My work is located on the 36th floor. When I left yesterday, I got on the elevator because there is no way I’m walking down all those stairs.
Someone else got on a few floors below, and when I looked up to greet them, I was met with a dead stare. So, I kept my mouth shut.
We stopped on more floors and the same thing kept happening. People either looked mad or anxious.
The ride to the 1st floor was silent. And uncomfortable.
Maybe, because of the tight space, people feel like they would be pressuring someone to talk that doesn’t want to. People might feel like they are being forced into a conversation.
I don’t experience the same forced feeling for conversation in an elevator. To me, it is just chatting with someone that I probably won’t see again. And if I do, cool we can chat again.
An elevator, in my opinion, should be a place where conversations that were started while waiting for the elevator to arrive should be able to continue. Or, it is a place where you can strike up a conversation with a random person. Who likes awkward silence anyway?
It makes no sense why an elevator ride from floor 36 to the bottom floor should be silent. It gets really uncomfortable.
No one knows how to stand or where to look. We fidget and sigh. Bounce on our heels. Check our phones that aren’t even working since the elevator messes with them. Well, mine stops working at least.
As soon as those elevator doors open, we rush out like a stampede of elephants. What’s crazy is that some people start to chat with the people we literally just suffered in silence with. The people they wouldn’t dare make eye contact with on the ride down!
To me, this doesn’t make any sense.
I have no issue with partaking in conversations while riding on an elevator. Elevators make me anxious, so anything to distract me is welcomed. Talking tends to distract me from the noises being made that sound like we are plunging to our death.
However, I do understand that some people use the elevator ride to decompress after a long day of answering annoying emails and dealing with difficult bosses.
So, if you look like you want to murder someone, I will gladly give you space. Well, as much as I can give in an elevator.
But fair warning, if you look friendly enough, I will make some kind of statement about the day to ignite a conversation. Just like I would in the office, or any other public setting.
Because why miss an opportunity to chat?
Elevators may just be seen as another place where people are obligated to talk. Also, it seems like people desire less social interactions in real life ever since cell phones have dominated our lives. We would rather bury our faces in our news feed instead of having a conversation with the person standing right next to us.
Or maybe elevators are just uncomfortable for some because of the close quarters.
No matter what the reason, I think people should be more open to real life conversations with people in elevators, or anywhere for that matter.
When we pass up chatting with others, we miss potential opportunities to meet awesome people or learn something new.
Also, sometimes people are just having a bad day and maybe the conversation on the elevator brightened up their day.
You never know where that elevator ride could lead. Keep an open mind and enjoy the ride.