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‘Hello’ ‘Hello’ It’s not that hard!

By ninga - 27 September 2008 41

Is it just me or do other people find that when they are out taking a walk along one of Canberra’s many footpaths, when they pass or come across people, if they smile and say ‘hello’ they are usually ignored completely or stared at as if you had said something rude?

Even on a day like today, bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky and every reason to be feeling cheerful with spring in the air, the majority of people you meet or pass along a footpath will not return your friendly ‘hello’ greeting.

Surely it’s not that hard, even a nod or quick smile would be SOMETHING.

Alas, I find myself becoming inclreasingly despondant until soon I will give up saying hello and do as everyone else does, stare straight ahead and ignore any attempts by passers by at being friendly.

What’s Your opinion?

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41 Responses to
‘Hello’ ‘Hello’ It’s not that hard!
p1 11:19 pm 27 Sep 08

…about losing their bus money or the Red Cross….

I hate it when I lose my red cross…

Hasdrubahl 10:45 pm 27 Sep 08

I am usually too absorbed in my own self-importance to notice the all trolls dragging their knuckles past me. Sorry, ninga.

Granny 9:54 pm 27 Sep 08

Me too, Bundy. I’m very bored.


I’ve just done two quizzes on Facebook, but I gave up on the tattoos one. It was too hard.

Bundybear 9:42 pm 27 Sep 08

Unless I’m talking about Action buses.


Just did that because I’ve never been a three post nutbag, and I’m a teensy bit bored.

rosie_bubz 9:40 pm 27 Sep 08

Bundybear said :

And i hang out the car window to give people my parking ticket if it has a half decent amount of time left on it.

that always makes my day when people do that for me 🙂
i also sometimes put a bit of change in the parking meter next to mine if it has run out

Bundybear 9:39 pm 27 Sep 08

Oh, I forgot that I also make a point of always acknowledging people who let me into the flow of traffic when merging, or coming out of a side street, etc. Veritable font of bubbling sunshine.

rosie_bubz 9:37 pm 27 Sep 08

i will always at least smile at people, and if they say hi to me i will always say hi back. I find that (on the very few occasions i have) if you try to avert your eyes from the approaching person it becomes very awkard and the passing seems to take forever.
i find that people are usually friendlier in the suburbs than around the city. I guess its because people are less stressed..??

Bundybear 9:32 pm 27 Sep 08

Can’t imagine it being a very successful pastime around the city area, but anywhere else I am, I always look at people and give them a cheerful ” G’day/ ‘Morning/ How’s it going?” or similar, and I get some sort of acknowledgement about 90% of the time. I also wave at my neighbours – this in the broadest sense, probably a couple of 100 people in my general area that I have laid eyes on at some time. And I nearly always talk to people in lifts, the exception being when others are in conversation already, and so on. And i hang out the car window to give people my parking ticket if it has a half decent amount of time left on it.

The fact I get a good response may have something to do with the fact that I bear a reasonable resemblance to a rather jolly hermit chap from up north who has a reputation for making lists assessing peoples behaviour with a view to an annual bonus, but I prefer to think that it’s my sunny disposition making other peoples days brighter.

Don’t give up Ninga, you never know who needs to see a smiling face, you may just be the highlight of someone’s day. Maybe mine. 🙂

cmdwedge 9:29 pm 27 Sep 08

Whatsup said :

Its not just you. That is one of the things I noticed when moving to Canberra.

Same here, it was quite the culture shock coming from friendly Melbourne to snobby Canberra. An example – my fiance lived in the same set of units in Ngunnawal for 18 months before realising that one of her co-workers, with whom she spoke on the phone every single Friday, lived directly across from her.

Canberra is not a friendly place.

GB 6:27 pm 27 Sep 08

Out in the suburb pretty much everyone I say hello to responds.

In the city though, I just tend not to bother because almost everyone who approaches with a smile and greeting is actually acting, and trying to trick me into engaging with them so they can deliver a spiel about losing their bus money or the Red Cross or mobile phone plans.

Whatsup 6:10 pm 27 Sep 08

Its not just you. That is one of the things I noticed when moving to Canberra.

I still acknowledge people when I am out walking. Smiling or nodding your head isn’t too much effort. Don’t give up, because it might just be me coming the other way.

Granny 6:01 pm 27 Sep 08

I will go, “Gosh, another person on the path! What to do?”

I am basically a pretty friendly person, but I won’t want to make you uncomfortable so I will try to pick up some non-verbal body language type clue about what you would prefer to do.

If you look like you want to be left alone I will avert my eyes, but if you make eye-contact I will beam at you and exchange a pleasantry.

The social awkwardness is a bit like when you get on a bus and nobody knows where to look.

I suspect that in days gone by, plain old manners would have this sort of thing all worked out.

When I was a teenager I smiled at everybody, and enough people ignored me that I have modified my behaviour as described above. It’s a shame, really.

But I will always smile back at you, ninga!!

: )

miz 5:58 pm 27 Sep 08

Early morning walkers around fadden pines always say ‘morning’ . . . try there!

VicePope 5:19 pm 27 Sep 08

I find a quick non-committal smile is a good start. I am sufficiently terrifying to behold that most people usually run at this point.

Perhaps some smart soul can print up signs or badges that say “I am not (a) a Scientologist, (b) an insurance salesman, (c) an ACTEWAGL customer adviser, (d) a political candidate. Add whatever is needed.

Davo111 5:15 pm 27 Sep 08

yeah i usually say hi, but i’ve stopped since everyone looks at me weirdly when i say it.

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