I was listening to a radio interview recently and the interviewee was asked about the tube system in London and said something along the lines of “I don’t want to be rude but unlike Southerners when we Northerners travel we’re friendly and like to talk to each other”.
And it got me thinking ….
Are we Southerners really “unfriendly”? I’m a Southerner and I don’t consider myself to be unfriendly, although I don’t do much chatting on the tube. So what is it that perpetuates this stereotype?
And after much thought?
I think it is because we have learnt to cope with the constant invasion of our personal space. There are very few situations where it is acceptable to stand so close to someone else that you are touching. In normal conversation if you met a stranger you would stand 3-4 foot apart, make eye contact and chat relatively comfortably.
However … on the tube your personal space is invaded by strangers with people standing intimately close to you.
This makes you feel uncomfortable and your reaction is to try to ignore what is going on.
And the easiest way is to “remove yourself from the situation”. I don’t know about you but I find that the best way to do that is by pretending I’m not there!
So I don’t think we Southerners are being rude! I think its self-preservation and next time I ignore you on a train remember, I’m on a beach in my imagination pretending I’m not there!
Do you take yourself off to the beach or do you think I’m making excuses? Let me know below.