Do you say hello when someone says hello to you? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I know this isn't a big deal, but it's been bugging me this week for some reason. There are two moms at DS's school that just seem to go out of their way to not say hello to me. And I don't corner people into conversation or anything -- I generally just walk along with a pleasant expression on my face, and say a quick "hi" or smile and nod at people who make eye contact with me.

But there are two moms who are just stone-faced for whatever reason, although I see them talking and laughing with other moms, so it's not like they're just grumpy that day or whatever. One of them parked in front of me yesterday and went bizarrely out of her way to avoid looking at me -- as we passed each other very closely between our cars' bumpers, she actually stared straight up at the sky with a look of intense concentration on her face -- I had to bite my lip to avoid bursting out laughing. Is it really that hard to just toss off a quick "hi" to somebody? I don't get it.

ETA: Actually, the same woman who looked up at the sky also came up as I was talking to another mom and butted in with a comment to the other mom about a totally different subject. Trying not to be annoyed, I went along with the change in conversation and joined in the new conversation, and she completely ignored me and kind of edged me out, so I just went away with my DD. Maybe I did something to piss her off somehow? Although I've never even talked to her, so I can't imagine what. But geez! Is this just how the school years are? Ughhhh.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:09 PM
 
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yes i do, even if i don't actually know the person to talk to properly, it's the polite thing to do imo.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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yes i do, even if i don't actually know the person to talk to properly, it's the polite thing to do imo.
This.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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I always say hello.. even if its someone I don't really like. I always do my part to get along.

When we bought our house, we quickly realized we were the only youngish (early 20s for me and early 30s for dh) to live on the block. We were also the only couple with children. Literally there are no other kids then ours. So I think it might have lead people to think badly about us for some reason or to assume that we were going to be problem neighbors? We are actually a super quiet couple, we are very friendly with our neighbors and really try to make everyone feel like a part of our block, if a neighbor asks us for a favor, if its in our power we do it. Now after 6 years, we have a great relationship with almost all of our neighbors.

One neighbor, is very odd. About a month after we bought our house, we had a plumbing problem and I really really needed to use the bathroom, so I ran down the road to the end of the block, to the only neighbor that was home during the day to ask if I could use her toilet. I had to pee soo bad! She looked at me and said "Sure, but lets not make this into something were you are over here all the time asking for handouts." I think my mouth hit the sidewalk I was so shocked. I just kinda gasped and said " I am sorry I asked, have a good day". Then I ran home and peed in my back yard. I was really shocked for a long time about that. I have no idea what made her think we were the kinda people that would ask for handouts?

Anyway, after 6 years we still do not talk or do anything together, but when I see her passing me or see her outside I always wave hello.

people can be so strange sometimes.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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If you said "hi" to me,I might not say hi back cause sometimes I have trouble with social situations and even a polite "hi" can feel like a violation of my space. This usually isn't the case and I usually say hello first but sometimes, I just can't do it.
It isn't personal.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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I try to always say "Hi" back if some one says it to me. If I don't then I try to at least smile.

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Old 03-24-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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I always do.

I know how you feel though bc there is a mom of one of my ds1's classmates that doesn't seem to like me. She ignores me, doesn't acknowledge my presence, etc. I think it's kind of funny that she dislikes me but has never even talked to me. It doesn't bother me bc I know that I am a friendly person and that it's her issue.

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Old 03-24-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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I always say Hi. We call those type of people "non hi sayers". It truly offends my husband, he gets so irritated and full of disbelief!
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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Yes, always. I'm usually the one initiating good morning or hello (our principal mentioned to DH how cheerful and friendly I was, which is bizarre, because I consider myself pretty shy lol). Our school is pretty friendly, and most people will say hello, chat what have you. But there is one mom who refuses to even look in my direction. It was really uncomfortable one time at a birthday party as she talked to everyone else from school including my husband, but wouldn't give me the time of day. Her hubby is nice/polite. Go fig! Fortunately I don't run into too often.

Another mom wouldn't say hi for the longest time (she's friendly with other moms), another mom mentioned the same thing happening to her, to me, and I was soooo relieved I wasn't the only one.

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Old 03-24-2010, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It doesn't bother me bc I know that I am a friendly person and that it's her issue.
I guess that's how I need to learn to view things. I know that not everyone has to like me (which, I admit, is hard for me to take -- but I'm nice, dammit! ), but I'm not asking this lady for lifelong friendship, just a little sociability. Oh well. I feel foolish continuing to smile in her direction when she's so dismissive of me, but I can't bring myself to be weirdly avoidant/rude back to her.

