There are certain things that are second nature to some, but completely foreign to others. Often by no fault of their own! The following list is a simple set of rules that I try to follow on a daily basis. Some of the items may be more particular than necessary, but hey, I'm OCD.
Wash Your Hands!
It boggles my mind that people don't wash their hands after using the restroom. It's one of the grossest things. Here's all you have to do:
- Apply soap to hands
- Rub hands under water
- Dry hands
If I shake your hand after you've visited the men's room and your hand is wet, that's fine. It should be wet! Get into the habit, folks. It also helps prevent infections and illnesses (source).
Chew, Swallow, Speak
If you are chewing on food, you should continue doing just that. You can wait for ten seconds to finish chewing and swallow before speaking. Maybe it's just me, but seeing a little piece of food fly from your mouth to my plate of food makes me much less excited to finish my plate. If you must talk, please cover your mouth and aim your head away from my food/face.
Texting etiquette could fill an entire blog post, but we'll nail some major points here. First, you should always show more respect to the people you are physically near than the people on the other end of your text conversation. Unless it is truly a time-sensitive message, it can probably wait a minute. Conversely, if the person you're talking to starts texting mid-conversation, pause your current conversation to allow them to finish texting. It's annoying, yes, but they're not going to be listening even if you do try to keep talking.
Fullscreen That YouTube Video!
This is a minor one, but still worth noting. When showing a friend or coworker a video on your computer, please maximize the video to fullscreen! This is especially important when there are multiple people gathered around watching.
Smile and Make Eye Contact
It's a busy world we live in. I have places to go. You have places to go. But that doesn't mean we have to actively avoid interacting as we cross paths. All too often when I'm walking to work, I glance up at someone to make eye contact and they immediately divert their eyes as if they have insulted me for looking in my direction. It's okay if we lock eyes for one second and smile! I won't mind, I promise.
Pick up Trash
Imagine a world where everyone picked up any trash they saw. Sounds a little utopian, but it's a nice thought. The streets would be clean. Parks would look nicer. Baby birds wouldn't choke to death on the plastic 6-pack containers. So why don't we?
I have developed the habit of picking up trash as I'm walking around town. There are garbage cans scattered all over urban areas, so you won't be stuck holding the trash for long. Sure, if it's a wet, dirty napkin I might leave it, but otherwise I'm willing to take an extra five seconds to make my city that much cleaner. One time, a stranger even walked up to me to say how cool it was that I threw litter away.
Much like with texting around people, maintaining a balanced conversation rhythm is important to show respect. When someone else is speaking, let them finish before chiming in. If you interrupt, it's showing them that you weren't really listening or that you don't feel like giving them the time to finish their thought. This goes both ways, though; conversations are two-sided so you should let the other person talk, too. Nothing is more frustrating than being trapped in a conversation when you're trying to leave/work/focus on anything.
Keep Right Except to Pass
I'm not just talking about on the freeway. This rule should apply during all walks of life.
- Keep in the right lane while driving so faster cars can pass you on the left
- On an escalator, hug the right side so people who can still walk up stairs have the ability to do so
- On sidewalks, if a person approaches you from the other direction, keep to the right
- In the grocery aisles
- While biking
- While roller skating
Basically any activity that requires motion should put you in the right frame of mind.
Comment on My Blog Posts
Commenting on these posts help me gauge what you guys are thinking. Or what offends you. It takes just a moment and gives me valuable feedback. On this post, for instance, I'd love to hear what other things people could do to make life on this planet more enjoyable.