When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty seats - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 04-23-2019, 07:37 AM #1
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Default When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty seats

I do not drive so I take public transit a lot. Subway and buses for various reasons, usually to meet with a friend. One thing I hate is when random strangers sit next to me when there are lots of empty seats available where they could easily have the row to themselves. I don't sit in the handicap seats in order to avoid inconveniencing a elderly person or someone who is disabled. I just find it weird when someone sits next to me while there are plenty of other options. I don't like it regardless, but I am more accepting and understanding when it is a crowded bus and someone has to sit next to me. Does anyone else hate it when someone sits next to them on a subway or bus?

In a way, I feel like it is proper etiquette to not invade someone's space unless you have to. If I walk onto a crowded bus, I always stand if there are no empty rows since I know a lot of other people hate it when random strangers sit next to them. I can see the looks on their faces and some will even go as far as to sit in the aisle seat to prevent anyone from sitting next to them. That may be going a little too far if it is a crowded bus. I never do that. But I still find it uncomfortable and weird when there are lots of other empty seats that they can have themselves but choose to sit next to me instead. This usually happens on the bus. On the subway, I usually sit in the single seats so I almost never have that problem. What do you think about sitting next to others or vise versa when there are plenty of other options available? Just wondered.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:26 AM #2
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

I hate it. No matter if the train is full. I mean I understand when the train is full but if there are plenty of open seats I might move if its not too hard. I am very careful about my personal space.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:52 AM #3
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

Then it depends. Are they crazier than me? If they look like they might stab me, i will smile and leave them alone. Otherwise i will assume they sat there cuz they wanted to talk. I can almost always talk. They wont make that mistake again!
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:48 PM #4
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

Sorry but I do this all the time. I have always done so in an effort to be hospitable and inclusive. It saddens me that such an effort be looked upon negatively when I'm actually being nice
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:50 PM #5
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

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Originally Posted by WishfulThinker66 View Post
Sorry but I do this all the time. I have always done so in an effort to be hospitable and inclusive. It saddens me that such an effort be looked upon negatively when I'm actually being nice
While I understand your intentions, anxiety has no logic. I just don't like people being too close to me.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:39 PM #6
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I hate it. No matter if the train is full. I mean I understand when the train is full but if there are plenty of open seats I might move if its not too hard. I am very careful about my personal space.
I agree and Iím the same way. I understand too if the bus or subway is full but there is no excuse when there are plenty of seats available. And yeah in some cases if I have to sit next to someone, I will move too if more seats open up.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:40 PM #7
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

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Then it depends. Are they crazier than me? If they look like they might stab me, i will smile and leave them alone. Otherwise i will assume they sat there cuz they wanted to talk. I can almost always talk. They wont make that mistake again!
Yeah some people like to talk.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:46 PM #8
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

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Originally Posted by WishfulThinker66 View Post
Sorry but I do this all the time. I have always done so in an effort to be hospitable and inclusive. It saddens me that such an effort be looked upon negatively when I'm actually being nice
Yeah I can see how you want to be nice. Which is good. But unfortunately most people donít like it. At least donít like having someone sit next to them when they clearly donít have to. Even if someone does have to sit next to someone on the bus, I have seen some people give a sigh of annoyance. I never do that, I understand some people will be forced to sit next to me. But others are not so forgiving.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:08 PM #9
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

You see I have always viewed the opposite as being unfortunate and unfriendly. I have seen the efforts made not to sit by people as offensive. Maybe this comes from having grown up feeling no one wanted to sit by me. I took people taking seats away from me as appallingly mean - there must be something wrong with me that they don't want to sit beside me. So I guess that is why I make a point of sitting next to people on public transit. I do so not to make them uncomfortable but rather the opposite. It is my way of indicating I accept them. A shame to learn this kind effort is backfiring.

I ask those of you of the mindset this is rude to consider the possible true intent of the next person who sits down beside you. Are they trying to be actually nice and observe some social etiquette perhaps?
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:17 PM #10
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Default Re: When strangers sit next to you on public transit when there are lots of empty sea

Yeah youre entering somebodys personal space. I recently saw idk on tv or at the movies people getting crowded together on like a Japanese subway train? And just watching it on tv i felt claustrophobic!

It is a shame that my first reaction to someone sitting near me is, i hope this person doesnt stab me.
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