Aside from a quick nod, or soft-spoken ‘Hey’, people don’t really talk in elevators unless they are the only party inside. Evidently, being locked in a closed space dangling from a cable is an uncomfortable feeling in itself. Coupled with being introduced to unfamiliar people in a close setting, it is understandable that quiet reflection is the most comfortable state.

Why Don’t People Talk in Elevators? What Is the Fear?

The fear of elevators is elevatophobia. There are plenty of triggers to contribute to this particular phobia; enclosed spaces - claustrophobia, heights - acrophobia, or cleithrophobia - being trapped. This can cause enough stress to make someone not want to talk when taking a vertical trip.

Perhaps the problem is anthropophobia or the fear of people. If people, in general, are a problem, multiple ones in a box have to be much worse.

Maybe it is haphephobia which is the fear of being touched. If there are more than 2 people in an elevator, things can get touchy-touchy.

The fear of talking to strangers is a social anxiety disorder. There’s no troublesome unpronounceable name for this fear, but social anxiety disorders definitely hold a person back from internal metal box communication.

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Now is the time to take a chance, grow as a person, branch out, and work on self-improvement. Talk in an elevator. Didn’t people use to talk to the elevator attendant? Pretend other people in the elevator are attendants, or talk to them with small talk like some do with the check-out person at the grocery store. It will be a social experiment. I believe it can happen. I have faith.

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