Human behavior in elevators is very interesting. We all stand looking up at the numbers as they light up while ascending or descending. I have a secret urge to stand facing the elevator door and stare back at my companions just to see what would happen. But I haven’t had the guts to try my social experiment. Another area of interesting or irritating human behavior is elevator etiquette. I bet you didn’t know there was such a thing. Well, it actually exists.

Here is the 10 point checklist for essential elevator etiquette.

1. If you are the last person getting in, kindly PRESS THE CLOSE BUTTON. YES, I’M YELLING!! Good, now that’s off my chest. I’m curious when I see elevator cars are jammed with people standing cheek to jowl and they all just stare out at me. What do you want me to do, folks? The person who got on last should know instead of waiting for the 30 second delay before closing.

2. Patience is a virtue, after all. If you’re trying to get in the elevator while I’m exiting, I may have to push you aside. Do I need to say sorry?? The rule is to wait until everyone has vacated the car before entering. The same goes for subway or LRT cars, too.

3. Don’t use your smartphone to make a call. A 3 minute ride of listening to you say, “I can’t hear you…what did you say?” will make me very cranky.

4. You may feel movement in the lower region of the belly. Trust me, in that small metal box, you won’t be able to deflect the blame on to your elevator companion’s dog. We’ll know. Take the stairs next time, please.

5. Keep conversations pleasant. You are in very close quarters with other strangers who definitely aren’t interested in the gory details of your personal life.

6. And that also goes with PDA…personal displays of affection. Those same strangers don’t want to witness that either.

7. There is a zone or space where if someone is within that area, it is good manners to hold the door. If they are beyond it, then wait for the next elevator. But if you hit the Close button while someone is running for the door, then karma may pay you a visit.

8. Never panic if you’re trapped in an elevator. They are equipped with emergency phones. Familiarize yourself with the location of the nearest phone. I’m sounding like a flight attendant. Anyway, never use your smartphone to contact 911. Refer to point #3.

9. Service elevators are just that…for service personnel. Kindly leave that elevator car vacant. You don’t know if there’s a big move planned and you’re on floor 30 while they have to wait for the car to return to the main floor. Think of it like a Wheelchair Accessible parking spot. You’d never park there without a placard, I hope!!!

10. Don’t even think of continuing your conversation with someone on the floor who isn’t taking the elevator while holding open the doors to do this. I can’t be responsible for what might happen to you when the door finally shuts. Just don’t risk it!!!

Thanks to Brad Emery for the inspiration for the blog post this week. Let’s make elevator riding more pleasant by following these simple rules. Happy Ascending & Descending!!


Tags: , ,

Check out our Etiquette for Kids store!

Safe, online ordering!


Maria and her Etiquette Program have been featured in several media outlets including:



Sign up today and receive a FREE Kids Workbook on Social Skills!


Includes fun and engaging lessons guiding your child to build lifelong skills for social etiquette, online safety, phone communication, friendship and so much more! PLUS, receive our bi-monthly newsletter with etiquette tips and courses for kids, teens and young adults.

Thank you! Please check your email for your FREE e-book gift!