General Question

gimmedat's avatar

Have you ever felt the need to correct a stranger's actions..and have you acted on that?

Asked by gimmedat (3943points) May 26th, 2008 from iPhone

So my sister and I were touring the Empire State Building and this guy was a real bubble buster (you know the kind who has no concept of personal space). As we’re on line to get to the elevators he gets closer and closer…and he has terrible body odor. So I finally turned around and said, “You need to spread out.” I wasn’t rude, just matter-of-fact. Ever have a similar experience?

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30 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I usually only speak up if I feel personally threatened (as you described) or if I think the person’s actions pose a danger to others. I have asked people who were not controlling their aggressive dog to leave the dog park.

cheebdragon's avatar

Personally threatened because someone is standing next you?…........
Did you at least try to make a excuse about why you told him to spread out? Such as “I’m sorry but I’m very claustrophobic (sp)”.

CameraObscura's avatar

Any time I’m at the grocery store and I see someone attempt to leave their shopping cart next to their car I’ll sarcastically say something like “Hey dude, why don’t you walk the 10 feet and put your cart where it’s supposed to go?” They usually tell me to screw off, so when they get in their car I’ll walk over and put the cart behind their car so they can’t back out.

I live in a building in downtown Dallas and dog owners here constantly let their dog’s defecate in the parking garage instead of the giant litter box on the top floor and I’ll always say something to them as well.

Also, people who drive slowly in the left lane. I’ll flash my highbeams once. If they don’t get over, downshift and cut them off.

gimmedat's avatar

I didn’t feel personally threatened, just annoyed that this guy was all in my grill and I wasn’t even trying to host a cookout. Why should I make an excuse for telling someone to back-off?

marinelife's avatar

@gimmedat I agree. It’s called personal space for a reason.

syz's avatar

There was a traffic accident outside my office a couple of years ago. One of the cars involved flipped over and landed on its back. Gasoline was pouring out of the gas tank. The usual crowd of idiotic voyeurs was standing around staring, including a guy smoking a cigarrette about 6 feet from the wreck. I got in his face and screamed at him to get the f**k away. In hindsight, the gene pool probably would have gotten a little cleaned up if I had just let nature take its course.

Bri_L's avatar

@ gimmedat – so there was space to be had then? Because then there was no reason for him to be crowding you.

Trance24's avatar

If I am ever in public and I feel like someone is being miss treated, I usually cut in to tell the person to leave them alone.

Another thing is in my school….people seem to love to drop things on the ground and kick trash cans over and look at them for like 10 seconds and then walk away. To these people I usually ask them why they wasted 10 seconds looking at it when it would have taken them 3 seconds to pick it up. (I usually end up picking it up.)

Maverick's avatar

I see absolutely nothing wrong with speaking up when people are being idiots. If someone doesn’t say anything, then how will they ever learn? I must admit that it seems like I’m the only one on the planet that does though, and I let an awful lot slide. I wish everyone would use their voice instead of making off-the-cuff remarks to themselves. I’m sure people would, in general, be much nicer overall.

Anyways, about a year ago I was walking in the “club district” late at night where one of the clubs had let a bunch of drunken idiots out and everyone was congregated on the sidewalk – probably about 75 people. This one exceptional loser, who happened to be pretty big, was kicking a homeless guy that was sleeping in the street and telling him to get up and generally just being a douche. So I ran up and said “hey man, I don’t know where your from, but around here we don’t kick our homeless people” – which of course made me the target. But hey, at least he stopped kicking the homeless guy (which actually turned out to be a woman), and she managed to slink away. The thing that really bothered me though, wasn’t this one douchbag… it was all the people standing around watching him do it and not one of them tried to interject. There had to be at least 25 people watching in disgust. I actually consider all those people to be even less human than that loser. If you’re not willing to stand up for what is good and right, then you are just as much a part of the problem as the people actively doing bad things.

richmarshall's avatar

I have told line cutters to get to the back of the line on numerous occasions.

Allie's avatar

CameraObscura: I don’t really agree with your first one about the shopping cart. Especially the part about you putting your cart behind their car to keep them from backing out. I think it would be better if you just said something to them and then let it be. But, hey, do whatever floats your boat.

I feel a need to step in when I see a few young girls picking on other young girls. I’m so against bullying. I was never picked on all through school, but I know people who were and I saw how it affected them.

