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Are people becoming less polite and friendly

(27 Posts)
Orangeblossom78 Sat 18-Apr-20 17:51:34

Out in town today picking up some shopping in M&S, quiet, no need to stress, plenty of room for people to shop, maybe ten people in the whole shop.

First a man in a mask in an aisle, made a huge fuss of jumping nd kind of scuttling away from me, no 'excuse me' or anything or reason as plenty of room

Then going out, they have two ways out open and stopped to let another lady go first. I said "Please go ahead, after you" and smiled. She just kind of looked at me as if I was mad and rushed by.

is it just me or are people just not being friendly and polite any more? I know people are worried- we all are. But people are still human and there is no need to be rude.

I just wondered what others experiences are or maybe it is just where I like. A friend in the Netherlands said, while social distancing they tend to greet each other in passing with a smile and a 'morgan' (morning) I think the expression was.

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stairgates Sat 18-Apr-20 17:54:22

Completely, I think some people are turning feral!

TheEndIsBillNighy Sat 18-Apr-20 17:56:12

I couldn’t agree more. I’m finding this aspect of the whole situation harder than any other.

MsChatterbox Sat 18-Apr-20 18:08:33

It depends, were you in the middle of the aisle and not leaving space for someone to get by with distance? And were you close to the door so she would have to pass close by you to go out?

If yes then I can understand why people are like this in these situations. People are stressed atm.

If not then I have no idea what's up with some people. But then I think I'm freaking some people out by smiling at them in the street!

PammieDooveOrangeJoof Sat 18-Apr-20 18:12:19

I’ve had experience of both with people either being obviously more friendly and chatty than normal and the people being unnecessarily rude and or scowling at everyone within a a two mile radius who they perceive to be carrying the plague.

Cherrychops100 Sat 18-Apr-20 18:14:59

I think people are definitely more rude, my mum was queuing up at the pharmacy and got a load of abuse from an older gentlemen, she didn't do anything wrong either. I seriously wanted to say to him to not be so rude but I didnt have the patience.
I've found myself getting a bit aggy in supermarkets as well, but I think that's because I'm so hormonal 😂

Fawnandwren Sat 18-Apr-20 18:15:07

Yes I have noticed, more rudeness and very unnecessarily eg not saying thank you if I let them go first etc. Also absolute twunts on the road atm, I don't get it, the roads are deserted 🙄

Orangeblossom78 Sat 18-Apr-20 18:15:30

No, I was staying 2m away, no need to behave like that. I can understand it if maybe someone was coming into their space though

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Pulpfiction1 Sat 18-Apr-20 18:22:59

People have gone nuts. They look at you like you're about to shoot them.

We had a woman swear "for fucks sake" at us because we wanted to walk up the same path she was for some unknown reason just stood about on with her dog. I couldn't get out of her way as I had a dog and a double buggy. She only had to step on the grass a bit.

We also get dirty looks for being out as a family to walk the dog. Like going out for a walk isn't allowed. Kids in buggy as well not running about.

Then you get the other extreme of people in shops not adhering to social distancing at all. And it's always the dirty looking people that do it. People who you know have never washed their hands.

buckeejit Sat 18-Apr-20 18:23:56

What's his mask got to do with anything? Define a huge fuss?

It's clearly open to interpretation & we all have different risk appetites so I think it's maybe a bit like when someone is driving a lot faster than you on the motorway you think they're crazy & if someone is driving much slower you think they're an idiot.

I've found people generally distancing well on our daily local walk & more pleasant than normal if anything, (we mostly say hello to everyone round here anyway), but I feel anxious at the shop & the odd person comes right up beside you to get something rather than just waiting half a minute & that is frustrating so I'd move fairly quickly if they did. If you asked 100 people to mark out 2m I think you'd get very mixed results.

Ratbagcatbag Sat 18-Apr-20 18:25:11

People are being rude and nasty on social media too. Shaming posts over all sorts of trivial stuff. It's like a licence has been given for people to just collectively be nasty.

It's driving me mad.

Makeitgoaway Sat 18-Apr-20 18:30:58

I think some people are really very scared and yes it's making them rude.

