Washington Declared One of the ‘Loosest’ States in the Nation

I grew up hearing the phrase, “live hard and play hard.”  How about someone who professes to live tight or loose?  My mind instantly went in a different direction, when reading about “loose people.” I’m assuming yours did too.

Professors and researchers across the country are taking a closer look at where people are living more of a tight life or a loose life. Michele Gelfand (Author of ‘Rule Makers, Rule Breakers - How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World’) explained the difference between tight and loose states

She wrote:

Tight states typically believe in strong social norms, held tight for generations. Tight states hold strong opposition to any change from those social norms and are reluctant to bend on them.

Loose states are the opposite. They adopt a “go-with-the-flow” mentality. Loose states are open to changes in society, as well as a willingness to adopt or change laws.  Rather than fight and lobby to keep an existing norm in place, loose states adapt.


A recent study placed Washington State in with the loosest states.

Washington was listed along with California, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. 

The Tight states included: Mississippi, Alabama Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and North Carolina, Nevada and Hawaii.

A majority of Washington State is open and willing to bend a wide array of topics, from individual rights to residential zoning and town ordinances.

Some of you might read this and think this is another way of labeling states as red or blue. 

Washington State, love it or hate it, has in recent decades leaned “loose.”

Our great nation, the United States, has become very divided. It tears me apart to read about Americans on both sides of the aisle, villainizing the other side who doesn’t believe the way they do. I don’t mind debate. I don’t mind core beliefs that are different from mine. I just want us, as a nation, to debate respectfully.

If we went to war, or had a national disaster that threatened our people, I would quickly step in and help my fellow Americans, regardless of how they felt about politics or religion.

We here in the Wenatchee Valley, are in the confluence of deep seated beliefs of what's right and what's wrong. Our core values and ideas are played out and vocalized - in the open. This is the great personality of the many people who call our Wenatchee Valley home. Whether you identify as loose or tight. You’re an American. May you engage with respect and simply listen to what the other side has to say.

INFO Sources: Michele Gelfand, NY Times

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