9 things you’re doing in public that people secretly judge you for

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

We all have those little habits we’re unaware of, that people quietly take note of when we’re out and about. Yes, my friend, there are things you do in public that others secretly judge you for.

The truth is, we all want to make a good impression. But sometimes, without realizing it, we do things that might not reflect on us too well.

In this article, I’m going to shed some light on these subtle behaviors. Hopefully, it’ll make us all more self-aware and guide us toward better social etiquette.

Let’s dive in. 

1) Constantly checking your phone

We’re all guilty of this one. In the age of technology, our phones have become an extension of our bodies. But here’s the thing – people notice when you’re more engaged with your screen than with the world around you.

It might seem harmless, but constantly checking your phone during a conversation or while in public spaces, sends a subtle message.

It tells others that they’re less important than whatever is happening on your device.

This behavior can be seen as rude and disrespectful, especially in social situations.

Even if you’re just waiting for an important email or updating your status, it might not look good to the people around you.

So next time you feel the urge to check your phone, pause for a moment and consider if it’s really necessary. Your social reputation just might thank you for it.

2) Speaking loudly in public spaces

I’ll never forget the time I was in my favorite coffee shop, sipping on a latte and reading a book.

Suddenly, my peaceful moment was interrupted by a booming voice. A man at the next table started speaking so loudly on his phone that I could hear every single word.

It’s not just annoying for those trying to enjoy their own peace and quiet, it’s also seen as pretty disrespectful.

Most people aren’t interested in other people’s loud conversations, and it’s often interpreted as a lack of awareness or regard for those around you.

When you’re in a public space, keep your voice at a considerate volume. It’s a simple change that can make a big difference in how others perceive you.

3) Littering

Even in this environmentally-conscious age, littering remains a surprisingly common public behavior.

Unfortunately, what might seem like a small act to you, like throwing a gum wrapper on the ground, can have a significant impact on our environment.

Did you know that it takes up to five years for a cigarette butt to decompose? Or that plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years? And while they’re waiting to break down, they’re contributing to pollution, harming wildlife, and marring the beauty of our public spaces.

Not to mention, people take note of those who litter and it’s generally not seen in a positive light.

When you’ve got something to dispose of while you’re out and about, do planet Earth (and your reputation) a favor by finding a trash bin.

4) Ignoring personal space

We all know the feeling, you’re standing in a queue or sitting on public transport, and someone invades your personal space. It’s uncomfortable, right? And it’s something people often judge others for.

Personal space is an unspoken rule, a bubble around us that we like to keep to ourselves. When someone steps into this space without invitation, it can feel intrusive and disrespectful.

Being aware of other people’s personal boundaries is a sign of respect.

So when you’re in a crowded place, try to be mindful of the space you’re occupying and ensure you’re not encroaching on anyone else’s.

5) Being rude to service staff

How you treat those who serve you, whether it’s a waiter, shop assistant, or barista, says a lot about you as a person. People often judge others based on their interactions with service staff.

It’s easy to forget that these are people doing their jobs, often under stressful conditions. A little patience and kindness can go a long way.

When you’re ordering your coffee or checking out at the store, remember to treat the person serving you with respect and courtesy.

You’ll leave a positive impression not just on them, but everyone else who is watching too.

6) Ignoring those in need

We’ve all been there – walking down a busy street, noticing someone in need, but choosing to keep walking. It’s a tough situation. We might feel uncomfortable or unsure of what to do.

But when we ignore those who clearly need help, it sends a message to those around us. It might seem like a small thing, but it speaks volumes about our character.

When you consider stopping and offering help, whether it’s giving directions to someone who’s lost, helping an elderly person cross the street, or offering food to someone who’s hungry.

You never know what kind of difference you can make in someone’s day – and how it may positively influence those around you.

7) Gossiping

There was a time when I found myself caught up in the rumor mill, sharing tidbits about others without thinking much about it.

But over time, I realized that this habit was not only hurting others but also impacting how people perceived me.

Gossiping can seem like harmless chatter, but it can cause real harm and damage relationships. It’s something that people notice and often judge very harshly.

So think twice before you share that piece of juicy gossip next time. Instead, try to engage in more positive conversations.

You’ll be surprised at how much better it makes you feel and how it improves your image in the eyes of others.

8) Being constantly late

Punctuality is a virtue that’s often overlooked. But believe me, people take note when you’re always running late. It can reflect negatively on your character, suggesting a lack of respect for other people’s time.

Being late occasionally is understandable – traffic jams, last-minute emergencies, these things happen to everyone. But if it becomes a habit, it can be seen as a lack of reliability and consideration.

Try your best to be on time, or even better, a few minutes early. It’s a small change that can make a big difference in how others perceive you.

9) Not listening

In our fast-paced world, the art of truly listening to others is becoming rare. But here’s the deal – people notice when you don’t pay attention to what they’re saying. It can be interpreted as disinterest or disrespect, and it’s something people secretly judge you for.

We all want to feel heard and valued. So when someone is speaking, try to really listen.

Put away your distractions, make eye contact, and engage with what they’re saying.

It shows that you value their opinion and that you respect them. And that, my friend, goes a long way in leaving a positive impression.

Final thoughts: We’re all human

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that we are all human. We make mistakes, and we’re not always aware of how our actions may be perceived by others.

The behaviors mentioned in this article are not meant to make you self-conscious or anxious about public interactions. They’re simply reminders of how small changes can significantly impact people’s perceptions of us.

While it’s true that we can’t please everyone, being mindful of our actions and showing respect for others can go a long way in creating positive impressions.

So the next time you step out into the world, remember that your actions speak louder than words. It’s these subtle cues that often shape how people perceive us – for better or for worse.

Take a moment to reflect on your own behaviors. Are there areas where you could improve? Remember, self-awareness is the first step towards personal growth. And who knows? You might just inspire others to do the same.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

If you display these 10 behaviors, you’re probably quite bored in life

If you stay stuck in these 13 mindsets, you won’t reach your full potential in life