Sidewalk Jerks

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This is an newspaper article from my university papers, and when I read it, I thought it was funny, and it's very true too.

$\rightarrow$GRINDS MY GEARS

By Courtenay Courier

One thing that really grinds my gears is those awkward moments as you pass someone on the sidewalk. I don't know why they have to be so difficult and uncomfortable. You're just walking by someone, yet they seem to want to make it weird for you. I just don't understand it.

You'll notice if you walk by someone that they either make a point of looking away from you or they glare straight at you, both of which are annoying. Even more so are those people who glare at you, but as you get closer, look away so you won't know they were staring at you. But, in order to see these reactions you have to glare at them, making them uncomfortable. So really, you find yourself doing the very same thing that weirds you right out when it happens to you. But it's unavoidable. When you're just walking along, there's really nothing going on and people going by may be the only thing to watch. But, for some reason, you're scared to let them see you looking at them. So, when they look over, you look away, making all the more obvious that you were staring at them to begin with.

It always makes you feel better when the person you walk by either offers a head nod or a simple "hi". This is what ultimately saves them from coming off as too much of a douche.

Now, to be honest, I'm a little bit hypocritical: when I see certain people, I just get the urge to glare right at them. Not that I think they're really something to look at, but because it creeps them out. Engough people do this to me, so I figure why not torment them a little too? So, when I pass someone who looks like they can be easily intimmidated, I give them 'the glare.' You know what I mean, that stare that looks like I'm looking straight through them, analysing them, making them really uneasy and then they stop looking at me, and that adds just a little bit of joy to my day. Basically, what I'm saying is that I don't mind messing with peoples heads, but I don't like it when they do it to me. Or, rather, they do it to me, which makes me want to give it back big time. I just think that this is such an unneccessary and ridiculous hassle. Why is walking by someone so damned uncomfortable? Why do other people have to make it that way? I mean, you're only going to see them for about five seconds, why should alter the mood of your day at all? But it can. I guess some people just have a natural urge to glare. Maybe they're just stupid. Maybe they only do this to me because they hate me from first glance. I don't know. But my roommate Robin seemed to think it was a stupid but annoying situation as well. So, I'm glad it's not just me who notices these things. Otherwise, I'd have no one to gripe to.

The point is, if you see someone walking past you on the sidwalk, don't make it too obvious that you're trying not to look at them, and don't stare at them. I suppose a glance with a head nod is in order. Just stop being a jerk about it.

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So what is your opinions on this article? Do you feel the same way this journalist (and I) felt?

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I've never had that experience before. Weird, a regional thing?

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I've never had that experience before. Weird, a regional thing?

I have it with some people, but not with others. I'm not sure why, I'll have to think about the next time it happens.

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The author sounds like he has a little bit of a problem. I normally just smile or say hi if I walk past someone in my neighbourhood. I don't think that this applies if you were in the city though, depends where you are I suppose.

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I think this author is explicitly talking about how she has to walk past other students on the university campus.

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I usually just give a "hi" or a "how you doin'"

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I think the author must have a lot of free time.

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It always makes you feel better when the person you walk by either offers a head nod or a simple "hi".

Exactly this sort of behavior is what will make Finnish people think you have some sort of social disorder.

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Wow. I think the author should live in New York for a while. Everyone completely ignores everyone else (with the exception of avoiding physically colliding), and it's not the slightest bit uncomfortable.

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Very funny.

Imagine yourself walking by yourself in a long hallway, and there's another person walking toward you in the opposite direction. This person is someone you really like. Would you glare at the person, or try to ignore him/her? Or you simply have the urge to look at the person? You also would want to know if the person is looking at you or not.

That would describe an awkward moment.

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...Now, to be honest, I'm a little bit hypocritical: when I see certain people, I just get the urge to glare right at them.

I get that all the time whether at the mall or just at dinner with dad. It creeps me out big time coming from people old enough to be my father and it ticks my dad off even more. Do teens a favor and don't do that.

