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Small town social politics

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Old 04-20-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
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Default Small town social politics

Anyone else live in a small town?

I'm from one of the larger cities in the US. I'm not used to everyone being related to everyone else in one way or another. 5 years ago, I moved to a town of 1500.

I am shocked how many affairs occur. I'm shocked at how many people remarry and blend their offspring/families with people that to me, would be "off limits". I am shocked at how the same evil people start untrue rumors about others, destroying careers and marriages for alteriorand completely selfish motives.

Does this happen everywhere? Am I just stupid?

Yesterday, the village hater started an untrue rumor about my family. It had the potential to destroy, but we nipped it in the bud quickly and I think the fire storm is over.

I choose to NOT respond in any way. I will NOT confront the village devil. I'm above that.

But WTH is going on with this??? WHY?

What have been your experiences living in a small town as a transplant resident? Any advice?

Last edited by fitness4life : 04-20-2012 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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I no longer live in a small town, but I grew up in a community of 300ish. Drama is there, and gossip is the worst as EVERYBODY has to know your buisness....I don't believe I recall that much crazyness and constant malice..but there were moments.

I think every small town has a different dynamic...but that being said there is are good and bad things about knowing "everybody".

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Originally Posted by fitness4life View Post
Anyone else live in a small town?

I'm from one of the larger cities in the US. I'm not used to everyone being related to everyone else in one way or another. 5 years ago, I moved to a town of 1500.

I am shocked how many affairs occur. I'm shocked at how many people remarry and blend their offspring/families with people that to me, would be "off limits". I am shocked at how the same evil people start untrue rumors about others, destroying careers and marriages for alteriorand completely selfish motives.

Does this happen everywhere? Am I just stupid?

Yesterday, the village hater started an untrue rumor about my family. It had the potential to destroy, but we nipped it in the bud quickly and I think the fire storm is over.

I choose to NOT respond in any way. I will NOT confront the village devil. I'm above that.

But WTH is going on with this??? WHY?

What have been your experiences living in a small town as a transplant resident? Any advice?
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:07 AM   #3
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The same things happen in larger communities, you just don't hear of it unless you are in that particular neighborhood.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
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The same things happen in larger communities, you just don't hear of it unless you are in that particular neighborhood.
Yup. I grew up in a fairly decent sized city that is part of one of the largest metro areas in the US. You'd see family lines cross many times although blood lines generally didn't. You'd also see nepotism/favoritism as well as shunning within the community.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:49 AM   #5
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My town/city is about 220,000 but it's secluded in the way it takes a good 5-6 hour drive to get to another major metropolitan area. There's just a bunch of BS that goes on here. It's not as rampant and obvious as what you're experiencing but the politics, oh GOD, the politics are awful. Not because of party affiliations but the "good ol' boy" mentality and under-the-table dealings, shady contracts, backroom negotiations, etc.

I don't experience it on a neighborhood scale but my neighbor is nosy as all get out. He wants to control everything about the way we take care of our property but if we ask him to stop mowing (at 10pm) he gets in a tizzy. We've FINALLY gotten him to stop coming on our property without permission.

I'm sorry so many in your town are giving you such a hard time. Squash rumors as the arise in the most mature manner you can and keep your head up. These people relish in the drama because that's the only thing they can do to keep themselves entertained; other people's misery and discomfort makes them feel better about their own lives.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitness4life View Post
Anyone else live in a small town?

I'm from one of the larger cities in the US. I'm not used to everyone being related to everyone else in one way or another. 5 years ago, I moved to a town of 1500.

I am shocked how many affairs occur. I'm shocked at how many people remarry and blend their offspring/families with people that to me, would be "off limits". I am shocked at how the same evil people start untrue rumors about others, destroying careers and marriages for alteriorand completely selfish motives.

Does this happen everywhere? Am I just stupid?

Yesterday, the village hater started an untrue rumor about my family. It had the potential to destroy, but we nipped it in the bud quickly and I think the fire storm is over.

I choose to NOT respond in any way. I will NOT confront the village devil. I'm above that.

But WTH is going on with this??? WHY?

What have been your experiences living in a small town as a transplant resident? Any advice?
I too am from a major city, and moved to one with a single zipcode. I don't like it at all - it feels incestuous to me.
(just my personal feeling).
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
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That's people in general for you. If there unhappy they try and make EVERYONE unhappy. Big city, little city, small town you name it...
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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Small towns you tend to hear everything and that may take a while to get use to. We tend to have a culture of Gossip. It is not always malicious it is much the same way people seem to be fascinated with hollywood. There's a country song, with a line "Everyone dies famous in a small town" and it is very true.

