Time and again, we've all wondered if it’d be possible to live in a society where there are no rules. But norms of everyday life have somewhat the same function as the rules of games: they tell us what ‘moves' are allowed and which ones are not. Not only do our interactions run smoothly, but the whole world we live in feels harmonious and in order.

So in order to really see how and which rules govern our lives, and what we make of them, we have to look at the universal, unspoken ones that everyone should be aware of, if they already aren’t. Shared by people in various Reddit threads, some of these rules are simple no-brainers, others represent more elaborate conventions, so let’s see which ones people pointed out as the most important ones.

Scroll down, share your thoughts in the comment section and be sure to check out our previous post with more of the “unwritten rules” of life.

#1

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If someone you don't know suddenly strikes up a desperate conversation and seems to be wary of their surroundings while on a night out - they are your best friend. Best friend. Because they're probably being harassed by another drunken patron and need some backup and I don't care if it's your mortal enemy, you act like you love them because they've got problems.

You do not ignore someone like that.

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KJ
Community Member
10 months ago

I had this happen years ago, randomly bumped into an ex co-worker while out shopping with my girlfriend at the time, ex co-worker rushed up to us and started apologising for running late for our lunch date. I stood totally clueless, my girlfriend threw her arms around the ex co-worker (they had met once before at a works do) and said glad she had finally turned up but the table was booked for only three (bloke left). Blew my mind when they explained over lunch.

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#2

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If your dress has pockets, you must tell everyone.

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Anki Apfel
Community Member
10 months ago

Love that one. Sadly they still don't have pockets that often >.<

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#3

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If a two year old speaks gibberish to you, you reply with either "you think so?" Or "thank you for telling me".

h4wkeyepierce , Victoria Borodinova Report

AzKhaleesi
Community Member
10 months ago

"Oh Yea? Tell me all about it"

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If you ever ask yourself who the hell created all these rules, and why we all need to abide by them, this one's for you. I have to agree that the idea of a free society where each individual is allowed to roam freely, with no obligations or consequences, has something appealing about it.

#4

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If somebody gives their phone to look at a picture don't scroll and see all their other pictures.

[deleted] , Lisa Report

Sheepeggs
Community Member
10 months ago

You might see something you don't wanna see, for my phone you'd just see random pictures of dogs. But be careful.

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#5

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them NEVER propose at someone else's wedding, never.

Kearshi , Gift Habeshaw Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
10 months ago

Do people really need to be told this? If so...YIKES!

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#6

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them Give me six feet of space when I’m at the ATM or the urinal. Basically, whenever I’m taking valuables out of my pants.

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JustAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago

"Valuables" LOL

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And some rules are so embedded into our society, we don’t dare to question them. “Societies going back thousands of years have had ‘unwritten rules.’ Unwritten rules would be defined as normal, accepted behavior that everyone (or almost everyone!) is willing to adhere to,” Susan Petang, a certified life coach and the author of “The Quiet Zone Coaching,” told Bored Panda. Susan teaches women how to stop feeling overwhelmed and start waking up happy in the morning again.

She continued: “They're necessary not only for keeping order, but establishing boundaries and defining what is considered kind, polite, or compassionate—or rude!—in that particular culture.”

#7

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If you work in childcare and see a baby walk for the first time you don’t say anything to the parent.

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Julieandthephatones
Community Member
10 months ago

no it makes sense it should be their moment

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#8

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If you're watching garbage Facebook videos in the break room and other people are trying to enjoy their hour of peace wear some [freaking] headphones Alana.

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

Don't watch porn either. Or you can, just to overpower Alana's garbage FB videos.

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#9

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them An appearance flaw that cannot be easily changed shall be completely ignored.

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

His appearances are all flawless.

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What’s interesting is that even now, different cultures can have different unwritten rules. “For example, burping after a meal in China is considered a compliment, and here in the US, it's considered rude. By having these unwritten rules, we also can more easily identify when others are upset with us or being dismissive,” Susan said and added that “it's like having an emotional shorthand.”

#10

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them Don't ask if she is pregnant. Just don't.

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River Webb
Community Member
10 months ago

and don't ask when she'll have kids either

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#11

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them When using tongs, you must always click them together a couple times.

sirhempanite89 , Katerina Holmes Report

Warloew Brinn
Community Member
10 months ago

Gotta give them a couple test clicks to make sure everything is in order.

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#12

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them For any space holding people (train, elevator, classroom), let people exit before you try to enter

_NendSudes , Kelly L Report

Lilith the Demon Panda
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

yes! this! I always thought western Europe was civilized until I rode metro there... and I would add: after you exit dont f*****g stop right in front of the door, move the f**k out of the way!

