Common Courtesy

Common courtesy, or etiquette, is defined as a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to temporary norms within a society, social class, or group.

There’s a number of areas where common courtesy is applicable.  Actually, there’s a LOT of areas.  I’m only going to cover a small handful of them here.

At doors – When entering or exiting a building, look behind you to see if anyone is coming through the same door in the next 5 seconds.  If the door is going to slam in the face of the person behind you, hold it open.

If you see someone right outside, and opening the door would involve no more effort than extending your arm, go ahead and give it a push.

On the street – Say ‘excuse me’ rather than just pushing past people in a crowded or constricted space.

Wave to, nod, or mouth ‘Thank you’ to drivers who stop for you to cross on a pedestrian crossing.  It’s the law for them to stop, but it’s still polite when they do because many don’t.

If possible, leave space on the sidewalk so others don’t have to walk in water, mud or snow.  If you’re walking in a group and one person comes from the opposite direction, move behind someone in your group so that the person passing can use the sidewalk as well.

In conversation – DON’T interrupt someone when they’re talking, no matter how insightful you think what you have to say is.  This is one of the rudest things one could do in a conversation, though oftentimes people simply aren’t aware that they are guilty of doing that.  Instead: (1) make sure they’ve finished speaking and making their point; (2) “wait half a second”; and then (3) go ahead and say what you wanted to say.  If you miss your chance because someone else chimed in before you, then – oh well.  Life goes on.

In the laundry room – Knock the lint out of the lint screen after you use the dryer.

Don’t leave your laundry in the washer or dryer for hours after it’s done.  No one wants to touch your wet underwear to move it out of the way and other people like having clean clothes too.  If, by chance, the person before you has left laundry in the washer (hey, it happens now and again), be so nice as to move the clothes into an empty dryer, if available.  You might as well, and it keeps them clean away from things like spilled bleach.

On your phone – At movies, concerts, libraries – anywhere where talking is discourage: TURN OFF THE PHONE!  Or put it on vibrate at the very least.  ESPECIALLY before you go in.  Keep your mouth shut until the performance is over and you are back outside.

On a similar note, don’t text or check out your phone during a movie or concert.  The screen is VERY bright and we can all see how inconsiderate you are.

* * * * *

That’s all I have for now.  If any of you can think of other areas, or more to add to the ones I’ve already covered, let me know, or just go ahead and post them in the comment section.


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