Some Simple Everyday Things That Are Actually Quite Rude
Have you ever closed the door behind you and failed to realize there was someone right behind you? Or how about stepping into an elevator and forgetting to keep the door open as another person is rushing to get in?
Things like this happen all the time and it’s natural these days that people make these accidental etiquette mistakes. It’s easy to brush these things off.
However some of the actions we’ll be discussing here are not as obvious, but are still rude to do nonetheless. These too can be brushed off with no worries, but they’re still coming off as rude.
Etiquette For Speech
For example, using the words “just” or “actually” in conversation.
Not only are these words fillers and unnecessary in speech, but they carry a lot of weight depending on how they’re used. Consider the following sentences:
“I need that report by next week.”
“Actually, I need that report by next week.”
Consider the next two sentences too:
“You need to work out more.”
“You just need to work out more.”
As we said above, these words are filler words that add nothing to the conversation. They also come off as mean. Furthermore, using these words tends to soften your position in a debate as well, so they’re not good words to have in your vocabulary.
On the note of vocabulary, what’s also rude is not saying “please” and “thank you”. Especially to those in service-based positions. When we were kids we were told to say “please” and “thank you” often and these days this is overlooked. From placing orders to everyday feeling rushed, these things can get overlooked.
But lacking those things is still pretty rude and sometimes you can make people’s days by showing some appreciation. Remember, it’s those at the bottom of the food-chain in the service industry that make the backbone of any business. Without barista’s, clerks, and all entry level workers, things would be much worse and not run as smooth as they do now.
Relating People’s Stories Back To Your Experiences
A lot of us do this on instinct and think that we’re being helpful. We think that by telling our story or saying we can relate ensures that the person feels reassured. Reassured that they’re not in this alone.
Sure, some people can feel that, but it can also come off as dismissive. It’s easy to turn that relatedness speech into “I’ve done this before, this is nothing” to the other person. And that’s the last thing they want to be getting the impression of.
Instead, listen in order to hear, rather than to reply.
Offering An Opinion Without Permission
Much like telling a related story, stating an opinion can come off as helpful. And sometimes people do want to be looking for opinions when they talk about their problems. But there are certain conditions.
First of all, it pays to pay attention to how a person looks or is actively looking for opinions. Before you open your mouth, consider whether the person asked for an opinion or not. In all likelihood, if they didn’t ask you, then giving advice or an opinion can be more hurtful than helpful.
Etiquette Around Others
There are all kinds of social settings where what we do can come off as rude. For this section, I’m touching on interaction with others you engage with broadly.
- First thing to not do around others is making them feel bad for not knowing something. We all have our vices, but making someone feel stupid or beneath you is not good. Because you’re good at something and others aren’t isn’t an excuse to belittle or make someone feel inferior to you.
Instead, work on guiding them and encouraging them.
- One other thing that’s rude is not accepting compliments. For many people, they struggle to take compliments. We often can’t accept them or undermine them with something backhanded. But regardless of it being a lack of self-esteem or out of modesty, some compliments are warranted and are meaningful and appreciated when accepted.
To deny those compliments or water them down is disrespectful and can come off as rude.
- Another thing that’s rude is scowling. Even if what you’re looking doesn’t warrant disapproval, the facial expression may still be on your face. A look of anger, being mean or concerned when you’re not can make you less approachable.
Instead, work on putting a smile on if you notice your expression is off.
- Fourth thing is about requesting a tour of a home. Sure you may be curious about how it looks, but not everyone is going to be cleaning up their entire house. In most cases people don’t want to be showing you around when the place is messy or unorganized.
The only time it’s appropriate to ask for a tour is when the owner insists on showing you around.
- What’s also pretty rude is forgetting people’s names. Yes, some people are the ones you’ll meet only briefly in your life, while others you do more, but at least remember their names. Forgetting people’s names often means to them that they’re not worth the small effort it takes for you to connect their face to their name.
Don’t chalk this up to bad memory either. Instead, put more effort to remember their names.
Because people rarely use the phone for calling these days, people’s etiquette over the phone is all but gone. There are only a handful of circumstances where putting someone on speaker phone is appropriate:
- Either they’re a family member and you’re around other family.
- Or the person is cool with being put on speaker after you say “I’m putting you on speaker if that’s okay?”
Texting and driving is bad, but walking while texting is also really bad too. Similar to both scenarios, when you’re texting, your attention is pulled away from everything else.
