We all live by certain social norms and rules that help us maintain harmony in our daily interactions. These unspoken social rules are like a secret code of conduct that guides us on how to treat others and be treated in return.
Here are 10 invaluable unspoken social rules that can make your everyday life a lot smoother shared by Kenyan author Kendi Muthomi, who has an MSc in social awareness.
Respect Different Opinions
Remember the old adage: “What’s 6 to you may appear 9 to someone facing you.” In other words, respect diverse perspectives, and always be open to a second opinion. A healthy exchange of ideas can lead to valuable insights and mutual understanding.
Hold the Door Open
Whether you’re entering or leaving a building, always hold the door for the person coming behind you. This simple act of courtesy knows no gender, age, or hierarchy. It’s a small gesture that goes a long way in showing respect and empathy.
Time is a valuable commodity. When you set a time, make sure to be punctual. Respect other people’s schedules because, for many, time is money. Good time management reflects professionalism and consideration for others.
Praise Publicly, Criticize Privately
This rule is all about diplomacy. When someone deserves praise, do it publicly to boost their morale. On the flip side, if you have criticism, save it for a private, constructive conversation. Publicly shaming or criticizing others rarely leads to positive outcomes.
Avoid Commenting on Weight
A person’s weight is a sensitive topic. Instead of commenting on weight, offer compliments like, “You look fantastic.” If they wish to discuss their weight, they’ll do so when they feel comfortable.
Be Thoughtful About Health
When a colleague mentions a doctor’s appointment, don’t inquire about their ailment. Instead, express your concern with, “I hope you’re okay.” This respects their privacy while showing empathy.
Stay Present in Conversations
When someone is talking to you, put away your phone. It’s a sign of respect and attentiveness. Eye contact is equally important as what you say.
Don’t Offer Unsolicited Advice
Unless someone explicitly asks for advice, refrain from giving it. Giving unsolicited advice can come across as intrusive. Offer your guidance only when requested.
Don’t Ask About Personal Details
When reuniting with someone after a long time, avoid prying questions about their age, salary, or other personal matters. Let them decide what they want to share.
Mind Your Business
If a situation doesn’t directly concern you, stay out of it. Meddling in others’ affairs can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.