CameraObscura's avatar

To clarify, I put their own cart behind their car. Why do you “not agree” with it? Has your car ever been hit by a runaway shopping cart?

ljs22's avatar

I feel the urge to do this all the time, but it’s generally not for so noble a reason as Maverick’s. As a result, I try to keep my mouth shut because my judgements of things may not be the most fair. I like in a medium-sized midwestern city and sometimes it blows my mind how childish and classless people can be. I’ll try to get over the athletic shoes worn absolutely everywhere, but recently I was in the lobby of a fairly nice restaurant and saw a man there waiting to meet his family. He was apparently just through with a workout (still in his jogging shorts, of course) and started stretching right there near the other diners, like it was a mat at the gym. I mean, come on! I didn’t say anything, but I sure wanted to. Some people seem to think that public spaces are their own little domains. I wish we could be a bit more genteel.

Allie's avatar

CO: No, my car has never been hit by a runaway cart. I just think that by saying something to them you’ve made your point. Why do you feel like you have to block them in? Even if it is with their own cart…

CameraObscura's avatar

Because nothing annoys me more than pure laziness. If I leave their cart as they left it, they are able to go on about their way without consequences. This way, they’ve got to get out and move it.

marinelife's avatar

I think in this day and age one has to be careful about public confrontations with strangers. Sadly, people have been shot for not much.

Allie's avatar

CO: Hmm.. well, I guess that’s just not how I would act in that situation. But like I said, do what works for you.

breedmitch's avatar

Not often, but sometimes I’ll see someone toss a small piece of trash on the sidewalk (gum wrapper, cigarette wrapper, etc.) and I’ll pick it up, wait a moment, and then chase them down and return it saying, “Oh, hey man, you dropped this.” It catches them so off guard that they don’t often rebut, but when they do, I point out that there’s a garbage can on every corner of NYC.

ebenezer's avatar

usually its about lines at drugstores or fastfood. People are always screwing up lines in NYC.

cheebdragon's avatar

CO~ who died and made you Queen of the parking lot? Maybe the person has their kid in the car and its a little to hot or cold to leave the kid in the car alone while they walk the cart back to its little return area, you don’t know what their reasons are, so its ignorant to assume they are just lazy and then try to ridicule them for it. I think you do it to feel inferior, seriously do you yell at homeless people also? Or when you see people sitting at the bus stop?

CameraObscura's avatar

…or maybe there’s acid rain falling from the sky or maybe American Idol’s about to start.

Seriously CD, the devil’s advocate thing does not come naturally to you, stick to what you do well.

Bri_L's avatar

@ allie: Good for you on your bullies point!!! I am also against bullies of all types and will always speak up against them. I was picked on occasionally when I was little and spoke up for myself then to. I do it here on the site when I can as well and encourage others to.

cheebdragon's avatar

You must have tons of friends I’m sure…...

Bri_L's avatar

@ cheebdragon – If your talking to me, it seems you are, I am actually quite the diplomat. Because of my size I had to be very good at talking my way out of things when I was younger. I am VERY self depreciating which usually gives people the chance to make the decision themselves. That often helps them to make the right decision. You don’t have to be rude and in peoples faces to stand up for whats right. Ironic that I say that as I am currently walking that line in another thread in Fluther right now.

Allie's avatar

Bri_L: I think her comment was directed at CO. Correct, cheebdragon? =\

CameraObscura's avatar

Of course it was.

CD-yes, it is hard to make friends when you request that people put their shopping carts up at the grocery store. Though somehow, I persevere. A select few have managed to overlook my outlandish behavior.

Bri_L's avatar

allie: thanks. Sorry.

cheebdragon's avatar

⇐ Would love to see you attempt to yell at someone in Pomona…...........

rmolnar's avatar

I always speak up. When people get to close to me in lines or anywhere, I just turn around and say “hey can you back up please”. I don’t say it rude or anything, but I do ask them to step back. I am just very blunt ingeneral. I tell you how I feel when I feel it. I don’t just let people walk all over me. That’s how I feel when people do stuff like that. And that’s anything. When people say bad words infront of children that I am with I always say something, or to a waiter or waitress somwhere. I don’t mean to seem rude, but people sometimes take it that way, so I just try to be nice about it.

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