The news isn't all that bad. The state of New Jersey is in the bottom half of the most welcoming states.

We rank 37th out of the 50 states but the new study by preply.com found that over 59% of our people would wave, smile and initiate a friendly hello, making sure no one is left unacknowledged or feels left out.

Do you think most people in New Jersey are friendly or welcoming?

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I think people in the southern half of the state may be more friendly and a little nicer. Maybe that's just my bias, but it seems that people in South Jersey are a little less hurried and stressed than in the northern half of the state.

What about Central Jersey? I think once you get above Exit 7A on the NJ Turnpike and above Exit 63 on the Garden State Parkway, the mood changes. The driving certainly does.

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According to the study, Vermont, Maine, and Hawaii are the most welcoming states, while Missouri, Massachusetts, and Illinois trail behind. New Jersey comes in at a respectable 37th out of 50.

Most Americans (60%) prefer a handshake when meeting strangers, a sentiment that half of New Jersey residents share. Smiles and eye contact follow closely behind. When it comes to acquaintances or friends, 73% of New Jerseyans would opt for a hug.

The language learning platform Preply conducted the survey to explore how Americans greet each other and which states are considered the most welcoming.

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I think just about anywhere you go in New Jersey, if you greet people with a friendly "How you doin'?' you'll get a pretty friendly response.

Of course, a nice smile usually pretty much does the trick no matter where you are, even in New Jersey.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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