make lousy friends — mutual dislike of something is a poor basis for friendship. Ranting can be fun, but ultimately you end up reinforcing the negativity.

    Understand that sometimes the introversion you encounter is a forced introversion. Many of these people who are so stoic in public are highly talkative and opinionated among people they’re comfortable around. Also, the people who grew up here usually have plenty of friends and relatives here. They’re not usually lacking in social interaction.

    Take little at face value — many Seattleites seem to be of the personality type that reads between the lines — this affects both how they interpret what your intentions as well as how they expect you to interpret theirs.

    The Seattle may be liberal, but it’s also conformist. While stereotyping is considered non-PC, they still do a lot of it based on their own prejudices.

    Finally, another point to remember is: disliking Seattle is not a personal shortcoming on your part. We are all entitled to our own opinions and pursuit of happiness. Seattle happens to be one of those few places where people consider a complaint about the city, weather, traffic, etc, as an affront to them personally (maybe this comes back to people here reading in between the lines more often than not)

  38. Seattle is not tolerant Says:

    Seattle’s homegrown white and African American population adopted the worst traits of black, inner city, ghetto culture as a way to prove it is cool or to prove they have “strong” traits e.g. talking down to people, staring people in the eye supposedly to maintain control, being very suspicious of what a person is “about”, criticizing their cloths, going off on a person because of a minor slight or inventing a slight, escalating petty incidents, klan-thug-ghetto style fighting etc The lack of sunshine keeps this powder keg from ever exploding.Too many act like they are associated with a gang or have been in prison or are police academy flunkies who are the wealthy offspring of attorneys.Even gray haired white men who you might think had a lot of life experience and know how to read people correctly are ridiculing and antagonistic like this. The good part about this is that is all the negatives about Seattle will drive them away or eat away at their soul too.

    Bullies and smart asses are everywhere. At best they will make you uptight at worse they will ban together and commit an assault against you. There is nothing laid back about this and they drove all the relaxed people away and made the ones left too uptight to interact with each other. I was very outgoing when I came to Seattle and would approach a lot of people. Now, I will not even approach someone even when I can sense the person is not hostile. I lost all my confidence and drive.

    The lack of sunshine is not healthy from mid October to early June, the only way I have been able to cope with the lack of sunshine is to buy planes tickets to a place that has sunshine. The social scene at night is sterile, uptight, and ghoul-like with a potential for random violence which is why cop cars are driving by all the time/.

    Too many people are walking on pins and needles and many are explosive. Never in my life have I had so many random people “go off” on me unprovoked yet I always lived in larger metro areas. Most of the good-looking and truly laid back people who do not sweat the small stuff have left. They were driven out or preyed upon by the assholes or came to dead ends. The pot smoking, green BS is boring as can be. It is a 14 year old’s fantasy and mindset. Petty, juvenile. violent, drug using, ridiculing bullies and teasers well into adulthood.

    Seattle reminds me of the first few months in junior high where smart ass comments are thrown around or in high school where someone might try to bully you as far as they can and watch you squirm in discomfort (again a ghetto trait) Often the only people who seem normal to me are immigrants or people who were born in other countries.

    The only good thing about my time in Puget Sound was the outdoor activities I did during the summers The rest has been a total waste or my life. An old dying city in the east will not look at pretty as Seattle but you will feel so much better and more alive in it. and it will have sunshine and varying temperatures.People who looked like they would be ok to talk to are in WA are total assholes so I spent more time inside and gained weight.

  39. Tom Linde Says:

    THIS guy’s calling us intolerant.

    So sorry you had to put up with bullies and teasers and weight-gain, pal.

    It pains me read this, much less post it, but I decided to put up most everything I receive.

    I do think there is substantial truth to the “Seattle chill” social factor, but I would really love to see mature criticisms with an iota of empirical evidence. Not to mention some robust defense.

    Robert, thanks for the more balanced statement.

  40. Deirdre Says:

    First of all, many thanks to Tom for providing this forum. It can be very therapeutic to read what others have experienced.

    Next month, I will be leaving Seattle after living here for 20 years. As with any move after being in a place for so long, I’m feeling both anxious and hopeful about where I’m going and mournful of the things to which I must say goodbye. Seattle has much to recommend it. It’s truly a very beautiful place. There’s a certain rain shadow quality to the light here that makes colors clear and vibrant. The air is always fresh and the tap water is delicious. The parks system is a marvel, including the Burke Gilman trail, which is a treasure. Each place I’ve lived was mere steps from total immersion in a park environment. The very progressive, liberal politics here are well suited to my life values. Seattle is a big book reading town and, being somewhat of a bookworm, I can always find something to read just by browsing the shelves of our well maintained and stocked libraries. I’ve had no need for a car, spending most of my time as a pedestrian or riding the bus. For such a large city, I always feel safe here and don’t constantly fear that I could be mugged or molested when making my way around town.

