20 Unspoken Rules People Need To Stop Breaking All The Time

unspoken rules
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There are countless rules—spoken and unspoken—that govern how we should function in society. There are the major ones, which are usually spoken or written somewhere, and come with significant consequences. Then there are some minor ones that are more implied than they are expressed. But the issue is: Not everyone knows about or respects some of these unspoken rules.

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As a result, you may find yourself in situations where you’re completely irked because someone has done something YOU assumed was an unspoken rule of life…but they weren’t on the same page.

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In a viral Reddit thread, one user asked the question: “What’s an unspoken rule that annoys you when people don’t know about it?” Here are 20 of the best answers.

1. Speakphone etiquette

Let people know when you have them on speakerphone! Especially when your husband/wife/partner/friend/any other human is within earshot.


2. In or out?

Standing in doorways. Go in or out, but get out of the way.

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3. Please and thank you.

Eating with your mouth closed.


4. Hands off!

DON’T TOUCH MY F—KING WHEELCHAIR!!! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been shopping in the grocery store and someone has just rolled me out of their way instead of saying “excuse me”… Or once, rolled me out of the store to “find my mommy.” I was 26.


5. Footpaths

Don’t block the footpaths. If you’re waiting for something, move off it to the side. We’re not obligated to walk around you because you have an ego.

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6. Normalize it!

If someone says they’re not drinking tonight, don’t make them feel bad or imply they are being boring.


7. Pointing out awkward situations.

I remember when a friend of mine brought his new girlfriend to my house. I introduced myself, asked if she wanted a drink, all the standard stuff. My friend goes upstairs to take a piss, and me and the new girlfriend are sat there for about two seconds before she blurts out “AWKWAAAAARRRRRRDDDDDDDD…” B-tch, it is now.


8. Baggage carousel rules

Stand 2m back from the airport baggage carousel. If everyone does it, then enters that ring to grab their luggage and leave, then everyone can see their luggage as it comes and no one is jostling.

It never occurred to me until I traveled in South Korea and they had a white line around the carousel that everyone stood on. It was remarkably efficient and I wish the rest of the world adopted it.

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9. $$$ matters

Don’t ask people to do their job for free, even if you’re friends or family.


10. “Don’t ruin everyone else’s…”

Don’t play music out loud from your mobile phones on public transportation. I get that you’re going to have a boring ride, but don’t ruin everyone else’s.


11. Smoking rules

If you smoke, don’t smoke right outside the entrance to the building! Not only are you in the way, but everyone coming in or out gets a face full of smoke. Move out the way.

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12. Like Ludacris said…

Stairs are for ascending and descending. Move out of the way when you are done using them. Standing in front of them and looking around like a lost tourist is not one of their functions.


13. It’s only right.

Warn people that you/your kid is sick before turning up at their house/interacting with them. My toddler caught chicken pox, the flu, a stomach bug, and hand, foot, and mouth disease in the last 12 months, all of which could have been avoided.


14. Turn signals

They’re meant to be a warning, not an afterthought.

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15. No means no

Respect people’s right to say no. It’s OK to ask someone for something, or to do something, or whatever — but if they say no, don’t pester them or guilt trip them. People who pressure their friends are kind of garbage friends.


16. Don’t swipe!

When someone hands you their phone to use, don’t fucking go through it. It’s rude.


17. Respect personal space

You don’t need to attach yourself to the person in front of you when standing in queue.

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18. Stop spreading germs!

Cover your mouth when you sneeze, apparently people don’t know this.


With your elbow, not your hand. Even my young son knows that.


19. Oh, Sharon…

Move your cart to the side of the aisle when looking for groceries, don’t hog up the middle. “Oh, of course I’ll wait for you to pick out a flavor of beans, Sharon, take your time!”

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20. Don’t mention it. Seriously, don’t!

If your with a group of friends and you’re going to do something together but not everyone is invited or going, don’t bring it up.