There are just some things in life that people simply accept without any doubt or question. These "unspoken rules" were derived from common sense and logic. They are generally viewed as "correct" behaviors because they follow the tenets of basic human decency. While there are some aspects that vary from culture to culture, most of these rules share the same core values that we, as humans, agree on for the most part. People took to the internet to share the "unspoken rules" that are generally accepted by society and, needless to say, it's refreshing to discuss these topics out in the open. Do you agree with what they had to say? Keep reading and judge for yourself:
#1 Just Don't
Don't propose at someone else's wedding, never. Don’t announce your pregnancy at someone’s wedding. Don’t propose to someone while getting someone else pregnant. Don’t propose to someone who has just had someone else’s baby. Don't say someone else's name during your wedding vows. I could keep going, but you get the gist of it. Just don't do it.
#2 Major Milestones
If you work in childcare and see a baby walk for the first time, you don’t say anything to the parent. I once watched a mother throw her handbag across a room and break down in tears while saying she was a bad mother for not spending enough time with her child. She had been back at work for three months, three days a week. She was a single parent with no support. It breaks their hearts.
#3 Simple Manners
You wait for everyone to get off the elevator before you try to get on. I was getting off the rail in Atlanta at a particularly busy spot just this weekend and could see the jerks piling up where the door stops. I knew they were going to try and push through the people coming off the train. So I just started making eye contact with people stepping forward and said very loudly, "LET PEOPLE OFF THE TRAIN FIRST!" They stopped and looked away as if they weren't doing anything, but they had finally been called out for their inconsiderate behavior and that's all it took for them to stop.
#4 Seat Dibs
There is no seating arrangement in a university class, but no one should sit in my seat. Almost every class I've ever had has just has a "sit wherever, whenever" policy, but no one ever really moved around after picking their seat on the first day. Even in classrooms with the chairs on wheels, people move the chairs into their desired spot before class.
#5 Tool Rituals
When using a stud finder, you must first point it at yourself and go "beep." That, and when you first grab some tongs, while grilling you must give them a few test clicks to ensure they work. Oh, and for hand drills—once you pick it up in your hands, give it a couple of blips before doing anything with it. Don't ask why, just do it.
#6 Noise Pollution
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. This is why I always bring earbuds with me. Even if I wasn't going to listen to something, if someone starts playing their stuff through their phone speaker, I can just put my earbuds in and turn on music or a podcast. Boom, now I'm not annoyed with the other person, and I'm entertained as a bonus.
#7 Elevator Orientation
When you enter an elevator, you face the door. On my daily commute, there is an elevator with different exits on different levels. So I always go in and face the exit door for the street level. All the tourists look at me as if I'm a maniac. And when the door opens, they all have to turn around with a look of mild distress on their face, while I exit first.
#8 Always Say Yes
Do not reject the food, or you’ll feel the wrath! My dad was pretty religious, and his mother wasn’t. My dad stopped over at my grandparents’ house when my grandmother had just made a cake, and she offered him a slice. It was a religious holiday that day, and my dad explained to her that he couldn’t oblige because he was fasting due to the holiday.
My grandmother was furious at my dad for not eating that cake... so much so, that she threw her cake cutting knife in disgust, and it ended up sticking vertically up from the floor. My dad was always super mild-mannered but ended up marrying my mom, who also had a fiery personality. I guess he was used to that personality type.
#9 Headphone Meanings
You do not initiate small talks with someone with their headphones on. And if someone's reading a book with headphones on, even if you're sure there's no actual music playing in those headphones, you leave that person the heck alone. The headphones are there intentionally to dissuade you from asking what their book is about.
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#10 Shut Up, Sis
Don't mess with the people who make your food. I wish my family obeyed this rule. I went for lunch with my sister once who works in a cafe and allegedly knows everything. We ordered at the counter and they told us to sit down, as they'd bring the food out to us. It was a perfectly normal interaction as I remember it.
My sister sat down and started talking about how that was unacceptable service. At her work, they always smile and say thank you with eye contact. Two minutes later, the woman who served us came out, put her food on the table, bent down to my sister's eye level, smiled and said the most sarcastic "Thank you!" I've ever heard in my life. As embarrassed as I was, it was a beautiful moment and I'm glad I got to witness it.
#11 Wedding Color Codes
Don't wear white to another woman's wedding. Pro tip: For a lot of cultures also avoid red. At Pakistani weddings, the bride usually wears a shade a pink for the dress since that's what's in style nowadays, so if you to have a Pakistani wedding coming up, you know what to do. (I went to three weddings and the bride at each one always had a pink dress).
#12 Toy Phone Conversations
When a child hands you a toy phone, you pretend to have a conversation. My five-year-old orders pizza on the play phone and hands it to me: "They need your credit card, daddy." I typically just say they can use the one on file... I'd say that is some A-level strategy right there. My five-year-old's social engineering tactics have failed.
