10 Things Strangers Do That Leave A Bad Impression & 10 That Leave A Good One

10 Things Strangers Do That Leave A Bad Impression & 10 That Leave A Good One

When you're in public, do you ever go people-watching? There's actually a lot that people can say or do that gives you a good idea of their character! Here are 10 things strangers do that leave a bad impression and 10 that leave a good one. Make sure you're part of the latter!

1. Smoking in Non-Smoking Areas

Didn't you read the sign? It's up there for a reason! When there's a no smoking sign around, it's not there just to annoy you - it's for the health and safety of those around you. So when someone smokes in that area and visibly shows they have zero regard for everyone around them, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. 

Ernst-Gunther-Krause-Nid-U56Q-Ypbmva-UnsplashPhoto by Ernst-Günther Krause (NID) on Unsplash

2. Littering

More than ever before, people around the world are aware of a growing need to protect and save our environment. We need to keep the Earth clean if we want to continue living on it! That's why seeing people litter is so disturbing. It doesn't only show they don't care for the cleanliness of the environment, it also shows they put zero effort into helping out the community.

Litter John Cameron on Unsplash

3. Loud Public Conversations

Have you ever been in public and heard a stranger's complete conversation on the phone? Listen, no one wants to hear about the bad day you're having or the problems you're having with your partner! Completely disruptive, talking loudly on the phone in public just ruins the peace. Remember, you're not the only one there - be respectful of other people's space.

Chase-Chappell-Lf4Lrepp0Zm-UnsplashPhoto by Chase Chappell on Unsplash

4. Cutting in Line

Is there anything more frustrating than seeing a stranger cut in line when everyone else is respectfully waiting for their turn? What makes them think they're more special than everyone else? It just comes across as incredibly disrespectful and instantly leaves a bad impression.

Levi-Jones-N0Ctq0Rroso-UnsplashPhoto by Levi Jones on Unsplash


5. Leaving Messes in Public Restrooms

A lot of people are scared of public washrooms - and for good reason! For some reason, people think it's okay to leave a mess when it's not their own toilet. From not flushing to leaving toilet paper on the floor, when you see a stranger show such little regard for other people, it's so uncomfortable to think about.

Pexels-Heyho-7534184Max Vakhtbovycn on Pexels

6. Not Controlling Pets

While the public generally loves seeing pets out and about, there are some rules that need to be followed. For one, always clean up after them! If a stranger refuses to clean up after their pet, it gives them a bad look for sure. Not to mention, letting untrained or aggressive pets roam freely can feel unsettling and nerve-wracking for the others around them.

Aureanne-Mailhiot-N5Ahy2Dk1Mu-UnsplashPhoto by Auréanne Mailhiot on Unsplash

7. Blocking Pathways

When a large crowd or line up appears out of nowhere when you're exiting a building or walking down the street, the first thing you're probably thinking is, "What's the hold up?" If you see a stranger just mindlessly standing there, blocking people's paths while using their phone for instance, all it does is feel frustrating. Show some consideration for the others around you!

Cory-Schadt-Hhcn6Yy3Uo8-UnsplashPhoto by Cory Schadt on Unsplash

8. Not Wearing Headphones

As you're sitting on the bus just trying to mind your own business, you're about to take a quick snooze when suddenly you hear..."ZAP, ZOOM, BLAST!" Turns out someone's playing a mobile game with full volume on without headphones! Talk about rude - playing music, videos, or games on speaker when in public is just inconsiderate. No one wants to listen in on whatever you're doing.

Daria-Nepriakhina- Xr5Rkprhqu-UnsplashPhoto by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

9. Ignoring Personal Space

It goes without saying, everyone deserves to have their own personal space respected. No one wants a stranger to stand too close to them, especially if there's no reason. Whether it's waiting in a line, standing on a bus, or just anywhere as you go about your day, always give people enough space so that they feel comfortable. Not doing so is really just plain disrespectful.