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Susan believes that our lives might be more complicated, and possibly more lawless, if we didn't have expected rules of behavior. “Imagine how chaotic life would be if people could randomly punch others in the nose if they didn't like what was being said or done?”

On the other hand, there are times when unwritten rules of behavior can be complicated and unnecessary, the life coach argues. “They can also be prejudicial. For example, it can be difficult for those with autism to understand some of the social nuances that we take for granted—which might make them feel ostracized, unaccepted, or unloved.”

#13

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them Small wave at the driver when they stop at the crosswalk so they know you know they saw you.

sarkozywasthere_ , Tim Douglas Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

Also, wave at the driver who lets you cut in when there is an unbelievable rush and you've been waiting for long enough to get into the lane. A friendly honk is welcome too.

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#14

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them You do not initiate small talks with someone with their headphones on.

WallflowerAshes , cottonbro Report

JustAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago

That's exactly why many people wear headphones. To avoid small talk

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#15

When a child hands you a toy phone, you pretend to have a conversation.

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BusLady
Community Member
10 months ago

Well, of course you do. :-)

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The life coach added that there are also unwritten rules in some cultures that can be interpreted as rude or boorish in others. “Our earlier example of burping is one; another might be how some cultures consider bargaining for everything to be OK, while in other cultures it's considered rude to question the cost of something.”

#16

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If you offer something, you offer twice only. If they say no both times you don't push it

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KatHat
Community Member
10 months ago

If it's alcohol, offer ONCE only and then if they say no, leave it alone without commenting on their decision in any way. The same can go for food - more people than we know have eating disorders.

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#17

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them Don't make marks in a book that someone loaned to you. That means no dog-earing the pages, no highlighting/underlining/circling phrases and no writing notes in the margins. If you want to do that crap, get your own copy, don't ask to borrow a copy from me.

KingAlfredOfEngland , Oladimeji Ajegbile Report

Mihai Mara
Community Member
10 months ago

I never do that to books, not even to books I own.

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#18

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them You don’t microwave fish in the break room at work.

DestinysChildSupport , Alex Teixeira Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
10 months ago

I would add smelly cheese as well... sadly, my coworkers don't read this site, so it will be in vain :|

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#19

If you’re securing something in a truck bed or trailer, you must always say “that ain’t goin’ anywhere” once you’ve finished.

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Piet Puk
Community Member
10 months ago

And slap it?

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#20

Don’t put your phone on speaker in public places

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Gin. No tonic
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

Unless they're a senior citizen. This might still seem rude to you, but it might be the only way they know how to answer their phone or hear the conversation.

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#21

Put it back in the same place you found it.

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Orange is aging
Community Member
10 months ago

I know my room looks messy, but everything still has a place. Don’t put my stuff just anywhere, you monster

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#22

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them Do not stand still in any choke-point of an indoor or outdoor space. Doesn't have to be a doorway or hallway.

D**kcheese_McDoogles , Gustavo Fring Report

Katherine Boag
Community Member
10 months ago

My husband does this several times a day in our house ^___^

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#23

“In the house of a hanged man, don’t talk about rope”

Old proverb. Meaning don’t dig up old, nasty stuff with people you know will be uncomfortable/offended

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troufaki13
Community Member
10 months ago

We have the same saying in Greece

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#24

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them When using a stud finder, you must first point it at yourself and go "beep"

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Sheepeggs
Community Member
10 months ago

I'm glad I'm not the only one

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#25

If you are done using the microwave and there is time left, you must clear off the remaining time.

Don't be a savage.

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Sheepeggs
Community Member
10 months ago

I have looked at a microwave multiple times and always wondered why the time was never accurate

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#26

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them When walking through a door and someone is behind you, hold the door long enough so the person doesn't get hit by it.

[deleted] , Charlotte May Report

troufaki13
Community Member
10 months ago

And say thank you when someone holds the door for you

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#27

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them Closing your mouth when you chew.

Bonescielo , Andres Ayrton Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

Unbelievably irritating. I don't need to watch you process your bites, Alana.

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#28

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them You don’t take pictures of kids that aren’t yours

PayLayAleVeil , Maxsuel Macedo Report

Marc
Community Member
10 months ago

And if you take pictures of your own kids, keep them for yourself, and don't share them online, just to get a few likes. Stop promoting your kids. Keep your family private. There's no need to let everyone know.

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#29

If someone asks if you have a pad or tampon and you have one give it to her. You'd want someone to do the same for you.

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Donkey boi
Community Member
10 months ago

I remember (overhearing) my mam giving advice to my big sister, which included 'ALWAYS carry tampons & pads, even when you're not on your period. You never know when you friend might need one'. For 3 years I carried around female sanitary products! Before I realised my friends were not likely to ask me, what with me being a boy.