#13 Avoid Eye Contact
You only hold the door open for someone if they are within a 2-meter radius. That's the rule in an ideal world. The actual rule seems to be: "Only hold the door open for someone if they're within a 2-meter radius or if you've made eye contact with them, no matter how far away they are." I've started looking down at my feet or my phone when I'm still really far from a door that someone is going in. Because if they turn around and look me in the eye, they aren't moving from holding that door even if it takes me a full 30 seconds to get there. (I also never run to get to doors that people are holding open for me from too far away).
#14 Fishy Smells
You don’t microwave fish in the break room at work. You also shouldn’t eat a tuna sandwich on your first day of a new job. Then you’re stuck with the nickname BIG TUNA! This especially applies to where I work. Our ventilation system is weird—the smells in the break room go directly into the ladies' room. It's very odd to go for a #2 and smell beefaroni, but the fish is way worse.
#15 Good Looking Out
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. Unless you are also on your period and it's your last one. Then you offer to help find more. I have searched buildings for a tampon for other people when I'm out before. Us girls, we just have to look out for each other.
#16 Offer Twice, Never Thrice
If you offer something, you offer twice only. If they say no both times, you don't push it. That's definitely not how it works in Russian culture. Every end of a meal at a restaurant is basically a back-and-forth upstaging event.
"I got this."
"No, please allow me!"
"Listen, I ate a lot more than you did. Let it be on me."
"Oh, come on! You can pay next time. Let me get this one."
"Sigh. Well, alright, I guess you can pay this time."
#17 Don't Mess With Receptionists
Don't mess with the receptionist. They decide who sees who. I did corporate sales years ago. Basically glorified telemarketing. We set up an appointment for top salespeople to meet with C-level executives of multinational companies. I was very, very good at it and a part of what made me so good is that I realized very quickly that the receptionists are the gatekeepers. Our access to all these rich people. Mess with them and you're not getting anywhere.
The internet is forever, so be freaking careful what you put on it, especially if your real name, face, and 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.
#19 Whether Friend Or Enemy
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 tipsy patron and need some backup. I don't care if it's your mortal enemy, you act as if you love them because they've got problems. You do not ignore someone like that.
#20 Elevator Etiquette
When waiting to get on an elevator, stand to the side or at least be ready to move to the side so the people inside can exit first. I just took my mom in a wheelchair down in her building and there were two fools carrying a giant heavy bookcase right in front of the doors. They couldn’t wait to get into the elevator to move it upstairs. They seemed upset when the doors opened and saw me wheeling my mom out. Don’t be a jerk like those guys.
#21 The Zipper Rule
Zipper Rule: when driving and two lanes become one, drivers should merge from alternate lanes one at a time... right, left, right, left... like a zipper. Too bad no one seems to know this. One thing I hate about living in the South is that people think they’re being polite by letting multiple cars merge in front of them, but they’re actually causing their lane to stop and back up even further! Many times on my drive home, I yell out of exasperation, “That’s not a zipper! That’s not what a zipper looks like!”
#22 Hallway Behavior
In a long awkward hallway, as you walk toward someone and they walk toward you, you don't make eye contact or make any kind of greeting until you're about 10 to 15 feet apart. Security guard here. We have a really long hallway where there is access for the cafeteria, upstairs conference areas, cleaning crew storage area, AND one of the main working areas. On inspection paperwork, it's seriously called "long corridor."
I dread entering that hallway and noticing someone walking out of a room at the other end. I will seriously look back and forth at the walls, check out the ceiling, etc, until that person is about two meters away before I either acknowledge them. Or, depending on their facial expression via a very quick glance, I don't say anything because they're at work and probably annoyed with life.
#23 Ablaut Reduplication
I-A-O, always in that order: the ablaut reduplication rule. Tic-tac-toe, ticky tacky, knick-knack, big bad wolf, tick-tock, chip-chop, flip-flop, sing-song. This rule is also superior to the order of adjectives which goes: opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, purpose. e.g. Big Bad Wolf violates the order of adjectives (in terms of size and opinion), but obeys ablaut reduplication.
#24 It Goes Both Ways
The second you insult me past a certain degree, everything's on the table and is fair game. If you call me super skinny and make toothpick jokes, IM GOING TO CALL YOU FAT LAUREN. It goes both ways. Wait, this might just be me...
#25 Facebook Doo-Doo
Someone on Facebook once posted their bowel movement to see if anyone knew why it was showing a greenish hue. I removed this person from my connections after commenting that it was an unwritten rule not to post your doo-doo on Facebook.
#26 Keep It To Yourself
Don't tell a girl she looks tired. Actually, don't tell a guy that either. I don't need to know I look terrible today; I know the bags under my eyes make it look like I got knocked about last night. Don't bring it up.
#27 One-On-One Meetings
If you are meeting up with a group of people who know you more than they know each other, you have to be the first one there. You often have no idea how socially awkward people can be while hanging out one on one, even if they have been friends for years. I just hung out with a guy I've been friends with for eight years one on one and it was ridiculously awkward the entire time, but we are fine in groups.
#28 Parking Permissions
Use one parking spot. If you are in the back of the parking lot, I don't care how many spaces you can take up. But don't take up multiples at the front of the parking lot. You can park your Corvette in four spaces for all I care as long as you aren't parking in the most highly trafficked part of the parking lot.
