Am I being “rude” when wearing sunglasses?
Wait, am I being rude when wearing my sunglasses? The social etiquette of wearing sunglasses has me somewhat confused! Where are you with this question? Let’s consider some of the situations that come to mind.
Is It OK To Wear Sunglasses During A Conversation?
With more information about how good it is for you to protect your eyes from the sun, are we getting careless and outright rude?
While most of my encounters have been very casual the past couple of years, I wonder if I am not getting “too casual.”
Here in my world, it is still winter, but will soon be headed towards spring and summer. And we may have cooler temperatures, but we have a lot of bright sunny days.
I find myself wearing sunglasses when I leave my house for any reason! Walking out to the mailbox, to dump a bag of trash, to do anything! My life of being careless with eye protection is adding up.
My eyes are very sensitive, and remind me to grab the sunglasses. They are the first part of my sun blocking wardrobe. Sure we think of shirts or other items that protect us from the sun. Not sunglasses.
However, the first 3 items for protecting us from the sun are our sunglasses, our sun hat, and our sunscreen. As we are figuring out how important our sunglasses are, wearing them all the time helps protect our eyes.
I think we will see more people wearing their sunglasses all the time. We need to be aware of the times we are being rude, and change our behavior.
So as I get more and more accustomed to wearing my sunglasses, am I just getting plain old rude?
Can I Wear My Sunglasses While Having A Conversation?
Before you start hemming and hawing, I’m not talking about a beach day with your buddies or a little league ballgame conversation during a game. These are places you would expect to find sunglasses in place on your face during a game.
I’m talking about adult conversations with someone who believes they have your undivided attention. Conversations at work, or when having serious workplace discussions. Those you are talking to need to see your face.
It is rude to wear sunglasses during serious professional conversations.
So No to keeping your sunglasses n to have professional or work conversations.
No for keeping your sunglasses on while meeting someone for the first time.
And no for wearing your sunglasses indoors or at night.
What Is Rude, And What Is Not?
We are still in winter weather, but with lots of sunshine hours which definately calls for sunglasses to protect your eyes. We are seeing changes. Changes in “proper sunglasses wearing.” Those of us here in sunny central Texas understand that the sun shines in the wintertime. And can shine a lot.
We can read, so we understand how important protecting our eyes from too much sun is. When you go somewhere in this part of the world, like to a Walmart or HEB you will drive a good part of an hour to get there.
And, yes the sun will be shining!
We are just wearing our sunglasses more, and that means we soon forget we have them on. It’s not that we are trying to be rude, but it seems that occasionally we are.
As the comfort level of all the sunglasses-wearing starts to become the norm, many people (like myself) will find themselves a little out of line.
As we are spending time outside, enjoying a meal or drink with a friend or colleague we will have our sunglasses on. And with that, a small etiquette faux pas may creep up.
I’m talking about wearing sunglasses while you have a conversation.
Is It Rude To Wear Sunglasses During A Conversation?
So is it rude to wear sunglasses during a conversation? Absolutely yes. Here’s the deal:
First, it is considered disrespectful for you to talk to someone while you have your sunglasses on.
Secondly, it is extremely rude for you to carry on a conversation with anyone while you are wearing sunglasses indoors.
Your sunglasses create a barrier and can impart a sense of dishonesty when you don’t take them off.
Thirdly, your sunglasses are to be removed during any business conversation, whether indoors or outdoors.
Having anything affect your credibility in any way is a losing situation and one that can easily be avoided. Just remember to remove your sunglasses.
We Are Going Through A Time Of Change Concerning Awareness Of Protecting Our Selves From The Sun
What Is Accepted Behaviour For Wearing Sunglasses?
- Your sunglasses are meant to be worn to protect your eyes from the UV rays of the sun.
- Obviously, for safety reasons they can be worn while driving a car and engaging in a conversation with the other passengers in the vehicle.
- As a general rule they are to be removed in business conversations, so the ones you are talking with can see your face and eyes. This is true of any conversation concerning money.
- When having a conversation while sitting in the sun at a ballpark or swimming event or on the beach? Taking off your sunglasses would not be practicale. That would be denying you the protection you need.
To be able to have a basic, meaningful conversation, means eye contact. Your sunglasses should be removed when the conversation first begins. This would allow you to have eye contact.
Then if sunny conditions exist, you can wear your sunglasses for the rest of the conversation.