    However, I must, for the sake of my mental health, move to a more welcoming, friendly and less reserved social environment. When I first arrived in Seattle, I noticed a certain reticence in the locals, most particularly in their humor. No matter how many jokes I attempted to make, no one ever laughed. Being a long-time fan of dancing in clubs or at live shows, I was repeatedly disheartened by the lack of, shall we say, joie de vivre at events that in my pre-Seattle experience would have given most anyone ants in their pants (& a need to dance!). A club full of folks standing stiffly with their arms crossed at a Bootsy Collins concert was a curiosity indeed.

    I would say that one of the consistent themes of the Seattle social scene is that relationships seem not to progress as they have when I’ve lived in other places. I’ve tried taking classes, joining clubs, becoming a regular at local taverns and coffee shops, and going to public recreation centers to no avail. Over and over again I’d feel that I’d made a connection with someone, only to see them later and have my happy greeting be met with a blank expression. Also, despite being a years-long regular at businesses in my neighborhood, and no matter how many times I see the people who work there, my friendly hello’s are never returned with familiarity.

    Even though I’ve been married to a local for ten years, I’ve noticed no change in my social situation. In fact, on more than one occasion, someone we’re acquainted with has lived mere blocks away and yet did not ever stop by for a visit, and our attempts at making plans went nowhere (the eternally postponed social engagement).

    I understand that not everyone experiences these difficulties. I also understand that I bring my own social issues to any situation that I encounter. But I’ve decided that it shouldn’t be so hard. I don’t see the benefit of being in a place where one must try so hard to break into being accepted as a “friend for life”. I don’t need to evaluate, or be evaluated by, every person as worthy of undying loyalty and friendship. Someone whom I just talk to at the bus stop can play an important (and necessary!) role in my social environment. At this point, I just need everyday friendliness to bless my days.

    So anyway, while I mourn the loss of a beautiful, tolerant, and intellectually progressive place, I just can’t go on like this.

  41. Victoria Says:

    First, I want to say that reading all of the comments about Seattle has helped me to realize I am NOT crazy. I spent most of my life in Boston, which is supposedly an unfriendly city, lived in N.C. for 5 years and then took a leap of faith and moved to Seattle. Well, six years later, I am asking myself “what the hell did I do”?

    I am an extremely extroverted person and find the passivity of these Seattle folks to be mind-numbingly horrible. They have the charm of a cold fish. Must be their Scandinavian heritage..

    I moved here without knowing a soul and figured since I am so outgoing, I would have no problem. Wrong! I found a job right away, a nice apt. and then the boredom and solitude set in. The rain, the gray – the endless gray can really pull a person down. I could totally relate to the guy who said he would sit at the library just to be around people.

    I have 1 or 2 acquantances who happen to be natives of Washington but that’s about it. No tried and true friends like I had in Boston. Yes, Bostonians may take a while to warm up to you but once they are your friend, they are your friend for life. I found Raleigh folks to be super friendly also. Very warm and inviting.

    So, long story short: I am planning my escape. My deadline to get out of this place is March 1, 2014 to ANYWHERE but here. I will say though that Seattle and Washington state are sooo beautiful but there is more to life than scenery.

  42. Eric Says:

    As long your outgoing any city can be fun to live at I live in Los Angeles had steady job hated Los Angeles and the few people I meet…don’t get it wrong either I did have some good times as well. With me going to school will make Seattle and easy adjustment. When your not working or on fix income yes any were can be boring and depressing.

  43. Chelsea Says:

    I’m a born and bred Cascadian (from south King County), going on 23 years come August. I only moved up to the city last August and haven’t yet formed my own social group – it’s my own fault though, considering I’m a huge homebody and never was much of a social butterfly to begin with. My brother lives nearby, however, and I have enough people to hang out with so as to get enough social interaction in order to stay sane.

    I’m reading all of these comments and I find them all pretty disturbing. You all CHOSE to move here. Why didn’t you do any research or figure out if this place would be right for you? It seems as though all any transplant likes to do is blame us locals.

    The reason we ask where you’re from is because we’ve become jaded by all of the transplants. This city is TOO SMALL. Ever since the 80’s when Californians began swarming up here (my father included, though not to Seattle itself), the true heart and soul of this city began to rot and die. Now, more than half of this city is populated by people who weren’t even born here. Of course the locals don’t want to be friends with you all, we’re becoming the minority so we want to stick with our own kind. Call it xenophobic, but stop coming here. Honestly, why do you think there’s a longing of Cascadia around here? We just want our city… our region back! You have THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, why do you have to come here?