Levi-Van-Leeuwen-Hmwyuwpvgnk-UnsplashPhoto by Levi van Leeuwen on Unsplash

10. Being Rude to Service Workers

One quick and easy way to let people know someone's character without actually knowing them is seeing how they act around customer service workers. Seeing how people interact with waiters, cashiers, or retail staff can be very telling of their personality. If they're rude to them, well, that says it all, no?

Pexels-Thatguycraig000-1608113 Craig Adderley on Pexels


1. Offering Help to the Elderly

There's no better way to leave a good impression than seeing someone help out others in need. When it comes to our senior citizens, it's always nice to give them a helping hand! That's why if you ever see a stranger helping out the elderly by helping them cross the street, carry heavy objects, or directing them, we instantly see them as a kind and respectful member of the community.

Pexels-Rdne-6647024 RDNE Stock project on Pexels

2. Holding Doors Open

Sometimes, you don't have to do something grand or big to leave a good impression on other people! It can be as small and simple as holding the door open for someone behind you. It's especially nice if that person is carrying a lot of things, has mobility issues, or simply needs help! It's a small gesture of thoughtfulness that can go a long way.

Pexels-Pixabay-271639Pixabay on Pexels

3. Offering a Seat

When you're taking public transit, one very sweet act of kindness is offering your seat to someone else who needs it a lot more than you do. Whether it's a senior, a pregnant lady, someone with disabilities, or someone struggling to stand, giving up your seat shows a high level of respect and consideration for those around you.

Pexels-Kampus-7551667Kampus Production on Pexels

4. Helping with Directions

See someone lost or looking frantically around? Strangers who offer genuine help and show concern are some of the nicest around! Taking a moment to give someone else a friendly hand will never come across badly. 

Astrid-Schaffner-Y-Rethdasbs-UnsplashPhoto by Astrid Schaffner on Unsplash

5. Smiling and Saying Hello

Sometimes, you don't even need to put out a helping hand to leave a good impression. All you need is to express your genuine friendliness! A simple smile and hello might seem like nothing, but you'll be surprised by the positive effect it can have. It gives public spaces a much more warm and comfortable setting that everyone can appreciate.

Alex-Devera-Ekajzonrreu-UnsplashPhoto by Alex Devera on Unsplash

6. Letting Others Go First

Life happens, and sometimes people are in more of a rush than you are. If you're in a long line up and see someone getting antsy, nervous, or seemingly in a hurry, letting them go ahead of you is one way to say, "Hey, I see you." It doesn't only demonstrate how patient of a person you are, but also that you care about other people and have a strong level of empathy.

Pexels-Zhangkaiyv-4568193zhang kaiyv on Pexels


7. Complimenting Others

Have you ever gotten a random compliment from a complete stranger? It feels nice, right? So why don't you do the same to make someone else's day? There's just something so uplifting and nice about hearing someone say something kind about how you look or complimenting what you're doing. Let's spread some more positivity!

Pexels-Amina-Filkins-5409715Amina Filkins on Pexels

8. Assisting with Heavy Loads

When you're struggling to carry a heavy object, receiving help from a stranger is an instant way to see them in a good light. There's nothing nicer than getting a friendly helping hand after all! It shows that they not only see you're in a difficult position, but that they also care and are willing to help out a person in need. That sure says a lot about their personality.

Pexels-Ketut-Subiyanto-4246102 Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels

9. Returning Lost Items

When you lose a valuable item on hand, like a wallet or phone, it's not uncommon for you to feel uneasy or worried that it's lost forever. After all, it's an expensive item that someone might just feel like keeping for themselves! So when you see a stranger turning it in or returning it to their owner, it makes your heart feel so much lighter. It's an incredibly kind and thoughtful act that shows there is good in this world.

Kelly-Sikkema-Gm9Jk9Jjvoi-UnsplashPhoto by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

10. Using Please and Thank You

While it may seem obvious to you, you'd be surprised to learn how many people in this world don't use "please" and "thank you" on a regular basis. Language is everything. It's one way you can convey your politeness and respectfulness to others around you. Seeing someone uphold these basic manners might not seem like a lot, but it unconsciously leaves a good impression in your mind. 

Pexels-Danxavier-1239291Daniel Xavier on Unsplash