Not Friendly=Unfriendly?

Do you think so? I see that they’re considered synonymous, but do you find that to be true?

Example, I am at the gym. I have limited time, very, and want to make the most of it. I don’t engage in conversation, but I don’t think I go out of my way to be rude either. If you say hi or good morning, I will respond in kind, but that’s really about it. Some of the people (and I’m looking at you, skinny bald guy and blonde older woman) want to have conversations. I don’t. I don’t think in that circumstance I am an unfriendly person, I just don’t want to be friendly at 4:30 am. Just please let me work out and leave.

At work, I don’t have a guest chair in my office. Intentionally. If I need to sit down with someone, I find an empty conference room. Again, I am not rude, I just don’t engage in chit chat-that’s not why I’m there, and honestly, I rarely have time.

But, apparently, I am just plain unfriendly.

I’d prefer to draw that distinction between sociable and not sociable. There may be a correlation but I don’t think one implies the other.

In other words you can be politely unsociable without being unfriendly.

“Not friendly” is just neutral. But I guess some people think if you’re not going out of your way to be friendly, then that’s rude. That’s pretty self-centered of them though because that’s a lot of pressure to put on someone who isn’t just naturally the brightest ray of sunshine, with all the time in the world to chat with everyone.

I would say that the are mostly synonymous and would describe the OP as a “not unfriendly” situation. As in friendly = shakes hands, introduces self, etc. Not unfriendly = affable if approached. Although maybe more negative than OP as this term can be faint praise.

Unfriendly = Harmful or Hurtful
Not Friendly = Indifferent, Disinterested
Tom Friendly = Other

Friendly’s = a free scoop of icecream after your meal.

Its a shame the OP can’t roll this into a spiel:

“Look, Insert Name of Noodge Here , I’m not unfriendly… I’m just busy and I need to focus on what I’m doing. Friendly? Friendly’s is a chain that servers your dinner with a scoop of icecream.
You want a scoop of icecream? Here’s a buck. I have to get back to work now…”

You need to move to a big city. People there make a fine art of minding their own business unless there is a compelling reason to interact. I’m generalizing, of course, but I think it is a reasonable observation.

I see why there should be a distinction, or where there technically is one, but in my experience they are pretty much synonymous in most speech. If you say a dog is “not friendly,” for instance, it doesn’t usually mean he’s indifferent or aloof. It means he’s unfriendly. In reference to people, I fnd the words used similarly. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone described as “not friendly” to mean a neutral, “not friendly, but not unfriendly” manner.

I think not friendly and unfriendly are synonymous, but I think someone forcing you to chat against your will is unfriendly. Both sides need to be respectful and cordial to be friendly.

You don’t even have a chair in your office? You never have time for people? You’re always busy? Yeah, that’s pretty unfriendly in terms of sociability. Can you live with that? I think you can. :smiley:

You have described me pretty well - I don’t go out of my way to be friendly or unfriendly. I am almost universally friendly when approached, but I don’t engage in a lot of space-filling chit-chat. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that people would think I was unfriendly, but now that you have broached the idea, I find that I don’t care. :slight_smile:

I’m extremely shy, and I don’t usually speak unless I’m spoken to first, sometimes even with people I know. I am aware that this behaviour can perhaps make me seem unfriendly to some, even if I don’t usually think of myself as being unfriendly.

I think that, in most cases, if someone wants to indicate that someone merely does not have a certain characteristic, they don’t use the construction “not X.” That construction is almost always an understatement, unless otherwise qualified.

In other words, if I tell you someone is “not friendly,” I am politely saying they are unfriendly, despite the fact that “not friendly” could just mean neutral. I’m not entirely sure how I would indicate someone who was truly neutral–all I can think of is saying that they are “serious but polite.”

This is something like what I was going to say.

In the world of logic, “not friendly” just means “the set of all things, excluding those things that are friendly.” I am not friendly to a random person in Russia right now because I don’t even know they exist and have no way to communicate anyway. Unfriendly would essentially be its own set of behaviors, not just the exclusion of the friendly ones.

In the world of everyday language, “not friendly” is almost always going to be a euphemism for something worse.

And in terms of what other people perceive: It’s mostly going to be based on their own expectations of what constitutes normal or friendly behavior. For example, I work in an office building where many small companies share the same common hallway. I don’t understand it, but about 75% of the people who work here refuse to say hello or make eye contact in that hallway. Seriously? I mean, I’m not much of a fan of the two guys who want to spend fifteen minutes chatting every time we pass, but surely you can look up, spare a smile and say hello?

People usually use the term “reserved” for people who are neutral - not friendly, but not unfriendly.

I don’t think not friendly and unfriendly are synonymous.

To use a non-human example:

If I am meeting a dog, I usually put my hand out for it to sniff. Here are some reactions:
Friendly: Sniffs and tries to play or get petted.
Not-friendly: Ignores me or sniffs and ignores me.
Unfriendly: Barks or snaps or does something that says “back off”
I had an opportunity to think about this when I worked a project-based temp job at a giant cosmetic conglomerate. The people there were not friendly. In my experience temping, most people are pretty friendly, so this stood out. They weren’t rude or anything. They just ignored me and were polite if we happened to interact.