16 Common Etiquette Rules No One Wants To Follow Anymore

Etiquette rules—those pesky guidelines that society imposes on us, dictating how we should behave in various situations. But what if some of these rules just don’t sit right with you? We’ve delved into the depths of social media to uncover the common etiquette rules that leave people scratching their heads, rolling their eyes, and sometimes outright rebelling.

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#1 Snagging the Last Piece

Everyone loves pizza. Close-up top view of young people taking a slice of pizza each.
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“Not taking the last piece of food on a sharing platter. The number of times I’ve seen a perfectly good piece of garlic bread go cold and get thrown away…”

The unwritten rule of leaving the last piece of food untouched on a sharing platter may seem polite, but it often results in wasted deliciousness. Why let that last piece of garlic bread languish when it could be savored? It’s a rebellion against food waste disguised as etiquette, and some just can’t bear to watch perfectly good bites go to waste.

#2 Relative Wedding Invites

girls celebrating a bachelorette party of bride
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“Inviting all your relatives to your wedding. Some relatives don’t even care if I’m getting married but sure will be offended if I don’t invite them.”

Navigating the treacherous waters of wedding guest lists becomes even more complicated when it comes to inviting distant relatives. While some may argue for the sake of family harmony, others question the necessity of inviting relatives who barely know the bride or groom. It’s a delicate dance of balancing familial obligations with personal preferences—a wedding etiquette conundrum that leaves many scratching their heads.

#3 Elbow Placement Predicament

Side view of girl eating cactus with fork and knife at the dinner table.
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“I have a real hard time with the keep your elbows off the table rule.”

The age-old etiquette rule of keeping elbows off the table may seem arbitrary to some. After all, what’s so offensive about resting your weary arms while enjoying a meal? It’s a rebellion against table manners that refuses to bow to outdated etiquette norms, proving that sometimes, comfort trumps tradition.

#4 Eye Contact Enigma

Man with his chin down and eyes into the camera, looking angry.
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“I’ve always struggled with eye contact. People seem to think that if I’m not staring at their eyes that I’m not paying attention. It’s usually the opposite. When I focus so much on maintaining eye contact I have more trouble retaining what they said. Plus it feels really awkward and almost confrontational.”

For many, the expectation of unwavering eye contact during conversations feels more like a battle of wills than a genuine connection. Contrary to popular belief, avoiding eye contact doesn’t equate to disinterest—it’s often a matter of personal comfort and cognitive processing. So, next time someone looks away mid-conversation, cut them some slack—they’re just trying to listen without feeling like they’re in a staring contest.

#5 Love Confessions Stigma

Back view of man with flowers behind back holding hands of girlfriend
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“A girl shouldn’t tell a boy that she likes him, otherwise she might seem like a s***. Why?”

Cultural norms surrounding love and romance can be suffocating, particularly when they perpetuate harmful stereotypes and double standards. The expectation that women shouldn’t express their feelings for fear of being labeled negatively is not only outdated, but also damaging. It’s a rebellion against societal expectations that seeks to empower individuals to express their emotions freely, without fear of judgment or condemnation.

#6 Salary Secrecy

Portrait of a man / young, cool, trendy content attractive handsome reckless careless carefree guy wearing checked shirt throwing money away wealth isolated over pink pastel background. Cash.
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“To not discuss your salary.”

The taboo surrounding salary discussions in the workplace can perpetuate inequalities and hinder transparency. By shrouding salary information in secrecy, employers maintain control over wage negotiations and obscure disparities between employees. It’s a rebellion against corporate opacity, advocating for open dialogue and accountability when it comes to compensation.

#7 Age Respect Rejection

Happy adult woman with wine glass talking to senior mother
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“Age requires respect.”

While respecting elders is a time-honored tradition in many cultures, blind reverence based solely on age can be problematic. Age doesn’t automatically equate to wisdom or deserving respect—it’s earned through actions and character. It’s a rebellion against ageism, challenging the notion that respect should be granted unconditionally based on the number of years someone has lived.

#8 Wedding Gift Giving

Brown Gift Box
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“That a gift must still be sent for a wedding you do not attend.”

The expectation of sending a gift for a wedding you’re unable to attend can feel like an unnecessary financial burden. While the sentiment behind gift-giving is appreciated, some argue that the obligation to send a present regardless of attendance feels more like a transaction than a genuine gesture of goodwill. It’s a rebellion against societal norms that dictate gift-giving etiquette, challenging the idea that attendance and gifts must always go hand in hand.

