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How to Practice Good Elevator Etiquette

The rules of riding in an elevator are unclear to many people. Are you supposed to hold the door? Should you speak to fellow passengers or not make eye contact? For some, riding in an elevator can be a stressful situation, due to claustrophobia, a fear of heights, and social anxiety. Whether you're at work, college, or living in a high-rise apartment, it never hurts to be courteous on an elevator. People take over 120 billion elevator rides per year, but some people still have no clue what the rules are. Here are some steps to ensure that you follow proper elevator etiquette so you and your fellow passengers can have a comfortable ride.

Practicing Good Elevator Etiquette When Boarding

1 Speak sparingly. One of biggest issues with elevator etiquette is whether or not someone should make small talk. Most people are hesitant to engage in conversation while in an elevator. If you must talk, break the ice politely. It never hurts to say "Good Morning" or "Hello" to people.

If you are with someone, don't continue conversations while riding the elevator with someone else. Put the conversation on pause until you get to your destination.

If you want to speak to a colleague in the elevator, keep the conversation light. Never gossip or discuss personal or private information while in an elevator.

2 Respect space.

There is nothing more annoying than having someone stand six inches from you on an uncrowded elevator. If the elevator is crowded, give as much space as you can without crowding others or yourself. Follow these guidelines when standing on an elevator:

If there are one or two other people on the elevator, go to separate sides of the elevator.If there are four people, go to each corner.If there are five or more, spread so each person is equally spaced in the elevator.

3 Face forward.

Making quick eye contact, smiling, and nodding is appropriate when entering an elevator. After that, turn around and face the door. Keeping your back towards the door and facing the passengers is a huge break in etiquette and can make some people feel extremely awkward.

4 Hold all objects by your feet.

When carrying briefcases, purses, backpacks, shopping bags, or other bulky materials, keep them low either directly in front of you or beside you. Legs take up less space than upper bodies, so there is more space for bags.

If you are at the back of the elevator and carrying a bulky object, keep it low, announce your exit as the floor nears, and excuse yourself if you accidentally bump someone when exiting.

5 Never talk on your cell phone.

A huge elevator faux pas is talking on your cell phone while riding. End all conversations before entering the elevator, or put the phone on mute until you exit again.

6 Don't move too much.Elevators contain a limited space, and in busy office buildings, many people try to fit into one car. Unnecessary movements can annoy fellow passengers, or cause you to make unwanted bodily contact. Jiggling your leg, pacing, moving your arms, or other movements can result in you rudely bumping into other passengers.

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