The lift is a place that creates a lot of anxiety for some: not only because of the enclosed space and the fact that it is a cubicle that takes you tens of meters above the ground, but also because being with other people, above all they do not know each other, creates a real sense of embarrassment. Now a psychologist explains why.
In particular, a study by the University of Wroclaw in Poland asked people from all over the world to what distance they found the physical presence of a stranger uncomfortable (By the way, fantasy football could also cause anxiety). According to reports from a sample of people from England, the discomfort occurred less than 1 meter away.
Simply put, being less than a meter away from a stranger is something most people find very embarrassing: as a result, the discomfort felt inside the lift is due to this. Not to mention that the various regulations implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic have amplified the anxiety of too much closeness with strangers.
Another important factor is the lack of a social script. Social norms drive us into some awkward situations in front of strangers, but what is the appropriate behavior when face to face with a stranger in an elevator? Staring at the floor and pretending there’s no one around, or making small talk?
The correct answer is the latter: research has shown that a short chat could create a less tense situation. Social anxiety is a disorder that affects millions of people… and even many superheroes.