    Sure we’re all depressed, passive-aggressive, liberal, atheist, fake, whatever. But it comes with the territory. Don’t like the weather? Don’t come here. We’ve grown up with it our whole lives and it’s molded who were are.

    If you’re going to move somewhere, do your fucking research beforehand and then conform yourself. DO NOT expect the city to change for you, because you’re just another annoying transplant who hates living here. We’ve heard the same sob story over and over again and we don’t give a shit.

    That’s not to say Seattle is without its faults, every city has them, but damn. Maybe try looking from our perspective before lashing out. The sooner you all leave, the better this city will become.

  44. ScrewSeattle Says:

    Seattle is a horrible and depressing place. We have lived here for 8 years and we are moving next year to Colorado after traveling there and falling in love with the cities of the front range and 300+ days of sun. We have made many friends and though it took us more than a year to feel fully acclimated, the weather is a slow grind on you that eventually takes its toll. The weather, lack of sun and cold DARK winters and not seeing the sun for months (yes, months) on end will have a profound and negative affect on you. Take all the friggin vitamin D and your stupid ‘sun lamps’ (how pathetic is it that you actually may need one of those). It is a proven psychological fact that people living in warmer, sunnier climates are happier on the whole. Honestly, If it weren’t for Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing and Starbucks, I don’t believe anyone would actually live in this wretched place. Do yourself the favor of a lifetime and move somewhere with more (REAL) sun.

  45. Kathy Says:

    Wow. These were pretty interesting comments.
    I was born in Seattle and have been living here my whole life.
    And to be honest the descriptions of these “Seattleites” was a point blank description of me. wow. go figure.

    What prompted me to post a reply to this thread was not to argue with the angry/depressed rants about Seattle because anybody who found/read/reply on this thread is generally by default angry/depress people living Seattle. Hell I fall into this category.

    What surprised me was the grouping that all of the locals are just like me.

    I am an introvert, I drop off the earth for months, I read and spend time with my PC all day and I love it.
    But everybody around me ranging from my family, friends, friends of family, and even strangers I meet – have found my way of living strange.

    I have concluded after years of introspection that I was part of the minority. That the majority of the people – and please note that I have never lived outside of Seattle – are highly sociable and do indeed carry their phone around to talk to their friends. Mind boggling isn’t?

    In fact just to reinforce my point, my brothers have invited a group of his friends over to go swimming in my backyard right now and I am so very tempted to tell them to get the hell out of my house and leave me alone.

    So I suppose what I want to conclude is the majority of the people in Seattle are by no means socially retarded. In fact in my eyes they are pretty friendly and seems to be connected enough to hang out in a pairing of 2 or more over the weekend.

    But this is coming from a person who loves Seattle gray and rainy days .

  46. GuidanceSeeker Says:

    I’m thinking of moving to Seattle because I currently live in a small northern CA city, which is a very pleasant place to live in general – esp. if you have kids and/or you’re a retiree. Neither of which are me. There’s also LOTS of sun here.

    I’ve been here a year and I’m in a dead-end, low-paid job, so I want to move on to a place with more people my age (late 20s/early 30s) and more career opportunities. Seattle has been one of the top places I’ve considered – as a good place to hopefully lay-down some roots.

    But I do have clinical depression and I am originally from the warm, sunny (weather and personalities) South. I left the South for MANY reasons, but now that I’m out here in self-reliant/keep-to-yourself NorCal, I will say that I’m missing the friendliness, the more approachable way of people down there.

    So I’m feeling really doubtful that Seattle will fit well with me. Years ago, my psychiatrist rolled his eyes and grumbled disapproval when I said I was interested in moving to Seattle. I know the weather really sucks for about 9 mos. out of the year – and I’ve been there for several days in December and by day 2, I was feeling lowered/muted internal energy (I think from the constant gray and cold). And now to read all these posts that the prevailing culture is cold and flaky and withdrawn – I certainly don’t need that as a newcomer looking to move specifically for social reasons.

    I wonder: are those who’ve posted here just ranting? Are you using an anonymous forum just to vent because you can? Almost ALL of these posts are VERY negative about Seattle. So I’m just trying to discern if this is a bunch of people blowing off steam about their social lives and not enough vacation time to get away from the gray, or if I should really heed the warnings about how the “social system” operates (or maybe doesn’t operate)…. Perhaps the fact that I have depression and want to make new connections in the place I move next – those are good enough reasons to steer clear of Seattle? Tom Linde’s feedback in particular – and others’ feedback – would be appreciated!

  47. Tom Linde Says:

    Thanks for writing in, GS.

    I do think that much of the material on this page is irrelevant ranting. I also think there is a kernel of truth to the “Seattle Chill” factor. The problem is, it’s darn near impossible to confirm or measure this thing. It’s also impossible to tell how much it may affect any one person.

