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Thread: Friendliness

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    Was at Maupin Field Shelter on Saturday afternoon after finishing a classic Mau-Hard Trail/Appalachian Trail loop. Sitting at the picnic table next to the freshly fallen giant tree, a youngish looking male/female couple came up from Campell Creek. I gave a warm hello to the female hiker, who didn’t answer. Followed just a few steps by her boyfriend or spouse and also offered a hello. No answer. It was downright odd to be given the cold shoulder like that, but raises the question of “Should I have been more insistent”. It’s likely they were having a bad hair day or something. Or they forgot their water filter, or in the midst of their own drama. But wishing they said “Hello” back so I wouldn’t be worried about them two days later.

    Ever had an awkward encounter like this?!
    I've had alot of encounters like this. My pet peeve is backpacking on the AT and resting at a shelter to get water etc (before moving on) and watching so-called "expert" thruhikers "Hold Court" whereby an individual thruhiker will make his presence available for anyone wanting to ask questions---but him--himself (or herself) NEVER asking one question from anyone in his "audience". It's comical and possibly infuriating. I call it Holding Court---as in "I will now deign to take your questions."

    One time I went along with the madness and asked Our Lordship a simple question---after he went on and on about his expertise---"Have you ever backpacked and camped in the snow?"

    He said, "No, never in the snow". Oh okay---so much for the Guru of the Appalachian Trail.

    And to the OP---if such behavior bothers you---find areas to go backpacking where your chances of seeing anyone is practically nil. I can give you a long list.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I've had alot of encounters like this. My pet peeve is backpacking on the AT and resting at a shelter to get water etc (before moving on) and watching so-called "expert" thruhikers "Hold Court" whereby an individual thruhiker will make his presence available for anyone wanting to ask questions---but him--himself (or herself) NEVER asking one question from anyone in his "audience". It's comical and possibly infuriating. I call it Holding Court---as in "I will now deign to take your questions." One time I went along with the madness and asked Our Lordship a simple question---after he went on and on about his expertise---"Have you ever backpacked and camped in the snow?" He said, "No, never in the snow". Oh okay---so much for the Guru of the Appalachian Trail.
    We often see those professing expertise falling short; they seem to forget they're human. And just as today's politicians (and those before them) show that it's easy enough to simply conjure up "facts," I've witnessed similar behaviors among the self-professed thru-hiker experts, at the AMC huts and elsewhere.

    I always wonder that if Mother Nature or the remorseless clock cannot humble us, something's seriously amiss.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    We often see those professing expertise falling short; they seem to forget they're human. And just as today's politicians (and those before them) show that it's easy enough to simply conjure up "facts," I've witnessed similar behaviors among the self-professed thru-hiker experts, at the AMC huts and elsewhere. I always wonder that if Mother Nature or the remorseless clock cannot humble us, something's seriously amiss.
    Still, we can learn from any number of sources, can't we? Someone need not be an expert to teach you something, about yourself or otherwise. As per the OP's experience, I learned long ago to find a nice balance between the social side of these long trails, and the much-needed and appreciated isolation. I never harbored much hope or expectation around shelters.

  4. #44

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    Something tells me that those same two that snubbed Chiknfingers would have been the first to ask for a favor if they needed something though.Likely part of the "me" generation.At the time they didn't need anything so everybody else is simply invisible until such time that they could otherwise be "handy".

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    People in different parts of the country seem to express friendliness in different ways. In Texas people are often openly friendly to strangers but when I lived in Virginia not so much. I went on a car camping trip to Wisconsin last fall and people there were not likely to be openly friendly to strangers and a "Hello" to a stranger was often not returned. Not to say they weren't nice people and I never met an openly rude person, just not the way things are done there. I understood and respected it.
    I'm reminded of the scene in the original Crocodile Dundee movie where Dundee tries to say hello to a perfect stranger in New York City as if the two of them lived in a quaint small town where everyone gets to know everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I'm reminded of the scene in the original Crocodile Dundee movie where Dundee tries to say hello to a perfect stranger in New York City as if the two of them lived in a quaint small town where everyone gets to know everyone.
    God forbid you say 'Hello' to a stranger in NYC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    God forbid you say 'Hello' to a stranger in NYC.
    I've found that it depends who you say hello to. Blue collar and working class people tend to be much more approachable, even in NYC. I'd say 50% respond to a "hey, how ya doin" or "what's up". Three piece suit Wall Street types and uptown high society women, not so much. Part off that is overload though. If you acknowledged everybody you crossed in NYC in a day, you'd be hoarse by noon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    I've found that it depends who you say hello to. Blue collar and working class people tend to be much more approachable, even in NYC. I'd say 50% respond to a "hey, how ya doin" or "what's up". Three piece suit Wall Street types and uptown high society women, not so much. Part off that is overload though. If you acknowledged everybody you crossed in NYC in a day, you'd be hoarse by noon.

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    Interesting observation. Simple folks are more sociable. Makes me wonder if in the process of becoming the over-educated society we are today, we have lost some of our humanity. And, BTW, i don't mean "simple" in a pejorative way.

