Are San Francisco people rude?

I've been living in San Francisco for about a little now having just moved from London. My experiences to date:

- Amazingly beautiful city
- Cool business culture

and something i didn't expect...

- RUDE PEOPLE

Does anyone else think San Franciscans are rude? I've had a number of bad experiences being at bars and guys coming up saying "Wanna sit on my face?" Seriously...no kidding.

FED UP - gem
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PureKrome Aug 27, 2008
are you serious? The few people i've met from San Fran have been really friendly! Which parts of San Fran did this happen, in?
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AdamS Sep 01, 2008
Hey Gemmal,

No way, I've been to SF many times and i have found that people in San Francisco have been nothing but very nice and accomodating. What nationality are you? I am Australian and i find that perhaps Americans in general are actually a little nicer to me because of it!

I love SF!!
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Jack Santo Sep 04, 2008
totally depends on what sort of person you and what areas of SF you are visiting. Sounds to me like you are judging everyone based on asshole guys in nightclubs. DONT!

most people in SF are fantastic people.

@AJ great to hear you the locals like the aussies!
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StephSF Jul 13, 2010
I would say that overall, this is the friendliest U.S. city I have been to. However, there are a lot of transplants from all over the world (as well as the rest of the country), so the friendly attitude may not have permeated EVERY San Franciscan yet.

I actually don't even mind traffic as much out here, because drivers are SO polite and will let you merge anywhere...
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FlowerGirl Jul 13, 2010
I haven't been to a lot of different cities in the US or anywhere else. Seattle has pretty nice people too. I would say probably as nice as people in the Bay Area. Montreal is probably the place where I felt most welcome of any place I have ever been but I was only there for a few weeks.

I've mets lots of mid-Westerners who moved here and they seem really nice. A met a bunch Virginians (or were they West Virginians) who had all studied architecture together and they were really, really nice--but maybe architects are really nice--they're the only ones I've met outside of the Brady Bunch reruns.
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NightOwlnOrinda Jul 17, 2010
Rudeness is an art that we haven't really learned here in the Bay Area--LA definitely has us beat there. But the true masters of rudeness are on the East Coast where it is a long proud tradition. I am reminded of the old joke:

How does a New Yorker perform CPR? He leans over the sufferer and says, "Yo, wake up. Ya gonna die!" And walks on.

On the other hand, I have never had so much of a sense of community as I did when I used to live in an apartment building on 17th and First in Manhattan as a kid. There was a feeling that everyont in the building was looking out for eachother. (Partly because many of the people in the building were doctors and nurses who worked together at the hospital.) If I had a problem I felt like I could go to the building supervisor (big burly Mr. Brown) or knock on one of the neighbor's doors that we knew.

I guess when you are living in a big scary city you get this sense of us against them that helps build lines of communication.
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StephSF Jul 22, 2010
I agree that East Coasters are more rude than West Coasters (which I can say, because I'm from the East Coast). New York City, in particular, has its fair share of rude people in addition to the friendly locals who are willing to help anyone out.

Here is my biggest problem with New York: people are not intentionally rude, the city is just so chaotic that everyone clams up into their own little worlds. As a result, they are more disengaged from one another, and little subtleties like saying "excuse me" when you bump into someone, or holding a door for a stranger, are lost in the shuffle (although highly appreciated when they actually do happen!)

Rudeness isn't prevalent in a traditional sense, but exists more in a cold, isolating way. Yet another reason why San Francisco is the greatest city (culture without disengagement from the world around you).

Don't get me wrong - I do love New York, and know plenty of kindhearted people who live there. I am simply observing the overall vibe of the city.
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Tracypie Jul 24, 2010
Here's the thing. Most people that live in SF are transplants from somewhere else. There are local people that have lived here all of their lives but they are far and few between. When I first moved here I felt like @gemmal did because on my first day at work a woman said after learning I was from the East Coast, "What? They can't find talent in the Bay Area?" - Nice. "Apparently not" is what I replied. But I think that it does depend on where you go and who you bump into.

In terms of rudeness, I think SF is minor in comparison to other places.

The mid-west and the southern people are perhaps the nicest. Everyone I've ever met from Colorado is super nice. Must be all that sunshine!
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Isaidso Dec 11, 2011
I'm from the Midwest and perhaps it's the Midwesterner in me but I find a minority of San Franciscan's incredibly rude but not in the way that Gemmal did. I'm 4'9", if I had a $1 for every time a San Franciscan cut in front of me in line or conveniently didn't see me, I would be quite wealthy by now. I live in the Marina where I have occasionally had some bad experiences with people who found the fact that I was not perfectly fit so dismaying that they let me know subtly that I did not deserve to live here. You could say that's a Marina problem but I think there is a disturbing attitude that some (all be it a small minority) some San Franciscan's have. I also think they have this attitude: "I am the center of the universe and the world must revolve around me." I sometimes wonder how they can all live in the city together when so many of them really believe they are special and rules of all kinds do not apply to them.

