10 October 2011

You didn't say hello?

What are we supposed to do when we see someone we know in the street or at the mall, but the person in question doesn't notice us? Should we say hello? Should we not say hello? It's a lot easier when you just bump into each other, or even see each other from apart, but at the same time. In those cases you naturally say hello, give hugs and kisses, catch up on your past lives. But when you see a person that doesn't see you back, you hesitate. Do you go there and make yourself noticeable? Do you try to sneak out without being seen? As far as I see it, there are four ways to address this problem, and I'm going to talk about them next.

1. The Stare
The Stare works well when you are sitting somewhere, or otherwise not moving. It doesn't work well when you're moving, unless you're moving in the same direction as the person in question. Furthermore, you have to be at least in their field of sight. The method is simple: you stare at them until they notice you. It can take a while for them to do that, and in the meantime you see them looking in every possible way, every freaking angle except the one pointing at you. And there are some times when they don't notice you even if they're looking directly at you. But, when (and if) that eventually happens, you can finally say hi from apart, or do The Walk Over. The Stare can be a bit difficult if you're not concentrated in it: if you stare just once in a while, then you are likely to get The Double Stare, when each of you, in turn, try to draw the other's attention, but look away in the exact same moment that the other notices you.

2. The Call
The Call is the most dangerous of the four, one that can hopelessly embarrass you if you don't use it right. It's best used when in close range and when The Stare can't work or isn't working. In The Call you call the person by their name or some other way. I strongly suggest that you call the person by their name, because using terms like "Pssssst" or "Hey you!" will make everyone turn around and look at you except the person you're calling. And, if the person is too far away from you, or there's too much noise, you may end up calling them again and again, with no success other than alerting everyone around you; in those cases, it's better to try The Walk Over or The Sneak Out.

3. The Walk Over
The Walk Over is to be used when everything else fails. It's 100% efective, but it can be a bit cumbersome because you have to walk next to the person and draw their attention either by touching them or by doing The Call. You can't always walk to a person to say hi, maybe you can't leave your things unattended, or your group of friends. I recently saw a friend of mine in an escalator, I was going down and he was going up; to do a Walk Over in that place would be mayhem! If you can walk to the person, great! You will certainly, definitely make them notice you. But first you have to ask yourself, is this person worthy of a Walk Over?

4. The Sneak Out
Yes, you can make that choice. You can choose to walk away. But The Sneak Out isn't just about walking away. Now that you decided you're not going to make yourself noticed, you're gonna have to make sure that the person doesn't notice you. Even more important, you have to make sure they don't notice that you noticed them! Because if they do, they will also notice you were trying to avoid them. That's why it's a Sneak Out and not a walk out. If you make it out safely, The Sneak Out automatically provides you with a brief guilty conscience and the inability to tell people who you saw, because if the person in question hears that you saw them, they're gonna ask why didn't you say hello. But don't worry, you will do just fine.

You can use either one of these four types depending on the situation, but I believe a person can be defined by the type they use more often. So, what kind of person are you?

(versão portuguesa)