What’s also worth noting is that if you do get a text, make sure you’re not blocking anyone. It’s rude to be standing in the middle of a walkway or blocking an entrance.
A few other things that are rude to do is taking calls in public bathrooms and also being on the phone when buying something.
For public bathrooms it’s disrespectful, but also nasty. If that’s not enough you’re also occupying a stall that could be used for more productive methods than a place for you to take a call. There are more private places to consider.
As mentioned, it’s also rude to be on your phone when you are buying something. A lot of that has to do with eye contact. I’m not saying that you should be looking at the barista or clerk the entire time, but at least lift your head up and make eye contact with them.
Sure, you may not be in a chatty mood and the interaction is brief, but the eye contact makes people feel like they’re actually people. If you don’t even acknowledge them it can make people feel empty.
At Work Etiquette
There are a number of things work-related that can come off as rude. Here are some examples:
- First is not allowing people to merge. Whether it’s going to work or leaving work, people want the traffic to go smoothly. The last thing people want is getting stuck in a traffic. This means merging is not something people want to be doing.
Though we’d argue it’s worth it in the long run. Not letting someone merge into your lane is a rude move. Not only that, but you’re only letting one car merge into the lane. How much of a difference is that going to make in the grand scheme of things? A couple of seconds.
- Second is having pungent food at work. Not to diss your own cooking, but remember that your co-workers all have different senses of smell and taste. If you’re packing fish or any onion-heavy dish that may be great for you, but terrible for your co-workers. Best to leave those at home.
- The last one is trying to drag others into drinking with you. While this happens after hours of course, some people aren’t always keen on the idea of drinking after work. They are especially not keen when it’s a coworker or their boss dragging them into it. You have no idea what sort of damage that could be caused from this. What if they are going through a cleanse? What if they’re pregnant? Or they’re trying to stay away from booze? Or maybe they don’t want to drink?
Etiquette Around Friends
While your friends can be pretty chill about some things, there are still some awfully rude stuff you can do. Here are some things to consider:
- First consideration is about not making introductions. If you’re the social person and are constantly making new friends, you are bound to have your various circles mix together. During those situations, it’s important for you to be the first to make introductions. Failure to do so not only is dismissive, but rude too.
Why it’s rude is that it can create a state of unease. Making introductions makes it easier for people to make connections.
- The second thing is telling people to smile. Whether a friend is in a rough time or is not a ball of positivity, telling them to smile is insensitive. People don’t smile for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they have rough days.
When you are telling people to smile more, you’re imposing opinions of them and in some cases dismissing their current emotions. Sure emotions are temporary, but it’s important for people to cope with the emotions rather than mask them.
- Third rude thing to do is to be cancelling plans. While we can’t always predict what life throws at us, there are times where cancelling plans for the night is alright.
Where the problem lays is when you are constantly doing it. What this suggests to others is that you don’t value the commitments you’re making with them. If you really need to skip out on someone, make an effort to reschedule with them, rather than tell them you can’t make it and leave it at that.
Other Rude Things To Consider
There are a few other scenarios that are worth considering as rude as well. Here they are:
- First is asking someone if they have kids. While this may be appropriate among family or friends, it’s not good with strangers or people you know little about. It can seem like an innocent question, but this question is also digging into personal lives deeper than usual.
The fact you are bringing up kids can cause harm to people as you’re not sure if the person or their partner went through a miscarriage, is struggling to get pregnant, or doesn’t want to defend their stance on not having kids.
- Second is sighing. Yes you can sigh when responding to distressing stimuli – but it can cause problems to those on the receiving end. Unless you’re sighing to yourself, chances are the sighing can come off as passive-aggressive or offensive.
- On the note of body language, crossing your arms can also be rude too. We’re used to it as a way of keeping ourselves warm during a cold day, but it also gives the impression you’re standoffish.
Crossing your arms can be intimidating to others. Instead, work on putting your hands in your pockets or on your sides.
- Finally is making plans and expecting others to split the bill. Whether it’s a date or time with friends, expecting the bill to be split can be difficult. It’s considered rude because not every person is in the position to split the bill.
You have no idea whether your date or your friends can afford covering a portion of the bill. By expecting that to happen, it’s suggesting to the other they have a choice: either spend time with you, or pay for something that they need in their life (i.e. rent, groceries, etc.). Be mindful of people’s financial standings. Not their class, but whether they can help cover part of the bill or not.