Scolding strangers in public

We have all seen people misbehaving in public in one way or the other causing a nuisance but have held our tongues and just let it go. I guess this would be around 95% of people depending on the country. Even though you want to say something or scold the offender, people tend to hold back for a various of reasons. I would say that the most common reason would be due to fear, fear of making a scene or fearful of what the reaction would be and would rather let it go if it doesn't directly affect them. It is interesting to know how those 5-10% react to certain situations and why they are not afraid of making a scene in public. Some people don't seem bothered about the consequences of scolding strangers in public.

Typical scenarios

In Japan on the trains in the mornings there are a large number of sleepers, often snoring with their mouths wide open. Not only that but they will constantly lean over into you with their heads often ending up in your lap. From observation I see many people ignoring it or slightly moving forward to allow the sleep to slump behind them. This will only mean sitting in an uncomfortable position for usually a long journey as many people are commuting around cities outside Tokyo to the main capital. 50% of the time I see people give a gentle shrug on the shoulders which causes the sleeper to straighten up quickly but the same will happen after around 30 secs or so. I have seen this same pattern repeat itself for around an hour. Once I saw an old man shout "Oi" directly into a young man ears. That shocked the young man, they both exchanged stares for around 3-5 seconds but the old man ended up staring him out. In contrast to this, I have seen young office ladies falling asleep into older businessman's laps or chests but there was no complaint then.

In restaurant buffets I have witnessed people taking very large portions of the last amount. Pizza slices for example, I think it is fair for everyone to take one piece of each kind, however some selfish people go and load 5-6 slices on their plate so that everyone else has to wait 10-15 minutes for the next batch to be cooked. I have never seen anyone being scolded for that but I have seen people mumble and curse under their breaths. I really thing the staff should step in there.

There are people are who selfishly park their cars so that they take up more than one space, causing an inconvenience to others. I have seen people try to park alongside and give up due to not wanting to bump or scratch their car.

There is always the train and elevator issue where impatient people are trying to get in before you get a chance to get out, it ends up with a lot of pushing, shoving, grunting and dirty stares but often no verbal conflict. Very rarely I hear somebody shout "Come on, let me out first"? Many people say that verbal conflict of this sort or pointless and non productive, however for many others it helps get things off their chests.

Smoking in non smoking areas is always an issue in any country. People often think that people who ignore no smoking signs are rebellious and will not want to approach them. We all know it's wrong but should we be the ones who scold the offender or is it none of our business? A fire caused by smoking can affect us all by injury or even death.

A stranger scolding somebody in Japan

This is a rare scene in Japan. Not only is the guy making a lot of noise in public but a stranger came over to scold him. What is strange is that although the drunk guy was so aggressive with the station staff, he suddenly apologized to the elderly stranger for some reason.

Reactions to actions

In cases like smoking in non smoking places I have seen people act aggressively and defensive when being scolded by a stranger. This can then either lead to physically confrontation or somebody just walking away.

Talking on mobile phones near the priority seating area on public transport is forbidden in some countries especially in Japan however most people ignore this rule. I have witnessed senior citizens shouting at younger people due to this.

In most cases people think that it's the staff job to scold people inside an establishment however rules can sometimes be reinforced if the general public assist.

The person next to you on the train or bus falls asleep on your shoulder, what would you do?

See results without voting

Somebody is smoking in a train station standing next to you and their smoke is going in your direction.

See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 11 comments

debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

I was once seated near a young lady on a flight from Bogota to Ft Lauderdale. When the stewardess announced that all cell phones should be turned off, she continued to use her phone. A few minutes later she was still using it. I gently asked her if she planned to turn it off. She glared and me and let out a string of nasty words. Then she continued to use her phone until she was ready to turn it off.

Those kinds of situations infuriate me because some people seem to think they are "above" the rules. They are better than everyone else so the rules don't apply to them. Such egos!


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan Author

Debbiepinkston - People like this are so irritating. We may not be staff however we have every right to enforce the rules. We are not in wrong, they are.


d-richie93 profile image

d-richie93 4 years ago

This is a good hub. I am however not afraid to scold someone because of my very assertive nature. It will do you r hub a lot of good if you add a photo or two. Feel free to visit any of my hubs to see what I'm talking about. I like how you structure your information. That actually made me want to read it because it was not jumbled. Again good hub.


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan Author

Thanks d-richie, difficult to find appropriate photos for this topic. I saw some of your hubs, I guess you are into martial arts as well as assertive so you may not be worried about confrontations with people when you scold them. However I once saw a guy scold somebody for jumping the line in Macdonalds, he ended up getting knocked out, what a shame.


d-richie93 profile image

d-richie93 4 years ago

Thank you very much for visiting. Yes I'm a karateka who will try to avoid getting physical, but will break all bones in your body if I have to. When people believe they are above the law and then it cause me inconvenience, it will be a problem. It is important to avoid confronting some physically, on the other hand, if you know you will not be able to defend yourself. Again I really appreciate your visit.


tmbridgeland profile image

tmbridgeland 4 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

This made me laugh. I well remember having people fall asleep on me on the Japanese trains. Usually drunk men. Never the pretty office ladies. How sad...

I usually just bumped them with my shoulder.


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan Author

Best thing to do, a HARD bump.


tmbridgeland profile image

tmbridgeland 4 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

It was the smelly drunks that were the worst. Alcohol and cigarettes and day-long body sweat. But I usually felt kind of sorry for them, it's a tough life, so I would just push them off.


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

sometimes hard to scold intoxicated people.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Scolding strangers in public none of this has happened to me as I don't commute in public transport.


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

Well it actually means out in front of others e.g. super markets, restaurants. Shops, in the street.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working