Door holding etiquette – How far is too far?


I always feel a little rude if someone is walking sort of far behind me and I don’t hold the door open for them.  But if I do, they feel forced to half-run to the door to acknowledge my politeness and that’s rough when they are in heels or it’s really hot out.

I started wondering if there was a agreed upon distance past which you don’t have to hold the door open for someone and I came across the above cartoon that made me laugh.

The only guideline I found was a distance of 10 feet which is a little hard to gauge if you are distance challenged, which I am.

The good news is, based on the cartoon, that other people wonder the same thing.  It gives me confidence to go ahead and let the door close behind me if the person just seems to far away.  Worst case I can always say, oh my gosh I should have held the door for you, if I realize they were closer than I thought.  I’d rather that than force them to run.

If you want to read more about door opening etiquette, this article is really good and while this one made me laugh.

Do you have a standard that you follow that could help me out?

[Poorly Drawn Lines via Tara Ariano]


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