I shared my building's elevator tonight with a resident who I've seen quite a few times but never spoken with. And for a couple of decent reasons, I've wanted to. Trouble is, in my neighborhood, you can see someone for years and not speak. Washington's a busy place, and everyone seems to go about with this aura of "don't bother me" emanating from them. Plus there's the memory of those times I did strike up a conversation, and was met with a cold stare, or a monosyllabic answer. Granted, there's also been times when a friendly moment resulted...but we all seem to bring up the negative memories first.
Which is why I really liked Chris Brogan's extremely short yet precise video on the subject: