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Old 07-30-2015, 02:02 AM
 
228 posts, read 171,684 times
Reputation: 328

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty_Pelican View Post
This is a pet peeve of mine. Almost always without fail, when I go alone to an empty or near empty fast casual food establishment I sit in an obscure, empty corner by myself.

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE. The personal space thing...being from NYC..this happens mostly with tourists or suburbanites who haven't spent all day in cramped urban public spaces like cubicles and meetings and elevators and crowded subways in the nasty, sweaty, grinding body heat of a million strangers....my god please just give me some space before I hyperventilate.



Once I had walked the ENTIRE length of a LIRR train at Penn JUST to find an empty car pretty late after work one evening. After taking a seat in that very first car- so help me god, within five minutes a very sober-looking yuppie Danish tourist couple came into my car and sat down directly behind me. The. entire. car. was. empty.

Right down behind me.

Creeped me out. I got up and went to the next car.

It's a common thing. Herd mentality....goes back to evolution. Most (empty-headed) people want to be near the crowd...they sort of let the crowd do the work of (protection from predators, decided what to do in an emergency) for them and they will follow along. It's a natural impulse for most to place yourself near the closes t person in your environment.

It took me a while to figure this out...I'm kind of attractive and had always assumed that it was creepdom..no..just codependence.

Last edited by Wonderingaboutstuff; 07-30-2015 at 02:19 AM..
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:03 AM
 
228 posts, read 171,684 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy739 View Post
They can't read your mind. I defer to the thought they were trying to be compassionate but didn't know what to do. Some people sit alone in despair. There are not enough kind people on Earth. Try to think the best. I won't say anything more.
Nah most people simply want something from you.

Even if they're not aware of it consciously themselves..they do.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:22 AM
 
228 posts, read 171,684 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
my feeling is that people like to sit near you because they feel more comfortable having other people nearby, it's that aloneness thing that they are averse too. many people i've asked about this confirm it. they say oh it's so lonely otherwise i always pick a table near others, it just feels better.
I've always wondered myself why people attach physical proximity to human closeness. It sounds rather codependent to me.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:39 AM
 
1,209 posts, read 1,815,319 times
Reputation: 1591
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Of course the have the "right" to site where they like. No one is disputing that. It's not about rights. you responded to my post that said exactly that, so you obviously did not read it.

I guess there are two kinds of people in their world:
1) The people that would get onto a nearly empty train car, or enter a nearly empty fast food place, and see one person already there, and sit as close to them as possible
2) The people that would get onto a nearly empty train car, or enter a nearly empty fast food place, and see one person already there, and sit as far from them as possible


1s probably think 2s are weird. 2s think 1s are weird.
I'm a #2.
Very interesting discussion. And to confirm, I'm not contesting anyone's right to sit where they want, I'm gathering insight on the governing social dynamics at play regarding seating decisions. In public, I have the right to whip out my cellphone and take multiple pictures of everyone in the vicinity, doesn't mean I'll do it but that's not the issue.

From the discussion, I gather there is at least a 3rd kind of person, that does not consciously factor where other people are sitting, though I'm not convinced that is entirely the case because if someone's preference is to be in sight of their car for instance, chances are they'll also do a risk assessment of who could be behind them and around them and plans for fending off an attack, I know I do.

As for the prospect of taking up large booths/tables by myself, the chances of that are slight because I avoid food places when they are busy. Whenever I go to such places on weekend afternoons or after schools/camps get out, I inevitably run into people that walk slow and block the walkways by walking abreast, families that take a long time to order, etc. I'm not hating I just chose a different life path, in those cases I'd rather eat at a bar or club and avoid the "wildlife". From their perspective, the bar could be "wildlife".
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:08 AM
 
3,205 posts, read 2,625,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
I remember reading somewhere that most people are really really uncomfortable, even fearful, of eating alone, they never go out to eat alone, they like other people close by nearby. It stems from a fear of being alone with themself some kind of primal terror at having to face introspection.

anyway i am NOT one of those people. i love being alone. i am an introvert and crave time to myself to think. so i go out to eat alone all the time. people are always saying how can you do that? i go out alone and eat and read alone and study and write alone.

