The Small Things You’re Being Majorly Judged For

One minute you’re standing in line at the coffee shop, waiting to order. The next, you’re making a snap judgment about the person ordering ahead of you or someone who walked by you. If it feels like it happens unconsciously, that’s because it does. We’re all hard-wired to make assumptions about people. 

Assessing the people around us is one of those reptilian brain things, a leftover instinct reflex meant to help us survive. This instinct is so in tune that a study conducted by the University of Kansas found people could predict a stranger’s emotional stability, conscientiousness, or even if someone is introverted or extroverted by the stranger’s shoes.

Everything from how you shake hands to how you greet someone sends a nonverbal cue to the other person about who you are. Unfortunately, some seemingly small behaviors make big, and bad, impressions.

How You Treat Waitstaff 

If you’re ordering food, whether it’s from a five-star restaurant or a greasy diner, you have to interact with the employees. That said, how you interact with them matters, especially to the people around you.

As one Redditor puts it, how others treat people who work in retail and food service is “very telling of someones character.” So telling, there’s actually a name for this kind of judgment: the “Waiter Rule.”

How someone treats a retail or food service worker tells a lot about their personality and their value system. According to most CEOs, this is also a common interview tactic; It’s easy to treat people we perceive as important or above us respectfully. But what happens when you’re put in charge of someone else? 

Just because you’re paying someone for a service doesn’t give you permission to treat them any differently than anyone else. So if you don't want to blow your next interview, business lunch, or date, consider how you treat people in public.

Being On Speakerphone in Public

The second thing Redditors judged strangers for the most after how they treat service workers was people who talk on speakerphone in public. 

We get it: holding your phone up to your ear to talk to someone is tedious and exhausting. Wearing headphones or earbuds can get uncomfortable. But no one wants to hear both sides of the conversation you’re having — and yes, people are definitely listening.

Thinking you have privacy in public is an unrealistic expectation. One user wrote they overheard one woman tell a partner that they needed to be checked for sexually transmitted diseases. While it might be a schadenfreude moment for eavesdroppers around the caller, the person on the other end of the phone may not know they’re on speaker phone. 

In other words, the information you’re broadcasting may not be information the person you’re talking to wants shared in public. 

FaceTiming and walking in public can also fit into this category of annoyance. People don’t want to be in the background of your private conversation. As one user wrote, it’s “awkward.” Video chatting while walking isn’t just an annoyance, either; it’s dangerous.

Some conversations can't wait until you're in private, but that doesn't mean the people in your subway car or the table over from you need to hear both sides of.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.