40 Practical Unwritten Rules That Everyone Might Benefit From Applying To Their Daily LivesBy Areeba T
There are diverse people on this planet, but when brought together, we all need to show each other some simple common sense and decency to get along. The people we usually tend to prefer spending our time with are the ones that straddle the boundary between forward and reserved; they are a joy to communicate with, and once we get on the same page, they can become our best of friends. On the flip side, there are those people for whom such boundaries do not exist, either that or they choose not to respect them. They are the absolute worst. No matter how macho, rebellious, bad, or crazy you may think you are, there are some unspoken rules you need to follow in society for the greater good of others. Otherwise, you’re just a nuisance. We scoured the internet and crafted this list of a few unwritten rules that we hope those around us will know and follow from this point forward! Share this article with some of your most clueless friends who swipe right through your phone after showing them one picture or the ones who watch loud videos on their phones in public spaces. Hopefully, they’ll finally take a hint!
1. Keep It Down
Nothing disrupts a fine dining experience quite like a loud chewer—people eating with their mouths open need to bless the world by changing that habit. Imagine you’ve had an annoying week and sit down for a comfort meal.
But the infuriating sound of loud chewing ruins your mood & appetite. As simple as it may seem, not closing your mouth while eating can turn into the most irksome thing ever. And most definitely carries the potential to wreck that meal and friendships.
2. Aisles Exist For A Reason
Workers at grocery stores have so much to take care of. From dealing with chaotic kids to clueless adults, they have too much on their plate. One must not make their job harder than it is by causing an unnecessary mess.
There is no doubt that you get excited by a new frozen meal and can’t help but add it to your cart. Only to realize a few aisles that you don’t need to splurge on it. Make an intelligent choice right there & then and return it to its original place.
3. Pay Your Debts
Asking people for something back has got to be the most awkwardly annoying thing ever, especially if it’s money. If you borrow some money from a friend and promise to return it, keep that promise as if your life depends on it.
So many of us go through the excruciating pain of having to ask for our own hard-earned money back, and it’s never fun. Save your friend the countless inner-monologues they’ll have to work up the courage to ask for their own money back and pay up on time!
4. Friendship Shouldn’t Equal Discounts
There is no price to pay for friendship? Actually, there is! Everyone has at least one friend in their group who always wanted to turn their favorite hobby into a side hustle or a small business. They want to turn their passion into an income, and we want to support them in the best ways that we can.
When that day comes, go above and beyond to show your support. Promote them on social media, spread the word, and support their business by actually buying from them! Do whatever big or small you can manage; just don’t ask for free stuff or discounts.
5. Headphones Mean “No Talking”
Have you ever had the extremely unsettling experience where just when you lay down with your headphones in trying to unwind after a long day at work, it begins to feel like the entire universe needs you at the same time?
Well, you are not alone! It is high time now that we pass a bill that deems talking to people with headphones on as illegal unless and until there’s a life and death situation, in which case it would still be wise to call the authorities instead.
6. Avoid Blinding People
If you notice someone chilling out in a dark room, do not assume they need you or your help to turn on the light because they know what they are doing. It isn’t polite to turn on the light without asking or at least warn them first.
Turning on lights all of a sudden can be jarring. Maybe the person had a migraine & needed to rest their eyes. The critical thing to remember is to never turn the light on for someone unannounced. It’s an unwanted surprise and will never be appreciated.
7. Need Some Earphones?
One thing as adults we can’t get enough of is silence. The sweet company of silence is always met with the warmest welcome. Be it at your workplace or the bus station; the much-needed quiet time is often the best part of the day.
Then there are the people who can’t even play YouTube videos without putting the speaker at total volume. No amount of eye-rolling or passive-aggressive throat clearing can distract them. Don’t be this person. Invest in good headphones and respect the silence.
8. Stop The Gossip Train
Do you think buses & trains were made for public transport? Wrong! They were made so people could enjoy their favorite podcasts and listen to their indie playlist while pretending they are in a movie. One thing they are not for is loud gossip sessions.
No passengers want the tea about how your lazy coworker was putting up a show this entire time. They want to space out, have a little bit of an existential crisis and enjoy the quiet. So keep the juicy gossip to yourself on public transport.
9. Deo Is A Necessity, Not A Choice
It is just common courtesy not to spread your body odor to everyone, everywhere. Always, always wear that stick. Never leave the house without wearing your deodorant. Better yet, keep one on you on the go as well; it’s common courtesy.
