Vieth on Navigating Social Isolation as a Newcomer in Minnesota

Grace Vieth

Minnesota locals are known for their “nice reputation”; however newcomers feel a sense of social isolation when coming to the state. Locals are willing to be friendly but do not follow up afterward. In a recent StarTribune article titled, “Is it true that Minnesotans will ‘give you directions to anywhere but their home’?” Grace Vieth is quoted on the reasoning behind this phenomenon. She expands on the idea that Minnesotas prefer long-term friendships, and when it comes to the long winters in the state, locals do not branch out as much since their existing friends already fulfill their social needs. Therefore, they are willing to go out during these cold times for long-term friends but may have some social anxiety when it comes to meeting someone new. Vieth states that it can be helpful to make friends with those who share similar interests through groups and organizations. However, it never hurts to try and make friends with Minnesotans during the warmer months when they are more likely to be outside.


Grace Vieth, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Social Interaction Laboratory

Composed by Madison Stromberg, communications assistant.

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