People saying "excuse me" when there is plenty of space to get past

(9 Posts)
GlindatheFairy Mon 14-Mar-16 13:43:13

I seem to notice this happening a couple of times a week.

A couple of days ago I was standing in line in WHSmiths, with 6ft of space behind me and any other object in the shop and I heard "Excuse me!" I turned my head, expecting to see a double buggy (which would be fair enough) but it was a small, slim woman. I shuffled about a millimetre forwards smile and looked pointedly into the cavernous gap which she then walked through with ample space on either side.

What is going on there? At the same time there seem to be loads of people who are totally oblivious to others and where they are standing, actually blocking the way or stopping abruptly in the street so that people only narrowly avoid a domino effect. Perhaps it is the same people, lacking any kind of spatial awareness so that they can neither perceive when they themselves are in the way or when there is plenty of space for them to pass.

Arfarfanarf Mon 14-Mar-16 13:45:31

Was it a 'shift' excuse me or an "im terribly sorry i am going to walk between you and the thing you are looking at. I do apologise" excuse me?

onemouseplace Mon 14-Mar-16 13:49:45

I think some people just lack spacial awareness - I get slightly mystified when I'm pushing the buggy and people walking the other way step out of the way and stop to let me past when there was plenty of room for us to pass each other anyway.

I do thank them, of course, but I don't really get why they needed to stop and let me past.

MsMargaretCarter Mon 14-Mar-16 13:50:22

I have noticed this a few times! Sometimes people ask with a huffy tone and I apologise and look round to see they have got loads of space confused. On the other hand, sometimes I go past someone with lots of room to spare and they suddenly take a huge step back and bump into me - maybe the "excuse me" types are not really wanting us to move but are just announcing themselves so we don't suddenly step back?

juniperdingleberries Mon 14-Mar-16 13:51:58

I was going to say exactly the same thing, onemouse. Especially when they stand aside for you + buggy, there's room for about four people in a row to walk by, and they look annoyed at you as if you're offending them! I'm starting to get paranoid I still look pregnant the amount of room people give me to get past blush

alltouchedout Mon 14-Mar-16 13:57:59

Some of us are just really bad at judging distance. I mean really, really bad. It's part of the reason I still haven't learned to drive- I will never be able to accurately judge whether I can get through a gap. DH is uses to me wincing and panicking that we about to get crushed to death when he's driving, or conversely asking him why he isn't parking in a free space that turns out to be half the size of the car blush

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 14-Mar-16 14:03:22

Maybe she didn't want you to step back without realising she was there (y'know to get the 'Barginn' bar of Cadbury Fruit and Nut that has been languishing under the hot lights. "D'you want a bar of F'n'N for a pound"? )

If someone passed behind my mum without her being aware, high chance she'd hear them, try to move and fall sad

GlindatheFairy Mon 14-Mar-16 14:07:36

Was it a 'shift' excuse me or an "im terribly sorry i am going to walk between you and the thing you are looking at.

No, that would have been fine- she could have passed through behind me without my knowledge or disturbing what I as doing.

Glad it isn't just me. Obviously saying "Excuse me" at all is preferable to being knocked into/over.

I'm starting to get paranoid I still look pregnant the amount of room people give me to get past

I'm also feeling slightly paranoid that it is a passive aggressive way of people are telling me I'm taking up too much space in the world as I'm quite tall and, though fit, size 14-16 and overweight BMI-wise.

BillBrysonsBeard Mon 14-Mar-16 14:27:56

Yes to the pushchair thing! People stand aside sometimes 20 metres ahead if there is a row of cars parked so I end up running with the buggy and saying thanks breathlessly, when there was plenty of room for them to walk past me.

Also people in shops saying excuse me if I'm looking at something on a shelf, but I'm not really bent over or anything... It's making me think my bum is huger than I think. blush

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