From the elevator to a business meeting to anywhere near another human, the odor follows you EVERYWHERE, and sometimes it can be very unpleasant. Thus, it is fundamental and crucial to swipe that stick and do your part of much-needed good in the world.
10. STOP. LITTERING.
It will forever be baffling that some people do not care about littering. They can be seen throwing trash from the car or leaving empty coffee cups on the park bench. You can find a trash can every few blocks if you’re out.
So why not hold on for a little and have some decency to avoid causing an unnecessary mess? And the drivers, omg, stop treating roads like a dump. Just keep your trash in the car till you get home. It couldn’t get easier than that.
11. Be Your Best Self
Constantly take on the chance to do something nice for someone else; you never know who’s day you could end up making! If someone needs help with directions, why not help them? Saw a puppy right outside the grocery store? Give them a sweet smile and maybe even a pat.
If an older or pregnant woman steps on the bus, you could always offer to give up your seat for them. Not only can you perk up someone’s day but also inspire someone else to do the same for others.
12. Life Is A Party, Excluding On Hikes
Hiking can be a life-changing experience. It’s great to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life to cherish the calm and quiet that mountains present. But, some people can’t help but bring the party wherever they go. Many social circles might appreciate their youthful exuberance, but not ours while hiking.
But a hiking trail is one place where it is not required at all. Blasting loud music on hiking trips is extremely rude and wrecks the tranquility of the whole journey. If need be, enjoy your music in your headphones and do not disturb the rest.
13. Follow The (mall)Traffic Rules
The mall may not be a road, but its aisles mimic the road ecosystem; thus, similar to a road you also need to stick to a lane there as well. Changing your route haphazardly puts one at serious risk of getting cart-ttacked by the person behind.
So, it’s only fair to pick a lane and move straight. Exceptions are accepted and respected if you are stuck behind a slowpoke who must be taken over at all costs to avoid possible cases of losing your cool. Otherwise, stick in your lane!
14. Return The Carts
People who return carts to their respective places are so precious! They are most definitely the same kind of people who pay attention to what you are saying when everybody else has stopped listening & people who wait for you while you tie your shoelace.
Remember that to you, returning the cart to its original place will take no time at all, but the mall worker who has to collect them will have to put up with dozens of abandoned carts in the parking lot.
15. Wait Your Turn
Just like taking a step back from an argument saves you years of regret, in the same way, taking a step back from the elevator when a bunch of people is trying to get off will save you from a potential collapse.
We are all aware of this rule, yet so many people unleash themselves onto the elevator or bus without patiently allowing the onboard passengers to get off. Not only does it look dumb, but it is also counterproductive as well.
16. It’s Not An Open Invitation
How many times have you gone through the agony of wanting to snatch your phone from someone’s hand because they have set off on the journey to explore all the images from your album? Probably, countless times. It cannot be said enough times but stop the swipe.
The person handing you the phone only gave you access to one image. Why must you go overboard and reach the end of the photo gallery? Kill that curiosity, get a hold of yourself, and do not swipe left or right.
17. Give Way
Listen up, here’s a helpful rule of thumb about standing on the escalator; pick a side, and move! Not everyone is an ace at their time management skills, and especially, the ones running late could use all the help from the universe & the escalator users.
Give them some way and clear the path. Their day already is, “if-this-thing-goes-wrong,” away from “I will cry in public.” Let’s all spread some joy by doing the bare minimum and being friendly to our behind-schedule brethren by not obstructing the way on escalators.
18. Respect Baby Bumps
Suppose you are someone who goes around touching pregnant ladies’ bumps without asking, first of all, why! If you feel that you are entitled to touch the baby, you must also come along for carrying out the honorable duties of a diaper change.
Be helpful, at least. Look at it this way, if it is not normal to go around touching other people’s bellies, why would that be a normal case for pregnant women? Have the courtesy to ask before randomly touching pregnant women’s bellies.
19. Weight As An Icebreaker? How ‘Bout No
Weight has got to be one of the worst conversation starters. No one likes to be put on the spot about their weight gain or loss. It is their story, and only they can decide when & how to address it.
Don’t assume that just because you complimented them about their weight, it is alright because you are unaware of their health conditions. Steer clear of relying on someone’s weight or any other aspect of appearance to become your conversation starter; it is always rude!
