Each day, I walk through roughly a dozen doors while going about my day-to-day activities. And each day, I will hold said doors open for the person coming through behind me. And sometimes, the person behind me will be a man who I expect to be well-adjusted enough to not be traumatized that someone is holding the open the door for him. Apparently, I’m expecting too much.
A recent study in the journal Social Influence suggests dudes who have doors held open for them by other dudes experience a slump in self-esteem and self-confidence, versus men who are manly enough to open their own doors, thank you very much. The study authors, a pair of psychologists at Purdue University, conducted a discreet experiment on 196 men and women who were walking into a university campus building. They had male research team members walk ahead of — and hold the door open for — half the study subjects, but not the others. Immediately after, a female researcher asked the subjects to participate in a short survey about their self-esteem and abilities.
The researchers found that the men — but not the women — who had the door held open for them just before the survey reported lower self-esteem and self-confidence than men who opened their own doors. Gentlemen, I’m here to tell you upfront: there are lots of great reasons people hold doors open for you, and you should take advantage of every one of them. It might be because you’re holding heavy bags. It might be because I think you’re cute and am trying to find an excuse to interact with you. Or it might just be because holding doors is what I have done for literally everyone for as long as I’ve been able to open doors. You know what it definitely won’t be about? How masculine or generally capable I find you. Just know right now: I’m going to hold the door open for you. And it’s going to be okay.
[h/t Pacific Standard]