my feeling is that people like to sit near you because they feel more comfortable having other people nearby, it's that aloneness thing that they are averse too. many people i've asked about this confirm it. they say oh it's so lonely otherwise i always pick a table near others, it just feels better.

i will spend hours in a place reading, writing, studying. i don't move if people sit nearby, if anything people tend to give me a wide berth, I think i put out a pretty strong field non-verbal message of leave me alone. I tune out others nearby, i don't make eye contact, i probably look rather eccentric, this helps too. try dressing odd. i didn't realize this but people have pointed it out to me. someone at work after several months mentioned that they've seen me several times at such and such place several weeks in a row. I was surprised, i said why didn't you say hi, he said you looked like you didn't want to be bothered, you looked really absorbed. another friend was a bit more blunt, he said "everything about you just says stay the **** away from me"

perhaps try to cultivate a leave me alone demeanor. Don't make eye contact, try to exude a bizarre or odd slightly crazed intensity. Someone once thought i was homeless and offered to buy me a meal, i was a bit scruffier that day than usual. it was pretty funny.
No offense, but if you crave alone time AND are not homeless, why don't you just go home and be alone? Ever hear of take-out food? You are in a restaurant, not a public library, not designed for seclusion or working beyond what is possible during the course of a meal.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:51 AM
 
22,233 posts, read 19,245,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugrats2001 View Post
No offense, but if you crave alone time AND are not homeless, why don't you just go home and be alone? Ever hear of take-out food? You are in a restaurant, not a public library, not designed for seclusion or working beyond what is possible during the course of a meal.
i am not saying they shouldn't sit near by me, and i don't move to get away from them because it doesn't bother me, i can screen them out and i do. of course it's a public place. and the places i go are fine with me staying beyond the course of a meal, i patronize them well with buying food and drink and generous tips. the staff know me and welcome me, the places i go recognize and like their "regulars." they are not upscale or crowded places to begin with so they don't kick you out after 19 minutes or whatever.
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:27 AM
 
Location: NJ
807 posts, read 1,033,888 times
Reputation: 2448
People have a herding mentality. But next time it happens, I would ask them why that decided to sit on top of you rather than give you the space you likely are seeking.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
16,560 posts, read 10,643,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
It's like if you get onto a train, and there's only one person in the whole car sitting alone and reading, and you go and sit right next to them. That's just freakish. Do you have the "right" to sit there? sure. But why would you?
This happened to me once. I was riding the subway in Philadelphia, very late one night (this was back when the Philadelphia subway operated 24 hours a day), and the only person in the car besides myself was the friend I was traveling with. I sat by myself at the window in a double seat, and my friend took another double seat to himself and lay down. At the next stop, in comes a teenage couple, boy and girl; the girl scans the car and makes a beeline right to my seat! And yes, I'll admit it, I was kind of freaked out! But then the boy knelt down in the aisle next to her and started groveling an apology. Apparently he had done something to offend her, and she did not want to sit with him, so she ensured that she wouldn't have to by sitting next to me. She just stared straight ahead, not responding, while the boy kept talking. This went on for a few stops, and then they got off together.

This also reminds me of a situation I observed, and posted about:

//www.city-data.com/forum/non-r...seat-rude.html

It's not exactly the same situation, because the two people were seated together when the train was initially crowded; but then the man did not move when most of the other passengers got off, and a bunch of empty seats had become available.
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
15,293 posts, read 17,696,491 times
Reputation: 25236
People love to cluster up. It's why they live in cities. Mostly they are oblivious to the instinct, but it's obvious to any observer. Put two people in an empty field and they will stand next to each other.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:40 AM
 
22,233 posts, read 19,245,773 times
Reputation: 18337
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
People love to cluster up. It's why they live in cities. Mostly they are oblivious to the instinct, but it's obvious to any observer. Put two people in an empty field and they will stand next to each other.
not if one of them is me, I'm the one walking over to sit next to the tree at the edge of the field

it is also why I don't live in big cities

Last edited by Tzaphkiel; 07-30-2015 at 11:54 AM..
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