20. Personal Bubble? Anyone?
Dear people who stand too close to you in the grocery line, friends who constantly touch you while having a conversation, and passengers who breathe on your neck, here’s an eye-opener for you: yes, we can undoubtedly smell your breath and feel your presence.
As a matter of fact, we can even see that piece of chicken stuck to your teeth. Please respect our boundaries and your self-respect. As a general rule, pandemic or not, maintain a safe 6 feet distance when out in public. It doesn’t harm anyone, does it?
21. Free Food Doesn’t Mean Steak And Caviar
I’m not too fond of free food, said no one ever. Hearing the magical words, “the bill is on me” uttered by your friend feels terrific. However, it is important to remind yourself to have the decency and not order the fanciest thing on the menu.
Just pick something that won’t cost an arm and a leg. No matter how scrumptious that steak appears to you, the free meal day is not the ideal day to give that a try. Free food isn’t an open invitation to bankrupt people.
22. Hakuna Matata
Life is nothing but a bumpy road, and to get through all its ups and downs, it is imperative to stay calm, cool, and collected in your day-to-day life. Especially for situations like having your emergency package delivered to the wrong location.
You may want to give an earful to the company representative, but taking your frustration out on the poor person on the phone or behind the cash will do you no good; that’s not their job. It won’t solve things quicker, so why not take the high road?
23. Respect People’s Schedules
Much of adulthood is rescheduling the same old plan with your school friend for the umpteenth time. But when the plan does come through, remember to respect the other person’s time. Do not leave them hanging at the door if they’re picking you up.
No one in this world enjoys sitting & waiting in the car. Picking you up surely will not be the only task of their day. So, have some respect for other people’s time and be ready at the door when they arrive.
24. It’s Not Your Property, Take Care Of It
It is so shocking that this has to be reaffirmed for people. It is a simple courtesy to return something you borrowed in the same condition as you found it. If you ask bookworms what they hate, it’s lending out their books. They know it’s never going to come back the same.
From highlighting to scribbling and maybe even some folding of pages, all of these things are entirely off-limits. These are minor and insignificant things to the borrower, but it is a wholly different thing for the lender who will develop some serious trust issues.
25. Use The Racks
We have all entered our favorite apparel store & were mesmerized by all the things we could buy. It mostly starts with picking up several clothing items and heading off to try them on. But let’s be honest, you end up buying only one or two pieces from the pile.
The rest stays unattended for the poor staff to manage. As shopaholics, you need to do better than that! There is no need to make a mess and add an extra task for retail workers. Please do the right thing and put the items back where you got them from.
26. Show Your Gratitude
Do you know that feeling you get when you enter a cafe and the employees greet you in the most enthusiastic tone? It feels great, doesn’t it? Now, take that energy and present it to anyone on the road that gives you the right of way.
A simple “thank you” wave makes all the difference. Don’t be an entitled fool who thinks he’s the only driver on the road and can drive however he wants. Put out good energy into the universe and let the good ones on the road know you appreciate them.
27. Call Before Coming, Maybe?
Unless you are a close friend or family, have the decency of informing the people about your arrival. Do not just assume that your presence is needed or wanted without asking first. It is plain rude to show up at people’s doors unannounced.
They might not be in the right headspace to entertain people or already have some people over, do the smart thing and ask beforehand if you could drop by, or else your company will be an unwanted surprise.
28. Complimentary Top Up
Honestly, anyone who does not fill up the tank of their friend’s borrowed car needs to reevaluate their life choices; come on! It’s neither inexpensive nor comfortable entrusting something like your car to a friend, no matter how close you are.
Therefore, the least you can do is top up the tank. While the car owner will never ask, filling up their car tank and showing them how grateful you were for them to trust you with their car goes a long way.
29. Last One In Bed Gets The Lights
Imagine this, you had a long day, and finally, it’s time to get some shuteye. But wait, you forgot to turn off the light. Ugh. We can recall all too well the pain of being too tired to get up but too uncomfortable to fall asleep.
Even worse, the roommate/partner enters the room later and insists that YOU turn off the light. That’s not how this works; that’s not how any of this works. The last one in bed gets the light, and there’s no other way around it.
30. They’ll Have The Baby When They’ll Have The Baby
So, you set up two of your friends, and the universe did its magic. The stars aligned, and they got married. Now, you need to eject from the imaginary godmother /godfather throne and not throw the not-so-casual questions of when they plan to have a baby out the window.
