News & Politics

Are You Annoying? DC’s Five Rudest Behaviors

Please stop doing this stuff, says a local etiquette expert.

Photo via iStock.

Washingtonians are a pleasant, respectful bunch—except when they aren’t. We asked Marianne Brennan, who runs a local etiquette school, for her list of DC’s most inconsiderate behaviors. Please stop.

1. Device Abuse

“Don’t you want to scream when the person in front of you to order coffee is chitchatting on the phone when he places his order? People need to respect everyone else’s quiet space.”

2. Restaurant Transgressions

“Chewing with their mouth open, starting to eat before everyone is served, putting feet on chairs. I’ve even seen people take their shoes off in nice restaurants! And be polite to the people serving you.”

3. Theater Disruptions

“Respect those onstage who have worked to bring you their production. Don’t chitchat after it has started. Do not be late—you have now become a pest. It’s so distasteful and inconsiderate.”

4. Misguided Driving

“I don’t even know where to begin. Speeders, right-turners from left lanes, tailgaters, not letting people in when they have their turn signal on, not pulling to the curb to drop someone off.”

5. Distracted Chatting

“A conversation might be slightly boring, but to listen attentively reflects your good manners. It is amazing what you can learn when you really listen.”

This article appears in the December 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Erika Huber
Editorial Fellow

Erika joined Washingtonian in September 2017. She received an English degree from Towson University and has written for Investment U and Elite Daily. After graduating, she worked in financial publishing as a copy editor. She resides in Maryland.