Social Question

idream3r's avatar

Do you look down when you walk?

Asked by idream3r (439points) May 19th, 2016

I often look down when I walk due to anxiety. Other times when I am listening to music I am in my own world. I feel I miss out on a lot when I do so. Often from the corner of my eye, I will see women looking at me. When I don’t look back, they look away & keep walking. I know they are not always looking at me, however other times I just know they are trying to get my attention. Sometimes I wonder what if I would have looked back and attempted to start a conversation with them. I saw a few videos about this. About how when we often look down we miss so much around us. I am a really shy guy. I am not good with words in person. I am 26 and not financially stable at the moment, nor do I have my own place. These are some reasons why I don’t really pursue getting a girlfriend. If I had my life more together (which I am working on) I would have more confidence. Not all women look for material things and money. However, at my age it would be nice to have my own place to take her to. Along with more money to buy her nice things. Not sure if this makes sense.

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41 Answers

ucme's avatar

Sometimes, I have this thing where I refuse to step on drain covers, often skip a step if one creeps up unnoticed. Also, I walk at “five to one” & consider myself an impeccable timekeeper

Coloma's avatar

No, I walk looking straight ahead and being aware of my surroundings for the most part. Your lack of confidence is showing up in your body language it seems. Just keep on working towards your goals and don’t allow yourself to feel inferior, we’re all different and everyone grows and evolves in their own time and way. Life is financially tough for a lot of people and we all can feel less than at times.

I am on the opposite side of the fence you straddle, a mature, 50 something single woman who lost everything in the recession. I am living a mere shadow of my former life and this certainly is not what I envisioned at the age and stage of the life game. You are still young ( my daughter is 28 ) and lots of good things will still happen for you. Work on smiling at others, say ” Hi” and, you’re right, girls and women worth knowing are not going to judge you because you can’t spend $100’s of dollars on them. You never know, you might meet a great girl if you open up a little more and you could end up living together at some point. This happened with my daughter and her ex boyfriend of 4 years.

He was very shy, still in college, living at home, not working, feeling lonely and confused about his future and within a year, he had a new job, was living with her and had about 10k saved! Have you tried making friends online like via craigslist? That’s how my daughter has met her last 2 boyfriends, it’s the go to place for a lot of younger people. good luck, life can change in a nano second for better or for worse, it’s the way it rolls. :-)

stanleybmanly's avatar

I got in the habit back in the days when dogs roamed the city. It was necessary to avoid stepping in a surprise. Funny how you never see dogs unattended or tailing after kids anymore. I can remember when it was common for people to allow their dogs to wander. Sometimes there would be a crew of neighborhood dogs following the mailman on his route. Anyway, the positive aspect of looking down is the frequent opportunities for spotting coins and occasionally currency and other treasures lying on the sidewalks.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Yes, sometimes. Especially if I’m on my own and deep in thought. I try to be conscious of doing it so I look up and ahead.

kritiper's avatar

When working, always. When crossing a lawn or other area where dogs might run, yes. Otherwise, not so much.

zenvelo's avatar

I walk a lot, and I only look down on occasion to avoid things.

The wonderful thing about walking is that one can see all of the beautiful things happening right now. It is a way to be present in one’s life. You can see the birds, how the trees move in the breeze, the smile on a kids face, the way the light brings out the surface of a building.

Maybe if you were present in the world, you would not be wondering all these thoughts about why you don’t have a girl or a place to take her to.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes….while everyone is enjoying the scenery…I am enjoying filling my pocket with spare change I find on the ground.

JLeslie's avatar

Usually not. I look ahead. Looking down immediately in front of you makes you vulnerable. I guess being raised by parents who were raised in the Bronx trained me to keep my head up for safety, and not to mention posture. I’m not saying I never look down, it’s more a combination. Like checking your rearview mirror every 5–10 seconds.

Blackberry's avatar

Yea definitely. I actively avoid eye contact as well. My confidence is at an all time low due to life transitions but I used to look into everyone’s eyes.

dxs's avatar

Yes. I look everywhere.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Only if it is slippery, wet, icy, etc. Otherwise I’m looking side to side or straight ahead.

