Taking the elevator with a stranger is always awkward. It’s like I suddenly forget how to be a normal person. For starters, I never know where to look. I don’t want to stare at the person and I don’t want to look at the floor. I want to be polite, but sometimes my shyness inhibits that. However, I believe elevator rides are a real treat. They allow me to rest for a moment and I feel a fellow elevator passenger should not ruin my “elevator me-time”. So, I’ve come up with some helpful tips so your awkwardness won’t ruin what could be such a special, relaxing time.
Make Small Talk:
First ask their floor number and base your small talk accordingly. Say they’re going to the second floor. Instead of getting angry with this person for being lazy, just be happy that you only have to spend a short period of time together. So short, in fact, that you probably don’t even need to make any small talk. Worst-case scenario, you have to ride with them the whole time. But don’t be afraid; I’m sure you can think of a number of things to discuss. If your mind goes blank, use the elevator as a source of inspiration. You could ask them how elevators work or just marvel at the pure magic of elevators. Try to remember your first elevator ride and recount it in detail but only in as much detail as it takes to get to your destination. You don’t want to be stuck continuing this conversation outside of the elevator, as this story is purely elevator talk.
Another worst-case scenario would be getting stuck in the elevator. But, on the bright side, you’ll have a lot to bond over.
Oftentimes there is music in elevators, which offers a nice alternative to small talk or the silence that might ensue once you run out of small talk. If, however, if there is no music, I suggest humming to yourself to create that elevator ambiance you desire. You can even try to gage mood of the other person and create a tune accordingly. For example if the person seems nervous, try a nice, gentle, calming melody. If the person seems too excited make your tune super jolly to pep them up even more. If the person asks where that sound is coming from, just smile to yourself. Don’t say a word and continue humming. Never reveal yourself as the source. It adds to the mystery and magic of the elevator.
I’m not talking about it the way you’re probably thinking I am. What I mean is you have shared space with this person for quite sometime, so why not end your ride acknowledging your mutual respect? Try to end your elevator time on a positive note. I’ve always wanted to be the type of person who leaves an elevator and says things like, “Have a nice day” or “Good night” or ‘I love you.” And there is absolutely no reason why you can’t be that friendly person.
And if you don’t feel like making small talk, humming, or dealing with possible discomfort or awkwardness while in a confined space, know that you can always take the stairs.
Featured image via Access Hollywood.