16 unwritten social rules you should know how to follow


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Man is a social animal. We live in a world where, although there is a sense of individuality and personal space, it must coexist with a world view. We have the freedom, but seldom the freedom to do “whatever” we want to do. Rules and regulations dictate how we live and behave with our fellow human beings, and rightly so, for only then can a rational and just world exist.

There are social rules which are not written down, which are not spoken, but everyone is supposed to know them. We give you an overview.

1. When you are at someone’s house and they say: “I have a lot of work tomorrow” or “It’s getting late”.

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This is your signal to take their leave as they really need to retire and as nice as it is, having friends / people over can be a nerve-racking experience. While you’re at it, please clean up after you. No one likes guests who come, trash the place and leave.

2. When you are driving a considerable distance with someone in their car.

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Four things here:
• Offer to divide their fuel prices. It’s considerate and they’ll hesitate less if you ask them for a ride next time.
• Don’t be a jerk and don’t monopolize their radio / music player. Even if they offer to play your music, play something that everyone will like.
• Don’t curse their car. This is very inconsiderate, given that you get an almost free ride.
• If you are the only one sharing the ride, please sit in front. No one likes to feel like your driver.

3. Your perfume / cologne must be discovered, not advertised.

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Everyone loves a well-groomed person, but not someone who has bathed in perfume or deodorant. Each cologne has its own concentration levels, find it and apply it accordingly. People love a sweet, fragrant breeze when you walk past them, not a whiff of strong musk on their face.

4. Holding the door open or pulling out the chair for people is nice, regardless of gender.

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Chivalry is not dead, don’t kill it. When you are in front of someone and you go out, hold the door for others to pass, people will notice you and it will leave a good impression on them. It can even brighten up their day if they are having a shit. If you are with someone at the restaurant, hand them the chair. Everyone loves a well-behaved person. But don’t do the above if the people in question are far away and have to do that awkward, brisk walk just because you don’t have to keep the door open for a while.

5. When two or more people are huddled around you and talking in low voices, they are probably having a private conversation.

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And they clearly don’t want you to be in it. Learn to respect their privacy and apologize calmly and graciously. They’ll appreciate your accommodating demeanor and you’ve just earned some social brownie points.

6. When someone is nervous or shy in a social scenario, DO NOT point it out to them.

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They know it better than you do, and reporting it even by joking or trying to make the situation light will decrease their self-confidence. Instead, distract them, strike up a conversation, get them into the groove. They will appreciate the help.

7. When making plans with friends in front of other friends.

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No. If you don’t want someone to be invited into your plans, don’t prep or discuss them while they’re within earshot of you. It hurts their feelings and ends up pulling them away from you. Not to mention if they invite each other, it’s a whole new level of awkwardness. You don’t want that.

8. When you are in a social situation and want to talk to someone you find attractive.

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Don’t overthink or over-analyze. Approach them and say hello. There is no better icebreaker in the world than a simple “Hello” followed by a smile. Don’t hit them. Be a friendly new acquaintance. Politeness and good manners go a long way.

9. When someone you know has an obvious change in appearance eg weight gain / loss, baldness, acne.

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It’s rude and it’s none of your business to comment. They already know this and feel bad enough about themselves without you blatantly pointing it out to them. They may be working on it, but recognizing what they have decreases their confidence in you and themselves.

10. When you want to send a point or suggestion, the tips will not work.

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Don’t drop the clues. It gets worse when people don’t understand, and when they do, it lessens your impression on them. Speak, it’s the truth. You can come across as blunt and straightforward, but you will be appreciated for your honesty and outspokenness.

11. Silence doesn’t have to be awkward.

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There is a reason the saying goes: “Silence is golden. The silence is calm, serene. In a social situation, always having something to say is never necessary. Sometimes silence is also appreciated, and it also brings people together. There can be many conversations without a single word being spoken.

12. Everyone has their personal space around them. Respect it.

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Don’t get too close and talk. There is a socially acceptable distance that you can stand and talk about that you can guess will put people at ease. Even if you are intimate with someone, it is always polite to speak with a respectable distance between the two of you.

13. When someone is walking their pet and you meet them.

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Please ask permission before stroking them. Many pets are newborns, or even young, and they are not as welcoming to strangers. They could get out of hand (literally or otherwise) and harm you, or make it difficult for their owners to regain control.

14. An opinion is a very sensitive issue for many.

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Just because you might have the right to offer one doesn’t mean it’s mandatory for you. And if you are asked for one, do not be offended if you are criticized. It’s okay for others to offer their opinions as much as you can express yours.

15. When you are talking on the phone and having an argument.

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Please do everyone else a favor and find a quiet or empty nook or place to go and sort it out. If you are in public, please do not yell on your phone. Nobody cares about your personal arguments and nobody wants them. Hang up and tell them you’ll call back.
Bonus: It might give you both the chance to calm down and settle your differences with peace of mind.

16. If all else fails, remember, “When in Rome, do like the Romans. “

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Observe. Follow people’s signals and do what they do. Watch what they are doing and follow suit. For example, in a meeting in a restaurant, if no one has started to eat, it is rude to dig. Following the group’s example will not get you into trouble! (hehe: P)

Be considerate, respect others, have empathy and you will be fine.

Power to you!


Source: Reddit (1 & 2)
Source of cover image

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About Marjorie C. Hudson

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