I’m not a Game of Thrones fan, but I do know enough about the show to know that my husband has been chanting “hold the door” for the past several days after seeing this week’s episode. I have no idea what that means, but “hold the door” reminded me of something that I like to talk about — etiquette for holding doors for people.
It is so so so nice that in the year 2016, in our modern era, people still hold the door for each other — especially chivalrous men holding doors for women. I am not complaining about this. It is very kind and whenever someone holds the door for me, I am reminded that there is good in the world, that strangers can offer each other small gestures of kindness, that people truly have good hearts.
But. (I’m sure you know by know that my blogs always have a “but.”)
Sometimes someone is so eager to do an act of kindness for me — or maybe they’re looking at me from afar and thinking, wow, that woman has been very lax on her weight-lifting and yoga arm exercises so I better help her with this door — that they do it too early. They mess up the door-holding timing.
If we’re walking through the door’s threshold at the same time, then of course, you should hold the door for me. If I’m a few seconds away, then, yes, oh wow, that is so nice of you, thank you. But if I’m several feet away from the door — let’s call it 10 seconds away — what happens is that your holding of the door for me forces me to speed up my walk to relieve you from your chivalrous duty. I might have wanted to walk leisurely out of the building. Maybe I was hoping to take a few more seconds to go into the building, lingering in the beautiful weather, attempting to break my streak of always always always being 10 minutes early to anything. Maybe I wasn’t even planning on crossing that threshold.
But I want to keep these kindnesses alive! I want to live in a world where people do this! So, as a good citizen, if someone is holding the door, I have to go through that open door, even if it means rushing a bit, walking faster, maybe changing my plans.
So next time you’re about to hold the door for someone … for the most part, do it without thinking about it. But if your potential door-holdee is more than 10 seconds away from the door, don’t make her rush rush rush to relieve you from duty. The would-be door-holdee might appreciate those extra few seconds of leisure.
All of this being said, here’s a shoutout to door holders of all kinds — thanks for keeping this world a little kinder.