Home > Random Acts of Rudeness: Signs Your Etiquette May Need Help

Random Acts of Rudeness: Signs Your Etiquette May Need Help

A few days ago I was driving to work and had the misfortune of being tailgated by a jerk.  She drove her a big, black SUV so closely to my car that I’m sure it must have looked like I was giving her tow.  It’s not like I was driving slowly either as I was racing to work at about 15km/h over the speed limit myself.  Finally, THANKFULLY, the road split into two lanes and she raced past me.  Unfortunately, she also raced past a stopped school bus that was picking up children in front of us.  Our traffic laws dictate that that you must stop behind the bus until all children have boarded…but I guess the law didn’t apply to her! Needless to say, it was a pretty crappy way to start the day.

George Costanza Jerk Store Seinfeld Etiquette Rude Behaviour

It got me thinking about everyday rude behaviour that we have all seemed to have gotten used to.  I am guilty myself of constantly being late (I hate that about myself) and interrupting others.  The latter I chalk up to growing up in a household of big personalities and you had to be loud and interrupt in order to be heard (I know, no excuse).  Our family dinners are deafening, raucous affairs that we love…but I’m not so sure others would!

As part of the “Dominique Self-Improvement Plan”, I’m working hard on curbing these two offensive behaviours.  I now add 30 minutes to my “getting ready routine” in order to arrive on time, and I try very hard to listen to others and not interrupt.  I think it’s working, although my poor friends may disagree. Here is my list of jerk behaviours that I tend to see more and more often as time goes by…


I find littering isn’t so much of a problem where I live.  People in our city are proud of it and it is a fact that the city’s residents are very in tune to the surrounding environment and keeping it pristine. That very same lady though who tailgated me so closely also threw a chocolate bar wrapper out of her car window.  It came across as careless, disgusting and slovenly.  Littering is dangerous to the environment, breeds vermin and disease and there is no faster way to announce to the world that you are a pig.  Major pet peeve: throwing cigarette butts out of car windows too. Stop.  Just STOP.


Being late.  Sigh.  I am ALWAYS LATE.  I hate it. My life seems to be one giant stress-y race to get from point A to point B and you know what? It’s completely 100% my fault.  No – I didn’t need to throw in a load of laundry before leaving the house. No – I didn’t need to watch another five minutes of Real Housewives of Atlanta to see if Nene kicked Claudia’s a$$.  No – I didn’t need to tear apart the house looking for that blue eyeliner I swear I bought last year. Tardiness is disrespectful.  I don’t want my friends and family to feel like I don’t care about them or their own schedules.  Set your clock a few minutes ahead or just accept the fact that it takes you two hours to get ready, not 30 minutes!


Stop.  Breathe.  Listen.  Listen to what people have to say.  Don’t stare at them thinking about wishing they’d stop talking so you can make your own point.  You are not the centre of the universe. It’s disruptive to the flow of conversation too.  People who interrupt will often turn the conversation in other direction and leave the interruptee hanging.  Not cool.

Tina Fey Rude 30 Rock SNL Table Manners Etiquette

A few tips to stop? Think about actually keeping your mouth shut! Write “SU” (shut up) on your hand.  Tell your friends to point out every time you interrupt, or have one of them say “Let her finish…” when you’ve interrupted. Trust me, it helps!

Constantly on Your Cell Phone

Another one I am very guilty of.  When you are out with a group of people, you want to be engaged!  Don’t get distracted by your phone.  If you are constantly texting, emailing or scrolling instagram while with your buddies, it sends the message that you don’t care to be in their company, that you have more important things to do.  And we all know that looking at Kim Kardashian’s instagram to see what she isn’t wearing that day is not license to ignore your pals.

Holding Doors

I know you’re in a rush, I know you are late, but hold the door open for the person behind you.  Come on.  It takes two, maybe three seconds. Worst of all, don’t look them in the eye then proceed through the doorway without holding the door open. RUDE.

Poor Hygiene

Ewwww.  This is a biggie for me.  I find it SHOCKING when I see another person in a public washroom exit their stall and then proceed on out of there without washing their hands.  These offenders are the reason colds and the flu spread like wild fire, not to mention nasty noroviruses (Norwalk Virus) that can level you for a week.  It’s just gross. This extends to not brushing your teeth, showering once in a blue moon, and blowing your nose without a tissue.  Yes, I’ve seen it.  Yes, I’m traumatized.

