You know what? I am getting really tired of people not having any consideration for others. When I was a broody teenager who hated everyone, I just thought people were all stupid. As I've gotten older I have realized that it's not a matter of intelligence; it's a matter of courtesy, consideration, and compassion. Even the smartest among us don't always have a full awareness of their surroundings.
People generally lack this awareness, or they have just lost touch with what common courtesy means. Some people see every tiny, insignificant experience in life as a competition they have to win. They have to be first because they're in a bigger rush, their needs are more important, no one else in the world matters and everyone else can fend for themselves.
And if it's not that people are actively trying to stomp out their non-existent competition, it's that they just can't open their eyes wide enough to see anything or anyone outside of themselves. People don't necessarily intend to be jerks; they simply aren't aware of what's going on around them because their focus is faced inward.
It's got to stop.
Here are a few examples of people who are clearly only worried about themselves. And I'm writing this, yes, to make fun of people, but also to maybe help my readers become more aware of their own actions. At the end of the day these are just small mannerisms that don't make the perpetrator a bad person, but we can always improve.
Maybe you do these things and never thought it was a big deal. Maybe you do them and don't even realize it. Don't feel too bad if you do. You're obviously not alone, but perhaps this can help you think a bit about even the minute things you do and make small changes to improve and become a more courteous, considerate person.
1. Not holding the door
The etiquette to holding the door for others is tricky. You never want to be the person who holds the door open for a person who is a solid football field's length away and make the situation awkward for everyone involved. There's also that horrible situation where a large group of people is entering a building and if you decide to hold the door for one person, you've designated yourself as the door holder for the hundreds of people following them in. But a general rule that's good to follow is if you can see a person's shadow somewhere behind you, or if you glance back and the person behind you is just seconds from entering the building, hold the damn door, dude. Nothing sucks more than walking into a building a few feet behind someone and almost getting smacked in the face by the edge of the door because they couldn't at least give it a half-hearted push to keep it open for you.
Side note: Yeah, um, if someone does hold the door for you, it's not that hard to say "Thank you."
2. Blasting your music through your phone speaker in public
I choose to take public transportation to and from work for economical and environmental reasons, and there isn't a day that goes by where I don't see at least one fellow commuter decide that everyone else on the train needs to hear their crappy music. It's especially irritating when it's so loud that I can hear it through my own music playing on my headphones. And it's not like phone speakers are renowned for their quality, so even if they were playing good music, it's coming out in a muffled, garbled tone. It honestly makes me want to stand right next to them and blast my death metal music through my own phone until they get the picture.
Headphones exist for a reason, is what I'm saying.
3. Hanging out in entryways
Honestly, hanging out anywhere that's designed to be a thoroughfare is kind of a dick move. Especially if you decide then not to pay attention to who is coming and going.
Not a damn day goes by where I don't run into people who have decided the entrance to a bathroom is the best place to hang out and have a conversation with their friends. Or an elevator doorway. Or right in front of a vending machine that they aren't actually purchasing anything from. Just...hanging out.
And then they like to get annoyed when you politely say "Excuse me." Because, you know, you're the one causing an inconvenience by needing to get past them to whatever thing their hangout spot is actually meant to be used for.
And dude, if you're one of those people who gets to the top of an escalator, takes one step off, and then stops and stands there to take a look around to find friends or whatever place it is you need to go from there, I honestly hope your next escalator trip results in your shoelaces getting snagged in the step and having your shoes shredded off your feet. People can literally die in escalator accidents. Have some friggin' courtesy.
4. Having no concept of lines
This one seems obvious and most people can agree that when you're in line at the store or a bank or wherever, a line cutter is going to be judged harshly by everyone else who is waiting. It doesn't happen much among adults so it's not that common, but one thing I notice a lot is people cutting in invisible lines.
A bank or store line is obvious, sometimes even defined by ropes or floor signals, but what about places where a formal line doesn't exist?
