Things We Only Do, or Should Only Do, When No One Is Looking

If you’re in private, you act differently than if you were in public. That’s just how it goes for everyone.
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There are lots of ways this manifests, so let’s go over them, and maybe figure out why they only happen when we’re on our own.

Texting LOL Without Laughing

Did a friend send you something funny? Text LOL back. That’s the rule. Even if you didn’t actually laugh out loud.

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We don’t do this in public because it is, technically, lying, and people don’t like to lie when they’re around other people – even if it’s just a little white lie about sending a message to a friend.

Close the Elevator Door

If you’re out in public it can be hard to find a little bit of private time to loosen up. So getting into an elevator all your own is a treat, and we often try to close the doors before anyone else gets on.

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If someone else is there, it doesn’t matter, but on our own? Yeah, hit that button. Bad news, though — manufacturers have revealed most buttons aren’t connected to anything.

Shaving Part of Your Leg

This one is for the groomers. Well, okay, and cyclists. Or soccer players. The smooth-leg look is big right now, and if you want to keep up and stay fresh, you have to bust out the razor.

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But sometimes time is short – why shave more than you have to? Knee-length skirts mean shaving no higher than that.

Eat Something Off the Ground

A little dirt never hurts, but grabbing a fallen treat from the floor can be unsanitary – which makes it a big no-no when around others.

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If you’re on your own, however, and it isn’t something like soup, for instance, we often don’t worry about what others think. If no one saw it, they don’t get an opinion.

Sniff Dirty Clothes

If you do laundry at home, this is probably a common occurrence. Do I really need to wash this? Can I save a little bit of water?

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At the laundromat, however, people stay away from this tactic. If you’ve taken the time schlepping those clothes down the street, you should know if they need to be washed or not.

Sneeze Really Loud

Keeping nasal fluids and other gross things to ourselves is high up on the list of proper etiquette when in public.

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We also try not to scream at the top of our lungs – bothering others with an outburst like that is not cool. Alone at home, however? Let it go. Who’s going to know?

Talking to Our Pudge

Try as we might, none of us can fully get rid of tummy rolls.

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Whether you’re standing in front of the mirror after a long day, or just getting out of the shower, we all sometimes humanize that pudge with a few words. Often to ask why they’re still there. Using your hands to make the rolls move like a mouth is optional, but encouraged.

Facebook Stalk an Ex

Facebook changed the game when it came to relationships. Not only could we research people before getting into relationships, but we could also keep tabs on them once it was through.

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Of course, this is still kind of creepy, so most of us keep this behavior behind closed doors.

Play Fast and Loose With Our Nail Clippings

Gotta keep those nails trimmed. This sometimes happens just by accident — clipped shards fly away onto the carpet and you know you’ll get them the next time you vacuum.

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Sometimes it’s just laziness. Of course, we should only be clipping our nails in a private place — yes, that means you too.

Take Selfies and Then Delete Them

The goal of the humble selfie is for you to look your best. That’s why we try over and over to get one that looks just right.

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We experiment with lighting, hair going one way or the other, outfits, poses, and expressions. If the selfies aren’t good enough, then into the delete pile they go.

Type Out Loud

There are lots of people who do this when they’re in public, but it’s much more common when you’re alone.

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However, this one has a real purpose — saying things out loud as you type lets you hear it as if you’re reading it, and helps you figure out if it sounds right. It can be a helpful tool, and we encourage it.

Eat in the Bath

First off, obviously, you can’t do this in public. Unless we’re counting public pools or hot tubs, which are really against food in the water.

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Slipping into a nice, warm bath and picking up a package of some of your favorite comfort food is a wonderful way to relax, and we should all try it at least once.

Bust Out Our Weirdest Moves

Quick, no one is looking — start dancing. Getting your groove on is something we all do when the mood strikes us.

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Still, most of us keep it tied down until we’re in the kitchen or the bedroom. Then it’s socks and tiled floors, baby. Some people like to dance in public and more power to them.

Singing to Yourself

We all have a song in our hearts, but most of the time we don’t let them out unless we feel safe.

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Being alone at home, doing a familiar chore that’s about as safe as we can get. Then, and only then, we can feel like we’re auditioning for American Idol.

Google Weird Things

Do you have something on your body you need to know about? Maybe a random question about something that might not be exactly legal? Google it. Alone.

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That’s the kind of thing you have to do when you get home, not at work or where others could see you. Now imagine the browser history of a writer researching different illegalities for a crime novel.

Practice Raising One Eyebrow

Some strange mixture of genetics and practice means there are a lot of people that can’t do this very well, or can only do one eyebrow.

