Andrew Parker

20 Behaviors That Signal a Lack of Class

Being classy isn’t just about looking sharp because you’ve got to act the part, too. But, sometimes, the smallest actions can tell the biggest stories about us, for better or for worse. Here are 25 “harmless” things people do that tell others they haven’t got any class. Don’t feel embarrassed if you do any of them, just fix things before it’s too late.

Keep It Down

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We’ve had those times when we’re sat in a quiet cafe, trying to enjoy our coffee, when someone starts shouting into their phone like they’re on the other side of the planet. It’s pretty annoying. It also tells everyone that this person doesn’t understand how to be considerate of other people, so keep your voice down in public to show people you respect them.

The Magic Words

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Not saying “please” and “thank you” might seem like no big deal, but these words are far more important than you might think. These phrases make people feel appreciated and show them you’re not taking anyone for granted. Use them as much as you can because it’s an easy way to appear a little classier.

Hold Your Horse

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Don’t interrupt somebody while they’re talking because it comes across as though you think only your words are important. True class means giving other people the room to express themselves and that you value their thoughts as much as your own. Let’s be honest, that’s a pretty classy way to be.

Mind the Bubble

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Invading someone’s personal space is an easy way to make them feel uncomfortable and show that you lack any awareness. Everyone should understand that everyone else has their own comfort zone, and stepping into it without an invitation is a no-go. Keeping your distance shows other people you care about their comfort.

Watch Your Mouth

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Dropping swear words left and right might feel like you’re just expressing yourself, but it can come across as careless or even rude. When you speak clearly and politely, you’re showing that you’re sharp enough to find better words to express your emotions. After all, clean language is always in style.

Dress Code

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Showing up to a wedding in shorts or a formal dinner in flip-flops is a big mistake. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for each occasion so people understand you’re aware of social cues and that you want to match the setting, not upstage it. Everyone’s got to make an effort to make an event special.

Lend a Hand

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If you see someone struggling with a heavy bag or door, you should offer them a hand. Why? Because if you don’t, it comes across as self-centered. These small acts of kindness are huge when it comes to being classy, as they show you’re paying attention and you care about other people.

Phone Etiquette

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No matter how important your incoming messages are, don’t keep looking at your phone during a conversation. It kills the vibe and makes the other person feel less important, so stash your phone away to show them some respect. There’s nothing classier than telling someone you’re listening to them.


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It doesn’t matter if it’s a “yes” or a “no” because a quick reply to an RSVP shows respect for the other person. It’ll let them manage their event and show you value the time and effort they’ve put into organizing everything. Plus, it takes just a few seconds to do it. Do you want them to think you’ve better things to do?

Show Some Appreciation

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Likewise, leaving a tip is the perfect way to tell a service worker that you’re grateful for their work, no matter if it’s at a restaurant or in a taxi. Skipping a tip can come off as ungrateful, especially in places where service workers rely on them, and that’s classless. Even a small tip can make a big difference.

Keep It Kind

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It’s easy to think that making a little joke at someone’s expense is no big deal, but making fun of other people can sting. Instead, why not be the person who’s going to lift others up with your words? When you choose kindness, you set yourself apart as someone who’s genuinely nice to be around, and that’s always classy.

Chew Quietly

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Nobody enjoys hearing the sounds of someone chewing while they’re eating, and it’s a huge sign that they haven’t got any class. If you keep your mouth closed while you eat, you’re doing everyone at the table a favor because it’s a sign of being considerate. Chewing quietly is just basic manners.

Stop the Gossip

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During the moment, yes, gossiping does seem fun, but it’s often mean and can damage your reputation. People trust and respect people who talk about ideas instead of about others, so it’s a good idea to steer clear of spreading rumors. Keep your conversations positive, and everyone will know you’re classy.

Own Your Mistakes

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Admitting when you’re wrong is very powerful, and it’s not just because you’re clearing the air. It shows other people you value your relationships more than your pride. Being genuine is a sign of maturity, and it’ll also keep your relationships healthy. You don’t want to be the person people hate to be around.

Hygiene Matters

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Of course, good hygiene is good for keeping up appearances, but it also shows others that you respect them as well as yourself. Being neat and clean makes a great impression, and best of all? It makes you feel good about yourself. It doesn’t matter where you are because showing up fresh and tidy says you’re reading to take on the day.

Don’t Argue Over Everything

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It’s always good to have an opinion, but knowing when to let things slide is much more important, as not every disagreement needs to turn into a debate. Keep things chill and back off so that things stay peaceful. It’s cool to share your thoughts, but it’s even cooler to know when to just let things be.

Look Them in the Eye

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When you make eye contact, you’re telling the other person that you’re confident and that you’re listening to them. It shows you’re engaged and reassures them that you’re genuinely interested in what you say. Valuing other people is a huge sign of being classy, and this is one of the easiest ways to do this.

Conversation, Not Competition

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A conversation is a two-way street where everyone is meant to share, and it’s not an opportunity for you to overshadow other people with your voice. Give everyone a chance to speak, and you’ll create a space where people’s ideas can grow. You want to respect and value what other people have to say as much as your own thoughts.

Time is Precious

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Being late is a huge red flag, and it tells people that you don’t care about their time. Of course, if it’s a one-off and completely out of your hands, that’s fine, but doing it every single time? Not so cool. Being on time is one of those things that says a lot about you, and it doesn’t require much effort.

Less is More

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Sarcasm can make a conversation more interesting, but you should use it sparingly. If you’re too sarcastic, you risk hurting someone’s feelings and coming off as unkind, which is completely classless. Know the limits and make sure that everyone’s in on the joke together.

Making Connections

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When you introduce people to each other, you’re showing that you value them, and you want to include them right from the start. Proper introductions will help you to break the ice and set the stage for new relationships by helping everyone to feel comfortable. Honestly, what could be classier than that?

Don’t Be a Taker

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Being classy means giving and receiving equally in every part of your life. We’re not just talking about material things, as it’s just as important to reciprocate with your time and attention, too. Balancing giving with receiving stops anyone from feeling shortchanged, and that’s pretty important if you want people to think you’re classy.

Everyone’s Different 

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Having your own views is cool, but so is listening to what other people have to say. Respecting other people’s perspectives can open your eyes and grow your own worldview. So, the next time someone shares their thoughts, give them the floor because you might learn something new.

Taking It Gracefully

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Feedback can sting, but don’t forget that it’s there to help you. Whenever someone’s trying to give you some advice, take it with a smile and see it as a chance for improvement. It shows you understand you’re not perfect and lets other people know that you’re a class act person. After all, being thoughtful is always a good thing.

Stick to Your Word

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If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you follow through because keeping promises shows people you’re reliable. It doesn’t matter what you’re committing to because being someone people can trust is a huge sign of being classy. Plus, it feels great knowing that people consider you the “dependable one.”

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