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

Look, ADHD or nervousness aside, everyone can curb their quirks for the whopping thirty seconds of an elevator ride. When confronting the “Mover n’ Shaker”, first understand they are probably a nervous person, and then say something politely like, “Hi, excuse me but would you mind not moving around so much? I have a bad headache and the motion is making me a little nauseous.” If you put the blame on yourself, they won’t feel so bad and will be more likely to stop freaking everyone out.

Tip #3: Yes, We All Smelt That…

Okay, okay, okay I know that talking about bodily functions is hardly the most proper thing to do but I consider myself a professional, so let’s all be adults here. Bottom line: don’t stink up the joint. Whether it’s bodily functions, poor hygiene, or even smelly food, do not inflict your odors on others. Elevators are extremely small spaces so don’t ruin the experience. And trust me, we all smelt it.

I’ve been on elevators where people bring their lunch and it smells terrible, just foul! You know it smells, so please wrap it up or use Tupperware. That is the most polite thing to do. Food aside, if you are the one that – ahem – dealt it, well, you’re on your own. If it’s you and another person and you provide a smell, be it gas or sweat or body odor, they will know it’s you. So just act as if nothing happened. That’s the immature thing to do but hey, you only have 20 seconds left and what are you going to do? Draw more attention to it by explaining “Yes, I farted.”? Come on now.

But if you do know that you are going to smell the place up (say you were working outside or in the sauna), and you can manage to take the steps, I highly recommend it. When it comes to odors that you are producing, the polite thing to do is to remove yourself from the elevator situation. Plus, we should all be taking the stairs anyway!

Do you have a great story about an improper elevator patron? Post them on my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page so we can all hear the details. As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you, so drop me a line at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. As well, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT. And of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips. 

Elevators image courtesy of Shutterstock