12 behaviors that make you seem less cultured (but are easy to stop)

We all admire those people who just seem to have it all together, right?

But did you know, sometimes it’s not just about what they do, but also what they avoid doing?

Believe it or not, dodging certain habits can make you come across as more cultured and refined.

So, sit back, relax and let’s chat about some behaviors that might be making you seem less cultured (but are super easy to stop).

Let’s dive in!

1) Speaking before listening

Ever been in a conversation where the other person seems more interested in waiting for their turn to speak than actually listening to what you’re saying?

Doesn’t feel great, right?

Well, one habit that can make you seem less cultured is speaking before listening.

This isn’t just about interrupting others (although that’s definitely a no-no), but also about not taking the time to fully understand what they’re saying before responding.

Highly cultured people understand the value of active listening. They know it’s not just polite, but it also helps them learn and connect with others on a deeper level.

2) Overusing slang or text speak

Alright, we get it.

LOLs and OMGs (cringe) have made their way into our daily conversations and that’s totally okay when you’re chatting with your pals.

But overusing slang or text speak, especially in a formal or professional setting, can make you seem less cultured.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently bad about slang. It adds flavor to our language and can make conversations feel more relaxed.

But relying too heavily on it can hinder clear communication and sometimes even come across as being lazy or uneducated.

So, the next time you’re about to drop a ‘BTW’ or ‘IDK’ in a conversation, take a moment to consider if it’s the appropriate context.

3) Being glued to your phone

Being glued to your phone, especially when you’re in a social setting, can make you come across as less cultured.

It might even give the impression that you’re not interested in the people around you or that you’d rather be somewhere else.

So always try to make a conscious effort to keep your phone away during social gatherings.

Not only will you engage more with the people around you, but you will also enjoy the moments so much more.

4) Not saying “Please” and “Thank you”

Not saying “please” and “thank you” can make you come across as rude and, you guessed it, less cultured.

It’s a simple act of recognition that shows the other person you value their effort or kindness — so why not take the tiniest bit of your time to say it?

5) Neglecting personal hygiene

Neglecting personal hygiene can make you seem less cultured and even leave a negative impression on people you interact with.

You see, taking care of our personal hygiene is a form of self-love. It shows that we respect ourselves and value our health.

But it goes beyond that.

Personal hygiene isn’t just about looking good; it’s also about respecting those around you.

It’s also about considering others around us – our friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers we meet on the street.

Remember, you don’t have to go overboard with fancy grooming rituals or expensive products.

Simple acts like regular showers, brushing your teeth, wearing clean clothes, and using deodorant can go a long way in making you seem more cultured.

And trust me, there’s nothing more heartwarming than seeing someone who takes care of themselves not just for their own sake, but also out of consideration for others.

6) Gossiping

things you should never gossip about 1 12 behaviors that make you seem less cultured (but are easy to stop)

I’ll be honest, I used to be quite the chatterbox back in the day, always ready with the latest scoop about this person or that.

It was all in good fun, or so I thought — until a friend pointed out how this habit was not only hurting others but also my own reputation.

Gossiping is one of those behaviors that can quickly make you seem less cultured.

It gives off the impression that you enjoy talking about others behind their backs, which can make people wary of trusting you.

After my friend’s wake-up call, I decided it was time to change.

Instead of indulging in gossip, I started focusing on positive topics – sharing ideas, discussing books I’d read, or simply talking about how our days went.

The change was incredible! Conversations became more meaningful and trust me, my relationships improved greatly.

7) Not owning up to your mistakes

We all mess up. It’s part of being human.

But if there’s one thing that really grinds my gears, it’s when people can’t own up to their mistakes.

Trying to brush your errors under the rug or worse, blaming others for them, doesn’t make you seem cultured – it makes you seem immature and dishonest.

It’s like trying to paint over a stain on your wall without cleaning it first – it might look okay for a while, but trust me, it won’t hold up in the long run.


Because a cultured person isn’t afraid of their mistakes. They embrace them.

They understand that each mistake is a lesson learned, a stepping stone towards becoming a better version of themselves.

8) Being unkind to service staff

Real talk: how you treat service staff says a lot about you.

If you’re unkind to waiters, cashiers, cleaners, or anyone in a service position, it can make you seem less cultured.

And here’s why – being cultured is about showing respect to all individuals, regardless of their job or social status.

9) Not respecting personal space

Let me take you back to a time when I was completely oblivious to the concept of personal space.

I was always the one hugging people, patting them on the back, or just standing a little too close during conversations.

It was all innocent, but it made some people uncomfortable.

That’s because not respecting personal space is a behavior that can make you seem less cultured. Everyone has their own comfort zone, and invading that can make people feel uneasy.

Once I realized this, I started being more mindful of how close I stood to people or how often I touched them.

The change in their responses was immediate. People seemed more relaxed around me, and conversations flowed more naturally.

10) Being close-minded

If you’re close-minded, if you’re not open to new ideas or different perspectives, it can make you seem less cultured.

Because life is a vast, diverse landscape full of unique views, thoughts, and experiences. If you’re always stuck in your own bubble, you’re missing out on so much.

Being cultured means being open to the world around you.

It means understanding that your way isn’t the only way, and that there’s always something new to learn.

11) Not being punctual

We all run late occasionally – traffic jams happen, alarms don’t go off – but if it becomes a habit, it’s time for some self-reflection.

This is because being constantly late is disrespectful. It shows that you don’t value other people’s time. It’s behavior that can easily make you seem less cultured.

On the other hand, being punctual shows respect for others and demonstrates that you’re organized and reliable — so always make an effort to be on time.

12) Constant complaining

Alright, let’s face it: no one likes being around a constant complainer.

It’s draining and honestly, it can make you seem less cultured.

Life is full of ups and downs – we all know that. But how we choose to react to those situations speaks volumes about our character.

Cultured individuals choose to focus on solutions rather than problems. They understand that their energy is better spent on finding ways to improve their situation rather than just complaining about it.

So next time you find yourself about to start a rant, take a deep breath and try to shift your focus instead. It might not change the situation, but it’ll certainly change your perspective.

Final words

Remember, being cultured isn’t about pretending to be someone you’re not.

It’s about improving ourselves, learning, growing and treating others with respect.

And the best part? It’s never too late to start!

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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