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We all sometimes look into the mirror and give our brows a workout, jealous of those who can make their brows dance with ease.

Wink at Yourself

Not a euphemism. We want to be cool and collected at all times – most of us, anyway – and that can sometimes take a little practice.

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We’ve all spent some time winking at ourselves, just to see how well we can do it, and no doubt it would be weird to get caught doing so. Best to do it at home.

Make Faces Into Your Camera

If you’re bored enough, you’ll eventually pull out your phone and smile at the camera. After a few attempts at a good selfie, we’ll start to twist and manipulate our faces into some silly expressions, just to make ourselves laugh.

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If you do send those photos or vids out, make sure they’re sent to close friends.

Let Your Inner Slob Out

If you’re spending a lot of time at home, you have the luxury of not keeping yourself as clean as you might have to.

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Not showering, letting your hair grow into tangles, and not picking up after yourself is all fun for a while. Eventually, though, things start to get too messy. You also might have to leave the house at some point.

Come Up With a Burglar Defense Plan

Your home is your castle, and you should be able to defend it.

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As unlikely as it is, we’ve all asked ourselves the question of what to do if someone tries to break in. Hide in the closet? Call the police? Take the fight to them? It’s different for every person, and it’s really only a problem when we’re at home.

Sniff Your Armpits

If you’re doing this anywhere except for where there aren’t any other people, you’re already too late.

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Deodorants can wear off if you don’t have enough on or you’re working hard. We’ve all tested to see if there is enough fresh scent down there, but this is the kind of thing to do privately.

Worrying in the Shower

In the shower you’re vulnerable. You’re unclothed, unarmed, and stuck in a confined space. What happens if an intruder comes in?

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It’s even worse when you’re closing your eyes to wash your face or hair. This is why Hitchcock’s “Psycho” was such a hit. It spoke to that irrational, universal fear.

Reusing Dirty Dishes

When you’re out with friends you’re on your best behavior, but if you’re alone at home that behavior goes right out the window.

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Sometimes we just don’t feel like doing the dishes or running the dishwasher. If you’re home alone, no one will mind if you grab a dish, give it a rinse, and reuse it.

Use the Laptop in the Bathroom

If you have far too much important work to do before a big deadline, then sometimes two pressing issues have to meet in the middle.

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Taking a phone in when you’re answering the call of nature might be one thing, but an entire laptop? Y’all nasty.

Overfill the Garbage Bin

This might not be too bad if you have a house, but if you’re in an apartment building, taking the garbage out can mean a long trip.

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So what to do? Play a little bit of garbage can Jenga by stacking things on top, or piling it along the side. You’ll get to it eventually.

Kicking Dropped Food Under Something

A little bit of food falls on the floor when you’re preparing dinner? Use your toe to nudge it under the fridge or something else.

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Nobody has to know, and you’re going to clean under there eventually…aren’t you? Yeah, sure you are.

Using the Bathroom With the Door Open

Most people’s worst nightmare is having someone intrude on their “private time” when they’re in the bathroom at work or a public place.

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At home, though, there are no such fears, which means you can leave that door fully open. Either there’s nobody there, or they’ve seen worse from you.

Online Shopping That Goes Nowhere

A cell phone is a perfect solution to boredom. A lot of people use their downtime to browse for items they want or need, but there are plenty of reasons why they don’t buy.

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Oftentimes those shopping carts get left to collect dust, no matter how many reminder emails we get.

Listen to Guilty Pleasure Songs

If friends ask, you only listen to the best music. The coolest music. But we all know the truth.

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On your way to work alone or in an empty home you crank the GOOD stuff. The stuff that is so good it’s shameful. Don’t worry – we won’t tell anyone.

Trashy Reality-TV

SOMEONE has to be watching all those awful reality TV shows, and guess what? It’s you!

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You don’t let anybody know, of course, that you’re keeping up with the Kardashians, but you are. No matter what your secret shame is, we bet that you have plenty of friends who do the same.

Pick a Wedgie

If you’re like ninety-nine-point-nine percent of people in the world, you wear underwear. Sometimes, that underwear goes places.

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It can become uncomfortable fast, but reaching down there to adjust doesn’t happen much in polite company. Even though we all know it happens to everyone. We should all just agree this is fine to do. As long as it isn’t too often.

Google Ourselves

Sure, we’ve all done this, and there are lots of reasons why. You might be worried about how much info is out there, whether or not people are talking about you, or just curious about how you appear.

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Still, it’s a bit goofy to do it in front of others, even if you do it infrequently. A quick search at home is all you need.

Eating in Bed

Married couples might do this in front of their spouse, but for most of us, this is when we are alone and need something to nosh on.

