Although it’s more convenient to travel using private means, the truth is that circumstances will force you to use public transportation from time to time. Whichever means you are using, it’s always good to be conscious of your surroundings. You don’t want to carry yourself in a way that can aggravate other people or make their travel experience an unpleasant one. This is what etiquette is all about.
Since you are sharing personal space with others, try to be considerate. Even if you are seated next to a window, don’t just yank it open when the vehicle is moving at a high speed. However tired you are, don’t nod off on the next person’s shoulder. These are just examples of things that one would consider mundane but they are really not.
Try not to be the person no one wants to sit next to. Even when someone else is rude to you, don’t mirror their behavior. You are dealing with people you probably will never see again. So, try to make your one and only encounter with them a nice one. Of course, sometimes there may be a clash of cultures but there are certain things expected of you that are universal.
Here are ten gentleman’s etiquette tips on public and public vehicles:
- Respect other people’s personal space
Personal space is precious, especially in public transport. In most cases, when you invade such a space, you are likely to be greeted with a variety of reactions, including anger, discomfort or even anxiety. In order to be considered a gentleman, you must always consider other people’s feelings before you take certain actions. Unless you really have to get close to another person’s space, keep your distance. Even when space is very limited, you can always find a way to make those next to you feel comfortable.
- Know where to sit and when
When it comes to picking seats, there are certain rules that you should be aware of. For example, if you take the aisle seat before someone has taken the window seat, you will be denying others the opportunity to sit by the window. Although one might explain that they want it to be easier to move out when they reach their destination, it still does cause some inconvenience. Also, you can’t deprive others of a seat by placing your luggage on it.
- Offer your sit to someone who needs it more
This is something that most of us are taught in our younger years. If there is a person who, for one reason or another, does not have the capacity to stand, it’s always a good gesture to offer your seat to them even if they don’t ask. It really looks bad when you are seated comfortably with an elderly person standing. Even if they turn your offer down, just the fact that you gave it is all that counts. A gentleman should ignore those around him.
- Have your travel card or cash ready in advance
Before you leave the house, get your fare or travel card from your wallet and put it where you can easily find it. You don’t want to hold up other people while trying to find your card. Make sure you know where your travel essentials are to avoid inconveniencing other people. If you have been given a promo code for new users by a taxi service, memorize or write it down where you can easily see it to save time once you hit the road. Nothing is more annoying than being on a queue behind someone who can’t seem to find whatever they are looking for.
- Don’t play your music loud
If you want to be listening to some music for the duration of your commute, you can’t just blast your music directly without headphones. Not everyone wants to hear your music and even someone wants to hear some music, they may not share the same preferences with you. To avoid aggravating other people, invest in quality headphones. Whatever you do, make sure only you can hear the music you are playing.
- Have some patience
You will be astonished at the lack of patience displayed by people in vehicles. Even if you are tired after a very long commute, don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you. Whether you are getting in or out of the vehicle, you don’t need to wrestle and jostle with other people just to be the first one. A gentleman stays patient as he waits for his turn.
- Personal hygiene
In such limited space, it is good to ensure that your hygiene level is on point. The best way to avoid making other people feel uncomfortable is by wearing deodorant. However, that doesn’t mean that you douse yourself with a whole bottle of perfume before getting into a vehicle. Strong scents are not only offensive to other people, but they can cause a lot of distress for people who may be allergic to them.
- Avoid eating smelly stuff
This might seem pretty obvious but not to everyone. Eating something smelly can be offensive to other people. In some cultures, eating on a public transport vehicle is considered normal. However, it’s always good to avoid it altogether just to avoid offending someone.
- Don’t step on seats
Even if the vehicle is half empty, you should always avoid stepping on seats. No one will want to sit on a seat that you have made dirty. When you step on them when you have your shoes on, it makes it even worse.
- Avoid talking loudly over the phone
Just like you shouldn’t play loud music, you should not bother everyone else with loud phone conversations. People love a quiet commute and your loud talking can be really offensive. In fact, if you could just text rather than call, it would be better.
Your behavior on a public or private vehicle has a bearing on the comfort of those around you. That is why it is important that you try to make everyone else’s trip as pleasant as possible. While you can’t control other people’s behavior, you definitely can control yours.
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