An interesting anecdotal theory from today's run. While the weather was good, the "fairweather" walkers really seemed to hate me as a (IMO) considerate runner trying my best to keep the 2m distance and not to upset anyone.

Today, a bit chilly and some dampness in the air, we were back to people who would have been out running or dog walking before the crisis and everyone was smily and friendly, people laughed at our mutual attempts to do our best to keep well apart and thanked everyone who made an effort for them (which was everyone).

It's the strolling in the sunshine that has made the woods so unfriendly. Was lovely today.

HotCrossBungle Sat 18-Apr-20 18:31:40

Fuck off!


Pulpfiction1 Sat 18-Apr-20 18:33:46

Oh yeah, there are the lock down Puritans who've made up their own uber strict rules, are far superior for following their uber strict - and largely bonkers - rules, and berate anyone who does anything they deem unacceptable.

Pulpfiction1 Sat 18-Apr-20 18:35:15


Took me a minute to get that grin

Orangeblossom78 Sat 18-Apr-20 18:40:46

Maybe I am overcompensating by being friendly. I told a man 'nice dog' when we passed at a distance and he said 'takes after his owner' (smug) but at least some people are at least talking!

I tried saying hello to a (rather odd) neighbour at a distance the other day and he said "Yes". Just "Yes" smile

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Fluffymulletstyle Sat 18-Apr-20 18:41:36

People are scared, they are in fight or flight mode and yes some are unfriendly.

Others it has brought the best out in with community's pulling together. The supermarkets are not nice places to be and it puts me on edge being in them. I find myself avoiding eye contact when shopping in a way I wouldn't out on the street.

Camomila Sat 18-Apr-20 18:43:17

I haven't been to the supermarket in lockdown (DH goes as I can't drive) but on our daily walk/scoot with the DC along the local roads and to the park/woods everyone is friendly and says thank you when people social distance, and lots of people smile/wave at DS1 playing. I think people are happy to be out in the fresh air in a park thats not too busy (on the outskirts of town in a residential area) and have some socially distant interaction.

EmpressMcSchnozzle Sat 18-Apr-20 18:49:57

Yes. Fear does that to many people. And the rest are just tw*ts. (We've just been beeped on our return from the supermarket, on an otherwise empty road, with an empty lane next to us, because we took more than 2 seconds to release the handbrake and move off when the lights turned green. I'm hoping every light between where they beeped and where they were going was on red. And no, they weren't going towards the hospital.)

Orangeblossom78 Sat 18-Apr-20 18:55:41

Are people going to behave like this on return to (socially distanced) work in e.g. offices? Or is it just mainly with strangers I wonder

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HotCrossBungle Sat 18-Apr-20 18:57:54


yes, just kidding of course 😁

Looneytune253 Sat 18-Apr-20 19:02:19

I must admit I'm usually super polite but I went to the supermarket today and my heart was racing. I was so so nervous by the end of the shop even tho I've had cv so the risks were probably low.

LimitIsUp Sat 18-Apr-20 19:03:36

I guess a supermarket or shop is a high stress area hence the peculiarities (and yes, rudeness perhaps)? I've not been to the supermarket since lockdown - have a village veg box scheme and farmers butcher etc

I live rurally - everyone I have encountered when walking my dog has been friendly, but then we don't have a high concentration of people so social distancing outside is straightforward and perhaps not very stressful in my community?

Village facebook page has a couple of Covid nutters on it though - although heartening to seem them being increasingly closed down by the sensible majority

YouokHun Sat 18-Apr-20 19:30:25

To be honest I think the polite people, the friendly people, the thoughtful people were like that before, are like that now, and will be like that after this weird time. Fear has a part to play and also it's hard to know what's going on for people that makes them appear more unreasonable. One thing I've really noticed in a relatively rural area is that people are driving like loons; I guess the lack of traffic is giving them confidence. I'm not noticing a particular downward spiral in manners but I'm noticing particular behavioural clusters forming where I live (this is a bit tongue in cheek, but only a bit):

Clapping Police: assumptions made about why someone is not outside their front door clapping at 8pm on a Thursday. Most fervant policing usually done by people who voted for a party least likely to support the NHS in normal times IMO.

