What's The Correct Social Protocol?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by kolax, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    What is the correct social protocol?

    1. You are walking down a street. A stranger asks you for directions. The directions to where they want to go are the exact same route you are currently planning to take. What is the correct protocol after giving the correct directions? Do you give them a head start, then walk behind them, possibly making them paranoid you are following them? Do you say you are walking that way, and then walk ahead of them? Do you cross the road to the other side and plough on? Do you find another route to your destination to avoid the social tension of this decision?

    2. You enter a public toilet. There is 5 urinals. Urinal 1, 3 and 5 are occupied. Do you select urinal 2 or 4? Or do you wait until one of the other urinals is free to avoid the social tension of deciding who to pee next to?

    3. You see an ex while walking in town, who happens to be going in the same direction as you. Do you take a different route? Do you give them a head start? Or do you instigate a signal of acknowledgement should they see you while you walk in the same direction?

    4. You see an old lady about to get off the bus. She looks independent and confident, but she has a walking stick. Do you offer a hand? Do you look awkwardly away in case she gets offended at you assuming she can't get off the bus on her own?


    These are situations I run into daily, and often don't really think about it and act upon instinct. However, I do wonder if there is a "correct" social protocol for situations like these.

    It would be good to start a thread where others chip in with other correct social protocols for various situations we find ourselves in.
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    1) If you have time, and it is in your personality, you can accompany that person to destination. I am a fast walker, so I would give directions and bid them adieu.

    2) Really?!? I think it is more awkward to wait in a toilet if there is a urinal available. Pick one and do your business.

    3) Acknowledge (with a smile or a middle finger, dependiong on your parting) your Ex and get on with your business. This is just a variation of theme 1.

    4) "She looks independent and confident, but she has a walking stick." Help someone who needs help, not someone who doesn't. And just smile it off if you are rebuked...help offered that is rudely rejected is still help.

    OP, may I suggest most of these situations have more to your issues than true social paradoxes.
  3. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    Give them the wrong directions so you can walk in peace.

    Choose urinal #1, try to get your stream to go through the legs or over the head of the guy who is already there.

    Point to her and yell, "I banged that chick!"

    Grab the stick, run.
  4. AML225 macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2010
    My responses are in bold above.
  5. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    1. I'll usually tell them I'm heading that way and to follow me and I'll tell them when to stop following me and go another direction.

    2. Hanging out in a public restroom isn't my kind of thing really. If I gotta go, I gotta go. Don't care what stall it is.

    3. Keep my normal course. They chat, I respond. If no eye contact is even made then I continue as I normally do.

    4. I'll ask if she needs a hand. If yes, oblige. If not, then wait for her to get her old ass off the bus.
  6. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas

    1. You tell the stranger you are walking in the same direction and ask them if they would like to join you. Then you enjoy the opportunity to conversate and help someone at the same time. If the stranger declines the invitation to walk with you then you politely give them directions and carry on your way.

    2. You take the first available spot and do your business. Everyone has to use the bathroom, get over the social anxiety.

    3. Whenver you see an ex you carry on about your business as usual. If the encounter becomes an interaction you speak politely and with confidence. Never show fear or hesitancy, what happened in the past is over and you are in a different place now.

    4. You always offer to help people when you have the opportunity. There is nothing wrong with a polite, "may I help you ...". If they say no then you move on.

    Is social anxiety a general problem for you? Keep exposing yourself to social situations and it will get easier.
  7. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Ah this thread was meant to be more a bit of humour than actual social anxiety issues!
  8. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Call me naïve…

    I'd tell them I am going there and they can follow along if they want.
    I am reasonably sure that people won't think I am trying to lure them down a dark alleyway.

    I'll choose either 2 or 4.
    What social tension? :confused:

    I'd say hello if we made eye contact, but I wouldn't go out of my way especially.

    If she refuses you've done no wrong.
    Just don't grab her by the arm and try and steer her off the bus.
    Just ask. Politely. ;)

    OP, don't over think these things.
    There are far more important things to worry about. :D
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Really, OP? Daily? Seriously?

    I can't help but think you sound like this guy:

  10. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    If I'm going in that direction, I go with them and chat along the way. People appreciate that.

    I don't care. If I have to go, I go. Either 2 or 4 will do.

    I'm friends with my exes, so I wave and say hi.. Sometimes we will go grab some coffee, or even a drink.

    Hmm...this one is interesting. I usually do not offer to help unless they look like they are really having a tough time.
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    If Lee is in 3, and you're right handed, use 2, otherwise 4. ;)
  12. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    Is your right hand used in an offensive or defensive manner in this situation?
  13. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Then perhaps you SHOULD have set the tone in your original post. ;)
    Are you feeling awkward now?
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Which position?

    I am right-handed, and would use 2, with my hand shielding casual stares at my equipment.

    Lee is civilised, and a physical confrontation is not possible.
  15. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    That's not what I meant. Just kidding around, wrong choice of words I guess...
  16. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    It's used to grab the hockey stick he's wielding :)
  17. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    What is the correct social protocol? Here are my answers.

    1. If it's broad daylight, they can follow me if they like. There's no reason to adjust my route because of them.

    2. Either 2 or 4 makes no matter. I'm not weird about stuff like this.

    3. If we parted amicably, smile and say hi. :) If it was on harsher terms and/or the new man is better than me in some way :)D), Taser her quickly & secretly and keep walking.

    4. Offer a hand. If the old biddy doesn't like it, she'll let me know. I'd rather be helpful and end up being rejected than be a heal. This is just a case of manners. You either have them or you don't.

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