“I wish I had known that this would be such a huge adjustment,” wrote Reddit user forthelulzac about moving from America’s northeast to the southern state of South Carolina.
The comment sparked a flurry of agreement from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Americans from the north and the south might be citizens of the same country, but, at least according to those who responded to forthelulzac’s lamentation, they’re from two totally different cultures.
“[Meeting someone from New York] was the first time I had literally no clue what anything a person said or did meant. I couldn’t tell how he felt about anything,” wrote southerner multirachael by way of explanation. “For Southerners, everything, everything is in the subtext.”
Southerners have a complex system of rituals and social cues, she explained, contrasting this with the more upfront north. “[I]f you come right out and say what you’re thinking, it’s considered aggressive, confrontational … If a Southerner labels you ‘rude,’ it’s pretty much the worst thing they can call you …”
“It’s about softening things. It’s about having a ‘nice’ society. It’s about making things ‘pleasant.’”