#29 Always Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands after going #2. If just one person doesn't do it, they put toilet particles on the door handle and now everyone has dirty hands. That's why I never touch contact spots with my uncovered hands. Someday, I'm convinced there'll be a terrible outbreak of something and all public toilets will be guarded by scanners that detect germs and alert armed guards to anyone who hasn't washed their hands.
#30 Urinal Etiquette
When choosing a urinal, if you possibly can, leave at least one between you and the next guy. No peeking, no talking. Unless you go up to the short one on the end, unzip, and a few seconds later go, "Oh, the water is cold today..."
#31 Quintessential Lines
If you strap something down to your truck or to a trailer, you must always say something along the lines of "Oh yeah, that's not going anywhere." This is similar to the rule that states how when you forget the car keys, you need to say, "I can't get far without these" when you go back to grab them. Quintessential lines of life.
#32 Baseball Conduct
If a pitcher hits your teammate, you hit one of their teammates. Roger Clemens used to say, "I come from the school of baseball where the guys would tell you, 'The only reason why you hit a batter a second time is to let him know that the first one wasn't an accident.'" A very, very wise man, that Roger Clemens.
#33 Walk On The Right
Walk on the right. Recently, I was walking to a rehearsal carrying my trombone on my shoulder, and a group of what must have been 100 middle schoolers on a field trip with very few adults started rushing toward me. I was up against a fence on the right. They spread all over the entire sidewalk. So I started yelling "Freaking move!" and bashing into them with my trombone. They were shorter than me, so I nailed quite a few in the gut. Dang kids...
#34 German House Rules
When I was growing up, my family followed the “German house rules.” If you open it, close it. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you break it, fix it. If you make a mess, clean it up. If you take it out, put it back. If you borrow it, return it. If it’s none of your business, keep it that way.
#35 Lecture Hall Chaos
At my school, there is one lecture that consistently tries to get in as soon as the doors open, meaning 200 people are trying to leave through two doors while 200 try to enter. It happens every lecture and I don't know how they haven't figured it out yet. If people just followed some orderly way of getting in and out, things would run a whole lot smoother.
#36 Turn Signals
Every car manufactured in the past 80-odd years is equipped with turn signals. USE THEM! this especially means you, cop. If you signal a lane change, I will let you in. If you signal a turn, I won't needlessly sit there forever waiting to pull out when you won't even be on the street. Signal your intentions, for the love of God. It's free. It's easy. It makes life more enjoyable.
#37 Women's Washroom Horror
No one is to ever speak openly about the horror that is women's public bathrooms. Men for some reason have a bad reputation for being slobs, but anyone who has ever worked in a job where they have to clean public restrooms knows the women's room always gets trashed the worst in the most disgusting ways far more than the guy's room. In reality, women are slobs.
#38 Preserving Reputation
If someone passes away and you're going through their things, dispose of all 'adult entertainment' items discreetly without saying a word to anyone else. Don't even mention it. Remove batteries, throw that stuff into a trash bag, double bag it, and throw it right into the dumpster, etc. I think that deleting browsing history should be an automatic part of this as well.
#39 Grammar Check
If someone comments with a mild grammatical error, then assume it is the correction in your head. Don't add nothing to the conversation and be like, "You forgot to put the apostrophe between 'it' and 's,' you said its!" Imagine if everybody started doing that—online forums would go downhill very fast. Always assume it is a typo. It seems to be that most online demographics are more college-educated and have better writers overall.
#40 Escalator Etiquette
Generally speaking in my hometown—I don’t know if it’s a universal thing because whenever I visit family in the US I don’t see people doing it in their area—when on an escalator, you stand to the right so there’s space for people to walk on the left. We had a pretty great transit system, but if you were running late that extra 30 seconds could be the difference between making your train and being 15 minutes late to work.
#41 Comic Book Rules
In comic books: Nobody stays dead except Uncle Ben. I'm sure there's a reality where even this is untrue. But a wonderful and sometimes silly aspect of many comics is that no matter the stakes or circumstances, everything and everyone is subject to some degree of always being able to be resurrected, rebooted, or not gone complete with a sometimes meaningful justification. Obviously, there are exceptions. Please don't blast me.
#42 On My Lamborfeeties
If I'm crossing the street on foot and you have enough time to make your turn, by all means, do it. Do not stare at me and expect me to run because you will be disappointed. You are in a car I'm on my Lamborfeeties. You go fast, I go slow. Make the right choice.
#43 Up Nod, Down Nod
When making eye contact with someone from a distance, you nod down if you don't know them, and "nod" up if you do. This is something I didn’t realize I did subconsciously. I just did both nods, and realize I do them only in those situations. Also, the "nod" up can also be used as a "the heck you looking at" for strangers.
#44 Rule Of Thirds
If you have two friends over at your place 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. Or if you have to use the washroom. They can survive for five minutes.
#45 Food Ownership
Don't eat food that isn't yours without asking for permission first... Unless it belongs to your younger sibling... or older sibling, mostly to annoy them.