Why do people run on the pedestrian crossing? This was asked today, and I voted to close it as off-topic initially because, in my opinion, it doesn't involve any interpersonal skills.
Working from the premise that an interpersonal skill is the ability to communicate or interact well with other people, be that verbally or non-verbally (body-language), I can't see any reason why it should be on our site.
There are a few 'Why do people do X' questions on our site that are open.
- Why do men shake hands with each other but hug women?
- Why do people flirt in customer service situations?
- Why do (half-)strangers say "I'm sure you'll love it" when they don't know my interests?
I think all three questions are on-topic. Asking about 'Why do people do a certain interpersonal thingy' is opinion based, but I think it's no more opinion based than "How do I have a conversation about X" since both can be answered from experience (I flirt because X, I would handle such a conversation this way because Y').
We can't read the people's minds, but we can make an educated guess from our own experiences in these cases. Just like we can make educated guesses about what to say and what not (remember, we don't know the people interacting or their tempers/intonation) when having a conversation about a certain topic.
Besides that, all three questions are about a certain wide-spread behavior (I'm sure there are more people that shake hands, are hugged, flirt in customer situations/have been flirted with and got to hear 'I'm sure you'll love it'). So the questions aren't asking us to speculate on the behavior of a single person, but on information about a more-widespread interpersonal skills phenomenon.
Because of the above-mentioned questions, I was thinking that 'Why do people run' isn't asking about an interpersonal skill, and so it's off-topic.
That said, we have some questions about behaving in traffic here:
- Is it rude to drive at the speed limit on dangerous roads when another driver wants to go faster?
- The etiquette of holding up foot traffic to take a photo in public
- As a runner, should I move onto the road to avoid a collision?
- How can I ask if a person is leaving a parking space?
The fourth one is definitely about Interpersonal skills, I've got no doubts about that.
But what's bothering me are the first three. They are basically all asking 'What's the rude/polite thing to do in this situation', where the situation is either blocking the way yourself or being blocked by others.
For the fourth questions, when there was asked in the comments about 'how does this involve interpersonal skills':
Interpersonal skills are not limited to verbal exchanges - consider all of the questions and answers on the site about nonverbal actions. – HDE 226868♦ Sep 24 at 19:08
Why I'm taking this as an example: The OP of Why do people run on the pedestrian crossing? was wondering if it would be on-topic if it was changed to 'is it polite/rude to run/not run when crossing?'.
I'm struggling with the 'on-topicness' of all of the first three traffic example questions, and am thus also wondering if an edit from the OP of Why do people run on the pedestrian crossing? to 'Is it rude/polite to run or not, since I'm blocking the way when I don't' would make that question a better fit for our site.
So, my question: To what extent does a question have to be about interacting, be that verbal or non-verbal, to be on-topic for this site? Is an 'interaction' with the driver behind you in the form of driving faster/slower considered an 'interpersonal skill'? Is it an 'interaction' if a driver is waiting for you to cross? Is crossing at the right pace considered an interpersonal skill? Are these situations even 'interactions' at all, since 'to interact' means to communicate or be involved directly?