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What is "Midwest Nice"?

  • 1.  What is "Midwest Nice"?

    Posted 8 days ago
    I went on a bit of a WBEZ rabbit hole this morning, which started as I was reading about the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire (that's today, btw). #nerdalert

    As I was clicking through articles and posts, I came across this episode of Curious City:  "What's the Deal with Midwest Nice?"​ Being from Minnesota originally, I've always heard of this as Minnesota Nice, but having spent most of my life in the Midwest outside of MN at this point, I'd agree that it extends outside of state lines. (I will say that I think those Minnesotans have an extra layer of Nice on 'em though. If you don't think so, let me introduce you to my Grandma some time). 

    Anyway - the episode (11 mins) wraps in authenticity and racism into the conversation, which was interesting to consider. My question for y'all though is much simpler: have you heard of Midwest Nice? And if so, whaddya think of it? Real or percieved? 



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    Stay awesome,
    Quinn
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  • 2.  RE: What is "Midwest Nice"?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi, @Quinn Drew! I learned that Midwest Nice was a thing when I lived in New York City for five years. Not only did I have the East Coast people I met constantly telling me "you're so nice!," it was also evident that New Yorkers had a tough edge and abruptness about them that my even my urban Chicago upbringing didn't give me.  I'd tell my friends back home, yeah, New Yorkers are "rude" because they have to be! So many people on a narrow strip of an island (and densely populated area all around Manhattan) duking it out for space and visibility. No wonder they push past you with no mercy! It's a fight for survival. lol!  (I actually love the directness New Yorkers have about them. You always know where you stand!) So, in comparison, I believe there's a Midwest Nice; we can afford it because we have a lot more space to give and live. ​

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    Maria Mooshil
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  • 3.  RE: What is "Midwest Nice"?

    Posted 2 days ago
    If you're interested in how niceness may mask other things, I am signed up for a webinar from a group called Whiteness at Work about transforming the culture of "nice" in an organization. 10/18. 2 pm CT, free.

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    Amy Finkelstein
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  • 4.  RE: What is "Midwest Nice"?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Absolutely, @Maria Mooshil! I moved to Long Island to work at Stony Brook University for a few years and had a very similar experience. I had a full day of interviews, and as the day went on and I interacted with more folks, I fully expected that I wouldn't be hired. Our conversations were short, direct, and to the point. To my shock (and delight!) the hiring manager came in at the end of the day to say that everyone enjoyed their conversations with me and they offered me the job. It took me about a full year to begin to understand the differences between communication styles, but I'm really grateful for that experience! And I appreciate your perspective as well. Thanks for sharing!

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    Stay awesome,
    Quinn
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  • 5.  RE: What is "Midwest Nice"?

    Posted yesterday
    @Amy Finkelstein Thanks for sharing this webinar. I took a peek at it and was pleased to see that Desiree Adaway is one of the facilitator/panelists. Desiree managed the Grants area at Rotary many years ago. She left Rotary to work for Habitat for Humanity and eventually formed her own business consultancy.  I am sure it will be a captivating and instructive webinar.​

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    CMW
    Colette Martin-Wilde
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