21 Habits that Society Deems Low Class

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It’s no secret that society loves to toss around labels—sometimes thoughtfully and others carelessly. When it comes to class, certain habits are often associated with being “low class.”

But who decides these so-called rules, and why do they matter? These practices have earned the scorn of the societal elite. 

Poor Table Manners

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Let’s face it: no one wants to be that person slurping their soup like a vacuum cleaner or chewing with their mouth wide open. Poor table manners are frequently perceived as a lack of social etiquette and refinement. 

Simple actions like chewing with your mouth closed and keeping elbows off the table can go a long way. “Showing respect through good table manners is a surefire way to leave a positive impression,” advises Emily Post. 

Loud Public Behavior

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This includes shouting in public spaces, having loud conversations on mobile phones, or playing music at high volume in shared environments. It’s viewed as an intrusion into our shared public space, affecting others’ ability to enjoy their environment peacefully.

Excessive noise in public spaces significantly increases stress levels among bystanders. Self-awareness in social settings boosts respectful and positive interactions. Use earphones for music, keep phone conversations brief and at a low volume, and try to communicate using a moderate tone. 

Inappropriate Dress for Occasions

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Now, let’s be clear—fashion is incredibly personal, but showing up to a black-tie event in jeans or a beach party in a full suit can send a message that you’re out of touch with the social norms of the setting. It suggests disregarding the effort others might have put into their appearance.

Do a little homework before the event. When in doubt, it’s always better to slightly overdress than underdress—no one ever complained about someone looking too classy. Consider outfits like tailored suits, elegant dresses, or chic separates for formal occasions.

Excessive Swearing

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Excessive swearing indicates a lack of self-control, education, or respect for others. This might explain why many people recoil at overly foul language, viewing it as uncouth or inappropriate in most social settings.

Expanding your vocabulary is a fantastic first step! Incorporating more descriptive and precise words into your speech allows you to express the same sentiments without resorting to expletives. Moderation is key. A well-placed swear word can pack a punch.


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According to Keep America Beautiful, an estimated 50 billion pieces of litter are scattered across the U.S. annually! This is an eyesore, and it costs taxpayers over $11.5 billion annually to clean up. 

Animals can also mistake litter for food, leading to fatal ingestion. Carry a small trash bag with you for disposing of waste, participate in community clean-up events, and always use public trash receptacles. 

Lack of Personal Hygiene

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Bad breath, unkempt hair, and body odor can make others uncomfortable, leading to social ostracism. Poor hygiene practices can also lead to many issues, including skin infections and the spread of diseases.

Regular showers, brushing teeth twice a day, and using deodorant are great starting points. Adding a skincare routine or a signature scent can make a difference in your perception. And don’t forget about the small stuff—like trimming nails and keeping clothes clean and ironed.

Interrupting Conversations

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Have you ever found yourself being cut off mid-sentence? It’s not just frustrating—it signifies a lack of respect for the speaker and an inability to practice active listening. Interrupting can derail conversations, leading to miscommunication and frustration for all parties involved. 

Be an active listener. Maintain eye contact, nod to show understanding, and wait for a natural pause before adding your thoughts. If it’s imperative to interject, a polite “Excuse me” can go a long way in softening the impact. 

Overindulging in Alcohol

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Interestingly, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 25.1% of adults had at least one heavy drinking day in the past year. Yet, it’s the aftermath of these sessions – the slurred speech, erratic behavior, and the oh-so-typical hangover disruptions – that often fosters this “low class” stigma.

Moderation is key! Health experts suggest one drink per day for women and up to two for men. Engaging in non-alcoholic activities like enjoying mocktails, sparkling water, or simply practicing pacing yourself can make a difference.


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Not only does gossiping involve spreading rumors or discussing others’ personal affairs without consent, but it also signals a lack of discretion and accountability. Approximately 10% of our daily conversations consist of gossip. While that might sound trivial, negative gossip can undermine trust, tarnish reputations, and create a toxic environment. 

Swap gossip with uplifting conversations! Engage in discussions that build others up. Sharing positive stories or achievements can create an atmosphere of encouragement and mutual respect.

Neglecting Common Courtesies

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Manners—or lack thereof—reflect much about an individual’s character. Neglecting to express gratitude or consideration can make one appear self-centered or ungrateful. Small acts of politeness can build social capital and improve personal and professional relationships.

A simple “please” when making a request can soften the demand, while a heartfelt “thank you” acknowledges the effort of others, fostering goodwill. Saying “excuse me” when navigating through a crowded space shows consideration for others’ personal space and time.

Chewing Gum Loudly

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Imagine you’re in a quiet library or a business meeting, and the only sound breaking the silence is the repetitive smack of gum – not the best way to make a sophisticated impression, right? Practically, loud chewing can be distracting and even stressful for others, especially in close quarters. 

