Are you a Waver

So happy Robert Sullivan wrote the article in this month's RW. Brought up on an island where everyone greeted each other every day and having lived in a number of small towns in three countries where the same recognition is a way of life I have been puzzled when out running by the number of non wavers I continued to come across. Living in anonymous towns and cities I came to accept it as part of normal culture there and was always surprised and delighted to meet a fellow waver. 10 years back in the sticks the opposite was true, that I was disappointed, especially on longer, remote runs, rainy or cold days, or when passing the same people regularly that waves were not reciprocal. I now accept and have had it "Validated" by the article. We are either wavers or non wavers, it's as simple as that. Do you agree?


  • Seems it very much depends on where you're running.

    My usual run is along the seafront here in Brighton.  Not many wavers here, but when I venture into the depths of Hove seafront they're much friendlier image

  • I always wave and find it hard to understand those who refuse to acknowledge fellow runners.
  • I trip if I have to wave

    Nodding in my head works for me but people don't seem to see it
  • I live in the London suburbs where runners rarely acknowledge each other.

    I have given up now, although I will respond if someone does wave/speak. 

  • StrayceltStraycelt ✭✭✭
    I find it fascinating when people don't wave. I understand PO suggesting may trip and occassionally the iplodders who are lost in the beat, even the serious, focussed runners gasping for breath but is everyone else just really shy or is it London Tube phenomenon where they believe the etiquette is not to acknowledge. Amazing, considering we humans are supposedly social creatures.
  • I find it fascinating that anyone would bother to write an article about this, or start a thread on it (which is done on a fairly regular basis).

    I tend to smile, say good morning, or nod.

    If the other person responds, great. 

    If not, I don't care.  I don't wonder why, or think anymore of it.  I just move on with my run, and my life.

    What can it possibly matter whether a stranger acknowledges your greeting?  Or do you take it as some kind of personal slight?

  • StrayceltStraycelt ✭✭✭
    Too old and run too far to take it as a personal slight. The RW article was quite interesting and mirrored many of the experiences I've had and drew the same conclusions, people tend to be wavers or not and some of the non wavers in other parts of their life are the most interesting, courteous, polite, empathetic people yet become somehow different when running. Just like many people change when they get behind the wheel of a car perhaps?image
  • When I saw this article in this months RW, the first thing that sprang to mind is, boy they must be short on material this month.
  • I never know whether to wave or not wave, so compromise with a kind of half-assed semi-wave, accompanied by what is probably a cross between a smile and a grimace. So the people lucky enough to be on the receiving end of this probably think I am neither a waver nor a non-waver but some kind of loony.
  • Sometimes I wave, sometimes I don't - what pigeon hole does that put me in I wonder.

    Sometimes people wave back, sometimes they don't - I don't take that as a reflection of their personality or a personal slight on me, they probably just have something else on their mind at the time.

  • StrayceltStraycelt ✭✭✭
    The diversity of human nature Sheri12, all adds to the mix to make runners an interesting bunch. Danowat, what makes a good article for you?
  • I remember when some American friends from a small town in rural Ohio came to visit me a couple of years ago.

    As we walked down the street near my house, they would say "good morning" to people.  It was like Crocodile Dundee (on a somewhat smaller scale!)

    Most people were so surprised to be greeted by an American (in suburban Essex), that they did respond image

    The matter of greeting/acknowledging other runners comes up often enough to see that it does occupy the minds of quite a few people, and I just don't get why image

  • I dont wave but I do nod/smile/say hello.   I think it does depend on the time of day & where you are running.  My LSR are done on the canal towpath usually early afternoon and would say maybe 10% of people be it dog walkers/runners/casual strollers nod/great/smile, whereas cos its getting a bit hot now I dragged my sorry butt out the bed earlier on Saturday and the percentage of nodders/greeters/smilers was considerably higher.

    *waves to everybody* Just in case you saw me on the towpath and I was too engrossed in that potentially killer duck to notice.

  • StrayceltStraycelt ✭✭✭
    As we walked down the street near my house, they would say "good morning" to people.  It was like Crocodile Dundee (on a somewhat smaller scale!)

