In Public

We’re human. And as such, there are many hygienic functions we must perform throughout the day. However, just because everyone must engage in a particular activity—take burping, for example—doesn’t mean that activity is fine to engage in publicly. It is important to take good care of your body, health, and appearance. Even so, these 11 activities are examples of things that should only be done in your bathroom or the privacy of your own home.

11. Applying Makeup

Applying Makeup

Many individuals feel that carefully applied makeup helps them look and feel their best. As the day goes on, lipstick may fade, mascara may run, and a gentle hint of blush may simply disappear. A quick swipe of lip gloss is perfectly acceptable to apply in public. However, you may want to keep the magic alive by avoiding pulling out your cosmetic bag at your desk, restaurant table, or while sitting at a stoplight. (Applying makeup while driving a car is an additional resounding no-no!)

10. Adjusting Your Underwear


We all wear underwear. And we all experience the discomfort and annoyance of undies that creep up or require adjustment. Fashion-wise, bras and bra straps have become acceptable accents to outfits. And yet, there are occasions in which you may want to consider a bra an undergarment rather than a fashion accessory. Do not suffer needlessly. However, when your undergarments, or the body parts they contain, require adjustment, try to make those adjustments as discreetly as possible. No one wants to see their companions, coworkers, or fellow restaurant guests reach back and relieve a wedgie.

9. Brushing Your Hair

Brushing Your Hair

Taming your tresses is an activity that is best done in private. Giving your hair a good brushing can dislodge loose hairs that can cling to bystanders or even end up in their food. Interestingly, Rocky Mountain Barber points out that in the 1950s, it was common and acceptable for men to whip out a comb to keep their pompadours well-coiffed. Nowadays, you may want to avoid offending others by ducking into a bathroom or making sure you are well away from others before grooming your hair.

8. Coughing or Sneezing into Your Hands


When you gotta sneeze, you gotta sneeze. However, to avoid spreading the germs that cause illnesses such as the cold or flu, the CDC advises using a tissue. After coughing or sneezing, place used tissues into a wastebasket. Next, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. Sometimes, a sneeze or cough comes on when you don’t have access to a tissue. In this case, keep germs away from your hands by coughing or sneezing into the crook of your elbow. During cold and flu season, wash your hands well and avoid touching your nose or eyes to prevent illness.

7. Flossing Your Teeth

Flossing Your Teeth

Your dentist would be proud to know that flossing your teeth is a regular part of your dental hygiene program. The American Dental Association recommends using floss or another interdental cleaner at least once each day. However, this activity should be performed in the privacy of your home or bathroom. Running floss between your teeth not only looks unattractive, but it can also cause you to fling flecks of food and spittle from your mouth. Furthermore, there is the question of what to do with a piece of used floss while in public.

6. Picking Your Nose

Picking Nose

This activity is one you should never engage in, whether in public or in the privacy of your home. As fascinated as some individuals are with the detritus they remove from their nose, those around them are more likely to gag. Keep your nose clean and free of mucus and snot by gently blowing into a       tissue. Meanwhile, avoid picking at the inside of your nose. Picking can open up sores that allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and cause infections. Those around you would also appreciate it if you avoid picking at pimples, scabs, and hangnails.

5. Placing Your Handbag on the Table

Handbag On Table

It can be challenging to find a spot for your purse when dining out. You may not wish to place your expensive bag on the floor. However, handbags can pick up a lot of dirt and germs. You may set your purse next to you in bathroom stalls or on the subway. Then, placing your purse on a table where food is served can transfer those germs to the food. You can find cute handbag hangers to carry in your purse. These hangers allow you to hang your bag from the table rather than placing it on top.

4. Polishing Your Nails

Polishing Nails

Applying or touching up nail polish can be tempting when you have a spare moment or notice a chip in your polish. However, the fumes given off by nail polish can be off-putting to others. Some individuals are highly allergic or sensitive to strong chemical smells. This also applies to the use of nail polish removers with their strong, acetone smells. Applying perfume or cologne can also be highly irritating to those who are allergic to fragrances. Some employers even institute fragrance-free policies in the workplace.

3. Skipping Hand Washing

Skipping Handwashing

Refraining from washing your hands after using the toilet can spread a variety of germs and diseases. It is bad enough to privately skip washing your hands. Brazenly exiting a bathroom stall and leaving the restroom without washing your hands in front of fellow patrons is a whole other disgusting can of worms. As part of the Clean Hands Save Lives initiative, the CDC recommends washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Wash your hands when preparing food, after using the restroom or changing a diaper, after handling trash, and before and after tending to a sick person.

2. Trimming Your Nails

Trimming Nails

Whipping out a nail trimmer and setting in to trim your nails is an activity best performed in private. Keeping an emery board on hand for quick, discreet repairs to rough or torn nails is acceptable. However, clipping away and accumulating a little pile of discarded fingernails is not acceptable. Worse yet is the individual on the airplane who pulls off his socks and begins trimming his toenails. Don’t be that guy! Stick to trimming your nails in the privacy of your home or hotel room.

1. Trying on Clothes

Trying On Clothes

When shopping for clothing, it is helpful to try on garments you are considering purchasing. It should go without saying that a fitting room is an appropriate place to try on your selections. Meanwhile, the middle of the clothing aisle is not an appropriate place to pull off your clothes and try on your favorite picks. However, there is always an individual who either finds heading to the fitting room too time consuming or inconvenient. While pulling on a jacket to test the fit is agreeable, never remove articles of clothing in public spaces to try on other options.



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