Cover Your Mouth

Cover your mouth when you cough or yawn.  Sneeze into the crook of your arm.  I don’t want to see how many teeth you have, and I don’t want to be showered with a spray of potential cold/flu-laden saliva.  Disgusting. Can you tell I work in public health? LOL!


Ahhh yes.  Manspreading.  The act of sitting on a bus or train and spreading your legs as wide as possible in order to take up two seats because you don’t care about anyone but yourself. STOP IT. Manspreading applies to the ladies too.  Your purse does not need its own seat.  And don’t give me that designer bag crap either.  I watched a lady on the bus get mad at another because the seat hog’s Vuitton had it’s own seat.  When the Vuitton-owner balked at moving it, the other lady said to her in a big, bold voice:  “Maybe you shouldn’t have bought that bag.  Maybe you should have taken the money and bought a car instead!”.  OUCH. Mental note: never bring designer handbags on buses.

Rude Rudeness Etiquette Table Manners Style Domination Manspreading LA TImes
Harvard-educated manspreader

Bad Table Manners

Don’t hold your knife and fork like a shovel. Put your phone away. Chew with your mouth closed.  Don’t belch at the table – no, it is not a compliment to the chef.  Don’t talk with your mouth full.  Don’t use your fingers as utensils.  Don’t pick your teeth at the table. Don’t ask the chef or your host for ketchup or salt to drown your dish in. They took the time to make you a nice meal, don’t alter it in such a bush league fashion. Instead…

  • Always place your napkin on your lap when dining out at more formal restaurants. Keep it on your lap (except when using it) until your party is ready to leave the table.
  • Wait to begin eating until everyone at your table has been served, unless the fellow diner who’s waiting for their meal insists you begin.
  • Compliment the chef!

Personal Grooming in Public

On a recent flight, the lady next to me filed and buffed her nails for 45 minutes.  We breathed in her nail dust for 45 minutes. Thankfully, the man on her other side asked her to stop.  Don’t clip your nails in public, don’t pick your teeth in public and most importantly, don’t take a poo on the bus in front of everyone.  Yes, I saw this first hand and no, I have never set foot on a bus again. Anything to add to the list??  Let me know!

Style Domination Blog Fashion Beauty Blogger Canada
Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. May 25, 2015 / 6:28 pm

    Oh my god rude people drive me INSANE. Where did all the manners go??

    • May 25, 2015 / 6:29 pm

      Not exactly sure…but they’re gone! Lol! Thanks for checking out my post! xo

  2. May 25, 2015 / 6:50 pm

    You hit ALL the major ones for me! Manspreading is an epidemic! Reminds me of that Friends episode, lol.
    OMG, someone took a dump on the bus? I’ve been taking pubic transportation (subway) for years and have yet to witness such an event!!!

    • May 25, 2015 / 8:48 pm

      You are so lucky! I should do a post strictly devoted to all of the horrible things I’ve seen while taking the bus. Hell! I could start a whole blog – “Bus Tales from Hell”! Lol!

  3. May 25, 2015 / 7:31 pm

    Omg! Someone really took a poo on the bus?! That’s insane!! I take quite a bit of time to get ready too so I always allow myself a couple of hours just so I don’t feel rushed because when I feel rushed I get cranky lol. These are some great points that you pointed out. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 xo

    • May 25, 2015 / 8:46 pm

      Thank you, Katie! And yes – someone actually had the balls to drop his pants and “relieve” himself on the bus. He clearly, wasn’t all there. The bus driver freaked out when someone ran to tell him and kicked us all off – well, those of us who weren’t running for the doors already! Lol!

      • May 25, 2015 / 10:20 pm

        Lol!! Oh my goodness! I hope I never have to witness that you poor thing!!

  4. May 25, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    Omg. The Harvard Educated Manspreader photo is epic greatness! I’m cracking up. And I can’t believe someone crapped on the bus. That really tops em all! Wow….

    • May 25, 2015 / 8:44 pm

      Ahahahaha! Yep. That happened. A homeless person got on the bus and took a poo in front of us all. Burying hard to block that from my memory! Lol!