    We know that there is a measurably higher rate of multiple sclerosis here than in many other places. This may even be perceivable if you meet many people and hear stories of their friends and relatives. But it’s highly unlikely that this statistical difference will affect any one of us personally. I meet and know many, many people who come to this town and who do not experience any sort of chill. They make friends and settle in just fine.

    A much more concrete factor of course is the climate. The winters are darker and wetter than in many other places. But does this cause depression? Or is it possible that people who are depressed become especially intolerant of the conditions and at the same time, find that it is something specific and tangible they can complain about in a socially acceptable manner? So the rain and darkness, as drivers of depression, perhaps get disproportionate “air time” in conversations. And because of this, the perception of their effect is magnified.

    Your challenge in moving here may be slightly different, and maybe even slightly greater, than your challenge in moving to any other new city, GS. But mainly, it’s the same: to make an “adaptation plan”, we might call it. In this plan, you might include some lines about what to do when depression hits and the plan itself seems to go out the window. This could happen in the warmest, friendliest of places and I wouldn’t want you to encounter the moment ill-prepared.

    If, by chance, you do come to Seattle, pick up some boots and Gore-Tex and be sure to take walks in the rain. And I hope you’ll give us an update!

  48. Trixie Says:

    Love this thread of comments. For those considering a move to the Seattle area, think long and hard. In fact, see if your’e determined to move here, try to rent for a few years first, so you get a full feeling for the place. Actually, I have to chuckle at people who have been in Seattle area for less than four years, who talk about how marvelous it is. It actually takes around four years to really FEEL the place you’re living in. Like a marriage, that’s the honeymoon period.

    Totally disagree with those here who try and paint the others who cannot make friends here, and are depressed in the PNW, as people who can’t make friends anywhere, etc. Trust me. I make friends everywhere I’ve lived… usually quite quickly. Here? Forget it. I’ve been here several years, and have no friends to speak of. Seriously… It’s the weirdest thing!! People stay in their house 9 months out of the year. You don’t see your neighbors the majority of the year. You are not out and about meeting people because of the weather. And frankly, most people look pretty miserable because it’s freakin’ drizzling 24/7 9 or 10 months out of the year.

    And it’s so true what others have written about making friends here. You meet people, and you talk for an hour, or your try to join a group with shared interests, and there is no follow up. You often provide your contact info.. and zero. Nothing. Nada. It’s like unless you’re in their little circle from church or work, you’re not going to make friends. It’s funny, I’ve sat at parties with people who complain that it’s hard to meet people, so you talk to them for a while.. then you never hear from them again. You invite people to a party. If they DO show up, they don’t reciprocate. This is totally unlike where I’m from. I was just down there recently for a while, and I was so amazed that people look you right in the eye as you walk by, and they say hello. Or they have long conversations in stores, etc. Yes, in California (which is far more polite and open than Seattle area.)

    I disagree with the original post here that SAD in the PNW is overblown. It’s very very real. And Seattle does have one of the highest suicide and depression ratings in the Country. You can’t know if you have SAD until you live somewhere with only 89 days of sun, with many days getting dark by 3pm, and so little light most of the time. Those 8 weeks of summer weather are not enough for most people. The problem is that Seattle is so far from the Equator, that the light is so far from Full Spectrum, that it’s washed out and undernourishing. You’ simply cannot get enough Vitamin D for the vast majority of the year. Who the hell wants to live in a place where you have to take supplements to keep from harming yourself? Or have to buy a fake sun light to sit next to? I was stuck here because of a relationship. But no more.. I’m leaving in a few weeks. Like the comedian once said.. “Seattle is like having a super model for a girlfriend, but she’s always sick. “

  49. Trixie Says:

    PS to Tom Linde- No. It’s not that people are depressed first, then move here. I have never been depressed in my entire life. Ever. I’ve been most often described as “Sunny” and outgoing and happy. Until around year four in this area. Then SAD hit me. Sorry, but people are made up of a lot of water, and when that water gets heavy in the air, it drags you down. Then without the full spectrum light, it blocks the release of feel good chemicals in your body. Add to that the melatonin disruption from the short and dark days, and it’s a real depression. I can actually FEEL when the rain has come back or the clouds have gotten dark, even without consciously seeing it (with the blinds closed.) So those who are acting like it’s the fault of the people who live here, couldn’t be more wrong. I have been back to sunny locations for a few months at a time, and I’m my old self. Humans were not really mean to live this far from the place of origin, the Equator.

