The ineffective greeting

What do you do, when you greet someone, and perceive no response?

I walk my dog every morning, often at the same time my neighbor leaves her house to get into her car. We are on fine, friendly neighborly terms with these neighbors. This morning I had walked slightly past her front door when I heard her come out. I turned and said, “Good Morning, Kate.” I expected nothing other than a “Hey Dinsdale” - or even a wave. But I saw/heard nothing.

Do you repeat the greeting or not?

Variation - neighbor driving past in car with tinted windows. I’d LIKE to smile and wave, but it can be hard to judge the exact right time.

Yeah, not the biggest problems in the world. But I have often been (in my mind) unfairly described as looking angry, upset, etc, I find it frustrating when I WANT to perform superficial niceties, but find it difficult to do so.

If all else fails, kill a lot of monks.

Shrug and move on, personally.

One variation for me: if you’re driving along and you see me walking, don’t beep your horn and wave - I will not respond (people who know me now know this) - because I have learned that when I try to squint and peer at the car to figure out who is driving, it makes me look like a madman, and by the time I have figured out who it is (if I even do), the moment is over.

Yesterday, I was buying just some fried chicken and bananas at Publix and so didn’t need any bag, so when the cashier greeted me I said, “Hi, no bag” and she proceeded to swipe and start to place the chicken in a bag despite me saying louder and louder “No bag! nobagnobag NO BAG!” She finally stopped when she had placed the chicken halfway in the bag. She took it out and said “I thought you were saying ‘Not bad’”. I don’t remember her saying “how are you?”

(I dislike having boxes of hot, cooked stuff in bags if they already have handles because I can just as easily carry them by the handles and they often stick to the plastic bags from the moisture, in addition of course to being wasteful. That’s why I was so insistent on not having a bag.)

I used to get quite anxious about whether or not to greet people or let them be, always trying to judge each situation and mood as they presented themselves. One day I decided, enough. I’m going to wave to everybody, then I’m not the rude one. I don’t care if they don’t acknowledge, I’m just trying to appear like a nice lady.

Time enough for them to be disillusioned later. :slight_smile:

I’m hard of hearing, even with my expensive hearing aids. Also, sometimes I find myself talking to someone like a clerk in a store and at first they don’t respond. They they look up and see me and pull out their earbuds. It seems like lots of people walk around with alternative soundtracks playing in their ears. (Alternative to the world that’s going on around them, that is.) Don’t know if that’s relevant to your sitch.

I walk my dogs every day in my neighborhood and I always smile and head-nod when they drive by, even if I don’t know who they are. I mean, I can never see into the car to see who it is but sometimes I know the car, sometimes I don’t. I’d rather smile and nod at a stranger than ignore a friend.

In that case, I wouldn’t repeat the greeting, but I would keep a pleasant look on my face in case she noticed and did a nod or smile herself. I am the opposite of a morning person and if I were just leaving my house I wouldn’t be prepared to talk to anyone. :slight_smile:

We live in a private development so strangers wave at one another, but it’s not like I’m miffed if someone doesn’t.

And “no bag”? Even sometimes they hear me but they think I just mean no bag for the gallon of milk. “Oh, no bags AT ALL?! OK!”

You shouldn’t make any assumptions about why a greeting is not returned, unless a particular individual person does it every time.

Here in Panama it’s common to greet even strangers if you pass by them, but obviously this becomes impractical on city streets or parks where there are a lot of people passing by. Sometimes I am taken by surprise when someone greets me unexpectedly, but am too far past them to practically return it. Likewise, I may be daydreaming or focused on something else when someone greets me, and by the time I recover it’s too late to acknowledge.

I work part-time at a grocery store and it is fascinating how many people ask for a bag for something that has a handle, like gallons of milk, pails of ice cream or gallons of vinegar to name a few.

20+ yrs ago we moved into a house on a kinda busy street. I do a lot of gardening, so I’d often be on my knees, grubbing in the dirt, when I’d hear a passing honk. It drove me crazy, until a neighbor advised me to not even try to figure who honked. Just smile, wave, and go back to whatever you were doing. :cool:

We are reasonably close with these neighbors - occasional drink in each other’s yards, lending tools, etc. But for the most part, we aspire towards what we call “Hey neighbor” relationships - when you see your neighbor you smile, wave, and say “Hey,” but other than that, pretty much stay to yourselves.

I tend not to be overly social, and my natural facial expression is not a smile. But I don’t consider myself angry, unhappy, or even “unfriendly.” So to encourage “Hey neighbor” status, and to avoid folk perceiving something negative about me, I tend to affirmatively say “Hey” and wave.

In this instance, I was already past their door, so I couldn’t maintain eye contact. And I feared that if I repeated the greeting, she would say, “I heard you” or “I said ‘Hi’” or something.

Then, she got in the car, and drove past me. Again, I was dealing with my dog, rather than simply staring at her car coming from behind me and trying to figure out through her tinted windows when she made eye contact with me or waved.

Yeah, I’m overthinking it. I doubt I would, if I hadn’t in the past heard crap like, “What’s wrong w/ Dinsdale? He didn’t say ‘Hi!’”

Here in the humid South cold items like milk or ice cream are quickly covered with condensation. The bag keeps anything the stuff sits on or against from getting wet. It’s not an additional handle, it’s a vapor barrier.

As for the vinegar people, there is no excuse - just slap them. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh, I get that but some people do it all year round. When it’s 23F, like it is currently, that just ain’t necessary.

I’m pretty deaf without my hearing aid, or if I have earbuds in, listening to a podcast. I miss greetings all the time. I just think of it as adding to my allure.

I would assume they didn’t hear me and keep walking. Why make a whole ordeal about it by repeating yourself?

The only reason is that I HAVE had occasions where someone has said something like (to me or my wife) “Why didn’t D say ‘Hi’ the other day?” Probably not this exact situation, but I get tired of people asking, “Are you OK?” just because I’m not grinning like an idiot and hugging everyone I meet (slight exaggeration!) So I try to take little steps to “appear” more effusive than I actually am.

My few friends in the town closest to me know better than to expect a wave or beep from me driving by. I am one tracked and I don’t look in cars meeting me on the road. Most of these people know Mr.Wrekker personally, but me only by association. Walking through Wal-Mart or other store I think I probably appear snooty. My brain is running like crazy because I am out of my comfort zone. So don’t expect much from me, and don’t think bad of me, it can’t be helped.

My neighbors think of me as the friendly guy they never see around, apparently because they think I’m always waving ‘hi’ at them when I drive up to my condo.

I’m actually just pushing the button to open the garage door, but haven’t had the heart to correct them.

The cargo compartment of our “utility” vehicle has hooks that you hang the handles of your dog-standard plastic bag into, so the bags don’t go sliding all over or tipping when frustrated NASCAR driver wife drives home from the store.

Bottle handles don’t fit into those.

I moved up here from NYC where bitch resting face was fine – no one was looking and if they did they were OK with a confrontation. Here I walk around with a vaguely pleasant look anytime I’m in public, because I will probably see or be seen by someone I know. It is amazing how people lighten their faces in response to my lighter face – we really are apes. :slight_smile: