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To smile at people when I'm out walking?

(58 Posts)
TwitchyTail Thu 09-May-13 19:10:08

I've recently had a baby so after years of driving everywhere, I've started using my legs again and going for walks with said sprog. I think it's polite to briefly smile at, or otherwise acknowledge the existence of, another person if I pass them on a path when no-one else is around.

DH thinks this is intrusive, unnecessary, and a bit creepy.

Who is right?

We aren't in London, and I don't look like I'm about to assault anyone, if that makes any difference.

squoosh Thu 09-May-13 20:03:22

I'm in a city but if I walk past someone on a quietish street and catch their eye I'll always do that friendly-raised-eyebrow-semi-smile thing.

LooseyMy Thu 09-May-13 20:06:55

No I feel self conscious when passer bys look at me. I find it odd and prefer to pass unnoticed.

birdsofshore Thu 09-May-13 20:23:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

When I moved to my current town I realised I was the only be who smiled at passersby! blush I still do it, though, and most people I see have become familiar by sight and now smile back. I don't in the middle of town in the shopping centre, though.

Very normal here. I live in a village with a somewhat aging population and often stop to chat, look at dogs with Ds or have old ladies talk to him. Its nice, it makes it feel like I live in a community.

Geeklover Thu 09-May-13 20:31:45

We moved to the city when dd was 5 and thanks to her being used to saying good morning to everyone after moving from the country we got to know all our neighbours grin
Even the grumpiest ones couldn't resist her smiley good morning on the way to school and a few of them started looking out for her to give her a wave on the way to school.
We have moved again now and it's perfectly normal to pass a smile and a brief lovely/miserable day even with people you don't know.

HollyBerryBush Thu 09-May-13 20:35:21

I find London very friendly - go out of London and if you haven't got the same set of grandparents, they look at you like an alien

TwitchyTail Thu 09-May-13 20:48:36

grin at birdsofshore.

Sorry to offend Londoners blush

everlong Thu 09-May-13 20:56:34

I live in a village so to me smiling, nodding, saying hello/morning is normal, it seems rude to walk past someone without some kind of greeting.

Weegiemum Thu 09-May-13 20:58:09

Totally normal here (Glasgow).

In fact I often end up stopping and talking to total strangers!

TwinkleTits Thu 09-May-13 21:17:46

Ive lived in a city, and there I wouldnt. Didnt.

Now I live in the sticks and most people smile a d acknowledge each other.

dontquotem3 Thu 09-May-13 21:22:46

In my way of life a smile
is considered charity. Smile away smile

HerrenaHarridan Thu 09-May-13 21:38:58

grin Squoosh, the complicated nuances of human interaction, more subtle than the
" I'll go this side you go that side, oh your going that side well I'll go the other side, fuck now your going that way too and we both look silly, right ill wait to see what your doing, oh no your waiting to see what I'm doing, right I'll go this side...."

But not as subtle as the
" I really want that last sandwich, I think he might be eyeing it up too though, how many did he have? Oh he's looking the other way maybe he doesn't want that sandwich, is she eyeing up that sandwich.."

BackforGood Thu 09-May-13 21:40:27

I have to disagree with Ryanboy and Rambososcar. I've lived in a City all my life, and always greet people with a smile / nod / comment / chat.

austenozzy Thu 09-May-13 21:51:36

Totally normal here, in our village. Dog walks can last twice as long from all the stopping and chatting!

In London it's a little different (I'm from London originally). On the tube or while commuting to/from work, the most I might do or receive is a brief nod or smile or 'ta' if you hold a door open or give way on a platform or something, but seldom a chat, unless there's a shared experience like a missed bus or train or something. There's just not enough hours in the day to be civil to every stranger you pass!

The worst was when we visited Italy, however. Small riviera town (Bordighera), during the day, nobody in much of a rush. Not a single smile, nod, hello (in Italian!), nothing. Even in shops and cafes, just the bare minimum to serve and take my money. Was almost enough to spoil the holiday as everyone was so unfriendly!

Mumsyblouse Thu 09-May-13 22:20:54

Round here, perfectly normal to say 'hello' or smile when going for a walk, although I have noticed that sometimes younger people don't do this, but certainly all locals over 35 probably would! I like it, very rude to march on past hoping not to see them. But, I do change my behaviour when visiting London (after living there for years) as obviously if I did this on the Tube I would probably be considered very strange indeed. I do smile at little children though, wherever I am, I can't help it.

ZebraOwl Thu 09-May-13 22:41:33

I live in London (born & raised here too) & quite often smile politely at people while I'm out walking - if I'm in the middle of London Bridge in the rush hour I'm about getting across untrampled, if I'm walking up to the Heath & see someone coming from t'other way I'll smile politely. As I have to ask people to let me sit down on public transport I always say thank you to whoever's let me have their seat. I also say thank you if people hold doors etc. Was taught all of that is polite.

Mind you, I am more Irish than anything else. Which might be why I'm so happy to chat with strangers. Even on the Tube. Shocking, I know...

NurseRatchet Thu 09-May-13 22:46:36

I always try and smile at people. For everyone who thinks you're a loon, there will be someone who's day it makes. I smiled at an old man the other week who had people barging past like he wasn't there, and got a great big beam and a "hello dear!" for my troubles.

ManifestoMT Thu 09-May-13 22:53:54

From the north but I worked in Marlow for a bit and on my walks to work would say hello to passersby which really freaked them out.

So I used to do it loads to amuse myself.

Oooop north it's expected you nod, smile may be comment on the weather.

LunaticFringe Thu 09-May-13 22:56:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

topbannana Fri 10-May-13 07:48:30

YANBU! We live in a small village where the average age must be 70 smile Going anywhere at speed is nigh on impossible due to the gauntlet of cheery, smiling folk you would need to negotiate.
It's very nice but just occasionally I do wish that I could take the dog out in peace and quiet (having a new puppy has upped the level of social interaction several notches grin)

ladymariner Fri 10-May-13 08:23:15

The weirdest thing is that anyone would find it odd to be smiled at by someone.......surely it's just a nice thing to do?

MotherShipton Fri 10-May-13 08:23:37

Keep smiling smile - it's infectious - you smile they smile and they pass it on to someone else. A smile and a nice hello can lift someones day.
I always chat to little old ladies when I'm in the supermarket queue as I sometimes think I could be the only person they've spoke to all day - very sad.

MrsMangoBiscuit Fri 10-May-13 08:32:27

Always do it here, smile, nod head, say "morning". There's a few regulars, have never exchanged names, but DD and I always stop for a quick chat when we see them.

Your thread has reminded me of something DD did about a year ago when she was 2. There was a teenage girl walking along, looking at the pavement, so we couldn't make eye contact or smile. DD darted in front of her, grinned up at her and shouted "Ello!!" Thankfully the girl thought it was funny too. blushgrin

LadyVoldemort Fri 10-May-13 08:42:41

Very normal here in the north east. DS also likes to stop everyone with a dog and help throw the ball for it. Amazing how many people are happy to stand and chat while he runs off with their dogs!

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