I believe in saying hello or hi to people that walk past me. I just like being friendly with strangers. I don’t want to stop and talk or be creepy, I just want to express the notion that I see you and hope you are having a good day. I little smile, head nod, or the actual spoken words just seem to make the world more pleasant when you aren’t overtly ignoring the person 3 feet away as they pass you by.
I understand that some women don’t like to say hi to men because the general scumbag types interpret that as an ‘opening’. So some non-intentional rudeness in the world is understandable. Rob B used to talk about “the mutual interest wave” where two exercisers of the same discipline, always acknowledge the other. Runner, cycler, roller-blader, the motorcycle low-wave…whenever you feel a kinship with the person heading the opposite direction, you have to say hi. It’s an unwritten rule. I have to admit that when a mutual-interest person ignores me, I actually feel slighted.
I also like saying “good morning” to people in the office when I get coffee and first walk in. I know that everyone thinks I am an anti-social jerk, and while I don’t necessarily want to be friends with people I see as I walk by, and I certainly don’t want small-talk, I do think it’s important to acknowledge all of them equally. Kids, colleagues, support staff, and other workers not part of ‘fido’… I say hi to them all.
But in my limited travels I feel I have to point out some generalizations.
- People in the south are the nicest and ALWAYS say hi
- Local islanders (Caribbean) are nice, but that might be commerce based
- New Englanders are a mixed bag. Unpredictable
- Older people tend to be friendlier
- French-Canadians are the absolute worst (sorry Derik)
I don’t care who you are or what you do, saying hi is the polite thing to do, stop ignoring me 🙂