Mary Anna Thomas

21 Signs You Need to Work on Your Manners

Manners aren’t about out-of-date rules or stuffiness. They’re about consideration, respect, and creating a positive experience between one another. Here are 21 habits that might indicate it’s time to brush up on your manners.

Interrupting Constantly

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Most people consider not letting others finish their thoughts before jumping in bad manners. Active listening and patience show respect for the person speaking, and you should have your say once they have finished. 

Dominating Conversations

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Another aspect of communication that frustrates many people is when one person dominates a conversation and cannot speak. If this is you, be mindful of allowing others to share their thoughts.

Talking on Speakerphone in Public

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A study led by York University found that people become more annoyed when exposed to loud cell phone conversations than they do when hearing face-to-face conversations. Public spaces aren’t your personal conference room unless it’s an emergency, so you should keep conversations private. 

Chewing with Your Mouth Open

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Most people would agree that there’s nothing worse than seeing people chew with their mouths open. Not only is this visually disturbing, but the noises from smacking sounds can be distracting and unpleasant for others.

Leaving a Mess

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Not clearing up after yourself in restaurants, shared workspaces, or other people’s homes is gross and disrespectful.  You should always try to clean up after yourself and ask for help if needed. 

Consistently Being Late

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We are all late from time to time, but if you are always late, it shows disregard for the people you are meeting. It could be that you are setting unrealistic goals for yourself and overscheduling your day, which is something you should work on rather than impact the lives of others. 

Not Making Eye Contact

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Research by the University of Michigan shows that good eye contact opens and closes conversations and can make people feel more comfortable in your presence. When people deliberately avoid eye contact, they can come across as dishonest.

Using Rude or Offensive Language

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Slang is acceptable to use in casual settings around people familiar with you, but you should avoid using language that could be offensive to others. While some don’t mind hearing swear words, others feel it is the height of bad manners. 


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Gossiping about others is insensitive and can negatively affect someone more than you know.  Instead, you should focus on positive conversations and avoid spreading rumors about others.

Not Saying Thank People

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If people have gone to the effort of thinking about what gift to buy you or they have done something nice for you, the least you can do is to say “thank you.” You don’t have to buy expensive gifts; a few simple words go a long way. 

Not Holding the Door for Others

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Some say that holding a door open for someone is old-fashioned, but sometimes small gestures can brighten someone’s day. It takes a couple of seconds to hold the door open for someone, so try it next time you are in that position. 

Your Phone on the Table During Meals

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A study by revealed that 56.9% of Americans are addicted to their cell phones. This means that many people use their phones at meal times or leave them on the table while eating. It is good manners to silence your phone and avoid the temptation to check it constantly.

Talking Too Loudly

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Loud voices are intolerable for some, especially if they want peace while they can get it. Like loud phone calls, you should be mindful of the volume of your voice during everyday conversations. 

Not Offering to Help

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If you see someone struggling, it is polite to offer a helping hand. Simple acts of kindness can make a big difference in people’s lives, so try to say yes once in a while. The chances are it will make you feel good, too.

Taking More Than Your Share

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Whether at a buffet or sharing snacks on movie night, you should be mindful of taking only what you need. Greediness risks leaving others with nothing, which could lead to you not being asked to attend events because of your selfishness. 

Complaining Excessively

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Negativity can be draining for those who spend much time with you and will often rub off on them. Research by the American Psychiatric Association has shown that negative behaviors can lead to stress and low mood, so the sooner you address your complaints, the better. 

Blaming Others for Your Mistakes

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You let others down when you don’t take responsibility for your actions. It is rude not to own up to your mistakes, but even worse when it can get others into trouble. Owning up to your mistakes shows maturity and allows you to learn from them.

Not Putting Your Phone Away in a Movie Theater or Performance

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Cell phones are not just an issue at the dinner table; they also cause issues when people are at the theater. The bright screen and constant notifications can be disruptive to others. Who just wants to have a good night out? 

Public Displays of Affection (PDA)

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While some public displays of affection are fine, like holding hands or a quick kiss, others can be over the top. You should be mindful of where you are and avoid excessive PDAs that might make others feel awkward.


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Spitting in front of others in public is nauseating for most people. You should excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or get a tissue so you don’t make others uncomfortable. 

Failing to RSVP

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Failing to let people know if you will be attending their event or canceling on them at the last minute is disrespectful of their time and effort.  A prompt RSVP will take a few minutes, and if you are unsure, you can let them know your response may take some time. 

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