Your sunglasses should not be worn indoors.
To Be Respectful
Wearing sunglasses indoorally disrespectful. Common sense would also tell the person wearing their sunglasses indoors that it is usually difficult to see inside.
Removing them is a safer move as one could easily trip and fall. How embarrassing that would be. This is especially true for senior citizens. You help your loved ones develop safe sunglass-wearing habits.
Secondly, it is extremely rude to carry on a conversation with anyone if you are wearing sunglasses indoors.
Remember, sunglasses create a barrier and can give a sense of dishonesty when not removed.
It is also important to remember to give your attention to the person with whom you are speaking. This is critical to have a meaningful exchange in conversation.
If outdoors, you can politely suggest or request moving out of the direct sun to a shady location.
Remember that if you have mirrored or reflecting sunglasses, they can be especially distracting. This kind of sunglasses should be removed as quickly as possible at the beginning of any conversation, whether indoors or outdoors.
Can I Wear My Sunglasses On My Head When Not On My Face?
What do I do with my sunglasses when I need them off my eyes?
Placing sunglasses on the top of one’s head may be a fad. It isn’t a fad, it is convenient. But, it is inappropriate and in poor taste. OK, guilty, I plead guilty.
This is an example of one of the “rude” behaviors that are moving into acceptance for us. I do know this will stretch my frames and they won’t fit as well after a while.
Proper etiquette for wearing sunglasses:
- Your sunglasses, like any other accessory you might wear, for example, shoes, sunglasses should be clean.
- It matters not what you use, an eyeglass cleaning towlette, or a napkin or a tissue, is it completely improper to clean sunglasses when sitting at a dining table. This should be done in a restroom, or in your car, or preferably before leaving home.
- This also applies to cleaning sunglasses during a business meeting.
I obviously have not been paying attention to proper manners. You should definitely remove your sunglasses when dining. Does this indicate that our outside eating is more formally, dining?
It is also important to remember that you don’t lay your sunglasses on the dining table! Sorry to those I may have offended! I didn’t intend to be rude.
Why Do People Hide Their Eyes Behind Sunglasses?
Sometimes, people may not know they are being rude. We are all in new territory with sunglasses etiquette. Learning new habits and customs while trying to protect ourselves from the dangers of too much sun.
First of all, let’s address the etiquette of wearing sunglasses.
The rules you have read do apply. Unless someone has a medical reason for wearing sunglasses.
If this is the case, the one wearing their sunglasses should immediately explain: “I apologize for not removing my sunglasses, but I have a medical issue and need to wear them all the time.”
Let’s Revisit: Where Do You Put Your Sunglasses When They Are Not On Your Face?
Where do you put your sunglasses when not wearing them? As I thought about this issue and my unintended rudeness? What to do with sunglasses with no pockets or a purse?
In an actual “business meeting” it seems the more formal rule of no glasses on your head is the correct one. It will make a better impression and enable you to follow the rules of a good conversation.
However, for most of the answers I recieved when I asked this question, the number one answer when we were at the ball game was:
- You should wear them on your head. This is probably the most common way to wear your sunglasses when they’re not on your face. As we are getting away from the idea that sunglasses are just fashion accessories. Sunglasses are tools. Tools to protect your skin and eyes from the sun.
- To keep your ‘tools’ safe, when all else fails, your head may be the best spot.
- Using a neck strap is an option, but requires you to remember it. A practical idea that seems way too simple!
- Lanyards are practical, and just longer than a neck strap.
- Hang Them On Your Shirt, this is a guy thing most of the time and again practical as it is always there.
Having a case to slide your sunglasses into is often not practical. So some creativity is bound to enter the picture as we are wearing our sunglasses so much more.
You Can’t What?
Finally, it is not considered appropriate to ask someone to remove their sunglasses when carrying on a conversation with you.
It is also inappropriate to tell someone that you are talking to that their glasses are dirty. That would be just like telling someone they have dirty shoes and then asking them to go clean them.
So, yes there will be some people who have lots to learn about our new society’s feelings concerning what is OK and what is Taboo!
Just make sure you are erring on the side that offers your eyes and skin more sun protection. We are learning how important sunglasses are. Put the new information to good use.
Protect your eyes and skin. It is something we can do that makes an actual difference in your overall health.
