Note to self.


We've all been there: A well-meaning acquaintance says exactly the wrong thing or asks a prying question you have no interest in answering—and she doesn't even realize she's done anything inappropriate! While we're all guilty of the occasional (and unintentional) etiquette faux pas, these manners missteps can usually be remedied, or avoided altogether, with just a little thoughtfulness and care. Here, our editors have rounded up a list of rude behaviors to avoid this season and beyond.

Matters of Curiosity

It killed the cat, you know.

  • Some questions—even the most well-meaning ones—are better left unasked: "When are you getting married?" "Where did you get that?" "Have you lost weight?" "When are you having a baby?" "How much did that cost?"
  • Some comments—even the most well-meaning ones—are better left unsaid: "You look like you're about to pop!" "You've lost so much weight, I didn't recognize you." "It's amazing you grew up to be so beautiful." "I can't believe a girl like you is still single, after all these years!"


It's a wonderful piece of technology, when used in the appropriate way at the appropriate time.

  • You should never, ever be on your phone when standing at a cash register of any kind (gas station, restaurant, boutique, grocery store) or while a waiter is attempting to take your order. You'll slow down the line because you're distracted; and worse, you're ignoring the kind human being who is graciously trying to serve you.
  • Watching videos, listening to music, and playing games without headphones in a public place is disruptive to the people around you. Plus, it's highly unlikely everyone around you shares your musical stylings—no matter how spectacular your taste in music is.
  • Having a conversation at top volume (or worse—on speaker phone) in public spaces is also impolite, especially if you're somewhere that's intended to be quiet, like the salon or a waiting room.

Social Media

Check your social savvy.

  • Not everything requires or demands an announcement on social media for all to see, especially when it comes to your new car or the Gucci belt you got for Christmas. We're thrilled for you, really, but we didn't need to hear about it on Facebook.
  • Venting about personal drama (or worse, family drama) is a no-no. That's what good friends are for.
  • Don't steal people's thunder. It's fun (and a good thing!) to celebrate friends' engagements or new babies and show your love for them through social media posts, but make sure you're not beating them to the punch. They may not want to share their happy news with the world immediately.
  • If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. And definitely don't post it on social media, especially if you wouldn't dream of saying it to someone's face.
  • Group texts can be tricky. Don't add several strangers to a group text unless you plan to fill everyone in on those included (and which number belongs to whom). That'd be like standing in a circle at a party with a bunch of people you don't know, and nobody has introduced you!

WATCH: Modern Dating Etiquette

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (And Also Elevators)

  • Use the space you are provided for your baggage, and no more. Take care to keep personal belongings in your seating area, and do not let stray jackets or pointy elbows encroach on your neighbors' already limited room.
  • Smelly foods are especially unwelcome in small spaces where there is no escape for your fellow passengers.
  • Do not board an elevator before all of the disembarking passengers have gotten off of it. This also goes for buses/shuttles/etc.
  • If someone graciously lets you over in traffic, wave. It's the nice thing to do.
  • Even though you have the right of way as a pedestrian, if someone has stopped their car to let you cross the street, do not treat it like a walk in the park. Walk with purpose, people! Waving to the stopped car is a kind gesture, too.

What do you think?