I think it is necessary to address a very troubling issue. Perhaps someone should draft a detailed instruction manual on how to deal with this complex situation and title it, What To Do When Someone Holds The Door Open For You. It should include diagrams and also some examples.
We are constantly on the go and more often than not concentrated on our phones or anything but what is occurring right in front of us. I often will do something small for someone with the hope that it will unleash a chain of events and lead people to actually interact with one another.
For example, when I see someone on the opposite side of the door, I quickly grab the door and hold it open for them. This leads to all sorts of reactions. Some don’t even bother to look up, almost as if they were royalty and it is my privilege to hold the door for them. To this sort of person, I make sure to loudly say, “you’re welcome!” You don’t have to say thank you, you don’t have to hold the next door open for me (if there is one) and you don’t have say, “no, you first.” Although, you should! A simple nod would suffice. Just an acknowledgement that you are alive AND human. It doesn’t take too much effort. It doesn’t take too much time. It doesn’t require you to engage in a conversation with a stranger. You slightly tilt your head back then bring it down and go on your way. It can’t be that hard, can it?