What Is Proper Elevator Etiquette?

Don’t want to be that unmannerly elevator patron that everyone complains about? Learn these three tips.

Richie Frieman
4-minute read
Episode #160

What’s worse than witnessing bad manners in public? How about bad manners in confined spaces! I reached out to my dedicated network of readers to see just what they thought and man–oh-man, was I happy (because that means I’m not alone) and sad (because poor manners are appalling!). Either way, it’s time to put an end to undignified elevator behavior.

So, to ensure you’re not that elevator rider who is shunned by others, follow my three easy tips.

Tip #1:  Don’t Be The Dasher!

When you’re on an elevator and the bell rings to let you know it’s your floor, why does someone always make a mad dash for the exit like the cables are going to snap? I don’t get it. I mean, the elevator doors are all motion sensored. Someone just has to put a finger over the door and it won’t shut. So why race for the exit? Not only is it rude, it shows incredibly poor manners to bust through a crowd of people. Even worse is when an elevator rider not only barges through the group, but doesn’t even say “Excuse me” as he knocks over women and children without a care. Just awful, I tell you.

If the “Mad Dasher” is a stranger to you, step aside and protect the people around you. Why? First of all, you are on an elevator to go somewhere so the last thing you need is to get into a screaming match with some psycho who thinks the ringing bell is the start of a UFC fight. Trying to reason with a random person, who obviously lacks all manners, is futile. Just protect yourself and the people next to you so they don’t get hurt and step back. It’s not worth the agony.

Now, if the dasher is someone you know, you have all the authority in the world to straighten them out. Lay it on them! “Steve, listen buddy, you can’t just burst through the door like a maniac, knocking people out of the way. That’s very rude and highly annoying. You’re going to really hurt someone!” Some rude manners just have to be pointed out… especially when it’s a friend or coworker.

Tip #2: Don’t Rock The Boat

This next tip is one many people don’t focus on, but I find one of the most improper of all. I call this the “Mover n’ Shaker”. I’ve had ADHD my entire life and it’s something I’ve been able to manage over the years, but some things do come through. At my desk, I shake my leg like a piston. Annoying, I know. When I’m standing, I move side to side–also annoying. Hey, I can’t help it. But when I’m on an elevator for a very short time, I can easily keep things under control. I don’t get why some people feel it necessary to pace like they know something we don’t. I’ll never forget two years ago this rather unmannerly worker in my office was pacing the elevator to the point where the entire car shook. It freaked us all out. Finally, I said something.