There are really nice people who live in San Francisco too, not all people are like this. If they were all like this I would have left a long time ago but it is a frequently witnessed theme around here.
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Rasta Jun 27, 2012
I am from new England originally.I agree people from the east rude.But after experiencing Marin county,I can say they are far more horrible!! I can't even stand going out here. I think the suburban areas of San fransico are the worst.I feel really bad vibes in Novato,mill valley,San Rafael...When I first arrived we ran out of money and lived in my car for a time.we were in ukiah and no one helped us except for east coasters and people from out of the country.It just amazes me how rude and self absorbed people are everywhere in ca.I have lived in San Diego,Mendocino county,Marin county and Sonoma.They all suck! I hope ca falls of in one giant earthquake!!! This is exactly why the world is going to be destroyed soon.People don't RESPECT each other any more,everyone is selfish and greedy,no one cares about family or togetherness,they don't even care about the creator that made them and everything in the world.I know there are always good people mixed in with all the bad people.Ca people are a good example of how to not be towards others.You can be vegan and recycle,but if you treat others bad what does it matter?Nothing matters more on the planet than how you treat your fellow brothers and sisters!How do you change the world?One random act of kindness at a time!! Bless the nice people of the world
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Nicola Caria Jul 01, 2012
I completely disagree. I am Italian, lived in Belgium, Switzerland and East Coast and I find San Franciscan very nice and friendly (a little too hipster eventually).
Please consider there is plenty of animal that invade SF clubs during the weekend and you may be mistaken by some rude coming from out of town.
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FlowerGirl Jul 01, 2012
I don't have an extensive frame of reference, but it always seemed to me like people were actually ruder in places like LA, but maybe I am not sure what you mean by "rude." I have found all the hippy types to be more than willing to lend a hand when you're in a scrape. But, again. I don't have an extensive frame of reference to go on.
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NinaMcK Oct 01, 2012
Oh, my, but you are SO right -- I've lived all over this country and even in Paris for a time, and SF/NorCal people are the rudest people I've ever encountered! Just mannerless and clueless and self-absorbed and narcissistic. You can't even walk down a street in SF without being run off the sidewalk by a bunch of dirty-looking, badly dressed, hipster/techie-types walking four across and all glued to their iThings. Also, people in San Francisco are the most racist, bigoted, narrow, elitist exclusionary types I've ever met.
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FlowerGirl Oct 02, 2012
Huh? Wait I missed that,I was messaging on my iPhone and looking for a flea market where I could find some more clothes.

But I did hear you say something about being racist. You should read real estate forums from around the country--to me it seems like there is no shortage of racism to go around. Though I will give you elitism; people from SF are definitely in the top 2 there. Only New Yorkers sometimes take that crown.
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blathanna Feb 05, 2013
I lived in San Francisco for a year and although I did find many people to be very friendly I also found many people in the service industry to be extremely rude and I experienced aggressive verbal behaviour frequently! I am a very friendly and polite person so I felt that such rudeness was uncalled for!
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DanMark Feb 06, 2013
I have been living in San Francisco for 4 years and I really love this city. San Francisco is probably one of the most diverse cities in America and you can expect to meet different kinds of people in SF including rude, nice and crazy people. Rudeness are very common in Downtown. Crazy people that walk topless are common. You can see a lot of lesbian and gay couples in Castro St while you can see a bunch of hippies who dress vintage clothing in Haight St.

Some areas in San Francisco are extremely dangerous and it is generally avoided by the people who has been living in SF. You can avoid going to the Tenderloin, Bayview and Hunters Point. Some areas of the Mission District are pretty dangerous as well. I've experienced some strangers in San Francisco who would just say hi and engaged in a conversation. The polite people that I've met in SF are usually in the good neighborhoods. On my opinion, I think it all depends on where you live in.
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EclecticEars Feb 20, 2013
I've lived in San Francisco for going on two years now. I've also been to L.A. five times in the last three years total.

I've been planning a move to L.A. for some time because there was something about it that I liked better. This weekend sealed the deal--figuratively, but not immediately.

The Bay Area is superior to L.A. in many, many ways. I mean, the air is cleaner, there's not barbed wire around freeway road sign poles, traffic isn't AS terrible, there's more green, the food is fresher and more organic. However, some SF/Bay Area people are among the most arrogant, condescending, unwelcoming, and just downright rude people you'll meet in the U.S. In L.A., you'll find plenty of these on the west side and down in south Orange County, but the rest of that region is populated by folks that a little friendlier and more down to Earth. Sure, it's NOT like Alabama or Texas, but just comparatively friendlier than the Bay. I feel like the Bay Area was probably friendlier 20-25 years ago before mass speculation, tighter environmental and zoning regulations, and the growth of tech started all but eliminating the middle class from the region.

