Acting polite and courteous in public is never a bad thing. There are many simple ways that you can make life easier for the people around you, whether you’re walking through town, taking a ride on public transport or sitting in a movie theatre. Whatever you’re doing, here are six ways you can act more courteously in public and treat strangers in a way you would like to be treated.
- Don’t act like you’re in a rush all the time
Yes, you might be in a rush to get to work on time, and there’s nothing wrong with hurrying. However, running in public is generally considered rude, especially if you’re running through a shopping centre or other crowded place. Running for the bus or train is easily forgiven, but other rushed actions such as frantically hitting the elevator buttons or shoving past people is uncalled for in most circumstances.
2. Don’t take up all the space
If you’re on a crowded train, don’t give the seat next to you to your inanimate objects such as a handbag or shopping bag. If somebody is next to you, don’t purposely spread out and take up half of their seat. In fact, even if you find it difficult, make an effort to give them the space they should rightfully have on public transport. You should also avoid taking up more space than necessary on benches or public transport where the seats are not specifically marked out as individual
3. Smoke in private
Don’t smoke around other people, even if you’re using a volcano vapouriser or other forms or vapes or e-cigarettes. Not everybody enjoys the smell of smoke, not to mention that there are health hazards from second-hand smoke, even when you’re outdoors. If you want to smoke outside, do it away from other people and make an effort not to get in the way of strangers and passers-by. Lots of people smoke e-cigarettes on trains and in closed public spaces, but this is considered impolite and should be avoided.
4. Avoid phone calls
This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever answer your phone in public, but when you’re on the bus during rush hour, spare a thought for the overworked passengers who just want to relax without getting a headache from your constant chatting for the next hour. If you’re in a salon getting your hair done or in line waiting for the cashier to serve you, save the phone call for later unless it’s urgent.
5. PDA (public displays of affection) – Don’t do it
Holding hands or having an arm around your partner isn’t likely to disturb anybody, but don’t start trying to eat each other while in public places. Nobody wants to see you with your tongue down somebody else’s throat, and if there are children around, it’s particularly unnecessary and inappropriate. This also applies to any form of intimate touching and groping (unless you’re in a club at the weekend, in which case, pretty much anything goes).