back to top

20 Unspoken Rules Every Twentysomething Should Know

You don't ever want to be that guy.

Posted on

1. Don't stand over someone's shoulder while they're at a computer.


Even if they've called you over to look at something, there's no need to hover for longer than necessary, or the worst: making a joke about something on their screen that you probably weren't supposed to see.

2. If you're having a group conversation and someone isn't clued in to the topic being discussed, fill them in.

The Clique Girlz / Rhino

Being exclusive is fun and all in ninth grade, but comes off as incredibly petty as an adult. You will always get extra points in everyone's book if you're the one who takes a tiny time-out to briefly explain a situation to the new participant.

3. There are two types of people in this world: normal nice people who refill the ice cube tray when they use the last cube, and the jerks who don't. / Via

If you live with others and you don't refill the ice cube tray, you're probably also the same person who puts a new toilet paper roll on top of the empty one, and no one would want to live with you if they actually had a choice.

The same rule applies to the communal Brita pitcher.

4. The social transaction rule goes like this: If person A asks person B out on a date, person A should offer to pay. Person B can accept the offer or choose to split the bill.


Really simplifies the financial obligations of dating, regardless of gender, and can also be applied to non-dating situations.


6. Don't put up a fight when everyone decides to split the bill at dinner.

Leonardo Di Vinci

Group dinners can be expensive and annoying if you don't drink or aren't as hungry as your cohorts.

If splitting the bill is something that truly bothers you, make a rule for yourself not to participate in big productions. You can get just as much (and sometimes better) social stimulation out of one-on-one meals.

7. Always bring wine to a dinner party.


Just effing do it. Even if you're not going to drink it. If you can't afford a bottle of wine, stay after and help clean up.

On a side note, whatever booze you bring to a party STAYS BEHIND.

8. Hit the ATM before you go out.

Are you the annoying person who NEVER has cash when you go out? You know, the person who can't contribute to the taxi fare, or has to wait forever at the bar to get a round of drinks? You probably don't know you're that person, but everyone else surely does.


9. Pay people back.

What sucks is that any person who is nice enough to lend money in the first place will inevitably feel guilty when they have to ask for it back. Here's a tip: If you owe someone money, add the amount to their name in your phone contacts.

Don't make someone sorry they did something nice for you.

10. Don't point out noticeable features that the person you're talking to might feel self-conscious about, or can't readily fix.


This ranges from "Why are you sunburnt?" to "You know you have a giant pimple on your chin?" Chances are, they are aware of their own face. And you pointing it out does not help them feel any better about it.


13. If someone wants to hang out and you're busy, don't just say, "I'm busy."

If it's someone you actually want to hang out with, give them another couple of options in terms of time. They put the effort in to ask you to hang out, the least you can do is try to actually make it happen.

14. Don't be a flake.

Show up when you say you're going to show up. Being the serial flaky friend will almost always get you dropped in the end. Most humans would rather hang out with people who care as much as they do.

If you absolutely have to cancel, at least suggest new plans.

15. If someone's driving you around, offer to pay for gas and tolls.

This is especially important if your friend is the only person you know with a car, or you are the only person you know who DOESN'T have a car. Either way, this car-driving person is a VIP in your life, and you don't want to be on their bad side.


17. If someone hands you their phone to look at a photo, do not — DO NOT — under any circumstance swipe to the right.

Once you catch a glimpse of Naked Selfie or Face Full of Dong, your relationship will never be the same again, for better or for worse.

[source: Reddit]

18. Assume all service workers are having a bad day and be nice.

If someone is doing a job you wouldn't want to be doing yourself, they deserve your respect. And remember that just because they work for the company, doesn't mean they ARE the company or made up any of the rules.

19. If you don't like an idea, don't shoot it down unless you can propose an alternative one.

"So where do you want to eat?"

"Idk, anywhere. Honestly, I'm fine with anything."

"How about that new farm-to-table Taiwanese place that opened on Grand Street?"

"Looks pretentious."



[source: Reddit]

20. And finally, the cardinal rule of dating:

Don't pursue someone you know your friend likes/used to like without permission from said friend.

In special circumstances, crushes get a one-year limitation, but you should still ask first. Exes are pretty much a no-no. Use your best instinct.