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Is it currently a social taboo to say ''hello'' to strangers ?

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posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 11:46 PM
reply to post by Sherlock Holmes

Sir ?

I'm of the opinion you're on to something.

Another interesting thing to remember is that it's very common for a stranger to greet you if they are intoxicated with alcohol !

This means that is a social problem. People make up artificial boundaries.

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 12:19 AM

Originally posted by davespanners
Dogs are a great social leveler,who could be grumpy with a lovely fluffy creature like that

lol, true enough, that! He loves people, and I'm generally paying attention to the people around me because if I didn't, he'd be jumping all over them :-)

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 12:47 AM

Originally posted by Jess_Undefined
I noticed this same thing! Im a very friendly person and try to say Hello to everyone I pass, and alot of the time I get a very awkward look or they completely ignore it.

Yeah, some of the looks and attitudes of people are quite strange when you try and be friendly towards them.

I found there's three kinds of ''ignore'' that can go on when you pass a stranger, and say ''hello'':

1. The person completely blanks you, carries on walking past you at the same pace. It's as if you never said anything to them.

2. The stranger sees you, and then starts doing something so as they can pretend that they are involved with something else when they pass you. eg. looking at their cellphone, glancing at a sign or bus timetable.

3. Eyes focused on the pavement, straight ahead, or anywhere that doesn't acknowledge another human being passing them.

[edit on 15-8-2010 by Sherlock Holmes]

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 12:55 AM
Wow. I was just thinking about this, because just yesterday I was getting mail out of my mailbox, and a lady approached who was walking down the sidewalk (exercising, by the way she was dressed). I started walking back to my house, and as she approached me I paused in my driveway and said "hello". She scowled at me as as if to say "how dare you speak to me", and then got a frightened look and without a word she speed-walked a wide arc around me, actually arcing halfway into the road just to go around me. I just stood there thinking "WTF?" Was the mail I had in my hand menacing? Did I remind her of someone who tried to kill her once?

It's ridiculous that I almost felt the need to apologize to someone just for offering a friendly hello. What is the world coming to?

[edit on 15-8-2010 by Blazer]

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 12:57 AM

Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
Sir ?
I'm of the opinion you're on to something.
This means that is a social problem. People make up artificial boundaries.

It is strange, how many people suddenly release the ''joys of spring'' when they've had a couple to drink.

It does seem, on many occasions, that a lot of people drinking are doing so to release their ''introvertism''...

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 01:04 AM
reply to post by Blazer

That's a strange, yet highly believable, story.

A lot of people seem to not just dislike interactions with their neighbours, but actively seek to avoid them !

Although, are you absolutely sure you didn't do anything that may have upset her previously ?

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 02:06 AM
I'm not going to add to the speculation, just relate a few of my own experiences, having lived in a few places and having absorbed at least some of the local language and culture.

I grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. When I was a kid (1970s) I remember adults in the suburbs acknowledging strangers with a friendly "hello" or "good morning." That practice had however died out by the time I left in the early 1990s. In Troon, a nice seaside town south of Glasgow where my parents now live, everyone does it, and there's no weirdness or uncomfortable vibe whatsoever.

In Corfu, Greece, almost everyone greets you, whether in town, the inland villages or the tourist resorts, especially in winter when the tourists are gone. Some people will even stop and pass the time of day with you just for the hell of it. It takes a little getting used to, but it's hard to get un-used to once you're gone.

In Budapest, Hungary, everyone mostly ignores everyone else unless you're in one of the more upmarket suburbs on the Buda side. In rural Hungary, the practice varies massively from complete indifference to warm greetings.

In London, forget receiving much in the way of human warmth, even from neighbors you pass every day.

Ditto New York.

In Kiev, Ukraine, the city center is busy and you don't get much engagement, although it does happen sometimes. In the suburbs or rural Ukraine, people are pretty much universally friendly and will give you a hello.

Ditto Moscow and Russia.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, there is a huge variation in practice. In the towns on the East side plenty of people greet you with a warm "hi" or "good morning." The city is pretty much like every other big city.

I personally like the whole practice of acknowledging a friendly stranger. It makes my heart that little bit lighter.

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 04:21 AM

Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes

Originally posted by Sinter Klaas

It is strange, how many people suddenly release the ''joys of spring'' when they've had a couple to drink.l boundaries.

It does seem, on many occasions, that a lot of people drinking are doing so to release their ''introvertism''...

Yes indeed.

I always mingle with ze ladies a lot easier having had a drink or 2. I've also learned that a few to much will have the opposite effect.

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 08:06 AM

Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
DISRAELI and orange-light...

You raise a good point in mentioning how the attitude changes in the countryside, parks or more sparsely populated areas.

