Ease your commuting dash with this tip!

Twice a day I have to face the gauntlet of navigating between a busy train station concourse and the station exit. A few months ago this was accomplished as follows, 2 steps forward a pause, a dodge left then right, stop dead in my tracks, apologise…. 2 steps forward a pause, a dodge left then right, stop dead in my tracks, awkward smile…. repeat….It was annoying and frustrating until I learnt a little secret which Im about to share with you.Eye contact is your downfall.
They say the eye’s don’t lie, but when trying to navigate oncoming commuters Im afraid they do! We’ve all been in the situation where your approaching an oncoming commuter, you start to aim slightly to the left to avoid the oncoming person and they end up trying to avoid you to their right also. So you both correct and again your heading for a collision, so you both correct again, an embarrassing little dance ensues…. I call this the ‘commuter shuffle’

How it works – 1 Brain is better than 2

Without eye contact your own brain does nothing more than read other peoples feet/legs and importantly the direction and velocity they are travelling. Approaching commuters brains subconsciously adjust their own direction and velocity around you because your not giving visual clues caused by eye contact between you both. They want to avoid you.

In practice

Bow your head. Aim your gaze approximately between .8m – 1m in-front of you and keep looking down, walk at a steady pace and in a straight line towards the exit if you can. You may need to adjust your pace or direction to avoid stationary commuters but resist the urge of looking up and accidentally making eye contact and start a series of events that lead to ‘commuter shuffle’

If you can you will see how the crowd seems to magically part for you, you will reduce the number of times you stop and all but eliminate the ‘commuter shuffle’.

Give it a try next time your navigating a crowded area, as long as you know which direction you need to head in!

Do not try this in dark club/pub where alcohol is involved, in these circumstances you need all the visual clues of the direction an oncoming person is heading as you can’t rely on the fact they are hopefully more sober than you!