Maintaining good manners in a bad situation is not easy.
Public bathrooms are the place where you see human decency die daily.
If you have ever used one, then you know that a lot of times, people can get really rude and unbecoming.
You might have even fought and given in to the urge to clean up after someone before you.
If there is anything that the thin bathroom partition represents, it is that the public bathroom is communal property.
And it is up to us to make sure that our property is treated the way we’d want it to be.
There probably is not that much literature you can find that thoroughly discusses the nuances of bathroom etiquette.
Most of the time, it is just assumed that people know what they have to do there.
After all, relieving one’s self is a normal human function, and everyone is expected to take care of himself or herself there.
In this article, let us talk about bathroom etiquette, why we need it, and if it is really that difficult to follow.
What Bathroom Partition Etiquette Can Do For You
So what is in it for you if you do follow proper bathroom etiquette?
Well, for one, it will give you confidence.
It may not be so apparent, but knowing that you are doing something right in a place that others also use will give you the self-assurance you need.
If you are visiting a friend or a different office, you might want to be in your best behavior.
Bathroom etiquette goes both ways.
As a guest, you are expected to follow these unwritten rules.
And as a host, you should provide the necessary utilities.
The basics, like toilet paper and running water, should be the bare minimum.
And, depending on the kind of guest and the nature of the visit, you may want to stack up on soap and other extra necessities.
With that said, here are the things that you should do to follow proper bathroom etiquette.
Close the Bathroom Partition Door
Closing the door when you are in a stall should be a simple enough rule to follow.
But, closing right after you use it is where people often fail to comply.
Let us first discuss the first scenario, which should be a no-brainer.
Relieving oneself is a private activity and, as long as you are not a toddler or need special attention, you should be doing it on your own.
Closing the door behind you is not only for your privacy’s sake but for the purpose of possible passersby as well.
No one wants to see someone in a very awkward situation accidentally.
It will just be bad for everyone involved, and the solution is so simple.
Close the door, and make sure that it locks with a loud click.
If you should have no choice but to use a bathroom with questionable utilities for saving you from shame, then you should opt for a different stall.
Or, ask someone to stand guard until you finish.
While closing the door in the first scenario is a matter of personal interest, the second one is where your manners are really put to the test.
Leaving the door open is unsightly, especially the main door.
If the bathroom door does not automatically lock, then best make sure.
Check the Bathroom Partition Door
When there is no queue behind a bathroom, it is easy to mistake a bathroom stall to be empty, especially if they do not use those nifty locks that say if a bathroom partition is occupied or not.
In which case, it is better to knock first before pushing the door open.
The door may be broken, or the vacant sign may be malfunctioning; thus, it may be best to confirm first with a simple question.
Take note that although the bathroom partitions normally have gaps between them, it is never right to check if someone is using it by taking a peek.
I feel like this should not have to be said, but it might surprise you how many people do this.
It is extremely rude, and depending on the country or state you are in, it may even be a felony.
Bathroom Partitions Are Not Meant For Chatter
The public bathroom is as communal as they come.
Be considerate about everyone that might use it.
Needless chatter is not something that would be welcome to everyone in there.
While simple greetings are ok, lengthy discussions should be reserved for places to rooms where you have a bit more privacy.
And, more importantly, it gives other people more privacy.
No one wants to hear people talk about their business while they are busy with something extremely personal.
Public Bathroom Partitions Are Not Completely Public
Everyone deserves their own personal space, and this goes to bathroom users as well.
It is bad enough that we are forced to use the same bathroom, invading someone else’s private space may just shoot a terrible experience to horrible.
It is so easy for people to feel like you are crowding them when you go to the bathroom in a group.
Never forget to consider the other people in the bathroom.
It may seem like you are the only people there if you start chattering, which you also should not do.
Phone and Bathroom Partitions Do Not Match
A lot of personal phone calls are taken in office bathrooms.
This is supposedly because it is the only place that gives you privacy.
And when people do their business, they always take their phone with them, so they have something to do while they are there.
This is rude, especially if other people are waiting for their turn to use the bathroom.
If your phone suddenly starts ringing while you are inside the bathroom, excuse yourself and take care of it elsewhere.
It is not their business to hear about your private conversation.
Besides, the other person on the line might also take exception.