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Posted by: poopstone ( )
Date: July 11, 2016 10:17PM

Do Utahns lack grace and manners, why are they so personal?

Granted Mormon's, and people from the Beehive state, tend to talk softly and have a thing about "being reverent." They all go around either ignoring everyone or saying "sorry" all the time. Which can be interpreted by outsiders as being "nice," I guess? But is that really nice? Utahns have this thing about "being honest" they seem to be rather uptight and unable to use flattery because they don't want to fudge the truth. That's a sin of course!

Seriously, am I alone in getting asked personal, intrusive questions in "quiet tones", especially by tbms? I lived in Georgia for a short time and remember folks being welcoming, using a lot of sugary words to strangers, I always felt comfortable. They seemed to be aware of personal boundaries in that state.

Here is an example: I hate getting asked "how old are you?" and no matter how many times I answer (evasively) I get asked again! with different words. This has happened too many times to count.

Why can't Mormon's take a subtle hint what makes other uncomfortable? Meeting new people is like a game of 20 questions.

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Posted by: saucie ( )
Date: July 11, 2016 10:22PM

"Why are they so personal"? what does that mean exactly? Do they

ask too many personal questions or what? I can't imagine

anyone being so rude or classless. But I guess, that's Utah?

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: July 11, 2016 10:31PM

I guess you have to define manners. Most TBMs don't spit on the ground, cuss, urinate in public, etc. But, they will talk constantly about church from an insider's point of view; hold grudges against anyone who doesn't believe in the Morg; and judge anyone they don't deem as "worthy," unmercifully. The Boner

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Posted by: Pista ( )
Date: July 11, 2016 10:33PM

Every culture and region has manners and habits that others find off-putting.

Some places expect a big show of sweetness and smiles, no matter how fake. Others find that disingenuous and it makes them uneasy.

Some people, like yourself, find personal questions intrusive. Those asking probably feel they are showing interest in you.

My friends from Denver recently moved to the bible belt, and were shocked to be asked by everyone they met if they had a church yet.

Some Mormons, like all other humans, are rude. However, you might just be experiencing culture shock.

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Posted by: siobhan ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 08:16AM

Yes Pista it's a running joke around these parts! Almost always when this common form of introduction is used it's just neighborly friendliness.
But "So...what Churcya go to Hon?" when they are looking you up and down the longer the pause between So and What the more judgemental they are.

Manners in the South are so much a part of the culture you sometimes can't tell when someone is sweetly stabbing you in the back.

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Posted by: StillAnon ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 10:44AM

"Manners in the South are so much a part of the culture you sometimes can't tell when someone is sweetly stabbing you in the back."

Well....Bless your heart.

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Posted by: the1v ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 05:02PM

I spent years traveling to the southeast for work. When asked the inevitable "What church are you in?" questions I normally had a bit of fun with them.

"First church of Lucifer, we meet at the local bar." My preference for professional relationships. It got a laugh out of most of them.

Now as for the nosy busybody that you meet in the hotel lobby, grocery store etc...

"I'm a black sheep and like to think for myself."

And my favorite:

"None, I grew up and put away childish things."

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Posted by: dogzilla ( )
Date: October 12, 2017 09:50AM

And if your answer is "I don't go to church," then you will be immediately invited to that person's church. Because EVERYBODY needs a church to go to, amirite? I just smile politely (because I've been in the South for a long damn time) and thank them for the invitation. And then walk away, mumbling, "And bless your heart too."

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 03:06AM

They often think good manners mean no cursing, no spitting, and speaking in a quiet modulated voice. They say they're not rude when they show up at homes uninvited and when they ask personal questions or give unwanted advice. But those intrusions are more rude than flipping off a nun in my opinion. Mormons are passive/aggressive in their rudeness and they're in denial about it because they often don't know the meaning of words like manners or rudeness.

Ignoring social cues and normal social boundaries is rude.

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Posted by: poopstone ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 07:51AM

Exactly right. General acquaintances should keep conversation at a pleasant distance. Unless private information is shared, people shouldn't ask. But I have the suspicion that these kind of niceties aren't taught to or valued presently. Instead social custom is to say dang instead of damn, flip in instead of f***. Never raise your voice, no loud laughter. Ever had a priesthood interview?

Mormons can say anything at all if they are in a suit and tie, they can ask young girls about sex if they have a mind to, if it's asked in hushed tones that is. Where else in the country would they get away with this?

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Posted by: JohnJames ( )
Date: October 11, 2017 01:55PM

I agree Utahns are rude people Take the following examples: people stare at others, people don't know how to say you're welcome(they say uh-huh), people don't say excuse me, people are uptight, they drive selfishly, speeding up when a person puts on their blinker and they block store parking lot exits with no shame. It's pathetic.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: October 13, 2017 01:09AM

When you politely evade a direct personal question, the correct inference is "Oh. This person does not want to answer that. I need to move on to something else."

