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.
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.
If a two year old speaks gibberish to you, you reply with either "you think so?" Or "thank you for telling me".
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.
If somebody gives their phone to look at a picture don't scroll and see all their other pictures.
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.
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.”
If you work in childcare and see a baby walk for the first time you don’t say anything to the parent.
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.
An appearance flaw that cannot be easily changed shall be completely ignored.
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.”
When using tongs, you must always click them together a couple times.
For any space holding people (train, elevator, classroom), let people exit before you try to enter
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.”
Small wave at the driver when they stop at the crosswalk so they know you know they saw you.
You do not initiate small talks with someone with their headphones on.
When a child hands you a toy phone, you pretend to have a conversation.
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.”
If you offer something, you offer twice only. If they say no both times you don't push it
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.
If you’re securing something in a truck bed or trailer, you must always say “that ain’t goin’ anywhere” once you’ve finished.
Do not stand still in any choke-point of an indoor or outdoor space. Doesn't have to be a doorway or hallway.
“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
When using a stud finder, you must first point it at yourself and go "beep"
If you are done using the microwave and there is time left, you must clear off the remaining time.
Don't be a savage.
When walking through a door and someone is behind you, hold the door long enough so the person doesn't get hit by it.
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.
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.
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.
If you notice something on someone that can be fixed within 5 minutes, tell them (Shirt stain, food in teeth etc)
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
In public transportation, you let the person in most need have your seat.
DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT go through someone’s night stand drawers.
If the teacher makes a mistake that benefits everyone (forgets homework, leaves answers on the board, etc) you don't point it out!
The problem magically goes away when the person who's there to fix it shows up.
You don't reject your grandma's offer of food (at least in Mexico)
Covering your mouth when sneezing...although everyone doesn't always do it
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.
If you're in a public toilet, don't piss on the toilet seat. Sadly, there are always people that disregard that rule.
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
When walking in a store, treat the aisles as you would the road. AKA stay to the right (US).
Picking your nose is very satisfying, but don't do it in public
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.
Don’t drive slower than traffic on the left lane of a highway.