Photo by Sam X via Unsplash

How to avoid eye contact on the London Underground

One Aussie’s take on the best ways to continue hating people

Danger! You’re going out in public today. You’ve got to make damn sure that you don’t accidentally make eye contact with someone. Or, god forbid, they may strike up a conversation with you. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled list of things that will keep you occupied enough to not have to look at or talk to anyone.

  1. Wear headphones. Everywhere and always. They make you look superbly unapproachable.
  2. Grab a newspaper and pretend to read it.
  3. Bring a book and actually read it.
  4. Download something (anything!) on your phone to read. iBooks, Play Books, Kindle, whatever!
  5. Get a mobile game to play. Is Candy Crush still a thing?
  6. Browse through your music looking for the perfect track. Settle on one. Then sigh, shake your head and proceed to find a new one. Repeat as necessary.
  7. Gaze at the ceiling.
  8. Gaze out the window.
  9. Gaze at the floor.
  10. Simply close your eyes.
  11. Grimace at everyone.
  12. Look around without ever settling on one spot.
  13. If you have internet access: firstly thank God and then proceed to peruse Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Medium, Snapchat, LinkedIn (ugh), MySpace (?), Google+ (haha), and Reddit.
  14. If you don’t have internet access, proceed to methodically open the aforementioned apps one by one, wait until you get the “Cannot Load” message, grumble, shake your head, and move on to the next app. Repeat as necessary.
  15. Draft text messages to people to send when you surface from the underground
  16. Look like you’re very deep in thought

Now, if all these things fail and you do happen to make eye contact with someone, don’t panic (actually, panic!). Just look away quickly and return to one of the activities on the list above.

If someone is foolish enough to engage in conversation, the proper responses are:

  1. Pretend you didn’t hear them.
  2. Scoff and turn away.
  3. Say “You alright?”
  4. Say “Excuse me” and get back to what you were doing.
  5. Move away from the culprit (if possible).
  6. Flee the train.
  7. Tell your workplace that you refuse to commute and are going to work from home for the remainder of your life.