In my experiment of breaking the norm, I did two different things. in one of my “experiments” I would hold doors anywhere I where for the people that were behind me and wait for a response, when the person was educated enough to say thank you I would smile and let it go. When the opposite happened, whenever the person behind me did not say thank you I would compliment myself. I would thank myself for holding the door instead.
The first time I conducted this specific experiment I was at the bank and held the door for a girl that was about my age. She did not say thank you or expressed any response to my courtesy. So I said “Thank you, Ana. You are such an educated person who holds doors for strangers that don’t even recognize a simple act of courtesy.” The girl looked at me in disbelief, but did not say anything.
The second time I was at Housatonic and there was a young man behind me and we were walking through the front door of the building. I held the door for him and he passed by me abruptly almost running. He did not say thank you and then I started complimenting myself. He said he was sorry and said thank you.
The third time I didn’t have such a good response. I was at Wal-Mart and I held the outside door open for a lady who was right behind me, she did not say thank you and then I complimented myself. When she realized I was complimented myself she started cursing and saying I was crazy.
The second experiment I conducted I was much simpler. I simply smiled at people anywhere, supermarket, school, bank etc... Some smiled back some simply ignored me. One guy asked me for my phone number because he thought I was flirting with him.
With these two experiments I was able to reach the conclusion that people are not used to courtesy anymore. Most of the people I came across did not smile back or said thank you. The ones who smiled back probably though I was flirting and that was the reason they smiled...