In America when visiting South, which is in the southeast part of America, it is very important to stop and talk. Americans in general love to talk to strangers and people they have never met. There are countless stories from all parts of the world about conversations with Americans tourists. One common theme is how friendly and willing these Americans are to talk to people in line.
Southerners are even more talkative. In fact, in the South and especially the rural area if you don’t stop and talk, this is considered not only rude but also strange. Even if someone is busy, they will still say, “Sorry I can’t talk now, I’m in a hurry.” Moreover, Southerners smile a lot and think that someone not smiling is having a bad time. These mannerisms are found to be strange to people from the Northeast and people from overseas.
When I was working in Ft. Worth, Texas, I had a colleague from Indonesia who felt intimidated by the legendary Texas hospitality. He was bothered by people he doesn’t know trying to make small talk with him. He told me he ignored them or pretended not to understand but then he felt the community began to avoid him. I explained to him the importance of Stop and Talk. He said the usual things, like he was shy and doesn’t have anything to say. To which I replied to simply complain about the weather. That is the simplest topic that all Southerners love to talk about. But because he was ignoring their initial overtures, he will need to initiate the conversation. After making an effort to Stop and Talk, he was able to understand the legendary Texas hospitality.
If international travel opens up, you should visit the South and enjoy the famous BBQ. Remember to Stop and Talk to enhance your time there.