#9 Thank You Card Tradition

Thank You text.
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“Writing Thank you cards. I did them for my wedding and when my children were born, but I’m not writing thank you cards for birthday presents, when I’ve shown gratitude in person or over the phone.”

In an age of digital communication, the tradition of handwritten thank you cards can feel outdated and laborious. While expressing gratitude is important, some question the necessity of penning lengthy notes when a heartfelt thank you in person or over the phone suffices. It’s a rebellion against formalities that prioritize tradition over genuine appreciation, advocating for more authentic modes of expressing thanks.

#10 Family Gathering Pressure

Happy Family Celebrating Thanksgiving Day Home. Dinner.
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“The pressure to attend and remain engaged in family gatherings for multiple hours without retreating from the group or just leaving when you’ve had enough.”

Navigating lengthy family gatherings can be draining, especially for introverts or those with busy schedules. The expectation to remain engaged and present for extended periods can feel suffocating, leaving some longing for an escape route. It’s a rebellion against societal norms that prioritize social obligations over individual well-being, advocating for the freedom to set personal boundaries and prioritize self-care.

#11 Tipping Based on Percentage

One Dollar Bill Tip
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“Percentage-based tipping. I don’t feel like the lady at Denny’s deserves less than the guy making $19 cocktails. If they both serve me for 30-40 minutes, they should get the same.”

The traditional practice of tipping based on a percentage of the total bill can lead to discrepancies in compensation based on the type of establishment or the cost of the meal. Advocates for alternative tipping methods argue for a more equitable approach, where the quality of service, rather than the bill amount, determines the tip. It’s a rebellion against the status quo, challenging the notion that tip amounts should be dictated by arbitrary percentages rather than the value of the service provided.

#12 Wine Menu Gender Norms

Smiling couple with menu looking at each other during romantic dinner at a restaurant.
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“Giving the man on the table the wine menu.”

The outdated practice of automatically giving the wine menu to the man at the table perpetuates gender stereotypes and ignores the diverse preferences of diners. In an era of gender equality, assuming that men are more knowledgeable about wine than women is not only archaic but also disrespectful. It’s a rebellion against gender norms in the dining industry, advocating for inclusivity and recognition of individual preferences regardless of gender.

#13 Forced Child Hugs

Sad little child, boy, hugging his mother at home, isolated image, copy space. Family concept.
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“Children being forced to hug someone just because they’re a relative or old family friend.”

Forcing children to hug relatives or family friends against their will sends the wrong message about bodily autonomy and consent. Allowing children to decide when and if they want to express affection teaches them to respect their own boundaries and those of others. It’s a rebellion against outdated practices that prioritize politeness over the comfort and agency of children, advocating for a culture of consent and respect from a young age.

#14 “The Customer is Always Right”

Cashier at a Restaurant
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“‘The customer is always right.’ B***s***. I can tell you you’re wrong in a nice way, but I’m gonna tell you you’re wrong regardless.”

The mantra “the customer is always right” can empower entitled behavior and undermine the expertise of service providers. While customer satisfaction is important, blindly adhering to this philosophy can lead to unreasonable demands and unfair treatment of employees. It’s a rebellion against corporate dogma, advocating for a more balanced approach that values both customer service and employee well-being.

#15 Eating with Hands

A Young Woman in Gray Tank Top Enjoying Eating Pizza
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“I think eating with your hands is often fine to do, even when most people would disagree.”

While dining etiquette may frown upon eating with hands in certain settings, embracing this practice can enhance the sensory experience of enjoying food. From savoring the crispiness of fried chicken to relishing the gooeyness of a perfectly crafted sandwich, eating with your hands adds an element of tactile delight to the culinary journey. It’s a rebellion against rigid dining norms, advocating for a more relaxed and tactile approach to enjoying meals.

#16 Church Attire Restrictions

People Sitting on Brown Wooden Chairin Church
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“You can’t wear jeans (or street clothes) to church. I LOATHED Sundays during my childhood. If God is judgmental of my jeans and Nikes…..then I need to upgrade spiritual bodies.”

The expectation to adhere to formal dress codes in religious settings can feel restrictive and alienating, particularly for those who prioritize comfort and personal expression. In an increasingly casual society, the emphasis on attire over spirituality can seem misplaced and exclusionary. It’s a rebellion against superficial standards of appearance, advocating for a more inclusive and welcoming approach to religious worship.

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