How is it that something so small and so quick can be so awkward for people? Why do people find the elevator to be so awkward and uncomfortable? I am not convinced they are all claustrophobic. It is quite intriguing to me that the ride last under 30 seconds and yet, the entire world stops. I have determined there most be a set of unwritten rules that I have not been privy to because it happens all the time.
Just the other day, I entered an empty elevator. I was standing in the back corner breathing slowing willing down my blood pressure so I wouldn't get a lecture from my Doc. Two other people got on the elevator next. Before they got on the elevator they were talking and obviously knew each other. Once across the magical elevator opening.....silence! A man got into the elevator moved to the control panel and pushed the buttons for the doors to close. The common factor, they all got in and turned towards the door. Staring at the door and not looking at one another. Just facing forward like a statue, still as can be.
As an experiment, I decided that every elevator I got on for the week I would enter the elevator and continue to face the rear of the elevator until the door opened for me to leave. I also wished every person that got off before me a good day. You would not believe how uncomfortable people were. No eye contact, shifting around as if they can not wait to get out. Then I added a bit to the test. Are you ready for it...... I said "Hello" as new people got on. Some people actually ignored me and said NOTHING. But most people simply nodded not violating the silence motto. I guess it boils down to this, if you want to act "appropriately" here are some tips:
Know Your Limits
Keep your buffer! Don't make any sudden movements, especially smiling. Make sure you are always facing the door.
People: Stay Separate
4 People: Each person should take a corner
5 or More People: Face the door, do not touch anyone! Refrain from smiling!
Avoid Eye Contact
Those blank stares you see are screaming - "DO NOT DISTURB!"
In my observations, these tips will assist you in having a nice comfortable elevator ride.
However, it was really fun to break the rules and see people squirm.