The rules of society. That is something that is engrained in all of us from the time we're children.
Act proper, be respectable, be ready to present in public. What does all of that even mean?
And why do we still care what Emily Post thinks in 2021?! Etiquette is a lost art form for sure. It used to be the earmarkings of good breeding. Now... its just dull.
But... still essential. Ahh, the cultural divide.
Redditor u/rubber_duck_of_death wanted to hear how to our best selves, especially in public by asking:
Reddit, what is one rule/etiquette that you always follow?
Let's chat about how we make the best impressions and why the heck do we care. It all ties together, so we really should find a way to make it all work. Start with the basics...
Going Up?Meryl Streep Sunglasses GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"Wait for people to exit the elevator before getting into the freaking elevator."
"I always say "Thank you"- "Please" and "Excuse me"- I just got so used to saying it it just comes out of my mouth without me even noticing."
"I once was in high school and tried to squeeze past someone and hit my shoulder on my locker. Without thinking, I literally said "sorry" to my locker bc I was so used to saying it whenever I bumped into someone."
"Keep my trash on me when I'm out until I find a garbage bin. I never throw anything on the ground."
"Eat your mouth closed and let people finish when they're talking."
"I was constantly having to raise my voice in conversation to let the person interrupting me know I'm not finished. I've stopped because they don't actually learn, but a really petty part of me just stops engaging as well because they obviously don't actually care for what I have to say."
be commoncharlie brown thanksgiving GIF by PeanutsGiphy
"Common decency. Say thank you to simple gestures, it's not hard but a lot of people have lost the ability to be kind and/or polite."
Why would anyone need to be taught these things. These rules always apply. Basic human decency should always be obvious and apply.
Cleanliness...Wash Hands Nicksplat GIF by Hey ArnoldGiphy
"Wash your hands after using the toilet. It pains me that people need to be told this."
"I remember my grandpa reading about gays or atheists or hippies and he'd say, "Oh, well - live and let live." Live and let live."
"Oh dear God, decent people do exist. Almost none of my family members seem to understand this for some reason, always judging and talking crap about others and their choices. Your grandpa sounds like the best."
Things That Are Normal Where You Live But Crazy Anywhere Else | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"The person at the other end of your phone call is not responsible for your problem and will most likely help you if you are nice to her rather than yelling at her."
"Return your damn shopping cart."
"I do this out of basic principle, sure there are people who have the job of it, but that is just rude to me. it's like leaving your table a freaking pigsty at a restaurant, especially if they are busy, or leaving items all over a store because your too lazy to put it back where it goes. Unless you have a valid excuse, it doesn't take that long."
While Shoppinggive me christmas GIF by TargetGiphy
"Keep my grocery cart on one side of an aisle while shopping instead of blocking the whole monkey fluffin' aisle so no one can get through."
Shop kind, shop smart. That is a big one for me, especially in New York. Etiquette is easy if we apply it as just common kindness and basic, decent behavior. Is that really hard? Let's try...
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
When you open up your home for a dinner party, game night, or a low-key catching up with friends over a couple glasses of wine, inviting them over is the easy part.
Asking them to leave, however, is a different beast.
Giving someone the boot can be awkward, especially if you have that one guest who has no concept of time and enough social graces to know they are overstaying their welcome.
There are two camps of hosts: one that has no problem being direct in declaring the party is over, and another who is courteous to a fault and doesn't want to seem rude by holding the door open to say "goodnight."
Redditor BattlCrusrBiggrLoser solicited strangers to share their effective techniques by asking:
People shared tactics that work for them, while others said they don't have time to pussyfoot around the issue.
What are your methods?
Say What You Mean
"Ask: how are you getting home? And ' help' look up their bus schedule, call a taxi or 'I/my dog can use a walk before bed, I'll walk out with you.'"
"Alternatively a direct, 'I am getting tired, I think we better call it a night...'"
"We are all adults here, can handle basic honesty and courtesy, no need to sugarcoat it."
"I had a friend ask if I needed a place to sleep. I said 'no.'"
"Didn't understand what he meant."
"Direct honesty is always better."
