18% Friendly? Why don’t we smile at each other?

I work in a string of seven buildings connected by halls. Each building has four floors and two wings. There are a lot of people here with at least three companies in occupancy.

It is common for people to walk the halls for exercise. This is especially true during the summer, when my company sponsors a walking/exercise program where you can earn an Amazon gift certificate worth $50 to $100.  My company has the bulk of office space here, so there are usually plenty of people walking at any given time.

I’ve noticed that not many people smile, or even make eye contact. Today I decided to see what percentage of people would display a minimal acknowledgement – such as a nod or smile.  This experiment took place right before the cafeteria opened and I saw 40+ people.  There were two small groups of people who were talking as they walked.  All of the others were individuals.

18%! Three people smiled AND gave a verbal greeting.  Out of those, I know one so I almost didn’t want to count her.  Another individual nodded, but did not smile or give a verbal greeting.

Out of all the others, a substantial majority did not even make eye contact.

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