Greeting a stranger is more frequent in these areas, but even in these areas in and around my city, it's much more common for people to completely blank you.

when i wrote my post yesterday i got the idea that greeting each other in the countryside or in parks - much nature, overwhelming nature all around you - you might want to show the other individual that it is safe to pass you and get yourself assured that it is safe for you as well.

maybe an ancient instinct?

just an idea.

so we feel much more safe in the city?
or we just don.t care about it in the city since city-life is somewhat unnatural for us and so we slip over to unnatural behavior.

easy small talk when something in common:
watch people with dogs. it is never so easy to start talking to somebody when he and you got a dog - and what do they talk about: dogs

or mothers at the playground
they are talking and talking about their kids

they share the same reality - so they don.t have to explain why something is the way it is ……

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 08:17 AM

Originally posted by DeathTribble

That is an interesting observation. In the US too, we are more likely to greet a stranger at a vacation destination, in the woods hiking, etc. Perhaps it is as simple as being more relaxed (which doesn't generally happen walking in a city), and there simply being too many strangers around to greet (then, it would get even weirder as you greet some strangers and not others).

i agree it is much easier to greet somebody when hiking than thousands of passing by people in the city – where to draw the line.

people hiking are even much more aware about their surroundings and other people than people in the city.
they are thinking about catching the next train, what to cook for dinner, if the oven has been switched off etc.
they are walking around but yet there are somewhere else - busy busy …… no time for greeting, no time for a little small talk …… we are all too busy for living ……

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 08:19 AM
reply to post by gimme_some_truth

does the southern hospitality also work in big cities like houston or austin?
or are your big cities not that big gimme?

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 08:37 AM
Whenever i do manage to get out and about i really prefer to go about unnoticed, i almost feel that someone saying hello is shining a huge spotlight on me and singling me out...makes me extremely uncomfortable and paranoid. I know they are just being nice so i try not to be rude but no doubt it comes across like i am. So yeah, i prefer if people just leave me alone

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 08:42 AM
I can't offer much here, but I will tell you this: my girlfriend (17) just told me yesterday that if there's someone that she doesn't know, she won't even think about acknowledging them. She won't go out of her way to show a bit of respect and say hi or anything. What led up to it was a couple months ago there was a big event and I was among a small crowd of maybe ten people where all but two said hi to me. Strangely enough, they were all neighbors. The two that did not acknowledge my existence were younger than me. I think one was 13 and another was right in that ballpark.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to say that people should always acknowledge me. I don't really care about getting attention, but I do care when our future is a world where there's little respect and a friendly "hello" being tossed about between strangers every now and again.

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posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 10:38 AM

Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
so they assume that somebody talking to them in a friendly manner has an ulterior motive for doing so.


Was there not indeed? Was there not?

People worry themselves over the outlying exception that would want to do them harm, treating everyone as the exception rather than learning to read properly.

As a corollary, I suppose the justice system and governments will reflect the "guilty until proven innocent" sentiment until we genuinely remove it from our own cache of prejudices and fears. The systems will be a better indicator of what people do naturally and casually rather than what they say or do when socially consciousness.

[edit on 8/15/2010 by EnlightenUp]

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 04:15 PM
reply to post by Solomons

Maybe you need to take some classes on self assurance, or maybe karate, or akido classes, I'm not into hurting people. I have seen people that have over come fears, which is good as long as you don't get a big head.
To me it's not about being the badest, but in being the Bestest, you can be the Bestest you can, then all the other things just fall aside.
Another thing I have stood and watched prople who were trying to attack me just fall to the ground, I wasn't afraid to begin with and they were wrong in the second place.
In Akido you never throw the first punch, because it is wrong, what they do is bait the person to attack them first, I myself would not even do that.
What I fear now is the Creator, I know all of what I do is seen, there is no place to hide the things you do from your self or the Creator.
A quote " your soul will make perfect witness a your judgement day "

I am not saying anything bad of you, but be a light in the darkness ( a big spotlight ) Trust in the Creator your Maker. And may I do the same always.

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 04:38 PM
I say good morning, good afternoon to anyone I see walking near me. It's my way of acknowledging my awareness of them... to them (I see you). Keeps me aware of my surroundings, keeps strangers on their toes, plus it looks polite. Now at doors I do hold when I notice people walking behind me (it's how I was raised, man or woman).

I think in today's tech savvy age, personal contact has been virtually erased and those interpersonal skills have been lost. I know you see them, heads down in the phone.

Now being a introvert and a slight anxiety disorder, it sucks standing in line when all of the sudden somebody wants to talk about their day... to me... and 30 seconds prior I've never seen them before. Again, I acknowledge them, try to keep my answers short... I'm a friggen magnet to these people.

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 05:01 PM

Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
What I've noticed also is that on the odd occasion that a stranger does say ''hello'' to me, they are invariably from the older generation, which leads me to believe that acknowledging people in this way was more commonplace in the not so distant past.

It's culture. In the South and West, it's common to nod or "howdy" someone on the streets. I'll often "howdy" the janitorial staff or yard work staff as well. Up North and East they look at me a little askance, so I'm more likely to nod and smile.

But of course, a goodole Texas drawl and a "howdy" often gets a nice nod back.

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 05:13 PM
I say "hey how are you" to anyone i pass. The first time they usually say nothing or smile, but if i see them again they smile and say hello like i have known them forever. I am 17 so i guess its a little weird, and i can look intimidating. But, none the less, saying hello is a good way to connect. I have met countless people that today i could not see my life without, all by saying hello.

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 05:17 PM
When I go walking on nature trails if you encounter another person they always say hello.

But if you're walking on the sidewalk, really never happens

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 05:25 PM
reply to post by orange-light

The reason you are 'allowed' to greet someone while hiking is because you have something in common. You're both hiking and can instantly give a comment in regards to this activity to break the ice.

This same logic can be applied to most things but it still feels really awkward when you simply say a quick and short "Hello."

It also depends on how you say it I suppose and if it's simply a greeting to acknowledge the other person/people or as a way to then say something else.

It's a sad thing really. I wish life was more like what Marshall's (from How I Met Your Mother, the TV show) average day was like. The bit where he walks down the street and then starts break dancing. I tried finding the video but no one seems to have the entire bit, just the break dance section.

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