Furthermore, for what it's worth, I heard more "thank yous" from people just on the bike trail, waiting in line at 7-11, at the concession stand, etc. in three days in SoCal than in three weeks in NorCal. People in neither region excel in manners, but it seems like people in the north are worse about it.

I figure that the things I like about the Bay Area, sans cleaner air, I can find somewhere in L.A. So, like I said, the deal was sealed.
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Proguy68 Mar 04, 2013
As an immigrant, professional with a bachelor degree from SFSU, mid-40's Hispanic gay guy, I totally agree with gemmal, not only rude people everywhere, but racist! I have been living in San Francisco 11 years and I can smell the intense prejudice most likely towards minorities. For example, White gay guys discriminate about other races in their Castro feminist Ghetto on a daily basis (which I don't plan to visit anymore in my life). I feel I have to pay even the air I am consuming "as a token" to live in San Francisco. People say that they are progressive and open minded in this city but that is just B.S. They don't even answer "good morning" to strangers because of paranoia reasons, I guess! My advanced spiritual level has helped me to determine that most people in San Francisco are framed by prehistoric behaviors. By the way, another lie, they mostly say they are spiritual, but not religious! The only thing that comes to my mind is that they have a rude spirit = a demon inside to let them treat people who are not welcomed as a mop! Time for new adventures in my life, regardless of being a beautiful city, I am very disappointed as a professional and even more as a gay guy in San Francisco.
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uhmwtf Apr 03, 2013
San Francisco is overrated as fuck. Avoid this place!

But yes, Bay Area people have this delusional belief that they are the shit, and they are better than you. :rollseyes:
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JoshP.Jackson Sep 10, 2013
I totally agree! I'm currently a grad student from South Florida attending the Academy of Art University. I was so stoked last semester to begin a new chapter of my life on the West Coast(San Fran). LITTLE did I know that my perspective on life would be unwilling altered. I quickly noticed the lack of middle class minorities. I come from a middle class diverse background and I never experienced racism or prejudice, just heard about it. The East Coast gets a bad rep from the Westerners, but I've visited most states on the East Coast and never experienced backward social growth like I have in San Francisco. I get stared at for looking differently, a "black male" who dresses nice, well groomed, educated and is extremely sociable. I'm constantly get called wierd at first by many SF residents at first until they get to know me. Then they literally tell me, they're not use to blacks like myself. What?!! The only friendly people I've encountered were co workers, college peers, westerners that have traveled and is culturally diverse, internationals and easterners that live in San Fran. People here are introverts, judgemental, pretentious, paranoid, pessimistic, complainers, lazy at times, pot and heavy alcohol lovers, close minded, some are sadly bigots and subconsciously depressed. They ignore homeless people as if they are animals, as if a simple "sorry no" is not feasible. Some whites hesitate to address in minorities especially blacks. Some dillusional Asians are so busy trying to fit in they neglect minorites. And black beauty if unheard of here. It just sucks that the city and food is AMAZING but the people are weird and backwards. And they dont speak there mind which is so unhealthy. But with that being said, because San Francisco natives would fight and swear that there city is peaceful , diverse and unified, to each his own. If you are a white or asian male/female this place is great but if you are not, just visit and do not relocate here unless your filthy rich.
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mags3 Oct 27, 2013
I'm a SF native, public elementary school teacher, recently married to another SF native and we're first time homebuyers. SF is a COMPLETELY different city now than when we were growing up. We wanted to have our kids grow up in SF and experience the culture and diversity that we experienced, but we are realizing that this may be impossible for so many reasons. The people in SF are becoming more exclusive, rude, entitled, and unfriendly. (I notice the changes in my students and parents as well over the last 13 years of teaching.) We hope to find a house in a neighborhood where we can raise our family with opportunities for learning and appreciating people who are different from us. Diversity (cultural, economic, social) is very difficult to find now in my city and is extremely heart breaking.
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San Francisco is a melting pot of every race, gender, religious sector, etc. You name it, SF's got it. It's unfortunate that your experiences with San Franciscans were unpleasant but the people you met are not necessarily representative of San Francisco. I advise choosing (very carefully) your set and setting. The most important thing to consider is the neighborhood, not just the establishment you're visiting. The people you'll most likely encounter are more or less going to be representative of the neighborhood you're in. I would love to feature you and your experience in a blog I'm currently creating for my website. Experiences like yours will be a resource to my clients and help them decide whether SF is right for them or not.