Socially, it signals a lack of self-awareness and consideration for those around you. It disrupts the harmony of shared spaces. Chew discreetly! Opt for sugar-free gum to avoid the sticky, poppable mess that regular gum can create.

Being Chronically Late

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It’s not just about the inconvenience it causes; habitual lateness disrupts schedules and can make you appear unreliable. Dr. Diana DeLonzor, in her book “Never Be Late Again,” suggests that consistent tardiness can be tied to personality traits such as perfectionism and a lack of time management skills. 

Start by identifying why you’re often late. Is it because you underestimate how long tasks take? Tools like time-tracking apps can help you get a more realistic view of your schedule. Setting alarms or calendar reminders well before your appointments can also be a game-changer.

Inappropriate Use of Mobile Phones

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82% of adults report being annoyed by how people use their phones in social settings. This frustration stems from scenarios like texting during meals, scrolling during conversations, or the dreaded loud, obnoxious ringtone going off in a quiet place. 

Such behaviors are seen as inconsiderate and can disrupt the harmony of social interactions. Constant mobile phone use can hinder face-to-face communication and diminish the quality of our relationships. Keep your phone out of sight during meals, meetings, and social gatherings. Opt for silent or vibrate mode in settings where an unexpected ringtone could be disruptive.

Public Displays of Anger

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Expressing anger overtly in public settings can create discomfort and tension among observers, leading to negative judgments about one’s character and self-control. Public outrage can undermine one’s perceived ability to handle stress and conflict maturely.

Take a deep breath and count to ten, or remove yourself from the situation to cool down. Physical activities like walking or even gentle stretching can also help dissipate tension. 

Cutting in Line

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People perceive line-cutting as a violation of social norms and an expression of entitlement. This behavior disrupts the basic principles of fairness and consideration that most societies uphold, making it a glaring breach of social etiquette.

By bypassing others, line-cutters communicate that their time is more important, which can breed resentment and animosity. Waiting your turn is a small act that demonstrates patience and respect for others. If you’re in a situation where you think you might need to cut in line—perhaps emergencies or pressing matters—always ask for permission first. 

Spitting in Public

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Picture this: you’re walking down a bustling street, enjoying the day, when someone ahead of you suddenly spits on the sidewalk. It’s widely regarded as unhygienic. Human saliva can carry numerous bacteria and viruses, some of which can lead to infections if they come into contact with mucous membranes or inhaled. 

If you must clear your throat or mouth, retire to a restroom or use a tissue. Carrying a water bottle can also help you discreetly manage any irritation in your throat.


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Slouching is often perceived as a sign of laziness, lack of confidence, or disrespect. When you slump in your chair or hunch over while walking, it can signal to others that you’re not fully engaged or attentive. 

Poor posture can lead to back pain, reduced lung function, and digestive issues. No one wants to deal with that! Always aim to keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Imagine a string pulling you up from the crown of your head. Exercises like planks or yoga can work wonders.

Not Covering Sneezes/coughs 

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Not Covering Sneezes and coughs is considered unhygienic and disrespectful, especially in close public spaces like buses, restaurants, and offices. A single sneeze releases up to 40,000 droplets, traveling as far as 26 feet (almost 8 meters!). 

These droplets can carry viruses and bacteria, making it easier for illnesses like the flu and COVID-19 to spread rapidly. Adopt the “vampire cough” technique! This means sneezing or coughing into the crook of your elbow, much like Dracula would hide behind his cape. 

Over-sharing on Social Media

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Individuals who post excessively about personal issues are often perceived as seeking validation or attention, which can be a turnoff for many. This behavior can be seen as a breach of privacy for the individual and their friends and family, inadvertently exposing them to public scrutiny or judgment.

Focus on sharing content that adds value—like exciting articles, uplifting experiences, or genuine achievements. Consider the “Grandmother Test”: if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read it, don’t post it. 

Talking During Movies/Presentations

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It’s a classic example of poor social etiquette and a lack of consideration for others. Imagine sitting in a packed cinema, engrossed in the climax of a film, only to have the moment shattered by someone chatting away. It’s a universal irritant!

When individuals disrupt by talking, it breaks the communal immersion and can increase the audience’s stress and agitation. Respect the environment. If you absolutely must communicate, opt for whispering very quietly or, better yet, wait until the end. 

Ignoring RSVP Requests

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This may seem like a minor oversight, but according to etiquette expert Emily Post, responding to an invitation—whether you plan to attend—is a fundamental aspect of social courtesy. Up to 30% of guests do not RSVP, leaving hosts in a difficult position when planning events. 

This lack of response can create logistical nightmares and unnecessary stress, disrupting everything from seating arrangements to catering. Ignoring an RSVP can be seen as dismissive and ungrateful, suggesting a lack of appreciation for the host’s hospitality. 

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