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Social Etiquette Situations In Bad Manners, Habits And Attitudes

Updated on August 24, 2013
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Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

Social Manners or Etiquette

During our lifetime we encounter certain behavior in our friends, family members, acquaintances and strangers that we abhor or find very annoying. These are some very common behaviors that we sometimes ignore. These behaviors define our social etiquette or social manners.

Please feel free to participate in the pole and make your comments.

Do you find this behavior annoying?

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1 - Someone talking to you while you use the toilet.

Some persons like to lock themselves away when doing number one or two. They may find it difficult to perform the bathroom duties while interacting with someone else. If it is a family member or spouse it might not be so bad but when a co-worker or someone you barely know does it, the situation can become quite uncomfortable. Is it good social etiquette to talk to someone through the bathroom door when they are performing this act?

Nine out of ten persons including males and females find this behavior uncomfortable.

Are you okay with someone talking to you while you take a shower?

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2 - Someone talking to you while you take a shower.

This one is also tricky. All the females I asked said if their spouse or children do it, they have no problem, but a co-worker (if you have to shower after work) does it, or a gym member (assuming you do it at the gym) does it, then it's quite uncomfortable. This acts defines social bad manners.

Five males said not uncomfortable so long as it is a female. Two females said uncomfortable with unknown males and three females declared uncomfortable with either male or female acquaintances or strangers. All ten persons are okay with family members or spouse.


Are you affected by this behavior?

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3 - Incessant coughing (while you eat, at the dinner table, at a restaurant or on the bus or train)

This might define table manners or dining etiquette. But social etiquette might come into play here if you are at a restaurant. This is also a varying situation and also very difficult to avoid. People are understanding of other persons and tolerate them thus. While doing my survey I found that people were considering how the person with the cold felt rather than himself. So I ask how do you feel about it?

Here is the situation. You are at a restaurant enjoying your meal and the person at the next table has a hacking incessant cough. Does it bother you?

If you are on the bus sitting beside someone with this hacking cough, do you feel uncomfortable enough to move away?

Five of the ten persons who participated in the survey felt uncomfortable with this behavior.


Are you okay with someone talking directly in your face?

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4 - Someone talking directly in your face ( you can smell their breath or feel their spittle on you)

Definitely bad social manners or bad social etiquette. This is one of the most common behavior. Children tend to do it a lot, but not as annoying as when two people are arguing and one feels that they need to really confront the other.

All ten persons interviewed hated this behavior.

Do you get sick to the stomach seeing phlegm on the pavement?

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5 - Seeing someone spit on the pavement or seeing phlegm after someone left it there

I really don't know where to place this one, is it a sanitary issue or bad social behavior? Probably the most common of them all. General saliva might not be so bad but coughing up a lump of cold and letting it go on the pavement might be another matter.

All ten persons I interviewed felt mortified at seeing this on the pavement.

Are you uncomfortable with someone drinking from your glass or picking food off your plate?

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6 - Someone picking food from your plate or drinking from the glass you are drinking from

This is definitely bad manners and bad dining etiquette. Not a very common behavior but friends tend to want to do it at times especially when at a bar or something. They might be drunk or thinking that you won't mind. One of the things associated with this is bar nuts, where everyone eat from the same bowl. Buffets are also famous for people picking out food with their hands, but this is not the same, as your plate belongs to you and maybe you feel violated when someone who is not your spouse or a family member pick food from your plate or have some of your drink.

Eight out of ten said no to the plate but all ten said no to the drinking part.

Do you mind someone drinking directly from the milk or juice carton/bottle?

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7 - Drinking directly from the juice or milk carton/bottle in the fridge

This is very common in teens. These boys think that all the milk and juice from the fridge only belong to them or they don't want their siblings getting any. I define this as a sanitary issue.

Most families don't mind this because they are close and maybe they all do it at times.

As far as my survey went all ten persons interviewed disliked this behavior.

Are you okay being interupted while making your point?

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8 - Interrupting you while you try to make a point (talking)

Bad etiquette or lack of it thereof, bad social manners. We all have little habits and we all argue, have discussions and talk. There are times when we also need to listen when others are trying to speak or make their case. Some of us often want our voice to be heard first. Common courtesy is that you allow the other person to finish before speaking.