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#30

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If a child shoots you with a toy gun you act hurt or pretend to die for them. No questions asked. I learned this when I became an aunt lol.

[deleted] , cottonbro Report

Janine B.
Community Member
10 months ago

Toy guns are as necessary as the plague.

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#31

Zipper Rule: when driving and two lanes become one drivers merge from alternate lanes one at a time right left right left ... like a zipper.

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Persephone
Community Member
10 months ago

This is a written rule in the Netherlands actually.

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#32

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them If you notice something on someone that can be fixed within 5 minutes, tell them (Shirt stain, food in teeth etc)

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

An open zipper should fly high on this list.

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#33

Never expect a friend to fix your car for free or for a six pack. Ask them how much they'll charge you. If they do ask for beer, ask their favorite. Don't buy cheap s**t

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Cactus McCoy
Community Member
10 months ago

I believe in the exchange of abilities and do not accept money from friends Everybody has different ones, so we help each other out. Works like a charm. This does not involve costs for spare parts or similar, of course.

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#34

In public transportation, you let the person in most need have your seat.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
10 months ago

And sometimes you are the person in most need.

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#35

Don't ruin Santa Claus for little kids

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River Webb
Community Member
10 months ago

thats plain mean

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#36

Don't wear white to another woman's wedding

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago

This is assuming that all weddings have the white wedding dress thing. It's only an english-speaking world thing, as far as I can tell. I've been to a number of weddings here where the bride wore something else eg. shweshwe fabric.

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#37

DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT go through someone’s night stand drawers.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
10 months ago

Not even when it's a one night stand?

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#38

If the teacher makes a mistake that benefits everyone (forgets homework, leaves answers on the board, etc) you don't point it out!

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Julieandthephatones
Community Member
10 months ago

yes it soooo annoying when someone points out that the teach forgot to check homework

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#39

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them You don't get a "bless you" after sneeze number 3.

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Sheepeggs
Community Member
10 months ago

I've actually seen someone sneeze 11 times in a row (granted they were slightly spaced out but still)

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#40

The problem magically goes away when the person who's there to fix it shows up.

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BusLady
Community Member
10 months ago

And as soon as they leave...

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#41

You don't reject your grandma's offer of food (at least in Mexico)

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Sheepeggs
Community Member
10 months ago

It doesn't matter if you refuse, you'll eat it anyway

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#42

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them Covering your mouth when sneezing...although everyone doesn't always do it

Mojovman , Edward Jenner Report

Marc
Community Member
10 months ago

And do it like in the picture. Sneeze in you ellbow and not in you hands!

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#43

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them There will always be a demilitarized urinal between two urinating men, unless overpopulation becomes a factor, in which case participating piddlers will look either straight forward or directly down at their dingle dongle.

tallperson117 , Hakeem James Report

ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago

As an aged person, I compromise by plonking my forehead on the wall and muttering "why is this taking so long?"

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#44

If you're in a public toilet, don't piss on the toilet seat. Sadly, there are always people that disregard that rule.

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Sheepeggs
Community Member
10 months ago

If the unexpected happens, CLEAN IT UP!!

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#45

If you have two friends over, who don't know each other, you don't leave them alone.

The exception to this rule is if you are trying to set them up

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Rez Fidel
Community Member
10 months ago

Better.. tell them indivudually that the other one is almost deaf... THEN leave the room and let em start a convo...

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#46

When walking in a store, treat the aisles as you would the road. AKA stay to the right (US).

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ZAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago

in 1800s-onwards british empire it is stay on the left.

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#47

Picking your nose is very satisfying, but don't do it in public

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Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
10 months ago

So GROSS!!!

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#48

People Share 50 Rules Of Life That Are "Unspoken," Yet Everyone Follows Them The internet is forever, so be careful what you put on it- especially if your real name/face/details are attached. People will find them and bring them up at the worst possible times. A few seconds of thinking about if it's really a good idea to post that comment or whatever can do a lot of good.

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JustAPanda
Community Member
10 months ago

And never ever put your name as your un-changeable reddit username. Knew a lotta people who would get roasted by it

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#49

Don’t drive slower than traffic on the left lane of a highway.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
10 months ago

Or worse, don't go overtaking with less than 1 mile speed difference and proceed to hog the left lane doing 64 mph for the next 30 miles.

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#50

When you enter an elevator, you face the door.

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

There are those elevators with back-to-back doors on each side. Always make me feel stupid when I am facing one side and suddenly the door opens on the other.

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Note: this post originally had 64 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.