3 Morning Etiquette Rules for Early Risers

You may be an early bird, but not everyone shares your enthusiasm for the pre-dawn hours. And although the early bird often gets the worm, if you bother someone else at 4 AM, you may also get an earful of cranky complaints. Modern Manners Guy shares his tips for interacting with people in the mornings if you're a member of Club Early Riser.  

Richie Frieman
3-minute read

I come from a long line of card-carrying members of Club Early Bird, so I know firsthand that even though I love waking up early, not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the morning. 

Both my mom and dad start their day—by choice—at 4:30 AM. They work out, read the paper, watch the news, get showered, and so on. No, they are not morning news anchors, and no, they don't work at a radio station—waking up early is just how they operate. 

This trait—good or bad—they've passed down to me. In college, I elected to take 8 AM classes, just so I could get them over with and have a full day. Sure, some mornings were rougher than others, but for the most part it simply worked. As an adult, it hasn’t changed: up by 4:45 and on the computer by 6 AM, Monday through Friday. Now, as much as I proudly wave the early bird flag, Mrs. Modern Manners Guy, however, doesn’t exactly share the same sentiment.

You’re either a morning person or you’re not. And if you’re not a morning person, living with one will surely drive you mad (just ask my wife). From my switching the light on and sliding the closet open and shut, to my pulling drawers open, let’s just say, my wife isn’t always pleased with my morning routine. (Don't get me started on when we first started living together.) I don’t blame her either. From her perspective as a later riser, it’s pretty annoying to live with an early bird. So over time, I learned how to tweak my routine to make it work for both of us. If you're an early bird and you want to keep the person in the bed next to you happy (and in the bed next to you for another day) listen up. 

1. Lose the Snooze

Although I think that being an early riser is a fine quality, it's also important to respect the preferences and routines of the people around you. For starters, the alarm clock. Oh dear, the alarm clock. Here’s the deal: if you set your alarm for an hour and a half before anyone else wakes up, you lose the luxury of the snooze button. Early birds are never allowed to hit snooze. It’s just one more annoyance for everyone around you.

2. Pick Out Your Clothes the Night Before

Secondly, getting dressed is not a runway show, so properly lay out what you will wear the night before, including tops, bottoms, shoes, socks, and belts, to avoid creating a commotion rifling through closets and drawers. I have a basket of belts next to our bed that I’m pretty sure will one day be the cause of my divorce.  While I’m trying to find the one that matches best, it sounds to my wife like I’m rummaging through a bag full of cymbals and then throwing them down the stairs.    

3. No Blenders or Noisy Appliances in the Morning

And lastly, being a proper early bird means you cannot break out the blender for your morning protein shake. Yes, my mannerly friends, if you want to maintain your residence in Early Bird Nation, you have to prepare a breakfast that doesn’t make a lot of noise. No grinding fresh coffee beans, no blender, no clanging of bowls, just a quiet meal. Stick to cereal or a bagel or simply buy breakfast to on the road. But if you have to use the microwave, be kind and stop it before it hits :00 and the buzzer blares like a shot clock during an NBA game.  This was kindly pointed out by Mrs. Modern Manners Guy as well and apparently she’s not alone.

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