Six out of ten said they found it annoying. Four admitted they don't mind as they themselves do it at times.

Are you annoyed being called away during a meal?

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9 - Interupt you unnecessarily during a meal

You are having lunch and your neighbor calls you to ask you if you know the price of sugar. Okay so the question might be necessary at the time but there are instances that actions are quite unnecessary this is one of them.

Eight out of ten persons who did the survey do mind if they are interrupted for any reason during a meal.

How do you feel about people reading your personal stuff?

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10 - Reading someones diary, notebook, letter, email or any other personal items.

Reading someones mail is a federal offense. Going through a diary is a personal offense. Please do not read letters, notes, memos or even receipts that do not belong to you. Marriages often have problems when wives go through their husbands stuff including searching through their cell phone messages.

If you want to build a rift between you and your child then go ahead a read her diary. On the other hand reading her diary may save her from some pain and heartache even her life. Emails are varied as you do not want your child being the victim of some online pedophile so it may be okay to read their emails. Doing so with and an adult is a different matter as this is downright nosy.

All ten persons who participate in this survey abhorred the idea of someone reading their personal stuff.

Do you mind being asked who were talking to on the phone?

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11 - Asking you who was on the phone

Another common behavior that we adopt is asking who you have been talking to on the phone. When your husband or wife ask the question it might be okay, but we all need some space at times. We all need to feel that we are free independent individuals who want to do our own thing.

It is very annoying to have to answer to people all the time about personal issues like who were talking to on the phone. This is definitely your business not theirs.

I am not sure if this a culture issue but all of the ten persons I spoke to about this do not like being ask who they were talking to on the phone. They even disliked their spouse questioning them about it.

Do you mind someone enter your home without you being there?

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12 - Entering your house without permission

If you were out and left the door unlocked but closed, would you mind if your neighbor came in to get some sugar or sit on the sofa watching tv until you came home? What if a co-worker came to visit and you were not home, should they come in and have a seat or go away? If the police came because they are investigating some crime or other, could they come in to look around?

This might be uncommon but I actually know people who do this, both police and civilians.

100% of persons surveyed answered no way to this.

Do you mind univited or unannounced visits?

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13 - Stopping by uninvited

Imagine you and your partner getting ready to have a nice romantic dinner for two. It's eight o'clock at night and you have not had this time together in a long time. You both have no plans and did not invite anyone over. The door bel rings and your friend from work said they were just in the neighborhood and thought they would give you a surprise.

A neighbor a few blocks down drops in every time you have a family gathering or just in time for dinner every time.

Nine persons out of ten said they absolutely minded people dropping by uninvited or unannounced. One person said it depends on the situation.

What do you say?

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14 - Washing your hair or clothes in the kitchen sink

This one is a matter of personal preferences. It's a sink with water just like any other sink, some may say. Other may say we need boundaries for food and personal hygiene. What do you say?

Out of ten 5 persons say no way to hair and clothing in the kitchen. Two persons were not sure and Three persons said maybe they don't if there is no where else to do them, so long as they wash the sink out afterwards.


Are you annoyed seeing someone pick at their teeth or nose?

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15 - Picking your nose or teeth in public

You are in the supermarket and next to you stands a man or woman with their finger in their nose just digging away.

You are at a restaurant and sitting across from you someone decides to use their fingernails to pick food from their teeth.

All ten persons who did this survey agreed that these actions are grotesque.

Are you annoyed when someone wakes you up unnecessarily

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16 - Awakening someone unnecessarily

You are taking a well needed nap and your adult son wakes you up to tell you that he just bought a pair of shoes. You neighbor wakes you up just to chit chat about nothing in particular or the phone rings and it's a prank caller.

All ten persons interviewed hate being woken up unnecessarily.

Do you find this behavior disgusting?

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17 - Blowing their nose in their clothing

This might not be common in some places but I see this often. Someone using the tail of their t-shirt to let it rip in can be so disgusting. A child doing it might not seem so bad but when and adult does it, the effect is quite different.

Ten out of ten person find this behavior really disgusting.


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