Unwritten Social Rules for a Better Life

We are social animals. We live in a society. Every individual contributes to the world we live in. Even though the law is present to preserve the morality of society, still we miss out on a lot of social etiquette. Hence I’m trying to come up with a list of unwritten social rules we can follow to make the world a better place. I’m conditioning myself to abide by these. But please note some terms and conditions apply to most of these rules. Do not follow these at the cost of your comfort or life.

FOOD Etiquette:

  1. The last bite belongs to the person who is giving you a treat or sharing food.
  2. When a friend/colleague offers you some food, you can politely say No. But, don’t do this after tasting or smelling it. It’s an insult to the one who has offered it to you
  3. Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
  4. When someone treats you to lunch or dinner, don’t order the most expensive dish on the menu. If possible ask them to order their choice of food for you. Also, treat them the next time.
  5. Do not make noise while chewing or gulping water.
  6. If someone invites you for lunch or dinner to their home if possible help them do the clean-up or dishes.

PHONE Etiquette:

  1. Don’t call someone more than twice continuously. If they don’t pick up your call that means they have something more important to attend to.
  2. Always step outside to answer phone calls.
  3. Phone vibrations are better than loud ringtones.
  4. Younger people don’t like talking on the phone. They prefer texting. While there are exceptions during emergencies. Text first and ask if they can talk now.
  5. If someone shows you a photo on their phone, don’t swipe left or right. If they want to show what’s next, they’ll do it.
  6. Don’t call people on the phone very late if it’s not really important.
  7. If someone is wearing headphones, it is their way of saying leave me alone.

SOCIAL Etiquette:

  1. Return the borrowed vehicle fuelled up. If possible, clean and return it.
  2. Dress well no matter what the occasion.
  3. Always carry cash.
  4. Listen, nod and most of all make eye contact.
  5. Show restraint in expressing anger, no matter what. Being angry is a waste of energy.
  6. Never pose with alcohol.
  7. Ask more than you answer.
  8. Proper grammar will get you far in life. Leave the foul language for the less educated.
  9. You can tell a great deal about a person by their handshake, so make yours strong and firm.
  10. Speak honestly. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  11. If you see someone standing alone and away from other people, don’t walk all the way over to them and stand right next to them.
  12. Always skip using the washroom beside the occupied one. It makes it uneasy for the person in the occupied washroom as well as yourself if you occupy the one right next to theirs.
  13. Congratulate the happy and say “I’m so sorry” to the grieving and to anyone who mentions a problem or downturn in any conversation. You don’t need to say more than these words — just don’t say less.
  14. When someone drops something on the floor by mistake or drops food from the plate or doesn’t know how to use a knife/fork don’t stare at them.
  15. Return money that you have borrowed even before the other person remembers lending it to you. Be it 1Rs or 100Rs. It shows your integrity and character. The same goes for books, umbrellas, pens, and lunch boxes.
  16. Praise publicly. Criticize privately.
  17. Don’t ask awkward questions like ‘Oh so you aren’t married yet?’ Or ‘Don’t you have kids?’ or ‘Why didn’t you buy a house?’ For god’s sake, it isn’t your problem.
  18. Always open the door for the person coming behind you. Doesn’t matter if it is a guy or a girl. You don’t grow small by treating someone well in public.
  19. If you take a taxi with a friend, and he/she pays now, you pay next time.
  20. Respect different political, and religious opinions.
  21. Never interrupt people talking.
  22. If you tease someone, and they don’t seem to enjoy it, stop it and never do it again.
  23. Say “thank you” when someone is helping you.
  24. If you’re talking to someone and notice any of the following, they’re trying to end the conversation:
  25. Their eyes keep darting away.
  26. They angle their body away from you.
  27. They give you rapid one-word answers.
  28. There’s almost never a reason to comment on someone’s weight. Just say, “You look fantastic.” If they want to talk about losing weight, they will.
  29. If you’re getting a long flight or train, shower before. The person next to you will appreciate it.
  30. If someone tells you they have a doctor’s appointment, don’t ask what it’s for, just say hope you’re ok. If they want to talk about it they will and you don’t put them in the uncomfortable position of having to tell you their personal illness.
  31. Treat the cleaner with the same respect as the CEO. Nobody is impressed at how rudely you can treat someone below you but people will notice if you treat them with respect.
  32. If a person is speaking directly to you, staring at your phone is rude.
  33. Never give advice until you’re asked.
  34. Do not make plans in front of those you are not involved with.
  35. When meeting someone after a long time, unless they want to talk about it, don’t ask them their age and salary.
  36. When someone starts talking about their ailments, don’t start talking about yours.
  37. When someone you know has an obvious change in appearance, e.g., weight gain/loss, bald spot, acne. Never comment on it until they talk about it to you, they already know what is happening to them.
  38. Never kiss a baby that’s not yours.
  39. Mind your own business unless anything involves you directly — just stay out of it.
  40. Do not view every post on Facebook as an opportunity to argue/debate, even if does not conform to your views or beliefs.
  41. When in a public place, if you cannot find the trash/dustbin; the litter belongs to you. You can carry it in your pocket or bag. Even better you can avoid such a situation.
  42. Do NOT bargain from roadside vendors, they sell to live.
  43. Always ask before drinking water from someone else’s water bottle.
  44. When playing games with children, let them win.

Praveen Hanchinal

Praveen Hanchinal is an Educator, IT Consultant, Professional Speaker on Artificial Intelligence (AI, ML, DL), Cloud, Big Data, IoT (Internet of Things) and BlockChain. Have been working on AI, Cloud, Big Data, IoT technologies for 9.0 years. He is a Team Lead, Educator, IT Consultant, trains and gives talks on topics of his interest and educates people. Trained around 11000+ people which include teachers, students, industry professionals and government officials on recent technologies.

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