A Conversation for Tips on How to Make Commuting Bearable

Avoid All Eye Contact

Post 1

Tex

For some shameful reason, it's become socially acceptable to avoid making eye contact with other people during your commute. People seem to go to great lengths to intentionally stray away from actually looking at one another. Such solitary and unfriendly efforts can be thwarted by making idle conversation about something another person is reading or other small talk. Don't try to avoid your commute...be part of it.


Avoid All Eye Contact

Post 2

Teasswill

The exception is when the train breaks down or similar problem - suddenly people start talking to each other!


Avoid All Eye Contact

Post 3

GraceK

It takes a breakdown of approximately 20 minutes in the UK for people to start talking to each other. Does this length of time vary from country to country?


Avoid All Eye Contact

Post 4

Wheeliebin

'ere, 'ere, couldn't agree more. If only there was a way of tracing people others have been rude to or ignored, and you'll probably (if not almost certainly) find that they will speak to them in some form or another during the day (telephone, etc), without realising it. There always seems to be such an 'Oh, I'm OK, don't care if you're OK' (specifically to the Essex lines). Sometimes, I'll admit', I do smiley - groan, but all should remember that we may actually need the help of one of our fellow commuters one day, and also that they may actually not be bad. Life's too short. It's also very clear that the transport (integrated, ???) system just about copes, and is on the verge of not coping. More should take to there bikes or legs, as this means less cars, less pollution, less noise, less danger (I think). Anyway, there is good news for the commuting lads out there, the mini (skirt that is) is on its way back, so there will be less 'eye contact'.


Avoid All Eye Contact

Post 5

thenerd

Interesting this: Its prob something to do with our feeling that our space is being invaded.We are cooped up at too close a distance to complete strangers, so we pretend we do not see them.This is of course absurd.We pretend to become incredibly interested on spots on the wall or on passing sights out the window.It is fear of contact I suppose, but what is the worst thing that could happen? And what happened to smalltalk?


Avoid All Eye Contact

Post 6

Who?

It was once my misfortune to be put on a course in London (Tooting actually) and I was lodged near Waterloo station. Since I was reverse commuting, I watched the trains unload before boarding.

This sight was so strange - a couple of hundred individuals walking along the platform in unison! This is not recent, but 1980. No eye contact, no chatter, just haste to be where they had/wanted to be.

Things haven't changed apparently.


Avoid All Eye Contact

Post 7

thenerd

I'm guilty of it myself .I think we get into a habit of avoiding people because it is potentially less awkward and we can 'control' the situation.If we actually spoke to someone we are getting into unknown territory.Probably something to with the behaviour of people in groups


Avoid All Eye Contact

Post 8

kelli - ran 2 miles a day for 2012, aiming for the same for 2013

I talked to a woman on a commuter train the other morning. She probably thinks I am a nutter/weirdo/etc now smiley - laugh

I had to though - she had a really elaborate hairdo with lots of pinning and spray that had obviously taken some time to create and at some point a big lump of fluff had got stuck to it. I couldn't help but notice, so I told her it was there and then when she started fishing in her handbag for a mirror offered to get it off for her. She said thanks but looked embarrassed. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut...


Make Eye Contact With Everyone

Post 9

Demon Drawer

Try to outstare eveyone on a London underground train you'll be amazed how much space you will soon discover around you if you follow this approach. smiley - smiley


Make Eye Contact With Everyone

Post 10

Researcher PSG

The worst bit is if you are stuck on a metro so packed it is really tricky to avoid eye contact, and find yourself rereading some advert for personal injury claims or the metro system map.

However if it is less packed the best thing is to have a free paper or a book, then you can look at that, and avoid the whole bizaar social dance of trying to find the one piece of space to stare into without looking like your looking at someone.

Researcher PSG


Make Eye Contact With Everyone

Post 11

Teasswill

Or stare at someone's reflection in the window.


Key: Complain about this post