I refused to give up my seat on a busy train for a pregnant woman… because I had ‘every right to remain there’
- A young man shared this story on Reddit – and was met by instant backlash
- Scroll down to see an etiquette expert’s advice on how to handle the situation
- READ MORE: Barcelona BANS cruise ships from main port to reduce pollution
A young man has sparked a backlash online after revealing he refused to give up his seat on a train for a pregnant woman.
The train passenger insisted he had ‘every right’ to remain in his seat, despite other passengers urging him to help the pregnant woman out.
The anonymous man shared his story in a since-deleted post on Reddit’s AITA forum earlier this month, asking whether he was in the wrong in the situation.
The man – who goes by the Reddit username ‘Future-Fold-6085’ – explained that there were ‘no vacant seats left’ on the packed train he was travelling on when a pregnant woman entered the compartment, ‘apparently looking for a seat’.
He noted that his own seat was the first in her eye-line and that everyone occupying the seats around him was much older than him. ‘I wasn’t sure whether I should offer mine [to her] or not,’ he said.
A young man has sparked a backlash online after revealing he refused to give up his seat on a train for a pregnant woman (file photo)
However, while the young man was mulling over whether he ought to offer up his seat, an elderly woman who was seated nearby made the decision for him and instructed the pregnant woman to take his seat.
The young man was angered that his seat had been offered up without his say-so, and told the elderly woman: ‘You can’t just ask tell someone else to claim my seat. It’s mine, I get to decide.’
The elderly woman then explained that the female passenger was evidently pregnant and that as a young man he has ‘the ability to stand’.
The young man continued: ‘Everyone was eyeing me as if I had said something wrong, but I got p***ed off. I wasn’t having that nonsense. I told her that I am not doing it, and she began to accuse me of not having respect for elders.’
A few more passengers then weighed in and urged him to forgo his seat, but he refused to listen to them, he revealed. The man said: ‘I told the old woman that she has to mind her own business, to not interfere in my affairs, and that I have every right to remain there.’
He said: ‘I probably [made] a bad impression on everyone, but I didn’t like her attitude.’
Taking to the thread, commenters were quick to criticise his behaviour, while also pointing out that the elderly woman shouldn’t have presumed he was comfortable standing. Reddit user ‘didntcondawnthat’ remarked that the man ‘showed a very prominent lack of empathy towards someone in a physically demanding state who did nothing wrong’.
The train passenger insisted he had ‘every right’ to remain in his seat, despite other passengers urging him to help the pregnant woman out (file photo)
Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, the founder of The Protocol School of Texas, says: ‘This man should have extended a courtesy by offering the woman his seat’
And user ‘Knightseason’ wrote that the man ‘should have offered up [his] seat’ but noted that the older woman ‘should not be offering other people’s seats up’ as ‘someone can have a disability/condition where they need to sit, and age doesn’t matter’.
While user ‘I_am_legend-ary’ said: ‘The courteous thing to do is give up your seat to the pregnant person.’
What is the best etiquette in such a scenario? Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, the founder of The Protocol School of Texas, told MailOnline Travel: ‘This man should have extended a courtesy by offering the woman his seat. He made the decision to stay seated and stood his ground out of anger, which is not the best-deciding factor when determining an act of kindness to someone else.
‘Common courtesy dictates that when you are able-bodied, and have the opportunity to offer your seat to someone who appears to want or need extra help or attention, you do so out of goodwill.’
Gottsman continues: ‘This gentleman continues to be bothered by his own behaviour, or he would’ve let it go by now, rather than dwelling on what he did. Whether the person was pregnant, elderly, or simply appeared to need to sit down, giving up a seat is a small sacrifice, which makes a big impact. You never know… they may have gratefully refused the kindness but it is a goodwill gesture nonetheless.’
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