When I try to get on an elevator, sometimes a woman is already waiting for the elevator. There is no other person around there.
Then, after the woman recognizes I'm also going to get on, she suddenly walks away and starts to wait for the next one. It is clear that she misses it not because she recalls something to do but because she is definitely avoiding me.
I understand that women feel frightened to get on the same elevator with a male stranger alone. I also understand that it is not uncommon that these women have encountered one or more bad experiences in the past.
That being said, I'm not sure what, as a male, to do if a woman is already waiting for the elevator before I reach it. Specifically,
How should I reach the elevator?
Should I speak to or greet the woman or just keeps silent? I feel in both cases women get fearful...
If the woman starts to walk away, is there anything I should do or just let her stay away?
If the woman gets on the same elevator, how can I relieve her of the fear? (at least I know I should push the button first to let her know at which floor I'm going to get off...)
And is there anything I should specifically take care of in these cases?
Although an extremely courteous man might see the woman off alone and then wait for another elevator, all unnoticed by the woman, I feel that is too much to do as a stranger.
If the location of the case where a woman walks away is relevant, this only happened in Japan. The situation was everywhere; in one case, it was an apartment (the entrance is locked and only residents can enter); in another case, it was inside a normal building; in another case, it was an elevator in a metro and in this case there was one more person (elderly man) but nonetheless the schoolgirl walked away when she recognized me, although she was going to get on the same elevator with the elderly...
And for those who don't know, Japan, especially Tokyo, has no such small talk culture as you see in North America, and if a stranger talks to someone, it is usually deemed a pervert.