Common sense is not so common, Voltaire once wrote. There is always that one person in class who sneezes without covering their mouth. Or the person who takes up two seats on the train just because they like to sit with their legs spread out. As much as we’d like to live in a considerate world, there will always be people who lack common sense or mindfulness in the most common situations.
Here are thirty simple reminders of what to do and not to do when you’re in a public space. If you think of yourself as a decent human being, most of these probably will be a no-brainer for you. And don’t forget to share your worst (or best) experiences with people who lacked common sense in the comments!
(Facebook cover image: Kyoww)
#1 Not Letting People Get Out Of Busses And Elevators Before Entering
It makes a lot more sense than you trying to push yourself into the crowd who’s trying to get out anyway. Just stand aside, let people out, and then get in.
#2 Not Using Turning Signals
When did it become normal for people to ignore the most basic rules of driving?
#3 Being Rude To Your Server
Imagine working 12 hour shifts, always on your feet, tired as hell, and then dealing with the most annoying and rude customers? Yeah, don’t be that person who thinks waitresses have to deal with your terrible attitude. They’re just here to do their job and leave, don’t make it harder than it is.
#4 Listening To Music Without Headphones
You think your music taste is great? Perfect, go study music, become a DJ or a producer, but please don’t shove your music taste onto other people who would rather listen to silence then the latest remix of DJ Khaled’s new song while sitting on a bus on their way to home.
#5 Texting While Driving
Just don’t do this one. Don’t. You’re risking yours and someone else’s life for a text, it’s not worth it, and no matter what you’re typing, it will never be as important as being safe at the road.
#6 Not Putting Your Stuff Back On The Proper Shelves In Grocery Stores
Just because you decided you don’t need that item anymore doesn’t mean somebody else should have to put it back to its place. Your ignorance creates extra work for the already busy grocery store employees so put the stuff back from where you took it.
#7 Leaving A Mess After Yourself
No matter if it’s your office, public bathroom or a clothing store, leaving your things all over the place is just rude. You’re not entitled to having people picking up your things after you.
#8 Standing On The Left Side And Blocking The Way
This one will definitely make your blood boil. Every country is different, but usually you walk on the left and you stand on the right, it’s that simple.
#9 Swiping Right When Someone Hands You Their Phone To Show A Picture
They only wanted to show you one picture, you do not have the right to scroll through their photos and check what they have on their phone. Imagine how awkward it would be if you would stumble on something very private?
#10 Not Cleaning Up After Your Dog
Picking up poop and throwing it away takes way less time than stepping in it and cleaning it up, not to mention getting rid of the smell. So, if you want a dog, understand that it comes with a poop that you’ll have to pick up.
#11 Putting Your Feet All Over Somebody Else’s Space On Planes And Trains
Feet are already a sensitive topic to many people, nobody enjoys seeing or smelling somebody else’s feet (unless you’re into that stuff). But taking your shoes off and putting your feet near people sitting next to you is just rude and disgusting.
#12 Not Washing Your Hands After Using The Bathroom
Nobody wants to touch your hands after you used the toilet, and it’s even worse since nobody is ever sure who washed their hands and who didn’t. Be kind to others and stop sharing you bacteria.
#13 Throwing Something Into A Trash Bin, Missing It, And Not Picking It Up
Struggling with your aim? Then maybe just try walking to the trash bin? Who would have thought that it’s that simple? Groundbreaking.
#14 Parking In Disabled Parking Spots
Oh come on, this one is just plain illegal. There’s always a free parking space somewhere, always, just try harder to find one.
#15 Having A Cart Full Of Groceries In The Express Lane
It might be quicker for you but it ruins the whole point of the ‘express lane’. And don’t act so surprised if the cashier refuses to scan your stuff.
#16 Not Dimming Your Car’s Front Lights While Driving Past Someone In The Dark
Headlight flashing is a popular way to send another driver a message. But always remember that your lights can be blinding other people and distracting them from the road, so please make sure that your lights are not too bright. The rule is simple, if you can see the driver - you’re too late.
#17 Standing Too Close To Someone
If you’re waiting in a line, please try your best not to breathe into someone else’s neck. This accidental intimacy is uncalled for and always unwanted. Try to be mindful, there’s a reason the term “safe space” exists.
#18 Snapping Fingers At A Server
Just don’t. It’s rude, obnoxious and degrading.
#19 Leaving Carts All Over The Parking Lot
How many times have you needed to park your car, thought you saw a free space, but when you drove closer saw it was occupied by a bunch of grocery store carts? There are special places to leave them, and they are always near the parking lot, please, put them where they are supposed to be.
#20 Having Your Stuff All Over The Place In Public Places
Everybody has heard about manspreading, but have you ever heard about ‘Shebagging”, it’s when you put your stuff all over the place, especially in public transportation, blocking the available seat next to you and leaving others standing. If you ever catch yourself doing so, try putting your stuff on your legs and offering the seat to another passenger.
#21 Not Changing An Empty Toilet Paper Roll
Don’t be a demon, when you finish a toilet paper roll replace it with a new one. Imagine a situation were you just finished doing your business and there’s no toilet paper, sucks, right? Well, don’t put somebody else in this tragic situation.
This one is rather simple - close. your. legs.
#23 Not Covering Your Mouth While Coughing
According to Live Science, one cough can release as much as 3,000 droplets of saliva, and they can fly as fast as 50 miles per hour. And sneezing can force as much as 40,000 droplets of saliva. Is there anything else we need to say to prove our point? Covering your mouth is not an option but an absolute must.