Looking down sends an unfriendly message.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Yes, but you won’t know that because I don’t hang my head. It is a deeply roofed habit that dates back to my childhood, when I had that fear of falling. I just looked down for so long that it became a habit. But as time passed I learned to balance between looking down and looking around. The result is that no one can see me looking down.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@idream3r What is more important is what type of information you are seeking. If you have anxiety, asking how other people react isn’t going to resolve the situation. It may be time to seek the help of a professional. There is no harm in doing so.

Something else to consider is that you may just have a personality that is more introverted than extroverted. Maybe you are just more focused than others. I find it easy to get lost in thoughts and not focus on the surroundings. Perhaps you are this way as well.

ibstubro's avatar

I usually look down when I’m by myself.
When I’m with someone else, I’ll look up, and glance down. I often see obstacles 3–4 feet ahead of us.
I don’t want the walk to interrupt the conversation of camaraderie.

Pachy's avatar

Didn’t use to but I do nowadays, especially when going downstairs and off curbs. I’ve developed bad knees and in recent years have fallen way too many times not to now take extra care when walking.

AshlynM's avatar

I will if it’s slick surfaces and lookout for any spills that might be on the ground because I don’t want to fall on my face. Otherwise I just look ahead.

rojo's avatar

I think I have mentioned this before but there was a person in Las Vegas who had obviously had a few too many. As he walked along the sidewalk he was repeatedly muttering to himself: “Don’t look down; you look down, you fall down”. Advice to live by.

jca's avatar

No, not usually. I usually try to keep my back straight and if I do look downward, it’s about 15–20 feet ahead. I don’t listen to music when I walk or shop or whatever. I enjoy listening to whatever is around me, whether or not it’s pleasant, also for safety’s sake.

I had a friend who used to look down and he found some incredible things on the ground, including a gold bracelet. However, in my opinion, he lost out on a lot of his surroundings which to me is one of the pleasures of life.

MooCows's avatar

I do look down and it has became an addiction because I am
a rock lover and I am always looking for the next best rock
or feathers. I have found so many different items throughout
my life because of looking down….especially money and watches
and rings. Its to the point now I don’t trust my feet if I don’t look
down. Its not because I am not a confident person…i just like nature
and it is found on the ground—rocks and leaves and pine cones and seeds etc.

johnpowell's avatar

When I was about ten I went with my sister to live with my aunt in Ontario, California. It is about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. One of the first things my aunt said was to always looks down when you walk. This was mostly due to gang-bangers that would be all “What are you looking at?” if you made eye-contact. She was totally right.

Then five years later I moved to Eugene, Oregon where strangers at a bus stop will say that I look sad and ask if it is okay to give me a hug. Eugene is a special place. I now look up and say “Hi” to total strangers that I walk past.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
lugerruger's avatar

Sometimes I look down, I kind of look everywhere. I’m quite an observant person and I like to look at everything. I’m always making awkward eye contact with strangers. I do look down quite a bit, but not the whole time. I like seeing the world around me, and I like looking at people. I just like looking at everything.

idream3r's avatar

@ucme Thanks for the response, I appreciate it

@Coloma Thank you for sharing that with me, You are right. I live too much in my comfort zone and need to be break free a bit. Unless I open up more things will not change for the better. There are women whom I regret not approaching, I always wonder what if. I will definitely start looking up more. Thank you once again.

@stanleybmanly True, in some neighborhoods you have to make sure you don’t step in something. Sadly many people don’t curb their dogs now a days. Thanks for the response.

@Earthbound_Misfit Same for me, especially when I am listening to music. Thanks for the response.

@kritiper Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it.

@Hypocrisy_Central Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it.

@zenvelo Thanks for the response, I consider myself to be present in the world. However when I walk while listening to music I often zone off into my own world.

@Cruiser lol, Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. A bit of change isn’t bad.

@JLeslie Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. I actually live in the Bronx as well. I look up as well for saftey, But often while listening to music I dose off in my own world.

@Blackberry Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. Hope you gain your confidence back. Best of wishes.

@dxs Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it.

@elbanditoroso Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. That is true, I am trying to look up more when I walk.