But not everybody was raised with the same rules. That's where it gets confusing. Some people see a polite evasion as a challenge to their right to demand a response, and get belligerent.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 03:22AM

I didn't notice that when visiting Utah in May. But then I haven't lived there since a junior in high school, 40 years ago.

When in St. George in 2015 didn't notice that either. No one asked me my age, for instance. That's good, but if they had, I imagine I'd wonder why they were asking (it would be none of their business, unless I volunteered it!) When you get asked that again just give em a blank stare, and ask whoever it is why does your age matter to them? (Or just say, "That is NOYB.")

Ignoring the question is another option, especially if it makes you feel uncomfortable or like from the sounds of it, is uninvited.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 08:25AM

I get asked my age all the time (by my students!) My response is usually, "I don't tell my age." Or I play with them and tell them that I am 100 years old, and don't I look great for 100? When they say, no really, what's your age, I say, "Okay, you got me. I'm 99."

Remember that just because someone asks you a question, doesn't mean that you need to answer it.

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 04:11PM

summer Wrote:
> I get asked my age all the time (by my students!)
> My response is usually, "I don't tell my age." Or
> I play with them and tell them that I am 100 years
> old, and don't I look great for 100? When they
> say, no really, what's your age, I say, "Okay, you
> got me. I'm 99."
That's a good one! I still find it hard to believe that anyone over 16 asks anyone else "How are you?" though. What a rude question!

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 04:12PM

NeverMo in CA Wrote:
> summer Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I get asked my age all the time (by my
> students!)
> > My response is usually, "I don't tell my age."
> Or
> > I play with them and tell them that I am 100
> years
> > old, and don't I look great for 100? When they
> > say, no really, what's your age, I say, "Okay,
> you
> > got me. I'm 99."
> >
> That's a good one! I still find it hard to believe
> that anyone over 16 asks anyone else "How are
> you?" though. What a rude question!

Sorry for the typo. I meant, "How OLD are you?" Obviously, "How are you?" is not a rude question. :-)

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Posted by: Bamboozled ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 11:04AM

My experience is that in general folks in Utah (Utah Valley specifically) have manners consistent with the rest of the USA. They are without a doubt the worst drivers I have ever seen on the road. Agressive, combative and sometimes just plain stoopid.

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Posted by: samwitch ( )
Date: October 13, 2017 11:36PM

Agreed; Utahns are the worst drivers anywhere! Most of them drive trucks, SUVs, and minivans, usually while talking/texting. I've never seen people anywhere else routinely use exit only lanes and even the shoulder to pass on the right like they do here.

They're rude in public, too. Big Mormon families cut into lines, push ahead of others, block store aisles while they gossip about church stuff, and let their kids run amok everywhere. To hell with being apologetic -- they act entitled.

The way they freely discuss other people's business loudly in public astounds me. They seem to have no boundaries and are fine with asking strangers personal questions, especially to find out if they are also Mormons. It still bothers me, even though I've been living here for years.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: July 12, 2016 11:12AM

poopstone Wrote:
> Why can't Mormon's take a subtle hint what makes
> other uncomfortable?

I think the answer is that "hint" and "subtle hint" are specifically characteristics of how Mormons have been carefully taught and socialized to act.

In general, non-Mormon, North American life, "hinting" is considered to be ineffective, manipulative, and ultimately weak.

One of the things NON-Mormons are often specifically (depends on the socio-economic group, to a large extent) taught to do is to NOT hint...

...but rather to be consciously aware of their own thoughts and feelings, and to communicate these thoughts and feelings directly to whoever they are trying to communicate with, with clear words, and with enough queries so that the person communicating is sure that the person being communicated TO clearly understands the communicator's stance.

There is an entire, connected, North American "industry" (psychology---including therapy...through human relations training given by employers...through general audience "training" via the media and "advice experts") devoted to a simple message:

"Be aware of what you think and feel...OWN what you think and feel...and CLEARLY COMMUNICATE what you think and feel to whoever you are communicating with...and then check to make certain the person being communicated with clearly understands your message."

I have often thought that one of the usually WAY underdiscussed challenges that Mormons face as they leave Mormonism is learning (usually, as adults) to NOT hint, but instead to CLEARLY COMMUNICATE (with words, most of the time) their genuine thoughts and feelings to whoever they are trying to communicate with.

For many years now, I have thought that learning to NOT hint must be one of the most confusing (and painful) lessons for exmos to learn, because this is generally not talked about in exmo groups (at least to my knowledge), and because Mormon culture as a whole definitely considers hinting to be a viable, honored, and often preferred general life strategy, both within Mormon culture and in life in general.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2016 11:30AM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: October 11, 2017 02:23PM

1. They show up at people's doors without calling first, sometimes when they've been told they are not welcome.

2. They ask personal questions that are none of their business.

3. They talk about their church to those who show no interest and sometimes when they've been told to change the subject.

