In today’s world, most of us interact with hundreds of people during any given week, and being courteous and polite can make others’, as well as our own, days more pleasurable and relaxed. Here are some tips to help you with everyday etiquette:
One, when entering the building, both men and women can hold doors open for each other. The rule of thumb is, if you arrive at the door first, hold it for the people behind you. Also, if you see someone carrying a heavy, or cumbersome load, take the twenty extra seconds to hold the door for them. Chances are your meeting/client/boss will not mind waiting for this long.
Two, when taking the elevator, move all the way to the back, especially if there are people entering behind you. It is rude to stop dead just past the doorway and expect others to squeeze by. Also, it is appropriate to ask others to push the floor button for you when you can’t reach it yourself. Don’t push others aside to reach it yourself. Lastly, when taking a crowded elevator with someone you know, don’t engage in a long loud conversation! Say hello, but save the gossip and any exciting news for after the ride.
Three, when taking the escalator, or the stairs, stay to the right, so others can walk past you. And keep walking as you reach the top! Stopping dead in your tracks and looking around will stop the flow of traffic behind you, so if you must stop to decide where to go from here, move aside first to let others through.
Four, similar rules apply to walking on sidewalks. Stay to the right. When in a busy street, try to keep up with the pace of the traffic, and save a slower leisurely pace for a less crowded street. Also, don’t stop dead in your tracks! There may be people rushing about their business directly behind you, so if you must stop and think, get out of the way first!
Five, talk on your cell phone all you want, but keep it down, and save intimate details, graphic language, and any offensive topics for a more private place.
Six, if walking side by side with someone, take care that you are not stopping traffic. Either be very aware of people trying to pass you, and step out of the way, or consider walking single file until you get to a less busy street.
Seven, if you run into someone you know and decide to stop and chat, move out of the way of other pedestrians. This is a simple point of etiquette that will save you many angry stares and comments.
Eight, when taking public transportation, it is ok to leave your bag in the seat next to you only if the bus, or train is empty. But you should remove it from the seat if the bus, or the train starts to fill up. It is rude to leave your things laying around on seats when other passengers are forced to stand because of you. And never leave a wet umbrella, on the seat next to you, even if there are other seats available. Put it on the floor instead.
Nine, when driving in your car, remember that the traffic jam you’ve been stuck in for twenty minutes is not the personal fault of the driver in front of you! So lay off the horn, don’t flash your lights, or make obscene gestures. Also, be sure to pay attention. Sure, it is boring to sit in traffic, but it is very rude and inconsiderate, as well as dangerous, to get absorbed in text messaging, doing your make-up, reading the news, or any other such activity, when the cars in front of you have long since moved. You will slow down the people behind you, and possibly cause an accident if the drivers behind you get angry enough to attempt going around your car.
Ten, when at the grocery store, be sure to push your cart slowly around the corners. If a new check out line opens up, let those in front of you go first, instead of running to cut in line. And if you’ve just shopped for the entire week, please let the person with a single item check out in front of you! It will not take much of your time to let them go first, and will make them feel like they’ve just met someone who is courteous and polite.