"Exchanging glances, wond'ring in the night...."
July 23, 2008 11:14 PM Subscribe
What do you do when you and someone you barely know are approaching each other? Always make eye contact and smile or say hi? Make eye contact and then keep walking? Keep walking unless they say something? Mentally scramble for small talk? Stop and tie your shoelaces?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing to human relations (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You know those situations when you're walking down an interminably long hallway at work, or a path on campus, and you see someone you only kind of know coming in the opposite direction from a mile away? Obviously it depends on how well you (don't) know them, but when the more awkward moments arise, do you invariably acknowledge them in a super-friendly way? Wait for them to say something first? Give a warm half-smile or a cool half-nod and keep on going? It feels like a silly predicament, but I'm just curious if others feel like this is half as awkward as I do, esp the more introverted among us, and among those, the ones for whom smiles don't always come all that easily. Because sometimes it's just... awkward!
I've seen a couple other threads here revolving around the dilemma of acknowledging complete strangers (and those may very well end up below this post), but I've never found that to be a source of anxiety or perplexity, because if you get rebuffed, you'll probably never see them again in your life. Crossing paths with that "Larry" guy from three cubicles over while you're on your way to the men's room? That's a different story.