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Old 03-24-2010, 09:57 PM
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yes i do, even if i don't actually know the person to talk to properly, it's the polite thing to do imo.
Me too, I say hello to complete strangers and chat with them in like at the PO.
I'd want to corner the sky watcher and ask, "Hey lady whats your problem"
Or maybe try sky watching when she comes past, how rude she was to butt in and take over.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:45 AM
 
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i would feel extremely awkward NOT saying hello. there are ways to say hello without inviting conversation. even if i didn't like the person or i was uncomfortable just a quick "hi" would suffice and then i would keep walking or doing what i was doing.

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Old 03-25-2010, 02:19 AM
 
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I don't always say "Hi" back but I always give a friendly smile! If my throat is dry then I don't always have a voice and have to clear my throat which I can't do in a quick passing

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Old 03-25-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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i would feel extremely awkward NOT saying hello. there are ways to say hello without inviting conversation. even if i didn't like the person or i was uncomfortable just a quick "hi" would suffice and then i would keep walking or doing what i was doing.
Yup to all this. If someone said hi to me and I didn't say hi back, or give a smile or something, I'd feel bad about it afterward. I figure if you just look really harried/hurried as you say it, they'll assume you don't have time to talk, but you've said hi back and fulfilled the social obligation to acknowledge someone's greeting.

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Old 03-25-2010, 02:39 AM
 
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I guess that's how I need to learn to view things. I know that not everyone has to like me (which, I admit, is hard for me to take -- but I'm nice, dammit! ), but I'm not asking this lady for lifelong friendship, just a little sociability. Oh well. I feel foolish continuing to smile in her direction when she's so dismissive of me, but I can't bring myself to be weirdly avoidant/rude back to her.
How could she know whether or not she likes you if she won't communicate with you?

Don't feel like there's something wrong with you, she just clearly has a deficiency in the social skills department.

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Old 03-25-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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I say "hi" if people greet me. I don't generally respond if people just smile and nod. Mostly because I don't see when they do that.

That being said, it is possible (and someone might have mentioned this, but I am strapped for time and can't really read the whole thread) that these two moms are just really shy. For someone painfully shy, even saying hello to someone they don't know can be an impossible task while chatting and laughing with people they do know is fairly easy to do. I personally would just ignore it. DH is like that. He has a hard time responding to strangers. Even when he knows what to say, it takes a fair amount of time for it to get from his brain to the outside world and I have seen him purposely avoid looking at someone who insists on trying to talk to him every time she sees him because he just can't do it. He needs someone there to break the ice. (How he ended up with a daughter in spite of this is a source of mystery to me BTW.)

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Old 03-25-2010, 07:58 AM
 
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Sounds like there's something funny going on with those two mothers. Do you have potentially offensive bumper stickers... or a potentially offensive scent? That goes beyond social cluelesness into high-school cattiness if you ask me - not cool.

I tend to give people a nervous, tight-lipped smile as I walk past, and if they say hi I emit a strangled "Hi" in a squeaky voice. It's very elegant. Unless the people have babies, in which case I grin at the babies like a doofus, or a dog, in which case I say "Ooh look, a doggie!" to DD.

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Old 03-25-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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I'm constantly ignored like that by the moms at ds's school. They won't even look me in the eye.

Yep, I'm different from them. I don't dress in designer clothing; I'm not wealthy; I'm not thin; I'm not married. (You may think that these things shouldn't matter but in my town, they do. At least to the women in this town.)

It's not just at his school, actually. If I'm taking a walk or shopping in the town center, my attempts at saying hello are outright ignored.

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Old 03-25-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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I say "hi" if people greet me. I don't generally respond if people just smile and nod. Mostly because I don't see when they do that.

That being said, it is possible (and someone might have mentioned this, but I am strapped for time and can't really read the whole thread) that these two moms are just really shy. For someone painfully shy, even saying hello to someone they don't know can be an impossible task while chatting and laughing with people they do know is fairly easy to do. I personally would just ignore it. DH is like that. He has a hard time responding to strangers. Even when he knows what to say, it takes a fair amount of time for it to get from his brain to the outside world and I have seen him purposely avoid looking at someone who insists on trying to talk to him every time she sees him because he just can't do it. He needs someone there to break the ice. (How he ended up with a daughter in spite of this is a source of mystery to me BTW.)
I had a quite acidic remark ready to go about "not only do I say hi but I make sure not to exclude somebody who's trying to make an overture," but this brought up a generous consideration for me to remember.

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Old 03-25-2010, 10:00 AM
 
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I'm constantly ignored like that by the moms at ds's school. They won't even look me in the eye.

Yep, I'm different from them. I don't dress in designer clothing; I'm not wealthy; I'm not thin; I'm not married. (You may think that these things shouldn't matter but in my town, they do. At least to the women in this town.)

It's not just at his school, actually. If I'm taking a walk or shopping in the town center, my attempts at saying hello are outright ignored.

