How To Be Polite To Strangers

I would like to offer advice to anyone who enjoys walking or running outside. It is polite to say hello or good morning/afternoon when you pass someone. Smile at a puppy or a baby, move out of the way for a serious jogger or multiple dog walker. All courteous behaviors. 

What is not okay, however, is cat calling, harassment, or following said fellow walker or jogger. If you see someone chugging along, it's safe to say that they are exercising or enjoying their time alone outside and are not seeking to engage in a lengthy conversation or relationship with you—no matter how flattering you think you are. 

You don't know that person’s past or feelings on being approached by strangers. They might not care. But they also might experience fear. Why would you want to scare someone enjoying their walk? They may be so frightened by your aggressive attempt to chat with them that they wish to shoot pepper spray in your face, scream at the top of their lungs, or any such other unnecessary actions if only you had just left them alone.

Everyone should feel safe walking or jogging outside in their own neighborhoods/parks/cities without harassment of any kind. A solitary jogger is not a target, or even a person particularly interested in having a conversation in that moment. Let’s all be courteous and respectful, shall we?