@Mimishu1995 Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. I am trying to find that balance as well in my life.

@Pied_Pfeffer Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. I am a bit of an introvert and get lost in thought. People often call me dreamer since I am always day dreaming. The part about anxiety was just to give some background info about myself.

@ibstubro Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. I look up as well when I am with someone else. But when by myself I often look down.

@Pachy Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. I hope your knees get better. Best of wishes.

@AshlynM Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it.Its good to look down at times just to be cautious.

@rojo Thanks for the response & the advice, I really appreciate it.

@jca Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. You made some really good points in your statement.

@MooCows Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. I have found some really good things as well. I found 4 Iphones in a 3 month period. I gave them all back. I wanted to keep them but I just could not. If it was my phone I would want someone to return it.

@johnpowell Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. I guess sometimes looking down is good and bad, depending on the situation. I always avoid eye contact with gangbangers to avoid issues as well.

@lugerruger Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it. That is very nice, it’s good to observant at times. I will try to look up more just so I don’t miss the things happening around me.

JLeslie's avatar

@idream3r You doze off on the subway, bus, and in the parks? With music in your ears? Lol. Yeah, not extremely safe. You wouldn’t hear someone coming near you, but luckily NYC is fairly safe now. Go back to the 1970’s and I don’t think you would do that. Luckily, the iPod came out around the same time that NYC became one of the safer cities, although I don’t know how your part of The Bronx is.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie : I wouldn’t say “NYC is fairly safe now.” At least once a day there’s a stabbing. I’d venture to say since DiBlasio got into office, the crime rate went up.

idream3r's avatar

@jca That is so true. I thought I was the only one that noticed. Stabbings, shootings, robbing and assaults are a daily occurrence here. I am glad the police are doing raids and arresting gang members and drug dealers.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I haven’t looked at stats recently. 5–10 years ago it was number 17 per capita for the least safe American city. Memphis (I was living there at the time) was number 3 I think. Parts of NYC are less age than others obviously. Possibly, it is getting worse in NY, I don’t doubt it. I feel safer in NYC then downtown Memphis still to this day though in the places I frequent in both cities.

idream3r's avatar

@JLeslie Agreed, NYC is getting worst. Especially since it’s almost summer. Once it gets warm outside, people reignite grudges they held in through the winter. It might get a lot safer since cops are really cracking down on gangs.

jca's avatar

I found this interactive crime map from NYC government. I haven’t yet really looked at it, but it looks interesting.

jca's avatar

What I seem to remember on the news a lot in about the past year (NYC news) is slashings. People getting slashed in public places by strangers, almost one a day it seemed like.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I couldn’t find the key on the map to know what the colors mean. I’m looking at it on my phone, maybe that’s why. My sister is in Chinatown and my aunt on 16th near 3rd.

idream3r's avatar

@jca @JLeslie that map is really useful, Thank you. Slashing has gone up lately. Its truly sad. Hope all of you stay safe.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It would be fascinating to find similar maps for our various closest major city and to share our map for a specific period. It’s sad to hear crime is on the increase in NYC.

JLeslie's avatar

This from 2015 doesn’t have NYC in the top 10. Memphis is #2, no surprise to me. Detroit is #1.

ibstubro's avatar

I found 29ยข at White Castle and a cool token in the Walmart parking lot so far this week.
Fall, when the leaves are down, is a good time to find paper money.

idream3r's avatar

@JLeslie Detroit is #1? I thought for sure it would be Chicago. The murder rate has been through the roof in recent years.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, I admit it. I look down a lot.
I have, literally, picked 100’s of 4 leaf clovers in my time. As many as 20 or more in a day. To the point that, if I see I’m walking in clover, I try not to look down.
I’d be great to have along on a scavenger hunt.

idream3r's avatar

@ibstubro Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. Looking down has its benefits sometimes. I’ve found a lot of Iphones which I ended up giving back.

idream3r's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit It truly is sad, As for the Bronx, I’ve noticed that crime is rising in specific areas. I really can’t wait to get out of this place. There is too much negativity.

JLeslie's avatar

I was out in very rainy weather today and realized I was constantly looking down to see where the puddles were.

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