Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A simple "thanks" for holding the door

Hey Etiquette Bitch,

I always make a point of holding the door for the person behind me on
entering or leaving a building, as long as they are close behind. If they are too far behind, then holding the door for them may cause them to walk faster, which defeats the purpose of the good mannered behaviour. Almost everyone says "Thank you," and I reply very (maybe too) quietly, "you're welcome."

This happened today at the bank, but the gentleman behind me gave a loud and clear, "Thank you very much sir"- more than the sufficient "thank you" or just, "thanks." He did it again for the second set of doors, only 4 feet behind. I felt a little uncomfortable- his overly polite
thank-you made me feel I had to give him back more than my quiet 'welcome', but I didn't want to overdo it to the degree he had, although I was appreciative of his good manners.

I think we all should be considerate of the person behind, and I get very annoyed if the person in front never even looks and just lets the door close in my face. Is there some sort of rule here, or guideline, on doors and thank yous?


Hey SD:


  1. It's nice to hold the door for the person behind you.
  2. But you don't need to if they are too far behind.
  3. When someone does this for you, say "thanks."

In general, if someone is rightbehindyou and you refuse to hold the door open (or at least give it a good shove for them), this is rude.

As for your bank buddy, he was either: 1) shocked by such graciousness, 2) a little bit touched, 3) genuinely effusive, or, 4) a tad sarcastic. Either way, you did the nice, polite thing, and I'd take his reaction as more of a reflection on him, not you.

And good for you for not raising your voice, either. One never knows how the other party will react in these situations.

Kudos on your good manners.