We might not wear suits and ties anymore every time we go out, have formal dinner parties and place our napkins in our laps whenever we eat, but this doesn’t mean we don’t have to continue being civil and polite with one another. Some etiquette rules of the past might have changed, and people might be more comfortable and relaxed nowadays, but some have taken this relaxation to whole new levels and have turned into a complete jerk.
Just because you’re more relaxed doesn’t mean that you can be rude. To give you the benefit of a doubt, you might be doing some things unintentionally, but this still does not excuse the fact that you’re annoying other people.
To help you brush up on your modern etiquette and help you act properly next time you’re out in public, Here’s our heads up on these 12 little ways you might be acting like a jerk without realizing it. Don’t be that person!
Not picking up your dog’s poop
Really? What happened? Did you just forget to pick it up? There’s nothing more annoying than taking a walk in your favorite park and being forced to “admire” a pile of animal waste or, worse, stepping on it on a sidewalk.
The number of pet owners pretending not to notice their dog’s dump is really mind-blowing. How can you not notice? Isn’t this the reason you’re taking them out? If you have a pet, make sure you have waste bags with you whenever you go out for their daily walks and pick up their waste. It’s a responsibility that comes with owning a dog.
Not saying hi to the receptionist
Thomas Carlyle once said that “a great man shows his greatness in how he treats little men”. It could not be truer. Being polite and respectful is not only reserved for a certain category of people but for people in general, regardless of whether we see them above or below us.
Saying a simple hi to the receptionist, thanking the shop assistant, making small talk with your Uber driver, are all small gestures that show your true nature. Find the time to make them. Read also 10 Gross Things Hotels Are Still Doing to Save Cash Despite the Pandemic.
Texting while talking to someone else
We are all doing things on our phones that annoy other people, but this one is the cherry on top. You know you’re also guilty of doing it. While talking to someone right in front of you, you quickly type out something on your phone to answer someone else. It’s just a few seconds, no harm done, right? Wrong.
Not paying your full attention to the person standing right in front of you is as rude as it can be. It shows them that they are not your priority and you’re not interested in what they have to say. Next time you have an in-person conversation, just put away your phone in your back pocket until the conversation is over.
Speaking of phones, check out these 11 Most Common Phone Myths You Should Stop Believing.
Leaving your grocery cart in the middle of the parking lot
There’s a reason supermarkets have cart corrals…to prevent them from being left in the middle of the road and annoy everyone. Even so, there are some (you know who you are) that have no problem abandoning their shopping carts in the middle of a parking spot. God forbid you incorporate some steps into your daily routine.
Not only are you blocking the parking spot by another customer but you’re making the supermarket employees come out and move the cart in your place. Just don’t!
You might also want to check out these 8 Rude Things You Shouldn’t Be Doing at the Grocery Store!
Using words you know other people won’t understand
If you have a talent for words and like to express yourself in a certain way, you’re free to do so. However, when you turn every statement into an opportunity to show off your language skills and what a walking dictionary you are, guess what: it won’t make you look smarter, it will make you look like a total jerk. There’s a thin line between an eloquent speaker and an attention seeker.
Letting the door slam shut behind you
You might be in a hurry to get to work but that’s no reason to let the door slam shut you without looking if there’s anyone behind you. No one is saying that you have to stand by the door and allow everyone to pass for ten minutes, but you should definitely have the decency to look back and make sure you’re not slamming the door in the next person’s face. It will only take you a couple of seconds, think you can spare that from your precious time?
Using your speaker phone in public
This is another annoying phone-related habit that some people have. If you’re doing too, just know it is completely disrespectful towards other people. No one should be forced to listen to your phone conversations in a public place, whether it’s a restaurant, a bus, a park. Unless you want everyone to hate you, that is.
If you don’t have a technical problem with your phone that’s forcing you to put your phone on speaker or talk into your Bluetooth headset, stick to a normal conversation or to texting. But make sure you know that These 13 Things Should NEVER Be Discussed Over Text or Email!
Giving a handshake like you’re arm wrestling
In any environment, a proper handshake can help you make a good first impression. It can tell others a lot about your personality and status from the very first encounter. Obviously, you want to seem confident and professional, but getting into a power struggle while shaking hands is not the way to do it.
No one is saying you should give a limp fish handshake, just to return a good grip without cutting off someone’s circulation. Remember when President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron gripped each other’s hands so firmly that their knuckles turned white? You don’t want to be in the spotlight for that!
Talking about the great deals you always get
Buying something new and at a great price is always satisfying and gratifying. Sharing the news with others is even more enjoyable. But when sharing turns into non-stop bragging, you’ll burn your bridges with your friends faster than your new toaster burns your bread.
It’s one thing to be happy and excited about the great deal you’ve managed to find, and another thing to constantly tell other people about your successful new purchases like you’ve got some skill in finding them. Just keep things short and allow them to also tell you what’s new in their lives instead of bragging all the time. If you do want to brag about something, do it about the fact that you know these 8 Things It’s Smarter (and More Profitable) To Rent Than To Buy.
Eating in front of others without offering to share
Not being considered a total bonehead is very much related to having good manners and good manners have very much to do with food. Eating something in front of other people sharing, or at least offering to do so, is without a doubt one of the rudest things in any etiquette manual. If you’re also talking while eating, then you can consider yourself a lost cause in terms of social norms.
Eating at a restaurant with other people is also a good opportunity for some people to break some etiquette rules. If you want to keep it polite, wait until all the entrees have been served before you start enjoying your order. Jumping the gun, or in this case, protocol, even between friends, is one of the most annoying eating habits.
Talking on the phone at the cash register
Talking on the phone with your friend is an efficient and fun way to make your shopping pass more quickly. But the conversation needs to stop when you reach the cash register. Don’t be that person that doesn’t want to hang up the phone and forces the cashier to resort to all sorts of hand gestures and lip-reading during your checkout process. It will only take a few minutes to say hi, pay, say thank you and resume the phone call where you have left off.
Leaving a pile of clothes on the fitting room floor
Shopping is fun and all but it can also get a bit tiring what with all the trying on, modeling for your spouse, and squatting in front of the dressing room mirror. Not to mention that after all the trying on, you have a pile of clothes you have to hang back on the rack.
It might seem innocent to just leave them in the dressing room for the store employees to take but it’s definitely not ok. The store employees are not your maids to pick up after you. It might be their job, yes, to rearrange clothes but it doesn’t mean everyone can just leave the clothes they’ve tried in the dressing rooms. There’s a reason return racks have been created! Not to mention that by leaving the clothes in the dressing room, the room will seem unavailable to other shoppers.