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Dear Poll: Do You Talk to People in Elevators?

I'm not sure why, but it seems to be an unspoken rule to keep to yourself while in an elevator. It's always an awkward silence, especially when you're traveling 15 plus stories up or down, yet no one breaks the ice with a friendly hello, smile, or "have a nice day"! I'm guilty of this myself, but what about you? Do you ever talk to strangers in the elevator?


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NordicFL NordicFL 5 years
Elevator Silence In tall apartment buildings, there is the culture of elevator silence, broken only by downward stares and preoccupation with ipods and fumbling with ear pieces, protective gestures against others inescapable eyes and ears. Better the isolation into one’s self than risk absorbing the icy discomfort of indifference, brief moments of physical presence in tolerance and obligation so common in empty relationships-- elevator silence with its fear of eyes that see and are seen, unspoken thoughts, until liberation with the automatic doors, then the rush held back by courteous nods.
eirinaki eirinaki 7 years
2 years later I bumped into this post about elevators. I am currently researching about this absurd alienation to which we subject our selves! Why can't we just talk and share a few words in the elevator? We could make it such a better experience and avoid these moments of awkwardness. So here is my question! If it was "socially normal" to talk in elevators and you did not face the fear of "looking like a fool" would you enjoy talking in the elevator?
Cider-Morten Cider-Morten 8 years
I just smile.
ayuninur ayuninur 8 years
Missy-Prissy Missy-Prissy 8 years
never. I make eye contact and toss on a smile and maybe a Hello if the other person initiates it but I wouldn't start a conversation on my own free will.
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
Always! I talk to everyone everywhere. And I'm a very shy and quiet person. I feel like its rude to not acknowledge a person you're standing right next to. I dont need to have a full on conversation but a hello or a "have a good day" or "which floor" suffices to make me feel not so rude. I also talk/make pleasantries with bank tellers, cashiers, and toll booth collectors, too. Hello and "Have a wonderful day". It just comes naturally to me.
designerel designerel 8 years
A quick half-smile and ask them to press a button if needed. If they talk to me first about whatever, I have no problem chatting, but I won't initiate it.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It depends for me. I do talk to people more often than most, though. Why not? Of course you are not going to be lifelong friends with the majority of people you meet on elevators, but that doesn't mean that talking to them won't brighten their day. (Or your day!)
karmadillo karmadillo 8 years
I have what I call "elevator syndrome" When I get on an elevator I laugh. I can't help it! I don't know why! There is no reason for it, and if I am with someone its even worse. Do you ever notice even if you are with someone you know you might stop your conversation when you get in an elevator? I just laugh- or at least smirk or smile. People probably think I'm nut at work!
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i don't normally talk, but sometimes, if i'm feeling friendly, i'll throw something out about "hope it's not still raining" or comments on something interesting in the news (we have a TV with news in it in our elevator) i go up 14 floors to work, so it's kinda weird sometimes to just stand there, especially when you kinda know the person, or have seen them around
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
If I'm sharing an elevator with someone who looks approachable I'll usually at least say hello. If I'm in a bad mood I won't say a word, haha.
MeggyPoodles MeggyPoodles 8 years
I am pretty claustrophobic, so if I MUST take the elevator, I am more focused on remaining calm, rather than chit chatting with strangers.
Anenimenie Anenimenie 8 years
"I'm so used to people being unfriendly that if someone does say something I think they're weird. I have to get out of this city." haha, how very sad and so true, popgoestheworld! my brother has a habit of saying goodmorning to people we pass on the street, and they always look at us like we're axe murderers. :P
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
No. Why would I do that? I'm in the UK and we don't speak to people here. :)
RustyAngel73 RustyAngel73 8 years
I don't really think its awkward having silence in an elevator with a stranger. With someone you know yeah, sometimes, but not a stranger...
I try my best to be alone on elevators. I do not like being stuffed into a box with anymore than 1 other person. At the hotel I work at, I have to run up the elevators all the time, and if it's a weekend night, you will not catch me sharing an elevator with anyone.
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
If I'm with someone then I'll talk to them or if I see someone I know I'll talk to them unless they don't want to talk. If I'm somewhere and I know the people as someone who works with my family I just smile. I don't like talking and I don't like talking to strangers. So if I'm in an elevator and I know the people well I'll talk and if I don't then there is no talking.
gemsera gemsera 8 years
for me, its all about networking. I'm one of the youngest girls on work campus, and one of the few girls, hence I stand out so I always make sure I say hello and smile at people. I work for a contractor so maybe when my contract is up it may help me get a job at the actual company in question. That and everyones really nice so its easier to do :)
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
65% of the time, no I keep to myself...
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
If a person comes on to the elevator I'll do a smile and a faint hello. If I'm going on I'll expect them to say "hello" if they don't I don't.
luckyme luckyme 8 years
Wow! I'm shocked by all of you meanies ;). I typically smile and say "hi." I'll start a conversation especially if it's just me and one other person, something casual about the weather, or something. The awkward silence when there are just two people is weird. Obviously, if the other person isn't biting, I'll let it go. But when I exit, I would usually say something too. I think it stems from working in the management office of a large corporate office. I had to be cordial with all of the tenants. And imlissy - I actually did make friends with someone I rode in an elevator with.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Generally, I make some casual eye contact, and smile. I offer to push numbers if I'm by the console. That's it.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I'm so used to people being unfriendly that if someone does say something I think they're weird. I have to get out of this city.
imLissy imLissy 8 years
No, I can't stand it when people try to start up a conversation in the elevator. It's a minute long ride, we're not going to be life long friends.
ally14 ally14 8 years
I'd like to be able to just be open and talk to whoever's in the elevator but I'm very shy! Jealous of people who can easily strike up a conversation! I usually just keep to myself.
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