Best,
Ghellie
415.860.5175
ghellie@matchedsf.com
matchedsf.com
Blog: http://matchedsf.wordpress.com/
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JasonPfister Dec 17, 2013
I have lived about 40 minutes to an hour outside San Francisco all my life and feel that some of the comments here are exaggerated, fabricated or embellished. I've visited numerous times and NEVER have I felt a rude atmosphere in the city. My mother lived here for four months in 1972 and recalls the city being very friendly, too. When I communicate with people all over America and in some places throughout the world, they are VERY complimentary on Norcal/SF people's kindness and warmth. The fact that some of these criticisms are written in a rather incoherent way makes me skeptical in the first place and to not trust that person.

I also want to say...if San Francisco's "racist" explain then why it gets more multicultural each year (or maintains that vibe. If it was racist, trust me the are MANY MORE AFFORDABLE areas in the Bay Area to reside in, just an FYI). Sure, you will get a few racists and nitwits (this can happen in the more richer areas, i.e. Marina District, Pacific Heights, Nob Hill) but overall they're a fun bunch. I also attended San Francisco State University, graduated there, and not once witnessed any racism or otherwise rudeness.

I think part of the reason we are seen this way is that we're rather unorthodox. We don't ascribe to traditional viewpoints and like to be rather inventive. To some, this is viewed as "rude" whereas I deem it as "idiosyncratic" and "innovative".

I've also been to Los Angeles numerous times and never really felt a friendly vibe to it. I'm not in any way saying everyone there is nasty. In fact, I have many friends who are LA or LA area natives (unlike some who clearly are generalizing about San Francisco) but for the most part it didn't strike me as that amiable, unlike San Francisco which has people who love to debate and will give their shirt off to anyone (as is evidenced by the numerous charitable groups in the city).

I will also comment on the middle class remark. In no way are the tech giants or whoever squeezing out the middle class (in fact, California's unemployment rate has dropped 3.4% since January/2011 and I'm seeing very good paying jobs on job boards like Robert Half International. The Bay Area is benefiting most to this positive growth and it's not just the computer industry). I as a single man in the San Francisco Bay Area can easily afford an apartment in, say, Contra Costa County (I'm thinking about moving to Pleasant Hill when I get my paralegal certificate in June) at $40,000/yr (that's the median salary for the paralegal school I'm attending for first year paralegal graduates there). I don't have plans to move to San Francisco but that's not to say this region's only geared towards the wealthy. In the neighborhood where I live, I don't know of anyone who is all that wealthy (I'm in Martinez now. Not near the court area but further up, as in a couple blocks from Morello Ave)...it's a typical middle class array of homes.

I'll also second the last comment. Don't base your view on the entire population given a few bad experiences. People who "cut" in front of you on the street or may not hold a door open isn't really the norm (for the former, I'd not consider that too offensive either. It's a city so people are in a hurry...it happens. I doubt they even notice as they're so preoccupied. Don't sweat the small stuff)

So no, I don't think SF people as a whole are rude. I'm sorry you had that experience (I do believe the OP) but trust me it's an anomaly with SF.
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Aaron Bellings PRO Feb 08, 2014
Being a San Francisco native I have spent my fair share of time living, working, and having fun here in the city by the bay. While there will be rude people in any big city, San Francisco in my opinion, tends to be a much more diverse, open, and very friendly city! In some areas (Marina for example) you can run into the "frat guys and sorority girls" that you remember from college, but most of them are harmless as well. In other areas you can find "natives" who can have a certain smugness about being from here, but again, nothing out of the ordinary. I'm so sorry to hear some people have had a bad experience with SF, but in my opinion there is no better city or people in the country, and possibly the world!
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Isaidso Feb 08, 2014
Perhaps we tend to think this about the area we are from. I'm from the midwest and I think Chicago is the best city and has the best people in the country, if not the world. I just find people from San Francisco to be generally very cold and aloof. It's almost a contest to not make eye contact with others. After living here now for nearly 9 years I have adapted but this doesn't change my opinion about the place.
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Anonymous111 Mar 03, 2014
I have definitely found the community of San Francisco to be very rude and harassing, if you are opinionated as well as conservative. I am a Christian that abstains from sex until marriage and am 31 years old. I don't date and have the worst problems with San Franciscians, as mentioned in the Marina situation earlier, let me know that unless I am bisexual or date someone I am not attracted to that I don't belong in the City. I find a predominate problem in the diverse pool of the financial district where the community is one that networks well, so if you don't go with the flow, it is likely that you will be either surrounded by people that make you extremely uncomfortable or ostracized. I am 5'8, 116 lbs, fit, with a B.A. from Cal and have a dance background too but am strictly for one man only. No guy will befriend me and treat me with respect as a woman. Instead, I just get emotionally battered for not dating or having sex. So much for liberalism, free speech and rights.
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