There is the good with the bad. If something happens there are people there to support you.

I get that its hard to live under a microscope and that is what life is like in a small town. It's a different type of life but I think people are the same everywhere its just a lot easier to see in a small town.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:12 AM   #9
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so much drama, I'm not from a small town but have always loved the idea of living one, but makes me think twice and kind of greatful that I don't know any of my neighbors. My negighboorhood is the type that as soon as your garage door goes up your kind of in seclusion from everybody, no one talks to anybody and no one really cares about anybody else. Though we do know a few people in our neighborhood, that we've grown up with over the years but nothing like how small towns are connected.

Sorry about your troubles, hopefully your family can get past them
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:19 AM   #10
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I am from a small town...our street was even named after my paternal name because the 1st 5 houses and all of the land belonged to brothers!
I'm not sure how many people were in our town, but we had 51 graduating in my senior class of high school.
Everyone knew everyone and everyone's business. You could do a drive-by and tell what everyone else was having for dinner & be invited inside to have some
We had a small local paper FULL of gossip for things you missed during prayer meetings

My solution: When I became an adult--I MOVED!
I hated living there and never plan to return, except to visit my parents!
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:21 PM   #11
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I live outside DC, which is the cheating capital of the US....
(there was an article about it in the washington post)
Agree with others: it happens everywhere. You just hear about it a lot more in small towns.
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:16 AM   #12
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Up to the age of 11 I lived in a town of about 1200. It was pretty horrific for gossip and people could be very mean. I was lucky that my parents simply wouldn't tolerate any of the crap, If someone had a problem with them or started a rumour, then my parents simply walked upt to them and asked WTF?(on the upside, I had a lot more freedom as a kid, I could walk across town to a friends house on my own when I was seven, cause mum knew that she could ring every house on my route to find out where I was if she was worried, so there was a real commumity feeling for childrens safety.) We moved in to a slightly larger town 40,000 people, only about 30 minutes away and I have to say that it is probably worse here, simply because people tend to form cliques (sp?) and if you confront someone, you will get ambushed.

I think this behaviour probably happens everywhere, but it is more easily avoided in a city with millions of people.

Like others, once my education is finished and I am able to earn an income, I will move to a large city. (Just FYI, I'm in Australia, so small town = inland country town)
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:15 AM   #13
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Oh dear, that's not nice!

I live near a village but my trick is not getting too involved there. I get involved with the nice things but I won't ever go to the pub there as that's where everyone will listen in. I'm sure people already talk about us a bit and people have driven down our private lane to have a look at us. (we need a gate!)

It's not that we're unsocial at all, we're very friendly to everyone we just don't immerse ourselves in the village in that way. It makes you an easy target.

And oh yes everyone is related to everyone. My boyfriend's family are from around here. He grew up in the city but he's related to everyone.. everyone's his cousin. I think that's why he found me, I'm definitely an outsider haha
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:54 AM   #14
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When I went to college (in a much larger city than the small town I grew up in), I was totally flummoxed by the friendliness of people (especially of the male persuasion). For a while, it caused some pretty interesting misunderstandings, because where I grew up, "friendly male attention" from a stranger was ALWAYS of the romantic variety.

I was morbidly obese at the time, and couldn't figure out why so many men were flirting with me (until I realized most of them weren't flirting, they were just being sociable).

Then I moved to a town about the same size in Wisconsin, and found an entirely different vibe (there are some local political weirdness, often along racial lines - some of the town is rather biased against minorities, especially the southeast Asian, Hmong community, but overall the town is friendlier and more positive-focused than the one I grew up in).

Gossip does seem to be a local past time (but I think that happens everywhere, including larger cities). What I have noticed though is in the larger cities in which I've lived, rumors seemed to be taken more seriously (to me, it felt like the bigger city locals were more gullible - in the small towns where I've lived sure the rumors flew, but most people assumed that most of the rumors were false).

Often (in the small towns) it seemed that rumors were generally exagerated until there was no possible way there was even a grain of truth to them.

The "church lady" gossip was especially known for being unreliable and highly exagerated.

Every once in a while, you'd find out that the craziest stories actually were true, such as stories that a local lady who weighed more than 400 lbs was a stripper and she and her husband had an "open" relationship, and let their 13 year old date men in their 20's and 30's. I didn't believe any of the rumors, but then their daughter (who went to school with my sisters) brought a 27 year old boyfriend who was living with the family to the 8th grade graduation and introduced the man. If I hadn't overheard them introducing the guy as the 13 year old's boyfriend, I wouldn't have believed it.
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