Avoid Running Into People By Keeping Your Eyes On Your Destination

Avoid Running Into People By Keeping Your Eyes On Your Destination

We’ve all had those moments while making our way through a large crowd where you run into someone or end up doing the left-to-right dance to try and get around them. You can easily avoid these awkward collisions by staring at your destination — not the other people.

Photo by Dylan Passmore.

Fantastically named Redditor poo_smudge explains this clever solution to a strangely common problem:

When I walk through large crowds of people, to avoid walking into anyone, I simply stare at my destination. I look no one in the eyes. People actually will watch your eyes and they avoid the direction you are going. If I look into people’s eyes as we are walking into each other, we are sure to collide. You have to let people know where you intend to go with your eyes. It always works for me, try it!

Never again will you have to endure the awkward back-and-forth that ensues when you stride headfirst into a stranger. We’ve shared one tip for avoiding this before, but watching your destination seems a bit less awkward — not to mention safer — than staring at their feet.

What is a “mind trick” you know of? [Reddit]


  • It’s a game of averages. If everyone looks at their destination then people will end up walking into each other, if everyone looked into each other’s eyes then n o one would know where other’s wanted to go.

    There is no one solution and advocating such is plain silliness, instead adapt to the situation. If someone clearly isn’t courteous enough to make room for you avoid getting in their way, however if you see a faster path and a gap opening in the crowd then take it.

  • I think it’s more than just people knowing where you are going by looking in your eyes. Actually, there is a simple negotiation going on – if you acknowledge the existence of the person coming towards you, then you have to follow it up by negotiating who will step aside, and more importantly it’s really rude if you could see they were coming but you just barged on into them.

    On the other hand, if you don’t acknowledge their existence – if they can see that you aren’t aware of them – they will step out of your way. You’ll also notice yourself doing it. When people don’t look at you, you tend to move out of their way.

    I’ve figured this out on really busy days when it’s dawned on me that I’m jumping all over the footpath trying to avoid people. As soon as I stop and look as if I don’t realise people are about to walk into me suddenly all those people who weren’t moving out of my way before start moving out of my way.

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