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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.

MsJupiterJones Fri 10-May-13 09:12:43

HollyBerry so true!

I'm in London and in the circumstances the OP describes, a smile or nod would definitely be normal. When I had my dog, people would often stop to talk about him (a teenage boy even told me he was cool) and now I have a buggy with a 6mo DS in it the same applies, even on the tube or in busy places people will want to look and chat or just give a smile. I think it's because there's a focus point people don't feel awkward - also of course they can't help themselves in the face of such cuteness.

funkybuddah Fri 10-May-13 09:16:47

Ive been walking a lot this year as in training and dog walkers, other walkers, runners etc all say hello and smile, I quite like it especially as its often fairly deserted, for some reason it puts me at ease that I've been acknowledged IYKWIM

DailyNameChanger Fri 10-May-13 09:22:18

I actually think it's easier to smile and say hello than do the averting gaze thing. People always say to me it always smiling, even on days I feel wretched lol so my face must just be built that way. I try to tone it down on the school run though where it is frequently met with a stony glare. Lol

LightTheLampNotTheRat Fri 10-May-13 09:22:35

Where I live in London there are plenty of smiles/nods - not unfriendly at all. But, thankfully, none of the endless weather-observations that are apparently compulsory in the village my parents live in (in Scotland). What's that all about - why the relentless weather-chat? Especially as most days it's either raining or going to rain.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 10-May-13 09:44:07

Well, there's definitely etiquette that if you're out hiking up mountains, you should say hello to people. That can be extended to short walks in the countryside, though lots of people don't and, walks in the park. Our park is quite busy, so, the only people I say hello to are the ones I pass at a similar time most days.

In the situation you describe, I think smiling is nice but saying hello demands a response, so is a bit intrusive, unless the person is already making eye contact. I don't want to have to respond to people if I'm deep in thought for example.

It's no surprise that your DHs view is different, as men do not smile as much as women and crucially, do not feel the same expectation to smile in order to look cheerful, acknowledge others, or please or placate people. They find it normal to stride about thinking about what they are doing and acknowledging others only when they have to or need something from them. There is a massive amount of social conditioning behind this.

TwitchyTail Fri 10-May-13 09:49:07

Right then I'm off on a brisk morning stroll to smile and nod and everyone with impunity. Thanks everyone! smile

TwitchyTail Fri 10-May-13 09:50:06

at everyone. Fecking brain.

poopnscoop Fri 10-May-13 12:27:17

I smile at people all the time - it's called being friendly.. and I live in London.

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