#24 Checking Your Phone In The Middle Of A Conversation
Unless it’s actually urgent, please do not check your phone in the middle of a conversation with someone. It seems like you’re bored, and you make other people feel uncomfortable. Also, it’s one thing to quickly check the time and another when you just keep scrolling.
#25 Not Keeping A Safe Distance From Other Cars On The Road
It’s a well-known fact that driving too close to someone is not safe, and no matter what you’re trying to prove, it’s in poor taste to harass somebody by driving as close as of couple of meters from their car. A safe distance between two vehicles is at least 2 seconds behind.
#26 Eating With Your Mouth Open
We try not to be too snobby here, but seeing someone chew with their mouth open is something others might not enjoy witnessing. We get it, it’s hard to control yourself sometimes, but just try to be as self- aware as possible. Also, if somebody is eating with their mouth open, here’s how you can politely tell them to stop.
#27 Using Words Like 'Gay', 'Retarded' And 'Autistic' As An Insult
Saying ‘it’s so gay’ is sooo last year. And even if you think it’s only a joke, and it’s not offending anyone, it still has a bad connotation to it.
#28 Not Leaving Someone's House When They Say They Are Tired And Have To Get To Work Early In The Morning
It takes a lot of energy to invite people over and plan the entire evening. So when people are starting to leave, you should understand that the lovely evening is coming to an end. And if you hear someone say ‘I’m really tired’ or ‘I have to go to work early in the morning’, it’s also a sign that you should call a taxi and head home.
#29 Blocking Pedestrian Crossings With Your Car
If you’re in a car, you’re not a pedestrian, so anything that is strictly dedicated to pedestrians is something you shouldn’t be driving on, especially sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. Is this so hard to understand??
#30 Rambling On And On To A Person Who Is Obviously Busy
Your assignment is due tomorrow, you’re already doing five things at once, and your boss keeps messaging you asking to do something that’s not even your responsibility. And then Karen walks in, asks how your day’s going, and then talks about her weekend, and then she shares a story about how her dog seems to have diarrhea. She keeps talking and talking, and no matter how many times you say ‘I should really get back to work’, she seems to not understand it. Annoying, right? Yeah, thought so.
#31 Talking Loudly In Public Areas
Yes, it’s cool you have friends to talk to, and it’s even cooler that the topic is so riveting that now you’re all hyped up. But please, make sure your voice isn’t louder than your surroundings, not everybody wants to hear what happened to you last night.
#32 Talking To Someone With Headphones On
If you see a person with their headphones on, it usually means ‘I am not in the mood to talk’, especially if it’s a stranger. It’s one thing to ask them a question, but to continue disturbing them is something that will make them hate you. Just let them listen to their music.
#33 Eating Stinky Food In Public
We get it, you’re busy, you didn’t have time to eat and you’re just too hungry to wait until you get back home and fill your tummy. But please, be considerate of others and avoid eating stinky food like tuna sandwiches in public, especially buses or trains, where nobody can escape the smell.
#34 Not Taking Care Of Your Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene isn’t something people should need to be reminded about. Don’t forget to think about others when thinking about skipping a shower or two.
#35 Talking On Your Phone When You’re First In The Line
If you’re in line to order a drink or anything else, please be aware that nobody wants to wait for you to finish your conversation to order. Just known what you want, say it and don’t make the barista wait for you to tell your mom what you ate yesterday.
#36 Sitting Close To Someone On An Empty Bus
This one is just creepy. Why would you choose to invade someone else’s private space when there are plenty of free seats on the bus?
#37 Using Both Armrests
Long train ride? Flight? Want to rest? Well, why not try thinking about your neighbor and leaving one armrest for him? Afterall, sharing is caring.
And according to a manner coach Adeodata Czink, “if you’re sitting in a window or aisle seat, the middle seat passenger gets to put his arms down first. If there’s room left over, great. If not, it belongs to the middle seat passenger. And one more thing, try to be nice about it.”
#38 Reading Over Someone Else’s Shoulder
Ok, this one is a bit more subtle. Many of us check what people next to us are reading on the bus, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you’re being discrete. But obnoxiously reading someone’s private texts over their shoulder is a big social no no. Oh, and remember you can always feel if somebody is creeping on you behind your back.
#39 Petting And/Or Feeding Stranger Dogs
Always always ask the owner if you can pet or feed their pet. You never know if the pet is friendly and feeding them can even cause an allergic reaction.
And remember, the owner knows best, so if he says ‘no’ do not try petting their animal behind their back.
#40 Walking Too Slowly On A Busy Street
If it’s a busy area where people are in a hurry to get to school or work, please don’t be the person who just walks like they’re in a park and disturbs everyone from getting to their destinations on time.
#41 Jumping The Line At The Bar
When it comes to bars, there is an entire section of unwritten rules people usually follow to avoid uncomfortable situations or piss off other patrons, and one of them is to wait patiently for your turn to order. According to Good Cocktails, “When the bartender is busy, don't try to cut in by yelling, "I just want a water!" Why should the bartender stop serving the paying customers in order to serve a person that only wants a free glass of water.” But when you about it, why should the bartender stop serving a customer just to take your order even if you’re paying?
#42 Pretending To Not See An Old Or Pregnant Person
We get it, it happens, you’re tired, you kinda don’t see the pregnant lady standing next to you but you really do, and in your head, you know damn well you should get your butt off the seat and offer it to someone who is literally carrying another human being inside of her.