  50. Lisa J Says:

    I’ve been here in Seattle, exactly three weeks and honestly I find the people quite nice and easy to talk to. I grew up in North Jersey, lived in Philadelphia for over 10 years and have visited countless cities both nationally and internationally and found those places to be filled with similar people; cold and standoffish at first and always prefer to be apart of some clique. I guess it’s just never bothered me. I’m an extremely outgoing person who will talk to anyone, anywhere. I smile at everyone that walks down the block, I hold doors for people and even if they don’t say thank you, I always say your welcome and have a great day. I never have an expectation that I will ever get anything in return and I do it anyway. I strike up conversations at the bus stop or in the food market and always greet everyone with a warm smile. In fact, just the other day, I had a great 20 min conversation with a woman who bought tea tree oil at Trader Joe’s. Maybe there is some validity to the rants in this forum, but, honestly, it’s not all that unique to Seattle, you’re going to find that all over. No one forced anyone of you to live here and no one is going to force you to stay you all have to feel comfortable in your own shoes, but make sure, you don’t expect anything to be different just because you move to a different city. People are people.

  51. Julie Says:

    Hm, I’ve lived in Seattle since 2008, and after having lived in many places between Germany and the US, I can safely say Seattle and the Pacific Northwest are the best. I don’t think people here are “cold”; they’re just reserved and generally don’t like to impose themselves on others. It makes them more socially passive, so don’t mistake passivity for disinterest. They aren’t so much self-absorbed as they’re busy, typically doing their own things and keeping themselves occupied without expecting other people to do it for them. Are they cliquey? Sure, but everybody I have ever known, anywhere, is cliquey. It has nothing to do with deliberately excluding people; it’s just that friendship takes time and investment to cultivate, and won’t be realized quickly or lightly. I could be biased however, because I have schizoid personality style and generally feel better alone anyway, but I just don’t see where the average Seattle-area resident is so bad. People here are far less influenced by things like popular religion and politics, they’re not superstitious, and they know how to balance pleasure-seeking and safety/responsibility far better than other populations I’ve seen. Back in Arizona, people are loud, aggressive, abrasive, inconsiderate, ill-mannered, and generally ignorant; most of them expect all people to be the same, and anyone who doesn’t fit the heterosexual conservative Christian mold is “wrong”.

    As far as the weather goes, I dunno… I lived for about 20 years in Arizona, had all the sun anyone could ever want, and I was constantly depressed, bored, misfit, and averse to most social interactions. The omnipresent blasting sunlight and heat made it nearly impossible to tolerate being outside, and the awful population was like “South Park” on steroids. I feel much, much better in Seattle.

    Ultimately in Seattle, virtually nobody *tries* to bother you. People don’t proselytize or attempt to convert you to their beliefs, though they might challenge you to explain why you believe what you do. Most people here just want to live and let live, which I find to be a huge relief after the last decade of terrible “identity politics” has done its best to ruin American society in general.

  52. anonymous Says:

    Hi, I’m a neutral party here who just happened to come across this interesting forum, and thought I’d try and add to it with a thought or two. From the number of posts just on this one site it appears that a subset of people genuinely struggle with aspects of the Seattle lifestyle. That this page exists, and that people have found it as a context conducive to expressing their turmoil, is a credit to Mr Linde.

    The irony is that this validation has come not so much from Mr Linde, but from those who struggle with similar difficulties about the area, and people have made the time to share their viewpoints. This being said, it is disconcerting that a mental health professional, bound to ethical principals associated with the field, would resort to condescendence (“Pal”), underhanded criticism (“Maybe you’ll find a sense of personal responsibility [in your new town]”), facetiousness (“Whew, one satisfied citizen”), rejection (“I find myself relieved that these individuals have gotten a ticket out of town”), self centered invalidation (“I find myself… scratching my head at how very opposite these experiences are from my own”), and arrogant assumptions cloaked in pseudo science (i.e. that “empirical evidence” can provide a standardized reality agreed upon as Truth), and insults (“Leave, you angry, sanctimonious jerks”). Mental health professionals as are all health care professionals bound by ethics to do no harm. While not outwardly injurious, these words, coming from an authoritative source, could be construed in ways that might be potentially harmful. Certainly, I would hope, a panel of Mr LInde’s colleagues would call into question at least a few of these caustic remarks, made to people who might not be contractually Mr Linde’s patients, but who are, indirectly in some measure (i.e.”Ask the therapist”), in his care by way of being invited to post on his site.

    I do hope those that read this do not take these comments as reflective of the mental health profession, and continue to glean some measure of support from the thoughtful and potentially validating comments that people have posted. Critical comments notwithstanding, at least this forum can be one place for some Seattleites to express their loneliness and frustration, based on the empirical evidence of their inner experiences.

  53. Tom Linde Says:

    Thanks, anonymous. Though your note is a tad harsh, the quotes remove important context, and I could quibble with some details, you’re correct that I myself was overly harsh in some instances above. I’ll accept that.