    That's how it is still in many parts of this country. In our town most people acknowledge each other in the early morning, not so much once the kids are in school and certainly all neighbours. It's a nice, friendly start to the day and can occasionally, I find, lift my mood to be greeted in that fashion by someone I don't know/know that well. Similarly a greeting from a fellow runner has lifted me out of a bad patch and I am grateful for that gesture. Knowing how it can affect me means I will always wave but no, I don't get offended/upset if it's not reciprocated because I understand that people do see things differently and what works for me won't necessarily work for somebody/anybody else.
  • A good article for me is something with some usefull information in that can help me with my running, the whys and wherefores of people waving or not waving during running is completely irrelevant to my running.
  • StrayceltStraycelt ✭✭✭

    I enjoy the diversity of articles and find some of Andy B's surreal stories are as enjoyable as many of the pieces of advice, reviews etc. Makes it a more complete mag for me and doesn't detract or distract from the main reasons for buying

  • The "why" for me comes from the fact that I like to feel included, and that I think this is a fairly primitive aspect of human personality.  If somone waves at me, they're saying something like "I recognise that you are like me - we have some shared goals and experiences".  If I don't wave back, I'm saying "you are not like me".

    I like being waved at because I like to feel included.

  • I don't think there's anything wrong with some light-hearted articles to complement the more serious stuff...
  • I nod and smile....image
  • StrayceltStraycelt ✭✭✭
    image Smiles back in appreciation. Echoes thoughts on light hearted stuff
  • Don't get me wrong, I like the humourous columns etc etc, they are pretty good, but that article just seemed such a waste of prime mag real estate, I am sure they could have come up with something a bit more relevent.
  • When I first started running I was touched when I received my first wave and soon became a regular greeter of other plodders in my area. Now I'm running further afield and encountering many more runners, I've sadly found that almost all of them would apparently rather run without any interaction with others. Because of this, like PloddingOn, I now stick to waving inside my head and don't feel nearly so stupid when I'm snubbed.

    While were on the subject, does anyone here have an answer to the opposite sex dilemma? I tried to wave to a few female runners when I first started out but when I was rebuffed by each and every one I began to feel as if I was somehow being a bit "pervy" by trying to make "contact" and now, worryingly, were I still so inclined, I would only ever contemplate waving at another bloke! Is there any male/female etiquette, or shall the twain never meet?

  • I went to stay with my mother for a couple of weeks last year, she lives in a small town in Canada. I was quite disturbed at how excessively friendly everyone was. They would wave at every car they passed while driving and say hello and have a conversation with everyone they walked past, whether they knew them or not. I hated it, and put my dislike of it down to the stereotypical british stiff upper lip.

     As for out running, I'm and nod and smiler for other runners but tend to ignore everyone else.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I rarely have much more than a grimmace on my face. It makes some people laugh, that's ok. I'm happy to be ignored. I will aknowledge someone if they make the first move, but otherwise not.

    I have to admit that I tend to look at the ground when I run so I don't tend to notice anyone else. I rarely look at peoples faces let alone make eye contact. I do tend to concentrate on my counting when running.

    Today I saw 4 cyclists, 1 runner, 1 elderly lady dog walker and 1 wheel chair user + escort. The dog walker smiled and the wheel chair user gave me a big grin to which I waved.

  • swittleswittle ✭✭✭

    I've always enjoyed making contact, however brief, with other runners through waving.  I'll throw in a 'Good morning'  too, and, even at 6.30am, the peeps of Liverpool are just as friendly as their reputation suggests.

    Even extended this to those walking dogs, early morning commuters and cyclists too.image  What's not to like?

  • I weave

    It's the same

    Only with another vowel
  • StrayceltStraycelt ✭✭✭
    PaulieJ, regardless of gender, age etc. I acknowledge all and sundry. I find, generally speaking, more females nod/smile/wave back than males and just about every cyclist does too.
  • Surely the people who want to wave or acknowlege the other runner, but are unsure of whether to do so for fear of being rebuffed, are just exaccerbating the issue. maybe the other runner is thinking exactly the same thing? So, if you acknowledge the ohter runner every time you pass, irrespective of the repsonse, you are spreading the good feeling.

    I live in a large village/small town and if I am out walking and only bump into a solitary person I will say hello whether I know them or not. As mentioned, it is social interaction and most people welcome being acknowleged.

    I think society is getting ruder as time passes and we are all slipping into our own little bubbles. before long there will come a point where there is no social interaction at all. Imagine going to a race meet and having 1200 runners not speaking or acknowleging each other....

  • You're right there, Winking. When I started out I was lulled into an obviously false feeling that runners are all part of one big happy family, sharing an obsession and therefore far more approachable/amenable than folk who had little or nothing in common. Sadly, that has proved not to be the case (at least in my neck of London) and I'm a little embarrassed about my early niavety now.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not  obsessed with the greet/don't greet issue and I fully understand that, for some, it's far more enjoyable just to be, as you say WG, in your own bubble. But it does seem that, without getting too po-faced, it's the way society in general is going...

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