An Example Of An Overstaying Guest
"I have a friend who I love 'from a distance'. I care for her and want her to be happy but she is too much to handle when together. One main reason is, she doesn't understand the concept of privacy and personal space and just lacks some basic manners. She keeps asking me if she can visit me during the evening (i live alone) but i know what will follow. She will eat chips and create a mess on the sofa, fall asleep for hours , then won't go back home for the night. Next day would wake up early(i work night shifts so i sleep till the afternoon) , create noise to wake me up. Ask me in a 'friendly' way if i can make some food for her. And basically just pamper her.
This is ultra stupid so i always make up some excuse about why she can't come. I always hoped that i will do it so often that she will understand i am not comfortable. But sadly, she doesn't get the hint and still keeps asking. I just got a text again today asking if she can come."
"Try changing up the dynamic, don't meet at yours, visit hers or meet in a public place for a walk. That way you can call the shots on when it ends. If she doesn't want to go along with those plans she was never in to spending time with you, she just wanted to burden your space and use you for food and company when it suited her."
"The 'I'm getting tired' is perfect and works well if done politely."
"I just say, 'welp looks like I'm gonna have to kick you out I gotta do some cleaning before I get to bed. Have a good night! Thanks for coming! Do you have everything?'"
"I've used the ol' 'I hate to kick you out, but I have to (blah blah blah).' Doesn't feel like you're putting the blame on them for staying too long, or that you just don't want to hang out with them anymore."
Follow The Sound Of My Voice
"My father in law wanted a friend to go home once, after a long night where the friend in question kept talking and talking and didn't get the hint when my MIL brushed her teeth and went to bed. My FIL walked out of the house, his friend walked with him and kept talking, and my FIL went back in the house and closed and locked the door in front of his face. Lol."
Do As The Brits Do
"In Britain we have a universal sign for this - we slap our thighs with our hands, exhale through a pursed mouth and say 'right...' whilst standing up."
"Literally never fails."
"Welp. Jeopardy comes on in 10 minutes, so be off my property in 5 or I'll release the hounds."
"I'm from the Midwest where everyone takes 4 hours to say goodbye so when you find out please let me know."
"But in all seriousness, I have a friend that will be the last to leave a party every time, and the only way I can get him to gtfo is to tell him to GTFO. I will clean up, I'll start yawning and saying how exhausted I am, maybe even lie and say I didn't get much sleep last night and I've got to get up early the next morning. Hell, I've even put on my pajamas and started scrolling through my phone, ignoring him. Now I just tell him to leave."
"On the flip side, another friend has no problem capping all hangouts at 9:30 and saying 'I've had fun but please leave,' and I've never been offended. Anyway, moral of the story is: just tell them to leave."
When Small Cues Don't Work
"People should be paying attention and read the small cues, but if they don't, traditionally you would put the booze away. Also, you can turn off the music."
"If they still don't get it. 'I'm going to call it quits for tonight, but do finish your drink.'"
"If that all fails: I really should go to bed, it was wonderful seeing you, let me get your coat."
"I definitely had a friend who threw a Christmas party in college and at midnight politely said 'I love you fuckers but I got class tomorrow morning so get your asses out' I couldn't stop laughing at how bold she was."
How Gramps Rolls
"My grandfather used to tell people to turn off the lights before leaving because he was going to bed."
A Little Love Goes A Long Way
"I have many friends that like to stay way to long. I tell them I'm closing up. I'm tired. Y'all gotta be out of the driveway before the lights go off. And if your ever worried bout sounding rude. 'Love you bye' makes everything better."
Did Emily Post ever write about more than dining etiquette? We'll have to check. When amongst others, or even when amongst oneself there are basic signs... trademarks, behaviors we're all suppose to follow. It's all about good breeding, or at the very least basic human behavior. Now, sometimes there are extremes that really just breed snobs but there are certain actions that just don't belong when trying to thrive in society. Who hasn't been driven mad by people engaging in obvious unacceptable behaviors? I've lost count of how may people I've asked in what barn they were raised.
At least according to the opinions of others. That's all that counts... right? ;)
Redditor u/sadboi017 wanted to discuss the do's and absolute dont's we should be aware of when amongst society by asking.... What is considered socially unacceptable for no reason?
Being the first person to get up from your chair when snacks are brought into a meeting room. There's always that one hero that does it though so others can get in line. Mool901
(Shocked Pikachu face)
Accepting something that someone offered you.
This is mostly in the Middle East I think. But it's really frustrating for foreigners because a foreigner will never know the correct time to accept an offer.
