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Author Topic: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)  (Read 4620 times)

kurtis

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What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:39:26 am »

Hey,

I don't intend to be cruel and generalize every person in the entire state, or region, into a set of stereo-types. Please accept my apology if I insult anyone by asking this question :)

What are some of the general characteristics of people in NH? I've seen statistics, such as education and crime, but I'm not quite sure about culture or interpersonal relations. I've tried to search the web for more information and I know that doesn't count for anything compared to simply meeting the locals. I assume that I may not be the only person who is unfamiliar with NH and this may (hopefully) be helpful to others as well.

Descriptions I've seen of people from New England, regarding their personalities, include 'reserved', 'nice', 'not outgoing', 'helpful', 'mind their own business', and 'hard to become friends with but friends for life once you do'. Some bad descriptions may even include 'cold', 'not welcoming to foreigners' (although that could just be a particular few person's experience), and 'lived here my whole life and don't talk to any neighbors except to bring thank you cookies for plowing my snow'.

Appearance-wise (I don't mean genetically), I'm *assuming* people in New England are pretty clean but tend to dress in anything from Flannel to what you might see (in my case, through pictures) in Boston (more "proper" attire or whatever the best description would be).

A few things I'm curious about include: Popular pass-times, work ethics (I imagine to be very strong), fitness, free spirited vs extremely dedicated and goal oriented, etc...

I'm sure there's a whole lot more differences people between in NH (New England, in general) and the places I've lived and seen (Ohio all the way down to Florida and a little bit of Texas). I also imagine, just like anywhere, that people are very different individually and its hard to characterize NH as a culture, in general. At least I know I would have that problem with Ohio.

My objective is to get some feel for whether or not I would fit in and be happy there with the locals/"natives", regardless of socio-political beliefs. As said previously, my intentions are genuinely based off curiosity and I don't mean to cause insult. Thanks a lot!
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crossonscout

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 05:02:39 pm »

I've grown up in New England and lived all over the place at various points in my life, including much time in the south when I was in the Army.

The best way to characterize New England is that there's a special kind of bond between New Englanders that you don't seem to get elsewhere. Yes, we're very impatient and fast paced, tend to stick to ourselves and our circles of friends, all the typical stuff you hear about New Englanders...

But there's a special bond for the type of rugged weather / lives we live here in New England that sets us apart from other geographical regions in this country... When I've traveled and I met a fellow New Englander, we tend to immediately share a special bond - the kind of thing where you just know the other person knows and has experienced much of what you have at 'home'... I don't know how best to put it into words, but it's special. I've even discussed it openly with strangers I've met who were also from New England and they agree, there's just something about being from New England.

Anyways, the things you've stated are true. It's hard to just make tons of friends, New Englanders will probably look at you funny if you wave and say HI enthusiastically just on the street, but if you find some common gripe such as, "Man this weather really sucks eh?" that'll usually get the conversation started, or if you're kind enough to hold a door open (which a lot of people do, and some don't as with anywhere you go) or do other kind things like this... Shoveling snow is a good example. Many times I've taken the time to clear snow off a neighbor's car or clear their walkway, etc. (This is becoming less and less with how lawsuit happy people are these days)

In the south, everyone seems so friendly and has so many friends... from my experience, but the friendships and relationships seem to be extremely superficial in general - again from my personal experience... This could be due to a number of reasons, but I feel like part of it is the geography, when the weather is so nice all the time, it's easier to just go out all the time and meet lots of people and it also leads to a much better "mood" overall in people - probably due to more sunlight exposure and warm weather... But up here in New England, we tend to have to huddle in and we will visit each other during the terrible weather and 'weather out the storm' together and things like this that cause us to get to know each other so much better... Just think about the fact too, that it's not so easy to just go out on the town when there's a foot or more of snow and more falling, you tend to just hunker down at home with hot chocolate and movies or games or something. This is something lacking in much of the south, I feel like.

Again, this is all my personal opinions / observations - but I'm a born and raised New Englander so I think I've got a pretty good handle on things here. :-)

Just as with anywhere you go, there will be people from other areas and there will be people from all walks of life, so there's never a blanket statement that applies... but I certainly understand and empathize with the tone / request of your post, so I figured I'd do my best at answering.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 05:06:39 pm by crossonscout »
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"When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act." - Why The Gun is Civilization

Liberty603

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 05:21:43 pm »

I think it's a fair question. I can understand that not everyone is a position to immediately come to NH for a quick weekend visit, although there is no substitute for visiting in person, meeting people, and seeing things for yourself.