    My intent once or twice was at over-the-top parody, transparently satirical. Of course, if it didn’t come across this way to you, then it would not have with others either.

    Also, my being patently blunt was an attempt to counter one of a consistent themes in the criticism about Seattle, that we’re veiled; superficially warm and welcoming, leaving anything negative unexpressed except by our tendency to fade away from interaction.

    But the biggest problem is that it seems I detracted from the points I want to emphasize: that there must be truth in the consistent complaints aired here. Truth that is obscured by the rage and froth that we see in some of these notes. And which I want people to comment on, thoughtfully. I’d love to see more on what could the factors be that created a culture so many people experience as negative. How do we cope with this? And how can we contribute to a more positive climate?

    Sound OK?

  54. Anna Says:

    We moved to Seattle this year from Tennessee and are already thinking about leaving. However, while I have found the people here to be very reticent and standoff-ish, I haven’t experienced much outright rudeness the way most previous comments described. Coming from the Southeast, it is hard to get used to the fact that people won’t hold open doors or apologize if they bump into you, but it seems more thoughtless than intentional. The area where we lived in Tennessee had a lot of migration from the Northeast, and I found those people tended to be much more intentionally rude. And in the Southeast, we like to say we never meet a stranger, so here it is different when people seem to look past you instead of acknowledging you. Funny story, we were hiking on a deserted trail, but eventually passed another hiker. We said hello, and the poor person looked like he thought we were going to try to rob him or something and hurried past without replying.

    One striking thing, coming from the Bible Belt, is the lack of churches. Also, the Southeast is full of history everywhere you turn, and I miss that, although since this area wasn’t settled until much later naturally there won’t be as much history here. The weather is really our major issue. We knew beforehand that there would be dreary weather most of the year, but expecting it and experiencing it have been two different things. I don’t think I can get used to it. I complained about the humid summers in the Southeast and looked forward to what we expected to be nice summers here, but the dramatic temperature swings from 50’s in the morning to 80’s or even 90’s all in one day have caused a lot of respiratory problems for me. So I think we will stay here for a few years and probably move back.

  55. Gary Says:

    So here is my main gripe with Seattle. Seattleites strive to make a point whether it be about recycling, being hipster, liberalist or just an individual. But that’s all it is just to make a point. It’s fake, it’s as if this identity they want people to perceive them as is something they constantly try to live up to. I moved a year ago to start a new chapter in life. I wanted to gain more freedom and independence from my family. I have visited the place a few times and loved the outdoors and scenery. I failed to realize that the times I went were during the summer so having spent two years there I got the full experience of all the seasons.
    Already being a very social person, I pushed myself even more to try and reach out to people. I thought for a second maybe it’s something with me. But clearly after all these years of making tons of friends, I wasn’t the problem. It was definitely the “SEATTLE FREEZE”. I tried my hardest to love the place, really. The two years I lived there I have not made friends with one neighbor. I lived in an apartment complex and frequently saw people go in and out of their studios. I even struck up conversation with one guy who I thought would be a good friend. But that turned out to never happen. I’ve met people through a few people I know here and had made plans to meet for drinks or hangout and things would fall through. I’m the type to give people the benefit of the doubt and make up excuses for them. So these weren’t just a one time thing. I’ve given people several chances to make contact and made myself available.
    I chose to live in a part of the city that would be more open and be more social. This was Capital Hill. Well this place just swarmed with a bunch of introverts and people who were as cold as a winter’s day. I guess a lot of it has to do with the Nordic temperatures and personalities. People don’t want to sit and chat with you for hours in the street when it’s wet and 50 degrees outside. Even at grocery stores and markets, to strike up a casual conversation with the cashier and someone behind, people would have a blank stare and think you were some weirdo. Some even frightened by the fact that you would strike up any conversation out of the blue.
    Well I grew up mostly on coastal cities where there are many different cultures and different types of people. So I was always used to strangers commenting on your car, attire, or even the experiment you were putting together for dinner at Trader Joes. I would say I am a very outgoing person and I’ve tried everything from church groups, parties, social media and work places to make good friends or even date. Being African American and gay it was extremely hard to fit into a place that was already closed minded and not as “liberal” as the rest of US says it is.
    I’ve had a few things happen to me in Seattle, that have never happen in the most ‘segregated’ of communities and towns elsewhere. For example running down the street and someone locking their doors as you run past them. Or people being frightened when you talk to them just down right appalling. I mean we are in the 21st century here people wake up!!!
    So this is just the tip of the iceberg, I haven’t even begun to disclose part of my experience living here. Within the gay community there is a myriad of prejudices and introverts in Seattle. People chatting with me on social media and saying oh well I really don’t date black guys sorry you aren’t my type.
    Maybe my mind set would have changed about the place if I had met someone either a good friendship or perhaps a romantic partner.

