To wonder why some people can have such a lack of consideration for others?(5 Posts)
I went with 2 friends to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition yesterday. It was fairly busy, as I expected, but most people seemed to have no problem abiding by the same unspoken etiquette, which enabled the largest number of people to view the pictures in one go. By standing a little over a metre away from the pictures, about 6-8 people could look at them and read the text at a time. There was a lot of making of brief eye contact and reading body language to enable people to change places without obstructing others' view.
There was one notable exception to this- a group of 3 adults who were continually blocking the view for other people. They kept pushing to the front so they were standing at less than arms length from the pictures and blocking the view for other people.
I did wonder if one or more of them had some sort of visual impairment, but their inconsideration seemed to go beyond this, as on more than one occasion I saw one or more of them stand in front of a picture they were not even looking at - when there were pictures perpendicular to each other on the inside of a corner they would stand close to the picture they were not looking at, even though they would get a better view of the one they were looking at if they moved to the side a bit. The attraction seemed to be that there was no one else standing there.
I tried to limit my irritation by keeping away from their group but I noticed they were annoying other people. It seemed to be the same lack of concern and awareness as people who walk down busy streets and stop suddenly without warning or stepping to one side. Or who walk in a group down a narrow pavement making no effort to step aside for people coming the other way and forcing others to step into the road.
It just made me wonder whether some people just don't notice that they are causing an inconvenience to other people or if they do notice but just don't care?
Did they give the impression of being people who wouldn't usually attend a painting or photography exhibition? Because, as you say, in general, there's an unspoken but fairly widely-observed 'code' which allows an awful lot of people to mill around in galleries and see what is displayed. It's common sense with a bit of courtesy - stand back, don't cross in front of someone else etc - but then again, so is letting people off the tube before you try to get on, and while that rule is observed by the vast majority of Londoners, it appears not to be obvious to all visitors...
IME some people just like to push themselves forward so others notice them and "sod the rest of you" sort of attitude. At exhibitions, again IME, they tend to be pretentious and dismissive of the views of others. I have been to exhibitions with the earphone things giving a running commentary and have been pushed out of the way by people wearing these and when challenged they have been really unpleasant. Bascially some people are just plain rude and inconsiderate and should be challenged on it.
They might not have been British. I live overseas and have come to realise that a lot of the social rules us Brits hold so dear, even ones we just assume are common sense, are actually uniquely British and not the universal rules that you might expect. Some cultures would have had a more 'every man for himself' type attitude in this situation; many others would have expected people to say something if their view was being blocked. This latter difference is, in my humble opinion, one of the big gulfs between Brits and other cultures and causes the most misunderstandings, as we tend to view speaking out like that as being quite a big deal, whereas other cultures don't understand why we don't do it and why we have so many unspoken rules.
The only thing that occurred to me is that they were all quite short and I wondered if this meant they thought they had a right to stand in front of everyone else! Although my friend is only 5"2 and that didn't stop them standing in front of her.
The thing is- I think that most people going to a situation with which they were not familiar would look and see how other people were behaving and would mirror that behaviour. I just wonder why some people don't do that.
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