Community Minded Virtue Signallers: No point shopping for the old lady next door unless you report your goodness on social media. No need to speak to her again once this is over. (Loads of people quietly doing great work of course).

Armchair Virologist and Social Distancing Expert: I saw someone go right up to someone's face to tell them they were irresponsible about the 2 metre rule and give them a lecture that even I could see with my flimsy scientific grasp was rubbish. These lectures on the nature of Covid19 can also be given on line via FB (punctuation optional, evidence optional).

Conspiracy Theorist: being an antivaxxer is tricky right now so best to point your focus elsewhere and start talking about how Bill Gates wants to murder everyone's granny.

Virus denial Loons: close relative of the Conspiracy Theorist but feels we are all paranoid sheep and that most of what Trump has to say is right on the money.

MLM Hun: has a special oil/supplement/milkshake to increase your "immunity" or cure/prevent almost anything. She also has a handcream she'd like you to buy to donate to a nurse and she wishes to emphasise that this is purely charitable and has nothing to do with maintaining rank in her pyramid or making a sly profit off the back of the virus.

Orangeblossom78 Sat 18-Apr-20 20:41:39

That reminds me apparently there are lockdown 'tribes' according to the papers today. Things like the 'pragmatic realist' I will find it.

Wonder what most people on MN are?

*The study, by the data consultancy firm Auspex which surveyed 2,000 British adults, has broken the population down into five broad groups based on their reaction to life under quarantine and the personality traits that they are most associated with.

The survey, conducted online, found that the largest group — almost a third — was made up of “pragmatic realists”, who support the government and are complying with its measures. Those in the group are typically better educated and from a higher socio-economic background than other types. They are typically older, watch more television and shop at Marks & Spencer.

“Nervous dependants” comprise the second largest category, around a quarter of interviewees. These people are most scared by the pandemic and are pessimistic about the future, believing the lockdown will go on for at least another six months. They are more likely to trust accepted scientific authority figures, and are very supportive of the NHS. This category is the most left-leaning and those within it typically work in teaching, the arts and healthcare. They cite Zara and Primark as their favourite clothing brands.

“Resentful pessimists” make up just under a fifth of the population. These people hold a negative perspective on the future as shaped by the virus but feel aggrieved at losing their freedoms and view most government interventions as unacceptable They consume less news than other groups.

Around 14 per cent of people fall into the category of “deluded optimists”. Typically male and from a poorer background, they are least afraid of the virus or the toll that it will take. Accordingly, they have moderated their behaviour less than others, and are more likely to continue doing as they please. They watch less television than others but are more frequent visitors to YouTube and online chat forums.

Just over 10 per cent of respondents fell into the “sceptical troublemakers” group. These people are also not scared by the pandemic and are the most likely to actively go against public health guidance. They are more likely to be young, male and comfortable. They name Audi and BMW as their favourite car brands.

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Mark Turnbull, chief executive of Auspex, which was started by former employees of Cambridge Analytica, said that the research is a warning to the government that any new measures will have different effects on different people, due to the population’s varied responses to the crisis.

“With the lockdown of British life set to continue for another three weeks, it’s worth considering that we all have different emotional responses to this situation, as our analysis shows,” he said. “Although the simple universal message ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ has been effective, managing expectations on more sensitive issues like lifting the lockdown may require a more nuanced approach.”

The celebrity response

The response to the lockdown among celebrities has been mixed. Ariana Grande is most likely a “nervous dependant”. The singer, 26, tweeted that saying “we will be fine because we’re young” was “putting people who aren’t young and/or healthy in a lot of danger”.

Conversely, the calm moderation of Arnold Schwarzenegger, aligns him with the “pragmatic realists”. The actor, 72, said in a video: “The important thing is that you stay home.” The boxer Amir Khan, 33, claimed in a video that the virus is a “man-made thing” linked to 5G towers, so he would most likely be a “sceptical troublemaker”*

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