  5. May 25, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Thank God someone finally wrote this post. Can we turn this into a PSA? lol I absolutely love your writing style. I find you so relateable and READABLE, which can be hard to find! I was engaged from start to finish! Great work

  6. May 26, 2015 / 12:44 am

    This truly was the icing on the cake of my night. I adore this post! Way to go for taking a stand against the RUDE people of the Universe. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said! Great, well written post. It was thought provoking, too. Made me do a self-check to see if I do any of those things, which I am proud to say I don’t – except for the being late part. Being that I’m a mom of four and nothing ever goes as planned, I’m late for just about everything. I’m working on it, but it’s definitely a work in progress that I doubt will change any time soon! Thanks again for your post! I’m going to reblog 🙂 xo Hugs!

  7. May 26, 2015 / 12:47 am

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    This was absolutely brilliant. STOP BEING RUDE, people. A great read from a lovely blogger!

    • May 27, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      Thanks for the reblog, babe! You’re the best!! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind compliments! xoxoxo

      • May 28, 2015 / 9:15 am

        No problem! I loved your post, so I thought it should be shared. 🙂 Have a great day!

  8. May 26, 2015 / 1:05 am

    Genius! The designer bag thing killed me!

    • May 27, 2015 / 12:47 pm

      I think it killed the whole bus, especially after the lady put her in her place! ABout 20 people started snickering – lol!

  9. May 26, 2015 / 1:57 am

    Awesome write up. I do think that rude people do not really know they are rude. I may be wrong though. The phone one, most people are guilty of that one.

    • May 27, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      Yeah – I’m totally guilty of the phone one and notice most people are. I think a lot of people are used to it now. And I agree with you. I think a lot of this behaviour would end if people were more self-aware. xox

  10. May 26, 2015 / 2:57 am

    Oh I´m super sorry that your day started off that way! I can´t stand rude people! Especially necessarily rude people on the roads! Like its such a dangerous environment, you would think one would be considerate of others on the road, but some people – Common sense eh…

    I didn´t think loud talking was rude behavior, well until I read your post. haha I feel really sorry now and will try to lower my voice. I understand what you mean about coming from Loud families with big personalities and having your voice heard, loud dinners and get together haha

    I´m with you every word of this post
    Loving it chica
    wishing you good vibes for Tuesday

    • May 27, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      Thank you, Dana – you’re the best! Yeah – apparently loud talking is rude! Who knew! LOL! I am LOUD. Sigh. As for the road rage-y idiots, I live in a neighbourhood dominated by yummy mummies who drive enormous SUVs. They use them to haul around their children and stuff. I find a lot of them really aggressive on the road! Maybe its because they are driving such a powerful vehicle, but none the less, it’s dangerous and mind-blogging since they are putting their kids at risk! And do you know what it’s like having a giant Escalade bear down on you and your little car? GAWD.

      Anyways, have an awesome day, Bella. Keep those Leibovitz-worthy pics coming. xo

  11. May 26, 2015 / 9:00 pm

    I love this post. So true! People are out if control rude!!! ?

    • May 27, 2015 / 11:38 am

      I swear, man! Some of these people need an a$$ whooping.

  12. May 27, 2015 / 4:39 pm

    As public transit is a big part of my life (if the option to take the bus or train is there, I will 100% always choose that over driving, i hate driving so much!) I deal with manspreaders on the daily. I’ve gotten pro at making them stop caring about their junk so much and taking that seat. Spreading too far? “Excuse me, can I sit there?” Encroaching on my space? You bet your a$$ I’m going to knock knees with you.

    The other one that really gets me going is bags on the seat next to you on public transit. I’m sorry, your Celine bag didn’t pay its own fare. That seat is for a person, not your shit.

    And when people won’t give up their seats for people who need them. elderly, disabilities, pregnant mothers, and those of us who get SEVERALY motion sick. I’ve literally had to sit on the floor of the bus or train before because nobody would give up their seat and my other option was passing out. So. Rude.

    Stopping in the middle of the sidewalk. If you need to pause, that’s fine. Pull over. You wouldn’t stop in the middle of moving traffic to check your phone. The sidewalk is the same thing.

    I have SO MANY pet peeves. Basically, be considerate, don’t be a dick. It shouldn’t be that hard!


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  15. louis romero
    December 22, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    The root of all rudeness comes from being selfish. Great article and thanks for sharing

    • Dominique
      December 27, 2016 / 10:55 am

      Thank you, Louis!

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