top of page
  • Writer's pictureSue

Human Interaction – Some Do and Some Don’t

Let me start this off by saying I love to people-watch. There is something about the unique qualities everyone possesses that draws me in. One thing that I’ve noticed, and that is always of interest to me, is human interaction and the differences between those who do and those who don’t interact with strangers.

I frequently walk over to Starbucks as it’s just about a mile away. And, during my walk this morning, the interactions I had – or didn’t have – just kind of struck me as funny.

My Encounters

First off, as I was walking over there, I encountered a young guy (okay, he was probably mid-20s) who was obviously out for his morning walk, judging from his attire. As we came into very close proximity, I looked over at him, smiled, nodded my head, and said, “Good morning!” Sadly, I got nothing back. No smile. No head nod. And, no “Good morning.” I actually frowned to myself after we passed each other.

I finally reached Starbucks and upon entering their patio area, I was greeted by a guy who is probably my age, with lots of tats, jeans, and biker boots. Even before I had an opportunity to speak, he said, “Good morning, I hope you’re doing well.” To that, I smiled and responded with, “Good morning. Yes I am, and I hope you are, too!” Then, as I walked by him and opened the door to go inside, I must admit that I had a big smile on my face and happiness back in my heart again.

Then, on my way back home, I stopped at the entrance to a parking lot to give a turning car the right-of-way. The driver in the car stopped and waved me across. Needless to say, I smiled and waved at the kind driver while quickly walking across the parking lot entrance.

My Observations

I’ve been observing people for a long time. And, I understand that no two people are alike. I’m sure there was some good reason why the young guy from this morning didn’t respond to my niceties. Maybe he was totally “in the zone” and not really paying attention to his surroundings. I’ve definitely had my moments when I’ve been “in the zone” while on a walk. Maybe for some other reason he simply didn’t see or hear me. Or, maybe he just doesn’t like to interact with others. Everyone has a story. So, while I do get a little disappointed when I don’t get any kind of response when I smile or speak, I know that 99% of the time, I shouldn’t take it personally.

On the other hand, there was the guy who did speak. I wonder what kind of day he was/is having. Is he just a happy kind of guy? Is he a natural extrovert? Did he speak and smile because I looked like someone who would speak and smile back? And, if that’s the case, what is it about me that gave him that impression?

Then there’s the guy in the car.

Honestly, there were no other cars on the road, so waving me across was more about the principle of it than a way to ensure that I had an opportunity to cross. Is he just the kind of person who naturally lets people walk across?

When I am in the same type of scenario, I let people walk across for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I like to let them keep their momentum regardless of whether they are running or walking. Also, they’re in the elements while I’m in a car. And lastly, I’m just a nice person who naturally thinks of others *smile*

I remember a recent day when I was approaching an intersection where I was going to make a right turn. There was a small group of runners who approached the intersection at roughly the same time as me. Of course, I waved them across. But, what gave me a smile was as I then began my turn, a gentleman in a car at that intersection put his hand out and gave me a thumbs-up. I smiled and waved at him in acknowledgement that. Yep, it was the right thing to do.

Human Interaction – Some Do and Some Don’t

So anyway, I know that some people are more apt to interact than others. And, I know that the reasons for or against are varied. Everyone has their own life story and it’s the content of their story that is what’s important. I also know, however, the effect that their story has on me if I’m brought into it through an encounter, whether lengthy or brief.

So, I will continue to smile and nod and say “Hi” to people I encounter. And maybe, just maybe, that potential exchange of pleasantries might help to create a positive chapter in their story – I know it will in mine!

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page