Guys who give courtesy at the elevator... to other guys: please provide your reasoning

I must work at the most polite buildings in the world – and you wouldn’t expect it, based on the sometimes reputation of the entertainment company that employs everyone here. We hold he door, we say please, we say thank you, we brake in the street so people can cross (to the sister building, also employed by implied company), we make sure to make room on the parking lot stairwell for each other walk by. All very nice.

But one thing perplexes me, and I have to admit, I kinda get bugged each time it happens. Quite a few guys wait inside/outside the elevator directing me to step in/out first. Is it truly an act of politeness, or is it a little bit passive aggressive: I want you to go first because I’m a little bit better than you? Honestly, it feels more like the latter – but only slightly, so I’m not sure.

No, this does not mean we males hold the elevator for women because we think we’re better. It’s a social construct and seems fitting and appropriate. I like to think of it as a show of respect for the more evolved sex.

I don’t look especially old or young (45, fairly youthful) but I don’t look like an executive, either (and I’m not: very “support staff” appearance and demeanor).

So, why the f*** do you offer me courtesy at the elevator? I’m genuinely curious.

I don’t understand it men-to-women courtesy in elevators, either. Elevator etiquette should be efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. If it will speed things up, get the hell on/off the elevator, regardless of who else is in there.

I’m not sure how someone letting you enter/exit an elevator before he does means he’s implying superiority.

As far as I’m concerned the proper etiquette is to allow the elevator to empty before trying to get in. Hold the door for someone who is clearly trying to catch the same car; also hold the door for someone pushing a stroller or herding small kids. By the same token, make room for same; also for old folks and disabled people - I can take the stairs or catch the next lift if need be.

Maybe it’s a social construct that seems fitting and appropriate to them. Directing youthful 45 year olds to step in the elevator first makes as much sense to me as directing women to.

Now directing heavy set individuals in first to test the tensile strength of the elevator cables, that’s a social construct that makes sense.

Pure politeness.


If you motioned for me to step out first, and then I motioned, NO, NO, NO, after you, what would you do?

Go. Alphonse and Gaston is sooooo dated. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think there are too many times when it’s wrong to be polite. I’m female, but won’t hesitate to hold a door open for someone who’s following me closely, no matter what their gender. To knowingly let a door close in someone’s face is just rude.

If someone of either gender is even farther behind me but seems (one) disabled or (two) has their hands full, I’ll stand there and hold the door open even longer.

I’d think the elevator situation is similar.

I’m a woman, I work in a medical center. As an employee, per business etiquette I should be allowing the patients on/off the elevator before me (but not to the point where I’m blocking the way and holding things up). So it bothers me when, say, men will allow their companions to enter/exit the elevator first, and then motion for me to proceed as well, meanwhile leaving, say, a more fragile patient who they’re with to walk on a bit without them. Please, proceed and take care of your companion.

Well, that’s true. The hard part is agreeing on what’s polite and what’s an unnecessary nuisance.

If I’ve just farted in the elevator I’m going to let you by so that I can watch the expression on your face change as you hit the Wall of Funk.

True enough. When in doubt, I try to figure out the person’s intent. Someone who lets a door slam in my face (because I was right behind them going out) because they were distracted isn’t rude, just distracted. Someone who acknowledges that I’m there and then lets the door slam in my face, well, that’s rude. The kind of politeness you’re talking about is the flip-side of that coin, that’s all.

Yes, but sticking with custom, antiquated or not, prevents those annoying “after you”, “no, after you” logjams.

If I knew you said things like that, I’d walk in front of you without batting an eye.

The fact that you think that my letting you go in first implies that I think I’m better than you implies that you think you’re better than me. :stuck_out_tongue:

I do it out of habit. I’ve always opened doors for people, let others go first, etc.

If you go in first, then I get to stand by the door and you have to stare at the back of my head for the ride. I win.

It’s wrong to be polite if you are IN the elevator and wait to leave, indicating that the person OUTSIDE the elevator should step in first. This goes against the very efficient social norm and slows everyone down–it quite literally does no one any good, and is a sort of self-aggrandizing self-deprecation.

It’s like the douche at the four way stop who was clearly there first but wants to wait until you’ve stopped and then wave you through. It makes things more difficult, not less, because you have to figure out what’s going on and worry that he’s just waving his hands in response to his phone call and will pull out when you do. Doing what’s expected is, at times, more important than deferring to others.

I agree, which is why I said there aren’t too many times that it’s wrong to be polite, not that there’s never a wrong time. :slight_smile:

I alway hold doors for people, etc. I’m a very polite person. It has absolutely nothing to do with status and everything to do with how I was raised.

I get off on the 6th floor of my building and it’s frequently the first stop since the lower floors are lightly populated. I generally hang back and try to get on last so I don’t need to maneuver through a crowd at my floor.

Most the time I don’t even think it’s a nice gesture, I think they are just too stupid to figure it out. Just yesterday I was the last person at a four way stop and had, theoretically, approached the other three from far enough away that at least one of those stupid jerk offs should have already cleared the intersection by the time I showed up. Nope, nobody moved. They all just sort of stared at each other like “Well… now what?” And then one of them started waving other people through. Still nobody moved. So I was like “Eff every single one of you.” and went anyway.

Nothing makes me road-ragey like douchebags at a four way stop. Except maybe those idiot pedestrians who give you that retarded bovine look when you stop at a crosswalk for them and they stare at you dumbly for like a minute and a half and you just want to run them over and then back up so you can run them over again. WALK, DUMMY! I HAVE SHIT TO DO! Oh! And then they do that stupid dance off the curb where they step out with one foot and then step back like they’re testing the waters, just checking to make sure I’m not going to floor it as soon as they hit the pavement?


Anyway… sorry.

OP: As far as him establishing superiority by letting you enter/exit first, that’s totally backwards from a (largely irrelevant, but I’m throwing it out there anyway) dog/owner relationship. Maybe somewhere in his primitive brain, you have established dominance over him and he feels like he has to let you go first. Theory.