Etiquette and common courtesies often times go hand-in-hand, and today’s topic of door opening is no exception. If you’re like me, you hear opinions from both sides. Some people argue for chivalry saying it’s kind for men to open doors for women. Some argue against it saying it’s an antiquated way of acting. I’m here to weed out the opinions from true etiquette. 😉
First, if at all possible, etiquette, particularly in the South, leans toward a man opening a door for a woman. It’s not because she isn’t capable. It’s a sign of respect. Just like in introductions, the woman is the “more important” person, the same holds true for door opening. Likewise, a younger man should hold the door open for an older man. However, there’s no sense in racing to the door to accomplish this task. If the woman gets there first, it’s completely ok for her to open the door. If a group of people are exiting a “push” door, and the first person through happens to be a woman, she should hold the door for the others. A respectful man will at least offer to take over the task for her. She may freely decline, if she so chooses.
Secondly, unless there’s a tornado or zombie apocalypse outside, people always exit before people enter. I don’t care if it’s from an elevator or a restaurant. If you are trying to enter a place, ALWAYS wait for those who are trying to immediately exit. There’s practicality behind this, too, particularly in smaller space, such as an elevator. There’s only so much room before it’s physically impossible for one to exit due to crowdedness.
It’s always kind, regardless of gender, to hold the door for the person behind you. In olden days, a man would push a door out and allow the woman through before following her out. If a man’s objective is to be kind and hold the door open, he may follow that suggestion OR he may head out first, holding the door for her exit. The woman may also just walk through, holding the door open behind her for him.
Finally, please say thank you to anyone, male or female, kind enough to hold a door open for you. You’re not accepting a proposal. It’s just a simple, nice gesture, and the world could sure use more simple, nice gestures.
As always, thank you for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts!