New York City is one of my favorite cities in the world. I have been there quite a few times now and every time I am amazed at the architecture, liveliness, cultural diversity and the speed at which people move around the city: 24 hours a day. Time seems to move faster here than anywhere else in the world.
Another thing that always amazes me is what they call the New York Attitude. Locals call it a mixture between tough, bravery and being overworked. They want to make it, to succeed in life, whatever it takes (even at the expense of others). To me the New York Attitude is being rude, very rude!
Once I made the mistake of taking a bus into Manhattan to my hotel. Instead of giving polite directions, the bus driver was extremely rude and shouting very loud at her passengers, mostly foreign tourists, to put their bags in the baggage compartment. I guess this can only happen in New York.
On that same visit, my friend Danny, a colleague who I was travelling with, made the mistake of filming a NYC police officer’s tow-away truck. Bad mistake! He almost got arrested for that. A couple of hours later, he got into an argument with a cashier at a restaurant over 25 cents, after leaving a generous tip on the table.
Now the reason why I write this post is that next week I will visit NYC again, this time with my wife who has never been there before. In a strange way I have been looking forward to the New York Attitude which to me is part of the whole New York experience.
It will start at the airport with officials looking at me with a “you’re not welcome” expression on their face. Then the cab driver, who sees every other car as a competitor who he needs to outsmart at all cost, using the taxi horn as his main weapon.
Staff at New York City hotels can be rude as well: “No, we are not ready for you yet, come back in a couple of hours. You want a storage space for your bags? We don’t have that here!” Need I go on?
The great thing about writing a personal development blog is that I can use my own life as an example on how to, or not, improve communication with others: how to live a better, more authentic life. While preparing for this post I have been thinking about a quote from Wayne Dyer:
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”
Doesn’t this apply to me as well, thinking about the New York Attitude? If I expect people to be rude, I will only see rude people. However, if I expect people to be nice, I will notice them too.
So, as a little experiment, next week, I will go to New York with a more open mind. Expecting people to be nice, patient and caring about others. Let’s see what happens. When I am back, I will let you know how my New York Attitude experiment went.
Update: The New New York Attitude