Home > News > Special Features

What travellers do to shun other commuters

Posted on Aug 03, 09:19PM | IANS

Commuters on a train employ all kinds of tactics to avoid interaction with other travellers. These include the "hate stare" or one that says "don't bother me", says a new study.

The study by Yale University says commuters use many other tactics, including putting their bag on the next seat, checking the phone, putting on headphones and pretending to be asleep, the Daily Mail reported.

The research published in journal Symbolic Interaction found that the tactics had nothing to do with age, race or social background, but based on people's desire for comfort.

"We engage in all sorts of behaviour to avoid others, pretending to be busy, checking phones, rummaging through bags, looking past people or falling asleep," said Esther Kim of Yale University.

"Sometimes we even don a 'don't bother me' face or what's known as the 'hate stare'," Kim said.

Passengers keep a free seat by leaning against the window and stretching their legs out, pretending to be asleep and putting a large bag on the seat.

Some put a coat on the seat so it looks taken, while others lie and say it is already occupied by someone else.

Passengers even sit in the aisle seat with music turned up so they can pretend not to hear when someone asks for the empty window seat.

Some place several items on the spare seat and people find it is too much hassle waiting for them to be moved.

Some commuters gaze out the window with a blank stare, while some just avoid eye contact.

One rider told the study the objective was just getting through the ride, and that fat people who sweat more and may be more likely to smell should be avoided.