A Quick Review “Where and When Can I Wear Sunglasses?”
Is wearing sunglasses on your head rude?
Don’t wear them on your head
Some people use sunglasses as a fashion accessory. It is not appropriate to wear shades on your head in public places and especially in business meetings.
This is a soft rule that is being changed. If you are in a setting where sunglasses are important for keeping your eyes and skin around them safe, you may need to put them on your head when you are speaking, especially in professional conversations.
If you wouldn’t wear your shoes (or any other accessory) on your head, then do not wear your glasses on your head either. (Fashion rules are melding into practical rules when we are talking about sunglasses!)
Can I Wear My Sunglasses All The Time?
Is it OK to wear sunglasses all the time?
Wearing your sunglasses indoors won’t harm your vision. However, it can tire your eyes, causing eye fatigue.
Fatigue can in turn cause headaches, blurred vision, and increased light sensitivity.
If you are wearing sunglasses indoors or at night? You will keep your pupils dilated for long periods of time. This can also cause problems.
Do You Wonder Why Celebrities Wear Sunglasses Indoors?
Celebrities shield themselves from nonexistent sunlight. ( un-planned photos)
There may be, of course, a medical reason for doing so. (Dry eyes, migraines, and brain injuries can make people sensitive to even artificial light.)
Why Do Everyday People Hide Their Eyes With Sunglasses?
Why do people hide their eyes with sunglasses?
It could be that the person wearing the sunglasses has a black eye or other physical reason to shield their eye portion of the face. No makeup? All those things can be important only to those who have the glasses on.
Some feel it gives them some concelment for their identity, or because they are unsure of themselves. Some people just think it makes them look cool.
There can be an actual and real reason for sunglasses all the time.
A visually impaired person’s eyes are just as vulnerable to UV rays as the eyes of somebody who can see.
For legally blind people with some degree of vision, sunglasses might help prevent further vision loss caused by exposure to UV light.
So is it rude to wear sunglasses during a conversation?
Here Is The Deal
There are some rules of courtesy that should be observed as to when not to wear sunglasses. Are you aware of the rules, and why they exist?
Don’t wear them at night. For one, it can reduce your ability to see, but it also can make you look like you are hiding something.
Take your sunglasses off when you are indoors.
Exceptions: you have just had your eyes dilated or have another vision issue. If you do have an eye issue, offer an apology for not removing your sunglasses if you are speaking with someone indoors.
Wearing sunglasses indoors can be perceived as rude and disrespectful.
Remove them when you are conducting business. Eye contact is an important component of doing business.
People want to see your eyes when they talk with you. If you are conducting business outside with a client, try moving into a shady area so you won’t be too bothered by the sun.
You should take your sunglasses off when you are being introduced to people outdoors.
If the introductions occur at a sporting event or outdoors anytime, do remove your glasses during the introductions.
Eye contact is a courtesy and is an important nonverbal form of communication.
Especially when meeting and greeting people. It also leaves a much better first impression.
Choose your style wisely. Your style of sunglasses should blend in or match what you do, especially if you wear them in professional settings. Wear your outrageous and fancy styles on the beach or by the pool.
Be sure you take your sunglasses off for photos.
Correct Behavior For Wearing Your Sunglasses On TV
Remove your sunglasses if you are on TV.
On the slim chance that you may be on TV someday, be sure to remove them. leaving them on will take away from your “celebrity” status.
When in doubt, err on the side of courtesy and take them off.
Sami’s Take on Am I Being “Rude” When Wear Sunglasses?
Wearing sunglasses is one more step in my personal training for protecting my eyes and skin from the dangers of overexposure to the sun.
I am learning to wear them more, and how important this tool is for overall sun protection.
I had no idea when I started researching sun blocking clothing that my sunglasses would top that list. However, I am still teachable and am learning that I have to take care of myself.
When living in my part of the world, protecting my skin so I can finish my senior years with careful attention to protection from the sun. Being aware of how much damage the sun can do to my eyes has caused new awareness and new habits.
It is a hard lesson, and sometimes I learn slowly.
What about you? Have you found yourself grabbing your sun hat and sunglasses more? We all should.
Hat and sunglasses are the basis of your skin protection wardrobe. With all our options, we should be able to enjoy the outdoors in all seasons.
Yes, it will mean changing some habits, but we can do it. We can visit the skin doctors less. Help your family stay safer.