Elbow Etiquette

I was on an airplane last week and was disturbed by the lack of etiquette I experienced. I’m not talking about crying babies, people snoring or odd odors – I’m referring to the lack of elbow etiquette. Elbow etiquette is when someone hogs the armrest without consideration to the person sitting next to them.

You see whether you are on an airplane, in a stadium or at the movie theater more than likely you’ll have to share your armrest. A lot of people like to rest their entire forearm on the armrest but I believe there should be rules:

  • Ask me first – Before you decide to “hog” the entire armrest, check to see if I’d like to use it at all. It’s called courtesy folks.
  • Take turns – Okay, maybe you got to your seat before me and have already gotten comfortable with your elbow on the armrest. Well, just don’t forget that there are others sitting on either side of you so maybe at halftime you can remove your elbows & let me have a turn with the armrest. After all, it is partially mine as well.
  • Front/Back – So here’s a situation where both parties can be happy. If you rest your elbows on the front of the armrest, I’ll take the back. Or vice versa. Either way works for me. This way we both get some elbow real estate and don’t have to take turns or go without.
  • Don’t use it at all – This is probably the easiest and most rationale approach. Don’t use your armrest at all and that will ensure that the person next to you won’t have any problems.

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