I'm going to venture that answers will vary based on who you ask and who they've had cause to interact with. There is certainly quite a bit of regional variation, there are different social circles, etc..  I'll give my brief responses to your some of your questions based on my own impressions:

Quote
Descriptions I've seen of people from New England, regarding their personalities, include 'reserved', 'nice', 'not outgoing', 'helpful', 'mind their own business', and 'hard to become friends with but friends for life once you do'. Some bad descriptions may even include 'cold', 'not welcoming to foreigners' (although that could just be a particular few person's experience), and 'lived here my whole life and don't talk to any neighbors except to bring thank you cookies for plowing my snow'.

There is some truth in here. I think some of these impressions come from the fact that people in New England tend to be pretty direct about things. They tend to state things as they are, without much sugar coating. Someone not used to this style of interaction might misinterpret that as being gruff. In some ways it is. On the roads, people tend to drive aggressively (especially in Massachusetts).

Despite that, I'd still describe people as generally quite friendly, welcoming, and neighborly. When it comes down to needing help... people watch out for each other. When I saw the UPS guy get stuck at the end of our street the other day, I ran down with a shovel and a bucket of cat litter, that is the kind of thing people here do. Whenever I have a flat tire or mechanical trouble, someone always stops and offers help, I have had people pick me up and give me rides miles of their way even though I was a total stranger.

Quote
Appearance-wise (I don't mean genetically), I'm *assuming* people in New England are pretty clean but tend to dress in anything from Flannel to what you might see (in my case, through pictures) in Boston (more "proper" attire or whatever the best description would be).
We have the whole range, everything from "People of Walmart" to GQ.  :)

Quote
A few things I'm curious about include: Popular pass-times, work ethics (I imagine to be very strong), fitness, free spirited vs extremely dedicated and goal oriented, etc...
Very broadly... I'd say strong work ethics, reasonably fit (again... varies!), a healthy mix of free spirits vs goal oriented.

I know that your question was mostly about New Hampshire in general, but you also might be interested in this post (written by a recent mover from California) on the liberty social scene here in NH.
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Liberty603

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 05:27:18 pm »

A couple other posts from that same blog:
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Delaware2

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 10:02:10 pm »


People tend to be very friendly, although not in the effusive, phony way you might encounter in California.  Generally, people are proud, they work hard for a living, but they're also friendly, although they will respect your privacy.  As for giving you cookies to plow their snow, that's ridiculous.  THAT'S A PAYIN' JOB!
The New England skinflint, that's a stereotype that leaves out the basic warmth of the people.  As my grandfather said; "The colder the weather, the warmer the people".  (All my grandparents were from New Hampshire or Maine or Massachusetts.)
   But you really have all types in New Hampshire, as with everywhere.  Fortunately, the culture of dependency has no home here.           
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crossonscout

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 01:16:26 am »

I think it's a fair question. I can understand that not everyone is a position to immediately come to NH for a quick weekend visit, although there is no substitute for visiting in person, meeting people, and seeing things for yourself.

I'm going to venture that answers will vary based on who you ask and who they've had cause to interact with. There is certainly quite a bit of regional variation, there are different social circles, etc..  I'll give my brief responses to your some of your questions based on my own impressions:

Quote
Descriptions I've seen of people from New England, regarding their personalities, include 'reserved', 'nice', 'not outgoing', 'helpful', 'mind their own business', and 'hard to become friends with but friends for life once you do'. Some bad descriptions may even include 'cold', 'not welcoming to foreigners' (although that could just be a particular few person's experience), and 'lived here my whole life and don't talk to any neighbors except to bring thank you cookies for plowing my snow'.

There is some truth in here. I think some of these impressions come from the fact that people in New England tend to be pretty direct about things. They tend to state things as they are, without much sugar coating. Someone not used to this style of interaction might misinterpret that as being gruff. In some ways it is. On the roads, people tend to drive aggressively (especially in Massachusetts).

Despite that, I'd still describe people as generally quite friendly, welcoming, and neighborly. When it comes down to needing help... people watch out for each other. When I saw the UPS guy get stuck at the end of our street the other day, I ran down with a shovel and a bucket of cat litter, that is the kind of thing people here do. Whenever I have a flat tire or mechanical trouble, someone always stops and offers help, I have had people pick me up and give me rides miles of their way even though I was a total stranger.