There are no scenarios in which this question is appropriate. Feel free to keep such thoughts to yourself. The couple might not have discussed it, or there might be a medical issue, all in all, you need to keep that rude question to yourself.
31. Two For One
Here are the two general rules you really shouldn’t forget. The first one is to leave that last slice of pizza or any food or beverage for anyone who has bought it. It’s only fair for them to have and cherish the last of it.
And, secondly, leave the space you rented, be it Airbnb or a campsite, cleaner than before. Sure, they would have a staff that could take care of it, but your 5 minutes of cleaning up would lend 5 minutes of extra time off to the team.
32. Cool It With The Body Comments
Indeed, features like bunny teeth or freckles make people so adorable and unique on their own. But, some of them might feel insecure about such things. So, it’s better not to address or point out those things.
Even your compliment could hit the wrong nerve. Unless it is something that can be fixed within a minute or two, like lipstick on the teeth or bird poop on the back of their shirt, forget the flaws. Live by it!
33. Rain Checks Are Important
It is simply wrong to book an appointment at a business and never show up. Not only did you waste someone’s time, but you also wasted somebody else’s chance to get the service that day as well. Everybody loses in this situation.
Do not sleep on that quick call. You can cancel your appointment pretty quickly and effortlessly. If you can’t keep your commitment for any reason, that would be understandable, but one must always opt to inform the business about it. This kind gesture would mean a lot to them.
34. Don’t Trauma Dump
Don’t turn small talk into a baggage unloading session. It is never a good idea. Always check in with the person you are speaking to if they are in the right headspace to listen to your issues or if they feel comfortable.
They could already be struggling to deal with something in their own life that your problems could overwhelm them. A simple, sweet gesture of asking, “Hey, can I rant for a while?” will go a long way for all your relationships.
35. When The Moment Calls For It, Be Quiet And Just Listen
We are all guilty of messing this up, at least once. So, your friend comes up to you to rant about workplace issues, and you, wanting to help them choose to give them an opinion or advice. Sometimes the gift of silence and listening is more important than the gift of guidance.
More often than not, your friend wants a listening ear and nothing much else. Your ill-timed help can make them feel unwelcomed. Thus, if you don’t want to worsen the situation, be a good listener and keep your solution to yourself unless asked otherwise.
36. More Thank Yous & Pleases, Please.
The delicate touch of politeness added to your question makes all the difference. Whether it’s asking for directions on the road or asking someone to lift their bag from the spare seat of the bus, the use of please will work wonders.
Similar to that, a “thank you” can also do wonders! Getting your request met calls for a thank you. Insignificant, it may seem, but you never know who’s day you end up making by staying true to this rule. Thanks!
37. Give People A Pass
How many times have we seen a random person at a restaurant throw a tantrum at the waiter for getting the order wrong? More than once, right? Don’t ever be that person. The waiter might be having a bad day and messed up.
Learn to give people a pass. Be it a wrong order or a delayed delivery, lashing out at the service provider will not help you in any case. Sure, you were inconvenienced, but being rude about it is never the right move.
38. Respect The Queue
One must always go above & beyond to respect the etiquette of waiting in line. It does not feel alright to send a verbal reminder for people at their considerable age. It is common knowledge that you should not cut in line.
It makes the situation uncomfortable because not everyone has the guts to call you out. Everyone would much rather be somewhere else, but you had to go and make things worse for everyone. Make the situation trouble-free for everyone and stick to basic manners.
39. Ask Before Posting
In the age of social media, it has become common to post someone’s photo on your social media account without their consent. The person might not even reach out to you to get it removed, but they sure will avoid you the next time.
While the person who posted the photo might consider it harmless, it isn’t polite. Asking if someone would like their picture posted is a little thing, but it makes all the difference. Hence, please do the right thing and respect people’s digital privacy, especially when it comes to children.
40. Spoiler Alert: Nobody Likes Spoilers
Did you know that some people have the weirdly sadistic urge to ruin the shows and movies for others? What an awful thing to do! Some people love to give spoilers out of sheer excitement; their sins should be atoned.
But the ones deriving pleasure out of spoiling the show for people need serious help. Not everyone can go and watch the movie/show on the first day of release. So, if you are a show spoiler, do better and stop being a killjoy!