If someone offers to buy you dinner, there is a very delicate balance of refusing and accepting. You have to refuse like 4-5 times. But if you refuse more than that, you'll also offend the other person. But if you dont refuse it several times adamantly, then you'll look greedy and selfish. If they fail to offer it insistently for like 4-5 times, they'll look like they didn't mean the offer and they aren't generous.
A lot of Middle Easterners are shocked, when they come to a western country, and they say something like "hey let me pay for this" and the other person says "oh ok thanks." (Shocked Pikachu face). It takes a while to get used to the fact that westerners will just take you up on the offer. At first it feels like westerners are greedy and they want to take advantage of your generosity. But thats not the case. Its just a different culture and it makes more sense to accept an offer straight up, instead of a whole theatre production first.
But middle eastern people need that theatre production to feel everyone's been proper and polite. eye_snap
Napping at work during my lunch break. I don't really need food in the afternoon, what I really need is a nap! katartsis
Funny part is that i need the nap because of the lunch. Grunge_bob
Playing "Pretend" as an adult without kids involved. There is nothing wrong with an adult man building with legos and setting up an epic adventure with them that plays out in his head as something amazing. Its escapism and very calming even in adults its stimulates the mind to have a self made adventure where everything is what I want. MartimasMagnum
Some people are okay not being in a relationship for some time and are perfectly happy, but other people just don't understand that. -eDgAR-
I owe you.... NOTHING!!!!
Not answering your own door. When there's like a salesman at someone's door, they won't want to answer but they will act like no one is home, and be really quiet so the person outside the door doesn't hear them. But it's your house. I could just stare at a salesman out the window as he rings my bell, who cares. It's my house. I don't have to answer my own door, for whatever reason I deem acceptable. You came to my house, not the other way around.
My neighbor also came to my house the other day, rang my doorbell, and I was trying to put my son down for a nap so I didn't go down. But then she messaged my wife and was like, "Hey, your garage is open, I can see someone is home. Why didn't you answer?" So then my wife messages me asking why I didn't answer. What the heck. For whatever reason I choose! I had a good one this time, but maybe I'm asleep. Maybe I'm taking a shower. Or a poop. Or in the backyard. Or maybe I'm scratching myself on the couch. Maybe forget yourself. It's my house. You took your shot to see if I'd answer and I didn't. Move on. Waddlow
Pooping in a public bathroom. It's not necessarily "unacceptable" but it's something that always elicits a reaction of discomfort and often disapproval. I've definitely heard people loudly exclaim that they could tell someone just took a poop in the bathroom acting all disgusted.
I mean, they didn't poop on the floor. They went to the proper pooping receptacle. It just shouldn't mean anything and shouldn't be worth commenting on. People poop in bathrooms, if you're in a public bathroom and you didn't know it - that's where people poop. Stop acting surprised when a bathroom smells like people did what people do in bathrooms. Zoklett
Have a "nice" day Karen....Giphy
Using swings/playground equipment as an adult. I friggin love going on the swings, I'm 30 and it still fascinates me that I can quickly and easily get 10-15 feet (or higher) in the air with some simple leg movement.
One day I was at a fairly deserted local park on the swings having the time of my life. Suddenly Karen shows up with her two ankle biters, hands on her hips and yells at me "WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THERE?! THE SWINGS ARE FOR THE KIDS, NOT ADULTS!"
My tax dollars paid for these swings, and there's no sign saying that I can't, so I'll use them as much as I damn well please whenever I want. How much tax did little Johnathan and little Kymburleigh Pay last year? None? Guess they can't use the swings either.
Some more info: I'm in BC, Canada. The swings were not the crappy weak ones, but had thick chains and rubber seats, I'm sure they were more than capable of holding my 190lbs self. I didn't tell Karen to screw off, but I did tell her to have a nice day.
Don't let your inner kid die! Nothing wrong with getting a little high now and then! chewblekka
"not a good enough reason"
Leaving without giving an "acceptable" song and dance about why you are leaving, with leaving because you have basically reached your limit with socializing being "not a good enough reason."
People who can stand to be around other people for huge amounts of time, more power to you, but me? I can't do that, and I don't want to have to make up an excuse to do so. Drakeskulled_Reaper
BTA = "Blood Toxicity Levels"Giphy
Showing distaste for ones family in any way, shape, or form. Foodcity
Forget my family. Why is blood so important to some people? You shouldn't be obligated to keep toxic people in your life just because you're biologically related. ShuShuBee
Nothing gets people more passionate than questions of proper airplane etiquette.