Bettina

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Bettina, you must be a beautiful woman. It's not your fault. (Like some old women would glare at me!!)

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I usually ignore strangers on the sidewalk. Here in Sweden its what most people do, everybody minds their own business out in the public. But i wouldn't want it to be otherwise. I get easily nervous around strangers, and having asperger's doesn't make gestures and eye contact to strangers very easy:P, part of why i hate interacting with absolute strangers downtown, makes me nervous and anxious. So i like it this way. Don't take me wrong, im not at all antisocial and cynic, "just" only with total strangers. People are different.

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What? you mean theres Other people using the same walkway as me????

seriously, when I walk Im thinking, walking is totaly on "Auto-pilot" unless you call my name or stab me or something, you simply dont exist!

Im looking at Other things and thinking my own thoughts, people don`t interest me (in that situation anyway).

if someone Does "pop in" then I simply smile.

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I think the author must have a lot of free time.

...and issues.

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Does anybody have any comments on my post #11?

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Does anybody have any comments on my post #11?

Sure. Its not awkward at all. If I like the person coming toward me I would already know his name. I would look at him, smile, and say "Hi". I would not stop. I already broke the ice and the next move would be his.

I always smile and say hi to people passing me even if I don't know them or say hi back if they say it first. Sometimes I will smile without saying anything but I always aknowledge the person passing me. No matter what age they are because its common courtesy.

The problem I (and my friends) have are the middle age adults who stare at us without saying anything. The mall lurkers who follow you from aisle to aisle pretending to shop near you just to gawk up close. If we make eye contact with them they will keep it going never breaking first and its worse when were in an ice cream shop where they sit close to you and stare. These guys freak us out. Its not just me, and thats why my friends and I always car pool and go out in groups.

The senior gentlemen are ok. We always smile at them. I think it kinda makes their day.

Bettina

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One time I can remember these nice looking girls giggling as i walked by in college. It happened again right before I got to class. My ego was sky high, I had finally reached the apex of my physical attraction! I then discovered as I sat down that my fly was wide open! It was amazing how we all seemed to remember that incident months afterwards. They would always smile when I passed.

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The problem I (and my friends) have are the middle age adults who stare at us without saying anything. The mall lurkers who follow you from aisle to aisle pretending to shop near you just to gawk up close. If we make eye contact with them they will keep it going never breaking first and its worse when were in an ice cream shop where they sit close to you and stare. These guys freak us out. Its not just me, and thats why my friends and I always car pool and go out in groups.

How often do you get this? Are these guys "running rampant" in our society - like every second middle aged man is one of these creeps? Geez

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I was accused of being one of those guys when I was shopping at Walmart one night. Some teenage girls apparently didn't like the way I looked or something so they ducked into the cereal aisle. Little did they know that was my plan all along, I need my cocoa puffs. So they looked at me all weird like I was a pervert when I just wanted my chocolate cereal:-(

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^-- I can sympathize. Unless I have some specific reason for paying attention, I'm generally oblivious to people around me, off in my own world, often muttering to myself and lurking around and acting generally creepy. Sometimes I'll be staring off in to space doing this, and people think I'm staring at them and freak out. Or, at least, so I'm told by my friends who like to watch the spectacle unfold and tell me about it later.

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walking on footpaths? what an idea!, these people really have time to burn.

whenever i go out i invariably take a bike or run it.

a bike normally cuts the akward time down to two seconds or less. so the only thing you have time to do is nod politely rather than say hi.

auto pilot is taken to a whole new level when you ride from one end of town to the other without remembering anything about the trip. i think i have collision avoidance drilled firmly into my sub consious.

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The senior gentlemen are ok. We always smile at them. I think it kinda makes their day.

Well half of them are probably senile but not yet diagnosed.

The other half may not have had someone talk to them in a year or more.

So yeah, someone smiling at them probably does make their day.

Husmusen

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