Friday, March 21, 2008

THE SILENT TREATMENT

My husband and I went to San Francisco last weekend. Flying out and back I decided to try an experiment. The "tag-blogs" about the 5 kindness things started me thinking. Most people, in their kindness to strangers said they talked to people in line or in waiting rooms, etc. I wondered if I never said anything, would strangers talk to me first? My husband booked me a seat in first class and he was in coach. (His company paid for his ticket and I flew on his frequent flyer miles. He said he booked my seat in first class so I could have more leg room, although I told him I would rather sit by him than have leg room. :0} ) So other than pointing to my seat and saying that was my seat by the window, I said nothing to my seat-mates. Having to change planes in Phoenix going out and coming back, I ended up sitting by 3 men, and 1 woman. No one said a word to me. In Phoenix, I went to get a sandwich and there was nowhere to sit. I saw a woman sitting by herself at a 4-top so I went up to her and asked if anyone was sitting with her and when she said no, asked if I could sit with her. I thought, "This will be the real test - I spoke to her first, now let's see if she speaks to me if I don't say anything more." She didn't. I thought this experiment was quite interesting. Do people just want to be left alone? Are people just not interested in making small talk? Do they not care enough to make the effort to make conversation? Do men only talk to "hot" looking women? Do women only talk to "hot" looking men?

6 comments:

Lindsay-Weaver said...

I have a theory that technology has interfered a bit with our friendliness to strangers. Now when I am in the store, it seems like everyone (including myself sometimes) is obsessed with their cell phone or i-pod. The more technology we have, the less social we have to be with strangers. Just a thought.

*L*

gilbert girl said...

I want people to leave me alone...Maybe that's my shyness again.

Delirious said...

I think that we give off body language too that either encourages or discourages people to talk to us. Also, I think that it isn't part of some people's cultures to talk to strangers. Where I live, the culture encourages it, so it is normal. I think the bigger cities tend to be a little more wary.

Rintor said...

I agree with Gilbert girl, but that's because I aspire to be a crazy, crotchety hermit and not because of technology. My co-workers are always trying to talk to me while I'm reading during my lunch break. I wonder if they think that I'm staring at the words hoping someone will grace me with their insightful lunchroom banter. I'm cranky.

Twist's Tales said...

I'm afraid you have to understand the traveller mentality. If you are travelling, you may talk to your seat companion briefly. If they talk to you, you may converse. If they answer briefly and turn away, it's because either they are uncomfortable talking or they have something they really want or need to do while they travel, ie read their favorit book, catch up on work or even sleep.

Amber said...

well i guess other than w**** all my siblings are just like me - i too prefer to be left alone, for some reason strangers talking to me makes me uncomfortable, and if it's a man I always wonder if he's trying to pick me up so I do my best to give off that body language that says "leave me alone" but even then people will still talk to me - Rintor, i hate when people talk to you when you're reading, for this reason I now eat lunch in my car or my office (w/the door closed) lunch is my sacred time and i don't want to discuss "shop" with my co-workers LOL