Perhaps being locked in a cramped metal room tends to make people a bit cranky.
The Rich Eisen Show probably knew this when they posed a question to Twitter that quickly went viral.
does the person sitting in the middle seat on airplane get both armrests?— Rich Eisen Show (@Rich Eisen Show)1559842135.0
The show's Twitter account asked:
"does the person sitting in the middle seat on airplane [sic] get both armrests?"
Boy, did people have some opinions about that.
but which arm rest do they get? https://t.co/yoaTdbIkVn— Doug Pinkston (@Doug Pinkston)1559857868.0
Some people thought the middle seat should go without both armrests...
They don’t get either arm rest! https://t.co/1HBmufrgLF— Mc gusto (@Mc gusto)1559853536.0
...but most believed the most cramped chair deserved the most arm space.
@RichEisenShow @richeisen They totally should they are the ones stuck between two people and that should be their added benefit!— Ryan Mays (@Ryan Mays)1559855796.0
@RichEisenShow No. I think everyone on the right of the plane gets the left-hand armrest and everyone on the left o… https://t.co/fLRzvRgMFk— JH (@JH)1559892888.0
@RichEisenShow @richeisen Those saying “no way”. Reconsider. I hardly ever sit in the middle and I always yield m… https://t.co/DAd3uNOERv— Crazy Diamond (@Crazy Diamond)1559854587.0
On Twitter, the debate raged with fiery passion!
@RichEisenShow @richeisen They totally should they are the ones stuck between two people and that should be their added benefit!— Ryan Mays (@Ryan Mays)1559855796.0
Fortunately, many people stated the matter had long been decided upon by comedian Jim Jefferies.
@RichEisenShow I do believe the @jimjefferies has already settled this discussion. #PlaneEttiquette— Lindsey Bell (@Lindsey Bell)1559894247.0
@RichEisenShow "When you’re on an airplane, there’s a thing called ‘plane etiquette,’ and it goes like this. Window… https://t.co/rkq1HPY1fl— Sean Patton (@Sean Patton)1559853123.0
@RichEisenShow Yes. Plane etiquette rules are as follows: Left Seat: aisle with extra leg space and left armrest. M… https://t.co/QCAG8qpCGG— Dylan Connolly (@Dylan Connolly)1559859272.0
Jefferies himself even chimed in on the argument.
We're not f*cking animals! https://t.co/e1kqTkrQkv— jim jefferies (@jim jefferies)1551902479.0
A few alternate approaches were suggested.
@RichEisenShow I always try to equitably share armrests - with one person using the front and one the back of it. I… https://t.co/0PTtYHtzCV— 👑 𝒱𝒶𝑔𝑒𝓈𝓉𝒾𝒸 𝐻𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓃𝑒𝓈𝓈 👑 (@👑 𝒱𝒶𝑔𝑒𝓈𝓉𝒾𝒸 𝐻𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓃𝑒𝓈𝓈 👑)1559894044.0
@RichEisenShow @richeisen I’ve gotten neither at times. just had to tuck my arms in and deal with it— Alberto (@Alberto)1559852997.0
But, in the end, most people came around to the middle-seat way of thinking.
@RichEisenShow Can I change my mind? I think they should have both arm rests. I’d forgotten about the other ‘non-middle’ advantages 🙂— Marie Kelly-Davies (@Marie Kelly-Davies)1559895527.0
@RichEisenShow I would like to change my vote to “DEFINITELY.” After reading the comments, obviously, I’ve been liv… https://t.co/fgxkhh90fG— SDK901 (@SDK901)1559915681.0
And at least there's one thing we can ALL agree on:
@RichEisenShow if you lean your seat back on a plane it should automatically be turbo injected out of the plane wit… https://t.co/1bRzeNbHwa— Conor McGranaghan (@Conor McGranaghan)1559893101.0
At the risk of sounding like a total curmudgeon, not enough people have manners these days!
The simple acts of "please" and "thank you"? Lost! People press buttons on adjacent floors of elevators of 36 story buildings!
It just doesn't make any sense. In the words of Full House, whatever happened to dependability?
Here were some of the answers.