15 Unspoken Rules of Life You Don’t Want to Learn Too Late

It’s shocking how many people don’t understand some of the most basic rules of life. Whether it involves common courtesy or a hard lesson, some people need to learn these basic unwritten aspects of life.

It may be as simple as letting people off an elevator or learning how to manage relationships, but there are aspects of life we all learn at some point. These are some of the unspoken rules people have learned too late in their lives.

1. Don’t Block a Hallway With a Conversation

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Have you ever been walking down a hallway, whether in a grocery store or the office and come across people having a conversation and blocking the walkway? How frustrating is it when they’re oblivious to you trying to get by and keep their conversation going as you try to squeeze past?

Don’t be these people. Be aware of your surroundings. Let people pass when you’re in a tight space. You don’t want to be the person people talk about behind your back.

2. Let the People in the Elevator Get Off Before You Get on

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How annoying is it when you’re on a packed elevator, and you get to your floor only to find a group of people trying to get in? How are people supposed to get out when several people are trying to shove their way into the elevator?

Let’s make this a law: You must let the exiting elevator passengers off before you try to board. This also applies to people trying to exit the plane who are seated behind you.

3. Use Headphones When Listening to Music in Public

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No one wants to listen to your music in a public space. I’m sure you have phenomenal taste in indie rock. However, everyone is miserable on the subway and doesn’t want to hear your music bleeding into their headphones.

This also applies to conversations on speakerphone. Save that conversation for when you’re alone, or buy some headphones. They’re not that expensive these days.

4. When Co-Workers Greet You, Greet Them

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I get it. It’s Monday, and your coffee hasn’t hit you yet, but if co-workers can greet you with a smile, you can send one back. They might be miserable, too, but they at least have the decency to be polite.

Muster up a smile and make some small talk, and it might help you start your day on the right foot.

5. Give the Courtesy Wave on the Road

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The highway can be a lawless place. When the cops aren’t patrolling, it is up to us to retain order on the road. That being said, if another driver lets you merge, pulls out in front of you, or gives you the right of way, provide them with the courtesy wave.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s a basic gesture of acknowledgment that you appreciate the other driver’s decency. Failure to provide the courtesy wave is a slap in the face to your fellow drivers.

6. Return Your Shopping Cart

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There’s nothing more frustrating than pulling into a busy parking lot and finding an open spot, only to find a rogue shopping cart in the way. The grocery store provides cart corrals where you can return your cart.

These corrals make it easier for employees to grab the carts and return them to the entrance. This is a hard job, and it may be hot outside. Stop making it harder for these workers trying to do their jobs.

7. You Can’t Make Everyone Like You

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This might be a hard pill to swallow for some. But the truth is, as you get older, a lot of people might not like you, and that’s okay. As long as you are respectful to them, you don’t need to be friends. Everyone has different points of view and values that might not align with others.

Trying too hard to make others like you can only push them away even more. Instead, if you need to for work, try to co-exist and not butt heads.

8. Always Leave a Buffer Space When Possible

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This applies in many situations. But, if applicable, always leave a buffer space between you and a stranger when in public. This means leaving a chair space when sitting in a waiting room or movie theater, leaving a urinal between two people in public restrooms, or giving someone adequate space when in line.

Especially with the new threat of pandemic viruses, this is always a common sense practice when among strangers.

9. Be Nice to Food Workers/Customer Service Workers

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I believe that everyone should work in the customer service industry for a little while. Not only is it one of the most stressful jobs in the world, but it also exposes you to a lot of people who think they’re better than you.

Luckily, with the rise of “Karens,” a term used to describe angry customers who treat these workers poorly, these industry workers are getting more respect. Still, these jobs can be rough, and we should try to be more respectful to those in these occupations.

10. A Small Circle of Close Friends is Better than Being Popular

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Everyone wants to be popular in high school. Having a large group of friends instantly made you one of the coolest kids in school. But what happens when you grow up and everyone starts going their own ways? That’s when you realize who your real friends are.

Today, I have four or five friends I consider family, and I wouldn’t give them up for anything.

11. There are No Guarantees in Life

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One of the first lessons I learned after college is that adulthood is scary. You’re no longer under the umbrella of college or your parents anymore. You’re now in charge of earning enough to pay for your personal bills.

How will you pay for everything? It’s up to you to figure it out. Everyone else is surviving, and you can figure out a way to do it, too.

12. Walk Away from Toxic Relationships

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One of the hardest lessons you will learn as a young adult is that you need to cut off toxic relationships to maintain your mental health. This could be your childhood best friend or your high school sweetheart.

There might be a time when these people you were once close to are no longer helping you thrive. Saying goodbye to them is going to be rough, but you’ll undoubtedly develop row healthier relationships that will help guide you on your path to success instead of slowly bringing you down.

13. Clean Up After Your Dog

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Most people love dogs. Even if you are not a pet owner, you might enjoy greeting the many dogs walking through the park. But the last thing you want to stumble across is the remains of a dog doing their business in the public grass. As a dog owner, you’re responsible for picking up after your pet.

Don’t be the owner who looks the other way as your dog uses the bathroom in the park. Please carry a plastic bag and clean up after your furry friends.

14. You’re Never Too Old to Start Over

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It might seem too late in life for a career change, but in reality, making a change in your life to improve it is never off the table. You can always take classes at the local community college or online courses to learn a new skill.

Bettering yourself, despite your age or standing in your employment, might help you catch the eyes of your boss and earn that promotion you’ve wanted.

15. Some Fights Aren’t Worth It

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I remember a point in my life when I would argue with both friends and strangers about random topics. The older I get, the more I let things roll off my back.

If it’s a trivial topic, there is no point in trying to change your opponent’s mind. You’re wasting your time and your breath trying to sway another person’s point of view.

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