4. They tend to judge others harshly just because those others go to a different church or to no church.

5. They want non-mormons to adjust their habits and language to suit whatever mormons favor.

That's five. I have more as needed.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: October 11, 2017 03:04PM

My boyfriend finds them especially irritating working here in Utah. I know nice mormons and rude mormons. My neighbors are genuinely kind people and have the best behaved kids I've ever seen. BUT I think one of the rudest people I've met in the past few years is a family member of my boyfriend's. I can't believe the things she has said to me and I won't even tell most people what she said. I didn't tell him for a year after she first said those things. He, himself, can be pretty rude.

So I think sometimes it does depend on the person. I was never one to talk to others about my religion. My parents didn't raise me that way. We never bought into the every member a missionary stuff. They just lived their lives. So we weren't raised that way.

And I do have to admit this neighborhood, for the most part, has been great.

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Posted by: Chicken N. Backpacks ( )
Date: October 11, 2017 03:49PM

Ooh, ooh, let me jump in with a cult observation: the members, having been put in the pressure cooker of that closed society, have their real feelings bottled up most of the time, because they are subservient to the cult, so they let it hiss and steam in odd ways...normal people let off steam all the time.

They would never dare hiss and steam about their great leader, of course...

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Posted by: belfastgirl ( )
Date: October 11, 2017 04:21PM

I am personally taken aback by the number of women here that have asked me without knowing me if my breasts are real! I do not have gigantic breasts but am very fit,little and shapely. I do not or never have worn low cut tops. I would never make a comment about anyones body parts other than saying they look good or thats a nice outfit. My husband plays senior softball at Canyons in St george, Utah and the things that have been said to me by the women there would fry your brain. Of course the women are usually heavyset with that Mormon housefrau look. You know the look. They never smile and are dowdy carrying at least 30 extra lbs. We live in Pine Valley Utah and the people there are always spying on your comings and goings and are very inquisitive about our life style. Snooping is a big thing here and we have caught neighbors spying thru our downstairs windows at night. Also when neighbors have thought we were gone they attempted to get in our home by our side door! We threatened a lawsuit and do not have problems now and really love where we live. We are actually quite conservative in our life style as we do not smoke,drink,take drugs and are quiet and stay to ourselves. This is mainly because we are quiet and partly because of how we have been treated. Utah is a very strange but beautiful place. The Mormons act bizarrely and we stay away from them but we have become friendly with some Mormons who are great people and do not preach or put us down. They treat us like human beings.

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Posted by: neverevermo ( )
Date: October 11, 2017 07:55PM

I could have written a lot of these posts--I completely agree. Utah has it's own special kind of rudeness. I've lived in a lot of places around the US and have met kind and rude people everywhere, but none so consistently similar as here.

To me it feels like some people are being nice because they're supposed to be nice, versus being nice because you simply are--if that makes sense.

And personal questions here come across to me like an interrogation--like someone's gathering information on you instead of taking the time to get to know you and finding out gradually. I also don't get why age and breast size come up as topics so often (I'm a woman). I get the sense that they think it's a way of connecting as women... but I always think--"I'm past puberty, why in the world are we talking about breasts?"

I also never answer questions I don't feel like answering.

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Posted by: postpostmormon ( )
Date: October 12, 2017 09:20AM

Haven’t lived in Utah or visited Utah for over 30 years but I do remember being appalled by the lack of table manners. Eating an entire meal with a spoon — really??? But table manners seem to be a lost art everywhere these days. I was recently at an Outback steak house and could not believe the caveman eating habits—stabbing the steak with a fork in their right fist and a knife in the other fist and then shoving it in their mouth with the with the fork, still in their fist. As my mother would say “no home training.”

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Posted by: ( )
Date: October 13, 2017 10:59AM

These are all very insightful and informative posts and accounts. after the original post from a year ago. Thanks for the good reads!

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: October 12, 2017 10:32AM

Twice in the past couple months, the stake young single adult representatives have come to the door, asking about our son and wanting to know his whereabouts. The first time, it was a mom and daughter that we've never seen before, and when they asked if he would be interested in attending, we told them no, he would not want to attend. One month later, RM's who were young single adults showed up and asked for our son. He happened to be visiting us and he politely told them he was never going to be interested. These folks just don't take no for an answer!
We went out to dinner with some TBM friends recently and of course, the conversation eventually turned to church stuff. They asked us what callings we have now and we told them the truth: We don't have any callings, which is fine with us! Utah does have some of the worst drivers in the nation, but I've seen some bad ones with Idaho and Wyoming license plates.

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Posted by: anon4this ( )
Date: October 12, 2017 03:03PM

I have a daughter who worked catering for an events center in Utah County for several years.

She commented many times that she preferred to work events for out of state businesses much more than in state businesses. She said that those from outside the state tended to be much more friendly and much less demanding of the wait staff. Out-of-staters often left large, unexpected tips. Locals didn't tip nearly as often or as much.

Her least favorite events were women's conferences attended by middle age and older LDS women. Apparently, women with soft spoken Relief Society voices can be demanding, nasty and downright mannerless.

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