Being in That Awkward Position Where You Must Hastily Decide Whether You Should Hold the Door for the Person Behind You or Not
You’re walking towards the building entrance or exit and know that someone is tailing fairly close behind you, but you can’t judge just how close they are. Should you stand there and hold the door open, or should you let it close? I get anxious leaving buildings over this situation. I don’t want to be a jerk and let the door close on the person, or make it seem like I’m too good to hold the door open, but at the same time I don’t want to look like an idiot standing in the doorway for a good thirty seconds before the person passes through. In most places at most times there’s either enough pedestrian traffic to know you’ll need to hold the door back for a few nanoseconds to pass it on to the person behind you, or the area is almost deserted and the closest person behind you is far enough away to let you close the door without looking like a twit. It’s just that awkward positioning that happens a little more often than it should where you’re left wondering what to do, and under the pressure of the situation, you’re forced to make a hasty (and, a lot of the times, wrong) decision.
Of course, you could do the old throw-a-glance-over-your-shoulder just as you reach the door to try and get a better view of the situation, but most of the time it doesn’t clarify anything and you’ll have to grin an awkward smile as you stand there like a fool for a minute while the person slowly saunters through. That or you’re forced to try to fib about not really seeing the person there after the door slams in their face.
It’s just as bad when you're the person behind a fellow pedestrian about to open a door. You have to decide if it’s better to suddenly slow down and make the person ahead wonder why you’ve suddenly become walking incompetent, or if it’s better to speed up at the risk of it hurting much more when the door slams in your face.