  9. #49
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    When I hiked the AT I met a girl with social anxiety. She hiked with a guy friend she met but would not have said hi back to you until she felt comfortable around you. I’ve also grow up outside NYC and if a stranger said hello it most likely meant they want something from you. Perhaps they were city folk who smelled you and figured they’d keep going. Overly tired, just got in a fight, enjoying solitude peace and quiet, or maybe they just don’t want to stop and talk to a solo stranger who might talk their ear off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Kobzol View Post
    There are universal manners that may not be taught by schools or parents anymore...
    Do not talk with you mouth full
    When arriving ... give a greeting
    When greeted ... give response
    When sneezing cover your mouth and say excuse me
    When yawning cover your mouth
    Say thank you for any favors you receive
    Etc etc
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    Those are American manners, but certainly not universal.

    I'm from a small, friendly town in the southern U.S. so even though I'm pretty introverted and reserved, my impulse is always to smile, make eye contact, and exchange greetings with strangers. Traveling overseas, I learned that this behavior is pretty alien to many other cultures, and it's a quick way to get yourself in trouble in some places. It felt deeply unnatural for me when I lived in Morocco to learn how to ignore people who greeted me on the street, but if I so much as made eye contact when a stranger said "Hi, where are you from?" to me, he typically assumed he was entitled to follow me straight home into the bedroom, ha! Cultivating an unfriendly exterior was necessary just to exist. And while a crowded street of Casablanca is perhaps an extreme example, I've observed a significant divide in country/city etiquette within most countries I've visited, including here at home.

    Not saying the couple that OP encountered were foreign or anything, but just pointing out that a lot of Americans are quick to think we are universal, when the way we do anything is just one of many ways that thing can be done.

    I know when I was hiking-- particularly if in pain or in bad weather or just feeling "done" for the day or on the contrary if I was in my sweet spot of happy hike-trance -- I would be pretty oblivious to everything except the trail beneath my feet. I wouldn't deliberately ignore someone who called out to me, but I legitimately might not notice them. But other times, especially when trying to catch up to someone or make it to a certain site before dark, I would deliberately give a (in my mind) polite nod/smile/wave when someone greeted me and not say anything unless they had asked me a specific question, because I had no intentions of stopping.
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  11. #51

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    My son sometimes calls me the most “social antisocial” because I greet people and gladly help out if they have questions but then I withdraw into my cocoon of activities and don’t have to talk to anyone at all.


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  12. #52

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    Right away my first thoughts on reading the OP was that these people were brought up in either a city, another country, or at least another culture.
    I travel a lot around the world and would totally ignore what the OP thought was a problem.
    Different strokes for different folks (or something like that)
    Russian men almost never say hello. (Their women will usually at least smile at you)
    Chinese people don't even see you (I sometimes think) and will congregate in doorways while completely ignoring you. (many of them anyway)

    You want friendly people? Go to Tasmania, Slovenia, Sweden
    I'm generalizing of course.

    This is a non-issue IMO.
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  13. #53
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    When we break through veneers cultures thought of as unfriendly can suddenly offer a different persecutive. A few choice words showing appreciation and conscientiousness in a culture's native language can sometimes break the ice. Found this out with the French, Germans, Venezuelans, former Soviets, Danish, Swedes, Czechs, Saudia Arabians, Japanese, etc, Great cultures. When we dont assume other cultures to be like the culture(s) we're accustomed it opens things up. I find many cultures open, when as a U.S. citizen traveling internationally, I don't act with common U.S. cultural Touron behaviors.

  14. #54
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    I'm still trying to picture what the OP meant by being "more insistent". Hello. HELLO. HEY, I SAID HELLO!
    They didn't choose to be social. It's not you, it's them. Fuhgetabouddit.

  15. #55

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    I felt that I could have tried to elicit some response for safety sake... in that ballpark... work for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    I'm still trying to picture what the OP meant by being "more insistent". Hello. HELLO. HEY, I SAID HELLO!
    They didn't choose to be social. It's not you, it's them. Fuhgetabouddit.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    I felt that I could have tried to elicit some response for safety sake.
    What was the safety concern?

  17. #57

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    That his feelings would be hurt?

    I go to WalMart a couple times per month. About half the time, the greeter at the door doesn't greet anyone, or even acknowledge a "good morning", and that's their JOB!

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    Just back from 6 weeks in the Middle East deserts, I'm very used to the "friendliness" over there.
    Everyone greets everybody anytime (well, except for the bigger cities).
    Especially in the desert a greeting also involves a short smalltalk, usually made more easy by a cup of tea.
    There's good reason behind this: You really want to know whom you're meeting, his next goal, his intent, just for your own safety.
    So greeting appears to be sheer friendliness, but is also an essential behavior for everybody's safety.
    It doesn't hurt that at the same time everybodys curiosity is filled.

  19. #59

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    There wasn’t one that I could immediately detect hence the “why so quiet” vibe

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    What was the safety concern?

  20. #60

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    I notice you stated they were a "youngish" looking couple.I wonder just how "youngish" they were.Could be they are part of the "rather text than talk" generation. Or it could have been they they are naturally snobs.Wife and I went to my nephew's wedding and were impressed by how "unengaging" the bride's family was toward ours.Some people are naturally deficient in social skills (until they want something from you),just sayin'. QUOTE]h[/QUOTE]

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