    One thing I have learned though is a lot about myself after moving from there. I’ve learned that I yearn for social connectivity as we all do and that no matter the circumstances I still managed to not fall too deep into depression. I have met a few friends out there but mostly all from work. It’s a shame because the place is extremely beautiful and the atmosphere is like an old memory that’s hard to place. Seattle will always have a peace of my heart.

  56. Mookie Says:

    The Seattle suicide rate is much lower than Las Vegas, Denver, Albuquerque, Tucson, Colorado Springs, Miami, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Portland, Las Vegas, Sacramento, and other sunny locations. People who move there are suicidal probably had issues to begin with. A ranking of high suicide cities is published on the internet and elsewhere, Seattle is not even in the top twenty? So why do selected sunny places have a higher suicide rate?

    Suicide is a serious issue. Poking fun at Seattle thinking that it has the universe’s highest suicide rate is deceitful, uninformed, and laughable on many levels. People should stop saying “I hear that” and instead learn the facts.

  57. Amy Says:

    I was born and raised in Seattle, and I absolutely love it here, I will never move. Reading all the negative comments actually made me happy because we are tired of newcomers. So I’m glad you guys were miserable and now you’re leaving. Yay!!! Looks like “The Seattle Freeze” did it’s job. So to the guy who was wondering why hardly any natives are on here defending it – I’m sure many of them don’t want to. 🙂

  58. Sue Says:

    How sad, Amy. You are a prime example of the kind of people he was talking about. Way to prove him right. SMH

  59. Kimberly Says:

    I’ve never posted on a forum but, after a recent experience with a Seattleite, I feel very compelled to.

    I have never been to Seattle or Washington or even anywhere in the PNW. I’m from Michigan and have visited nearly all of the 50 states accept this corner of the country. I still plan to get to Oregon and Washington at some point in the next couple of years to enjoy its beauty but I don’t think I will ever choose to live there.

    Recently, I dated a young man from Washington who was attending a university in Michigan and it was the most bizarre relational experience of my life. Not because he was odd (though he was) but because he sincerely believed his oddness was the norm and that his worldview was predominant everywhere.

    As I read through some of the comments on this page, I am surprised to find that he may actually be the norm among his own people. He seemed to live very much in his own mind, preferred isolation, and he had a superficial liberal agenda. I say “superficial” because he didn’t actually seem to recognize that while he spoke as though he were a feminist, unprejudiced, humanistic, and naturalistic, I actually discovered that he was very misogynistic, prejudiced, absolutely inconsiderate and uncaring toward human individuals, and tried to induce spiritual experiences by using hallucinative drugs. I was so shocked! (Naturally I do not assume all Washington natives are drug addicts). He donned a facade that made him seem friendly, warm, caring, and open-minded but then (as one commenter has said of Seattleites) he just “flacked out” and attacked me in an extremely high-minded fashion.

    Honestly, I assumed that he was abnormal and that his narcissism was unique even in the PNW, but now I’m not sure. It seems that many individuals on this thread have gone to Seattle only to find similar types of people. While I’m certain that his personality is unique and some of his particular quirks are also unique, it seems that his falsity and high-mindedness are not. He definitely exuded intense pride and the idea that his people are the only people. This, to me, was his predominant flaw; especially since he so vehemently espoused open-mindedness. I found him to be the most close-minded individual I have ever met. And, honestly, I wouldn’t even say he was truly a liberal. I know a lot of liberals who genuinely believe that women, gays, and people of other races or cultures should be treated with respect and their beliefs are not superficial or surfacey. They are sincere!

    I don’t say all of this because I was burned by this young man or anything like that. In truth, I thought he was a beautiful person until he flipped a switch and got very strange–and I think drug use (including pot, of course) are largely to blame for this. But it seems that most of his “beauty” was a carefully (or culturally) crafted facade and I feel rather sorry for him as I do for anyone who has a closed mind. These people keep to themselves and miss out on all that the world has to offer with its many cultural differences, beliefs, practices, etc. It is a form of tribalism that excludes and ostracizes other tribes. I find that the most difficult people to be in relationship with are those who preach inclusion but actually practicing exclusion. This is what my young man was like and, according to him, his WA people are the same. (Amy kinda proves that point).

    But I can’t speak for Seattle as a city–I’m sure it’s lovely. I love the ocean and would like to visit WA someday. However, if what a lot of people are saying on this thread is true, then my young man is not unique in WA–he may even be the norm–and I would prefer to live somewhere where people are friendly, truly open, and not surfacey. I’m actually leaving Michigan because, while the people are pretty friendly here, it can be a bit insular as well, the winters too long, and the economy defunct. I’m ready to try a new place!