Quote
Appearance-wise (I don't mean genetically), I'm *assuming* people in New England are pretty clean but tend to dress in anything from Flannel to what you might see (in my case, through pictures) in Boston (more "proper" attire or whatever the best description would be).
We have the whole range, everything from "People of Walmart" to GQ.  :)

Quote
A few things I'm curious about include: Popular pass-times, work ethics (I imagine to be very strong), fitness, free spirited vs extremely dedicated and goal oriented, etc...
Very broadly... I'd say strong work ethics, reasonably fit (again... varies!), a healthy mix of free spirits vs goal oriented.

I know that your question was mostly about New Hampshire in general, but you also might be interested in this post (written by a recent mover from California) on the liberty social scene here in NH.

Great read on that blog post! :-)  I've had a similar experience so fear, though mostly online. I'll be coming to a couple events in Manchester st the quill on Saturday, really looking forward to it.

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"When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act." - Why The Gun is Civilization

John Edward Mercier

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 11:14:56 am »

Most of the population in NH wasn't born or raised in NH; so it probably feels like every place else.
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tortuga

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 07:12:12 am »

Most of the population in NH wasn't born or raised in NH; so it probably feels like every place else.
Yea I was just reading how the new governor is from Boston! of all places. Lynch was from Mass as well and the last native apparently left in 1997.
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2013, 08:45:48 am »

That's just a choice of whom wishes the position and whom the electorate is willing to seat.
Its like gauging NH Libertarian Party on seats won. They seldom have candidates for the seats in the Legislature that are lightly paid and compensated.
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freedomroad

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 01:52:52 am »

What are some of the general characteristics of people in NH? I've seen statistics, such as education and crime, but I'm not quite sure about culture or interpersonal relations. I've tried to search the web for more information and I know that doesn't count for anything compared to simply meeting the locals. I assume that I may not be the only person who is unfamiliar with NH and this may (hopefully) be helpful to others as well.

People in NH tend to be nearly the most intelligent, best educated and least criminally minded in the US. A traditional yankee is hard working, somewhat reserved, somewhat frugal and a live and let live type of person.

2/3s of the adults in NH aren't originally from NH but I'd guess at least 2/3s of them are from NE. Folks from Northern New England are more familiar with guns, less educated and rougher than folks from southern New England. Some people from the Boston area more likely to have an annoying accent, drive more aggressively and curse more. People in New England are notiably more physically active, better educated, less criminally inclined, less religious and more socially liberal than people in the most of the US.

People who frequent Boston and Portsmouth may dress better than many people in NH. Perhaps, people in Northern NH and western NH care the least about their appearance.

Quote
Popular pass-times
Drinking, winter sports, summer sports, being productive...

You will almost certainly fit in. Almost everyone will likely fit in. There are many people here and they are all different. People tend to get a long and if they don't, they just STFU about it.
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kurtis

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 09:13:33 pm »

Thanks everybody. You were all very helpful! And I agree, it doesn't sound hard to fit in at all. I'm actually glad to see that other people in the world aren't into their neighbor's business. That's a little rare where I'm from.
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Dooner987

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 08:25:06 pm »

I think we're quite swell thanks. Most of us are very friendly. We don't care for Massachusetts drivers but don't dislike the people in general. As long as you're nice, we're nice.
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Eric Freerock

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2013, 09:46:09 pm »

And when driving down back roads in the country (or walking along said road) be prepared to wave, a lot. :-)  I was visiting family back in September and passed a guy walking the dog who waved and was like "crap, I forgot about that, it's good to be home."

Dooner987

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 07:56:29 pm »

Yes. We wave. Not so much in the city but definitely back roads, and rural areas. Friendly folk. Downtown Dover, Rochester, Portsmouth, Manchester etc. people are just too wrapped up in their activities or destinations. On the back roads when you are driving along, you ARE the activity. People take notice, and just assume you are a local or whatever and be friendly.
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KBCraig

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Re: What are the people like in NH? (Opinions)
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 08:33:13 pm »

My wife was just commenting yesterday that the stereotype of the standoffish, taciturn New Englander must just be a fable to keep undesirables out.  ;)

The first time I went to the barber here, she talked my ear off.

We've never encountered anyone who didn't open right up if we start the conversation. What they don't do (which is very different from the South) is pry into your business and try to find out all your personal details.
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