I'll use public transportation again as an example. On Denver's light rail train, the train stops have markings on the ground that show where the doors of the train will align when it arrives at its stop. While there aren't ropes or lines drawn on the ground, it's kind of just assumed that lines will naturally form behind those markings for the door. Almost every single day, I'll be standing directly behind that marking waiting for the train, and people naturally line up behind me. There will be an informal line formed at every door marking--six or so spots--waiting for the train. Without fail, at least once on my trip to or from work, when the train pulls up, some jerk who was just wandering around the train platform waiting for the train to arrive will cut right in front of everyone to get on the train before everyone else who was waiting in line and it almost makes my head explode. It's so indicative of a me first attitude.
5. Walking like a moron
Just to clear the air and have some sensitivity, I understand there are people with disabilities of all kinds who might walk slower than others, or have a limp or a wide gait or a multitude of other challenges and I never, ever want to make fun of those folks.
I'm really referring to people who are usually texting or watching a video on their phone, walking at an inconsistent speed, veering off to either side of the sidewalk, and making it impossible for someone walking behind them to get around them. It's totally a lack of awareness of their surroundings, and I would be lying if I said I don't laugh my guts out every time I see someone like that trip or walk into a pole.
6. Taking up the whole pathway
This is totally in the same realm as the last one, but my god, people.
If my partner and I are walking our dogs side-by-side on the pathway at the park and see another person coming either toward us or from behind us, we almost instinctively form a single file with one of us walking behind the other to make room for the stranger heading our way. Way, waaay too many people think it's perfectly acceptable to continue walking in their group, forcing another person walking to either walk off the sidewalk and into the grass or onto the street, or in the case of a hallway, into a doorway or squished up against a wall so the group can get by.
It's insane. You don't have to stand directly next to someone you're walking with at all times.
7. Driving like a moron
I don't have a whole lot of patience for people who suck at driving because I really don't think people appreciate how dangerous cars and car accidents can be. I wrote a whole article about texting and driving, so I won't even get into that here because people who choose to text and drive are straight up terrible human beings unworthy of even being made fun of.
The me first attitude is extremely obvious with crap drivers. Cutting people off or, worse, refusing to let people over, slamming on your brakes because you missed your exit, making a right turn from the left lane, etc., etc., are all examples of people only thinking about themselves and what's most convenient for them, everyone else be damned.
Knock it off. Calm down. Keep your eyes open. Have consideration for others. It's not that hard.
8. Making everyone wait
I won't even go into the cliche of the old lady at the grocery store holding up the line by taking her time writing a check. Just as it's important to be aware of your surroundings, it's also important to have patience with people and question what your rush is anyway.
But some people do things that really push the notion that they don't care about holding other people up.
Just yesterday, at the train station (I'm apparently always at the train station), I was walking up to the little stand where I scan my bus pass so I can get on the train. There's only one stand where you can scan your pass, and sometimes a line forms, and that's fine. That happens. But yesterday as I was walking up, there was no line, but there was a woman standing somewhat close to the scanner and digging in her backpack that was still strapped to her back. She was clearly trying to find her pass, but somehow didn't think taking her backpack off to make it easier to find the pass would be faster. As she saw me walking up to the scanner, she decided to cut me off and stand directly in front of the scanner so I couldn't use it while also continuing to dig in her bag for a solid two more minutes to find her pass. I and the line that formed behind me could have all scanned our passes and been out of her way by the time she finally found her pass. She didn't apologize for being a jerk. In fact, she sneered and rolled her eyes at each new person that joined the line.
Just...move out of the way if you're having issues in this regard. Be proactive. Make sure you have your money, ticket, pass, iwhatever it is you need ready to go before you get in the line so you don't make everyone else's morning more frustrating.
9. Acting like you own the grocery store
I get a lot of anxiety about going grocery shopping in general because of the sheer number of people who are bound to be there. If I could, I'd go shopping in the middle of the night, but because I'm an adult who works during normal business hours, this really isn't possible.
It doesn't help that every single time I go, there are people who are blocking the aisle with their carts, flying out from the end of an aisle without looking to see if other people are coming, stopping abruptly after realizing they forgot to get those cookies that are on sale, or ramming me in the Achilles tendon with their cart because they aren't watching where they're going.
As with most things in life, people just need to calm down and be aware of other people and their general surroundings.