The Seattle Freeze is a social phenomenon in the Puget Sound area. Basically, it means people will disregard ordinances, laws or public statutes and in general be a ass and sneer at others in public -- or give them the cold shoulder. People who are very committed to perpetuating the Freeze will ignore crime or fail to report crime; become belligerent with police or refuse to render aid in a accident or emergency situation, pretending it's not happening. Interpersonal contact is forbidden in most social situations. If you are at a party of Freeze-goers and do not meet the behaviour requirements you will be targeted with belittling remarks, insane xenophobic stares and extreme passive aggressiveness. Freezers also crave opportunities to leave quaint notes and reminders everyplace to make sure you comply with their absurd lifestyle expectations. At the workplace the Freeze can be seen through managerial discrimination of not hiring people originally from Washington state; a policy of no conversations; general anxiety during meetings or projects; quick entry and exit before and after shifts.
The Seattle Freeze can be shocking and outrageous to newcomers, but is a joke to most people.
It's not that people here are unfriendly, they will hold the door for you and wave you into traffic and stuff like that, it's that everything is maddeningly impersonal. The attitude is "have a nice day, somewhere else". It's easy to get along but making friends is almost impossible. People will say they want to hang out with you sometime and look at you like a freak when you actually suggest something. People enthusiastically say they are coming to a party then don't show up. People are flaky and hard to pin down. Girls lead you on for weeks and snub you with no explanation. People are insincere. Norms of social interaction don't apply here. Most people don't like or dislike you, they're totally indifferent. Every interaction will be maddeningly superficial.
I was a popular guy at my highschool in another state. I had plenty of friends, dated regularly, and was outgoing enough to make new friends easily at parties. I went to college in Seattle and didn't make a single friend for over six months. I would go weeks with nothing more than idle chit-chat. Friends from highschool less popular than me were off having the time of their lives in other schools. The next year (my sophmore year) I was in a dorm with a bunch of freshman athletes from other states. We hit it off instantly and became close friends. We threw our own parties, we helped eachother with schoolwork, we would hang out and just enjoy the company, I dated one of the hotter girls. It was a normal college experience, and only because there were enough people from out of town who actually wanted to make friends.
Every. Single. One. of the people I know who re-located here from another state will tell you it's hard to make friends here. They may not know the term "Seattle Freeze" but they well know the phenomenon. The only people who will deny it grew up here, and even many of them acknowledge it.
A phrase that describes a local public consensus that states the city of Seattle and/ or its outlying suburbs are generally not friendly, asexual, introverted, socially aloof, clickish or strictly divided through its social classes, thus making the city/ area difficult to make social connections on all levels.
I was transplanted here six months ago from Los Angeles, and because of this Seattle Freeze I have not had a lot of success at making new friends.
Because I'm a loser and have no social skills, I'll blame my shortcomings on the Seattle Freeze so I can have something other than me to blame.
A superficial friendliness that greets newcomers.
When we first moved to Seattle people were so friendly. Then when we would try to get together, nada. It's that Seattle freeze.
What obnoxious out-of-toweners call it when we cultured, refined, artistic Seattleites feel annoyed and bored of them.
Oh my God I was so popular in Sticksville, why is everyone trying to get away from me? Seattle Freeze must get everybody. What, they're hanging out with that person? They don't seem very fun and loud compared to me! Must be a clique.
The disdain Washingtonians have for invaders from other areas who show up and turn our trees into houses and clog our roads and freeways, yet want us to be friendly to them and cheerful about it.
"Hi there. Nice to meet you. Now go back where you came from." That's the Seattle Freeze for you.