Anonymous said to realsocialskills:
Hi I was wondering what door holding etiquette is in any relevant social context, because I only recently became aware that this is a thing, and since then still can’t figure it out.
I also find this almost completely baffling.
If someone is close behind you as you walk through a door (how close is an awkward matter of judgment, but I usually go with “within ten feet and you can tell they’re heading for the door”) you’re usually supposed to do this kind of holding it without going out of your way too much thing. Like you go through the door and then pause holding it open with your arm behind you - or if they’re close, just keep it pulled open for a moment longer. Just enough so that they don’t have the door slam in their face as they get to it, basically. You don’t have to wait for them to walk through the door, just for them to grab it from you.
Once in a while, people will actually go out of their way to hold doors for me -stand there, holding it open, waiting until I walk through. I find that awkward and I’m pretty sure it’s not expected - the only exception being if I’m carrying a large object.
It’s nice to hold a door for someone whose hands are full, whether they’re holding a lot of packages or pushing a stroller or using a walker or whatever. Sure a lot of doors have the buttons to push to get them to open, but I feel like sometimes they don’t stay open long enough and they always take a long time to open all the way so they’re not helpful for people who are slower OR people who are faster.
My husband holds doors for everyone and prefers to open and hold the door for me when we’re walking together. It’s not a big deal if I get there first, but it’s a preference for him so I usually walk beside him and let him do the thing. Then if there are people behind us I have to wait for him, but it’s not a big deal either way.
I do think it’s polite to use the door that’s being held for you if someone decides to do that. Don’t push open the next door instead just to make a point or something. (I have heard of people doing that and it’s just rude. People almost never hold doors because they think you are incapable of doing it yourself, they’re doing it because they feel like trying to be helpful. I prefer to encourage helpfulness.)