    I’ve done my research and decided to live near my sister in Texas. Nowhere is perfect but I’ve been to Texas many times and can honestly say that you can’t beat Texas friendly. And, while Texas has a bit of a conservative agenda, I’ve always found Texans to be open-minded and less judgmental than my WA man. And, of course, there’s Austin! I think I will eventually end up in this gem of a laid-back, open-minded city. So, for now, WA remains a place I will visit but not likely a place I will live.

    Sorry Seattle! Don’t hate you, just want better peeps!

  60. Rachel Says:

    Amy, you’re a douche. An ignorant douche.

    I spent time in Seattle in 2001. The people were friendly. Technology hadn’t consumed the lives of everyone at that time.
    The “Seattle Freeze” is national in 2016. Technological advances have made it such. People would rather meet via online instead of traditional ways. People would rather stare at their phones than interact with others. It’s so bad that people refuse to answer their cell phones. They’d rather be texted. That’s the world we live in now. We are the ‘Loner Society.’ The only way to reset values is catastrophe. Sadly, that’s how simple human beings are. It’ll take a national ass kicking to straighten people’s attitudes out. History proves this to be true.

    Take care, folks!

  61. Cara Says:

    Seattle is beautiful, and summers can be nice if the fog and clouds burn off by noon. Summer of 2013 it was so cloudy every morning and you didn’t see the sunlight until afternoon most days. The three other seasons are usually bad because there are clouds completely covering the sky all day. One year we did not see the sun for literally a month! Yes rain is more of a drizzle or mist but the fact it stays so long is the problem. I never thought of myself as someone who gets sad or depressed but after so long, you need a change. Beautiful at times but not enough for those who need sun. The schools unfortunately are terrible unless you can afford private or homeschool. Have to get far out of the city for better education for little ones. There is entitlement infiltrated everywhere and unfortunately this is only increasing in our entire country. The younger people aren’t being taught to work hard and do a good job for what you have and they are loosing work ethic. Just left after living there for over 25 years and have never been happier. If you’re not a liberal you won’t fit in and most I’ve tried to talk to are very closed minded if you try to speak your view. I am so happy to be out of Seattle! Good luck!

  62. Florence Says:

    And let me tell you: after living in the PNW for a while the behavior of the people here starts to affect your personality.

  63. Barbara Says:

    I’ve been “Sick in Seattle” for my whole life. So…here’s MY life. I get up in the dark, spend an hour of driving to my office 12 miles away. TWELVE MILES…do the math…a two hour commute for a round trip of 24 miles. So the start of my day is driving an hour in the dark. The end of my day is driving home in the dark. I have an “isolated” office because most of us are in the office part time to do paperwork and then out driving again. So, I rarely see my co-workers. Heaven-Forbid I say “Hello” to another person working in my building because they look at me like I’m absolutely crazy. Mentally ill people all around and homeless people shooting up in our parking garage at work. I’ve been told by my bosses if I see someone using drugs to stay in my car when I get to work and call 911. My bf works nights so I’m home alone with no TV reception because the antenna doesn’t work in the rain. I have zero energy for 9 months out of the year. I got off work yesterday it was sunny I was on top of the world, the rain came in and clouds and I was immediately rendered immobile I’m laying on the couch under an electric blanket. I use a sad light in the mornings and I have to take antidepressants to live in this city. I feel like depression is ruining my life and my career. Every weekend I try to get out and ride my bike for exercise but it’s so rainy I can’t even force myself out of the house. Yes, it’s amazing in the summer and such a beautiful city surrounded by mountains it’s truly stunning. I am so done with my life here I feel like I just wasted more than half a century of living in the “dumps”. The Seattle freeze is real people please don’t move here if you have depression it sucks the life out of you…there are a few that thrive here or seem to anyway. I’m so over this dank, dark Black Hole called Seattle. Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Fatigue, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder and Brain Fog are my symptoms… none of which I feel in the spring and summer time. And yes I take vitamins and supplements and 10,000 i.u’s of vitamin D…it helps. Signed, Sick-of-Seattle but have loved ones here so I’m stuck.

  64. Lindy Says:

    Reading these posts, It makes me reevaluate the time I have spent in Seattle, seeing relatives there. I’ve discovered there are certain times of the year that are best to visit. From my experience, June is the best time, and September is okay. December is dreary and depressing there in particular; however, bringing a light box one year, did help and I arranged my visit, to coincide with two sunny days, and it worked, but the last two days were drab, dark grey skies starting at early as 1 or 2 p.m. I’ve made a decision not to relocate to the PNW. I live in Wyoming.

Leave a Reply

Tom Linde M.S.W.
PO Box 28186
Seattle, WA 981189
Tom@TomLinde.com
Seattle Therapy and Counselor Web Design by
Aldebaran Web Design Seattle
AAMFT AABT