Is it Rude to Not Say Hello

The only time I wouldn’t acknowledge a friend is if it were at work. And that’s only because I probably pass said friend at least a hundred times a day.
I think your GF may be a little wacked in the melon. :smiley:

In NYC you would definitely not acknowledge someone you didn’t know. You just remain anonymous, pretend not to see things, and don’t make trouble. OTOH, you didn’t go out of your way to be rude either, just not helpful. But I would certainly have spoken to someone I knew.

At least that was my take on it. Now I live in a small town where I have whole exchanges with people I’ve never formally met. It’s odd not to say hi.

I too acknowledge anyone I make eye contact with and wouldn’t dream of walking by an acquaintance and acting as if they weren’t there. However I must admit that one night walking through a rough part of town some ruffian approached me but I veered away to avoid him and rushed off only to find out later that it had been my son.

Depends on my mood and if they saw me too. If I didn’t feel like talking and they didn’t see me, I would ignore that they were there.

I would however feel very rude if they saw me/recognized me and I didn’t acknowledge their presence.

Me too. Maybe the people who aren’t hardcore introverts can’t realize this, but talking to someone can be quite exhausting, especially if it is an impromptu conversation that you can’t prepare for in advance. Often that hello can turn into an extended conversation, which may lead to lunch or hanging out, and then before you know it my whole day is shot. In general, I have to have three times as much “alone recovery time” vs. “social time” to feel okay, and having a number of unexpected social encounters in one day can really, really burn me out. Some of you might think it’s crazy, and maybe it is, but I can see not wanting to acknowledge someone if you know that it might turn into an extended conversation or encounter.

Sometimes I wish I could just be invisible.

Thanks for the responses. I knew that the not say hello thing was crazy. But to those who think that my girlfriend is a bad person or crazy or something, she really is not. Soul Girl is one of the most caring, loving people I know. Her thing about saying hello is really the only jerk thing she does. She is so nice in fact, she made me chicken chili from scratch, after she had been at work all day and all I had done was keep the bed warm and watch Star Trek. (vacation rocks!)
But thanks again for the responses.

What’s so hard about just saying “I wish I could, but I have to run.”? It’s bad form not to greet people you recognize, but that doesn’t mean that you owe them the rest of your day!

Like I had said, I wouldn’t ignore them unless I was reasonably sure that they didn’t see me, or didn’t know that I had seen them.

It’s hard to explain to someone who is a people-person type, but basically I’m like davenportavenger. I need lots of alone time, people exhaust me. Plus I sometimes really just don’t want to talk to anyone. Times like that, even the basic pleasantries are a major chore.

I don’t relish unexpected encounters either, but seriously… “Hey! How are you? Good, good! I’m really running right now, but it’s good to see you. We’ll get together soon!”

No fuss, no muss, no faux pas.

Obviously you are not a hardcore introvert. (insert wink smiley here)

I’m a very introverted person, but if someone acknowledges me on the street, I can nod and say “Good Morning” without making a big deal about it. I just keep walking if I don’t want to start a conversation.

I’m, like davenportavenger and Antinor1 and maybe like the OP’s GF. For me, the worst part of having to have an impromptu social “hello-talk”, is having to wonder afterwards if everything went allright. There are so many ways in which everything can go wrong, and I feel so damned responsible for such encounters to go smoothly!

I’m always relieved when somebody who isn’t a real friend convincingly looks past me on the street.

Oh god yes! That is the worst part of meeting people “on the fly.” Was I wearing my makeup? Did my hair look okay? Was I mouth breathing? Did I accidentally insult them and mentally block it out? All things to consider that might infringe on my everyday activities.

Yep yep. “Did that sound ok, could I have said that differently??” I also tend to replay these things in my head.

Oddly enough, I was a very outgoing, extroverted youngster who never met a stranger. It’s really just since my early 20’s that it changed, about the time I was diagnosed with IBS and depression. Both of those things are mostly under control at this point but I still have seemingly permanently changed into a primarily introverted person.

Not only to we smile and nod or say hi here, but you get a wave driving around! My nephew who just moved here from Washington State can’t get over people waving to drivers they meet on the road just because.
and I’m not talking about the middle finger wave either!!!

You monster :wink: those poor SOBs are probably left wracking their brains for the rest of the day trying to remember the name of that nice lady who obviously recognised them.

The only time I wouldn’t nod or make eye contact with someone I know is if they are obviously with other people I don’t know, or are discussing buisness and clearly don’t want any sort of interuption.

Of course you should say “hi” or “hey ___” when you pass them. Like others have said, even those of us who were raised in MA know that.

But how often do people make eye contact with passing strangers? Some responses sound like it’s a regular habit. I don’t know, maybe I don’t since it’d usually require looking up at taller folk…