(Yes, I'd like to move but it isn't possible right now.)
This sucks. I've seen it happen, too, as a young wife. There was a spouse's group, mostly college-educated and honestly not struggling for funds. One of the wives talked about being a waitress and how much she loved the work . . . she became invisible, and I don't think most of us even saw it happen.

I'm often the only one in jeans at meetings and people who don't know me can sometimes be dismissive. One gentleman in a suit cut me off at a school board meeting (tried to, anyway ) and when I said something to DH afterwards he told me "next time lose the black sweater and wear a twinset with a circle pin."

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Old 03-25-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Smokering;15223178]
I tend to give people a nervous, tight-lipped smile as I walk past, and if they say hi I emit a strangled "Hi" in a squeaky voice. It's very elegant.


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Old 03-25-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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I always say hi, how are you and/or smile, even if they don't initiate it first or ignore me. I used to be nervous in social situations but I realized I'd never make friends if I didn't put myself out there. Chances are the other person isn't a social butterfly and is looking to be friendly as well, particularly in my neighborhood most people want to make social connections.

That stinks about the ladies at the school. I think it's rude to not reciprocate friendly gestures. I'm very friendly with all my neighbors but I have one who is really odd. She came by one day to say hello when we first moved in, we were friendly with each other and I thought all was well. After that she totally ignores me if I see her at the playground or if she's talking to other neighbors and I wave and say hello, it's so weird. One day at the playground she was standing about 10 feet from me and I looked directly at her and said hi twice (thinking she didn't hear me the first time) and smiled and she totally ignored me. It makes things really awkward.

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Old 03-25-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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Usually. If I'm eating or busy, I nod and smile. Otherwise I always do. I'm shy and hate small talk, but I will say hi. I only don't do any of that if it's someone I don't like-like from high school.

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Old 03-25-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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That being said, it is possible (and someone might have mentioned this, but I am strapped for time and can't really read the whole thread) that these two moms are just really shy. For someone painfully shy, even saying hello to someone they don't know can be an impossible task while chatting and laughing with people they do know is fairly easy to do. I personally would just ignore it. DH is like that. He has a hard time responding to strangers. Even when he knows what to say, it takes a fair amount of time for it to get from his brain to the outside world and I have seen him purposely avoid looking at someone who insists on trying to talk to him every time she sees him because he just can't do it. He needs someone there to break the ice.
This is exactly how I am. I do try to at least nod & smile in response if someone says "hi" to me but it really stresses me out when someone I don't know talks to me. Like strangers at the grocery store or post office or wherever making random small talk in line. It seriously causes me to have major anxiety. I know a lot of people think I am snobby, stuck up and hard to approach b/c it is sooooo uncomfortable for me to make small talk with people I don't know very well but really I am the complete opposite, just incredibly, painfully shy.

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Old 03-25-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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Yes.

I am usually the one initiating the "hello"s on the walk to/from school twice a day, though. Nearly everyone responds verbally, but one dad barely acknowledges my existence. I don't know him or his DD and I am walking at a fairly quick pace, so there is little chance of getting cornered into a conversation. I figure he is in a hurry or shy.

My dad often walks with us in the mornings. I have noticed more men respond to my "hello" when my dad is with us.

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Old 03-26-2010, 05:40 AM
 
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I usually say hi to everyone. Especially anyone that I make eye contact with. But I would not worry about someone that ignores me.

Perhaps you just reminde them of someone that ran off with their husband, or someone that caused a rift in their friends circle.

Perhaps they just don't like the color of your hair?

I have known people that were just rude to me for seemingly no reason. In my case, it is usually because I have many children and they see me the way many here see the Duggars. And I am instantly offensive to them, no matter what I do. I just shrug it off and go on about my life and keep smiling at them. Life is too short for me to worry about their issues.

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Old 03-26-2010, 06:41 AM
 
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Yes, always
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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Yes, I always say Hello or Hi back to someone.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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limabean, this happens at DD’s school too. A couple of the moms are like that. I guess I attribute it to their being kind of snotty and exclusive, the way people were in high school – the “look at me, I’m too cool for you” stuff. I’m waaaaayyyyyy too old for that kind of crap. I smile and say hi to everyone, and will to these ladies also if we make eye contact, even if they don’t reciprocate. Also, a lot of these people, I will be seeing all the time for YEARS to come, so it’s best not to start with some kind of stupid head game with refusing to say hi and then seeing them all the time and how that would make me feel. I just don’t play into that sort of stuff any more.

So it’s them, not you, and don’t let it bother you – just keep on being you, try to smile at the stone-faced ones when you can, and concentrate your energy on the people who are actually friendly!

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Old 03-26-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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"next time lose the black sweater and wear a twinset with a circle pin."
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