Walking is a great way to get around, but it can quickly be ruined when a stranger is walking in the exact same direction and speed as you. If you find yourself in this situation, then make sure to use the tips below to politely tell the person walking next to you to walk faster or slower instead, because whatever’s happening right now should not be happening at all.
Graciously recommend some other speeds.
Sometimes people don’t know what all of their options are until they’re all fully explained to them. That’s why if someone is walking right next to you on the street, it might just be because they only see how you’re walking, and they’re simply trying to follow your example. If this is the case with your sidewalk buddy, then you should politely inform them that they can also go faster or slower than you. They’ll definitely thank you for your kindness and democratization of knowledge!
Ask them: “What are we?”
Are you two dating or just friends? This person obviously doesn’t think you two are random strangers, because why else would they be walking right next to you at the same exact pace? Asking them “what are we?” is a perfect way to step back and let them define the relationship. Everything’s better with a little clarity, and hey, maybe you two will fall in love! Talk about a meet-cute! Or better yet they’ll just cross the street.
Stand still, or run.
If all else fails, or you just don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, then just stop walking and stand completely still, or alternatively run really fast ahead of them! If they also stop or run after you, then this person isn’t committing a social faux pas, they are planning to murder you! You will need a different how-to to address this situation.
So if you find yourself in the situation where someone is walking right next to you for more than one city block, try using these tips to gently but firmly tell them that they don’t have to do that. They’ll definitely understand when you put it so nicely, but if they don’t, you can do them even more of a favor and hail them a cab!