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Snuggled under the covers with a little bit of comfort food is rather enjoyable, even if you do need to be careful of crumbs. That’s how you get ants.

Talk to Your Pets

Here’s one thing that people do no matter who else is around. Whether you have a little furry friend, a bird, or some other pet, chatting with him or her is pretty normal.

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In fact, it’s said to be healthy — it keeps your communication skills fresh, combats loneliness, and increases your happiness. Just another reason to open your home.

Drinking Out of the Bottle

Glasses and cups? Yeah, they’re fine, we guess. If you have visitors or you’re out with friends then you’re probably going to use them.

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If you’re just on your own, however, there’s no need to waste time getting a cup out — just take a drink right from the milk jug, juice bottle, or whatever.

Talk to Yourself

Most people don’t do this when they’re around others unless they want to seem a bit kooky.

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However, when we’re alone, most of us do it at least a little. But why? Apparently, it’s a form of stress relief. Talking to yourself lets you vocalize issues that you’re having, and have someone to communicate with who understands – yourself.

Crazy Food Combos

At a sit-down restaurant with your friends, you get what’s on the menu. When you’re whipping up dinner at home, it’s whatever you want, baby.

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Pickles in your milkshake? Pizza between two slices of bread? Putting a Big Mac in a blender and then frying on the stove? Do your thang.

Cry Watching Movies

If you’ve ever let a tear slip down your cheek while watching a flick, don’t feel bad — it’s a sign of emotional strength. You’re able to empathize with the people on the screen, and that’s a good thing.

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We might not do it too much with others, since it’s a sign of weakness, but on our own? Grab the tissues.

Letting the Dishes Soak Too Long

After dinner, you want to relax. There’s nothing wrong with that. So instead of washing the dishes right away, you let them soak in the sink. Hey, it makes them easier to clean.

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But, if you leave them in the sink too long, it’s not helping anything. Clean the dishes, dude.

Pump Up the Music

Nobody else in the house? Then turn it up to eleven. You can’t do this if you’re on public transportation, at work, or if you have a bunch of roommates.

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This means you have to do it on your own if you want to fill the area around you with jock jams or weepy ballads.

Overeat

Most of the time, we watch what we eat pretty carefully. We’re careful with the carbs and finicky with the fat. At least, that’s how it is when we’re out in public.

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At home, we have free reign over sweets and snacks and big pots of pasta. And why shouldn’t we? We earned it.

Checking Your Teeth

Right after a meal, there’s a pretty good chance that you have a little bit of food stuck in between your chompers. But you can’t just start digging around – that’s unsanitary.

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Head to a quiet corner and take out a mirror, or go to the bathroom to make sure your pearly whites are spotless.

Pretend to Have Magic Powers

The remote is all the way across the room. Wouldn’t it be cool to have telekinesis and summon it? Instead of taking the elevator or walking to the top of your building, wouldn’t you rather just fly?

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Running around and pretending to have powers is fun at home, but it’s goofy when you do it in public. Unless it works.

Work Out as Noisy as Possible

You probably make noise at the gym, if you’re actually pushing yourself. Other trainers might not like it, but you might get an occasional look.

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When you’re at home, though, you can make as much noise as possible and nobody can do a thing about it. And if your neighbors complain about you grunting too loud in the privacy of your own home, that’s just rude.

Quitting

If you’re on your own, you only have yourself to push ahead.

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If you’re doing something with someone else — running with a friend, working on a project with a partner, doing chores with your spouse — you’re more likely to keep working. It can be more fun, and you’ll have someone else to urge you on.

Change a Diaper

When you have a screaming baby, one likely reason is a dirty nappy. But even so, you can’t just start changing your little one wherever you want.

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Best take him or her to a changing room, a bathroom, or back home. Nobody feels like smelling the kid’s byproduct if they don’t have to.

Get Into an Argument

Arguments need to happen sometimes. Too often, however, they happen in public, where other people can witness.

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Other people are embarrassed, and while it might feel good at the time to let loose with accusations, you’re going to be embarrassed afterward. Try to get home before you lay into each other.

Picking Your Nose

You have done this. Don’t try to lie. You’ve probably done this in public, even if it was when you were a kid. We all still do it, since bogies can end up feeling uncomfortable unless you clean things out every once in a while.

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Sticking a digit up into your skull is a bit unclean when you’re in public, however. Try to stop doing that.

Pass Gas

Ah, the classic example of something you shouldn’t do in public or at least people who aren’t friends or family.

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Sometimes, though, there’s no other option – it’s either let it go or risk far too much pain for it to be worth it. There are lots of methods for reducing the sound, and you should at least wave it away.