April 24, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Bowl Weekend set to be ‘very successful’ -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Win-and-in situation looms for UMass men’s lacrosse against Delaware -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brewed of the Gods – Dogfish Head Theobroma -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Never again, never forget: Remembering the Armenian genocide -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse prepares for final two regular season games -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Food of the World: Vietnam -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Indie duo The Both to perform at Pearl Street -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

USDA grants awarded to UMass faculty -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

UMass baseball team heads to Bronx for three-game set vs. Fordham -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Workout on the Quad comes to UMass -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Time to reconsider ‘war on terror’ -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

UMass men’s lacrosse has received solid play from freshmen all year -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Renowned rabbi discusses the role of religion in American policy -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UMass baseball haunted by missed opportunities in 8-5 loss -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Transcendence’ a fumbling cautionary tale -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Freedom of speech for campus employees -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Veep’ continues to be one of the smartest comedies around -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Noah’ a sinking ship -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Letter: A response to ‘There is nothing to debate about global warming’ -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Push for punishment equality -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Door-holding etiquette: when to hold and when to go

Flickr/Tom Hickmore

We’ve all at some point encountered that awkward situation: should I stay? Should I go? Should I turn around? Do I keep walking and try to help? The real dilemma here is how close or far away should a person have to be in order for you to hold the door for them. For myself, I’m a firm believer in the whole random act of kindness, and holding a door for someone is an easy way to accomplish this. I always try to hold the door for someone that’s somewhat close. However, this kindness can only count if the person is close enough to you so that they can get there in a timely fashion by walking. If you’re making awkward eye contact for far too long because they’re walking from a distance and to get it over with they start to run, that person is too far away. No one should feel obligated to run when they don’t have to.

So now the question is: how can you gauge what’s too far away? To avoid that uncomfortable feeling of should I hold or should I go, here is a list of tips to attempt to gauge the distance from the person behind you:

The Stomp Don’t look, just listen

If you can hear a person’s footsteps behind you, it’s usually the case that they’re pretty close. In this case, you’re totally in the clear to hold the door.

The Mirror Push — A more investigative approach

Attempt to see a reflection in the glass of the door to see if there is anyone behind you. If you can see a reflection but the person isn’t really in range, I say give the door an extra push after you walk through it. That tells the person, “ I know you’re behind me, but you aren’t that close so here’s my attempt to help you out.” Chances are the door closes before they get there; but hey, you tried.

The Uncomfortable Turnaround

Don’t do a full 360-degree turn or anything, but I tend to crane my neck just far around enough to see if I should hold the door. Though sometimes this backfires because the person is too far away to hold the door for him or her. In this case, it looks like you turned around, saw there was someone behind you and deliberately did not hold the door. Then instead of looking kind, you look like a jerk.

The aforementioned tips may help, but there are circumstances in which they are not guaranteed to work. Maybe someone’s wearing really loud shoes and they give the illusion of being close. Perhaps there’s no glass in the door in which to seek out a reflection. It’s difficult to always avoid the awkward door-holding situation; however, because everyone has experienced this at some point or another, almost nobody finds it rude if someone doesn’t hold the door for them if they’re too far away. In short, it’s simple: if someone’s pretty close, hold the door. If someone has to sprint to make the situation more comfortable, then keep walking. Do not get caught up in the trap that if you turn around and see them coming that you have to hold the door. You don’t. They don’t want you too because they don’t want to run. When it comes to door holding, it’s nice to try and be helpful but don’t feel obligated to do so every time you open a door with someone in the general vicinity.

Ali Strand can be reached at ahstrand@student.umass.edu

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