When I’m in an elevator, I always try to be polite and let other people get off first, but this can cause an awkward situation.

For instance, last week I was heading to my hotel room when a woman got off at my floor. She then proceeded down the same hall where my room was.

I didn’t want to come off like a stalker, so I purposely stayed at least ten feet behind her, yet worried my proximity and size might still be making her anxious. I wanted to say something like, “I’m not following you, I’m just going the same way,” but the phrase sounded creepy even inside my head.

So, I slowed down even more to leave a bigger space between us, until she got to her room and the moment passed. However, in the future, I think I may have to put my politeness aside and just be the first one out the elevator door.

And then ponder whether she’s actually following me.