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Gabby101's avatar

Is it rude to blow your nose in a restaurant?

Asked by Gabby101 (2433 points ) December 6th, 2012

I took a survey about facial tissues and one of the questions was if it was rude to blow your nose in a restaurant. This made me think because I often wipe my nose in public or wipe with a slight blow (no noise) and I always think this is okay. I have allergies, so during certain times of the year, it is necessary to wipe my nose, somewhat often – but to be clear, it is not running down my nose, just a little moist and should be wiped. Same with people eating spicy food or soup – sometimes you need a wipe, right?

I do agree that it is disgusting to do a big honkin blow or incredibly “productive” blow anywhere in public other than the bathroom. What are your thoughts?

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33 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Yes. It would be best to get up from the table and go to the restroom.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
AshlynM's avatar

Not necessarily rude but it’s not a pretty sight.
I would excuse myself and blow my nose in the bathroom. You never know what type of germs you’re infecting others with when you do that.

chelle21689's avatar

Yeah, that’s gross. I don’t want to hear snot while I’m eating.

Gabby101's avatar

Just to clarify – no one is seeing or hearing any snot, which I agree would be gross.

Coloma's avatar

I wouldn’t take offense if it was discreet, but if one is sick and blowing copious amounts of snot around yes, take you’re virulent self to the restroom.

bookish1's avatar

I feel it’s rude to blow your nose in public, period. I only ever do that in private at home or in a restroom. Wiping or dabbing is a different matter because it is discreet and not noisy.

CWOTUS's avatar

This question cannot really be answered without a cultural context. In some parts of the world, you risk having your head blown off if you blow your nose in front of the wrong person. That’s literally a risk; it has happened to people (fortunately no one that I know).

In some parts of the world it’s just “frowned upon”.

Generally in American and European restaurants one can attempt to either turn around or avert one’s head and be very quiet and discreet (because leaving the table often presents its own set of problems). It’s often possible – and advisable – to use the napkin to mask what is actually going on.

burntbonez's avatar

I wouldn’t find it rude. I think going to the bathroom to blow your nose is excessive. Please, ladies. I appreciate the concern, but I’d rather have the pleasure of your company.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What’s rude is arbitrary. I don’t consider it rude. Doesn’t mean it’s not rude to someone else. I saw on that other question you think facial hair on women is disgusting. I don’t, not even a little bit. All of these things are sort of like that.

Coloma's avatar

Personally I’d rather someone blow their nose in my vicinity over spitting. Gag!

hearkat's avatar

My opinion is akin to yours, @Gabby101, wiping the nose or quietly blowing is more polite than incessantly sniffling and clearing one’s throat; or excuse yourself and go to the restroom for a good honk.

jca's avatar

It’s not rude to me but I admit I have a strong stomach and can tolerate stories about bodily fluids, etc. while I am eating.

Bellatrix's avatar

A gentle blowing of your nose is not rude. It’s preferable to having a dripping nose or ugh – sniffing!

If, as you rightly suggest, you need to blow your nose very hard and/or are suffering from a bad cold – then yes it would be rude and probably shouldn’t be out in public sharing your germs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wiping can be done discretely (although it’s gross if someone sees you,
) blowing can’t. Go to the restroom to blow, no matter how unobtrusive you think you’re being…..

dxs's avatar

It irks me, nothing too serious because I’m not that picky. But I’d prefer it if you’d do it elsewhere. Wiping your nose is okay.

dabbler's avatar

Beats sniffling.

woodcutter's avatar

Stuff gets past the kleenex. It does. That just sounds like an evening at home would have been wiser. Going out where others eat when you are sick might be thought of as a bit selfish.

hearkat's avatar

@woodcutter – I have allergies, and different fragrances can set them off, even though I take my allergy pill every day. I have no control if the lady in the booth next to me is wearing something that I have a reaction to. Sometimes spicy foods make a person’s nose run, or even just hot soup. Also, the Kleenex Ultra tissues are a great barrier, but they’re not the ones that come in the travel packs.

deni's avatar

If you ask me YES. It’s a gross unappetizing noise. I am a very hard person to bother. It isn’t the germ aspect of it that gets me either. It’s just blow your fuckin nose in the bathroom. I will straight up glare at people near me in a restaurant if I can hear the snot coming out of their nose. I HATE IT.

_Whitetigress's avatar

I think in public it’s just pure disgusting. However, all that is disgusting when done in a public restroom is fine.

augustlan's avatar

Wiping is fine, blowing is not fine.

rooeytoo's avatar

This has never crossed my mind and my mom was a fanatic about manners. But I have never heard a word about it being rude to blow ones nose in any situation. If at the table, turn your head but not necessary to get up and leave.

lifeflame's avatar

Is it a cultural thing? I’ve never heard of going to the restroom to blow one’s nose.

jca's avatar

@woodcutter: Being sick is not the only reason people blow their noses.

Response moderated (Spam)
elbanditoroso's avatar

In your or someone else’s food, it’s rude.

But a stuff nose is not something under anyone’s control. Blow away, but careful what you are aiming at.

Using a cloth napkin to blow into – that[‘s tacky.

Harold's avatar

Much better than snorting up your snot…........

glacial's avatar

I don’t find it rude, but then I’ve always been a pragmatist. I actually find it a bit silly when a dinner companion has to excuse themselves to blow their nose, especially if it happens more than once. It’s like making a big show out of nothing important.

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Highbrow's avatar

Yes it is. I think this is the most rude of places you could ever choose to blow your nose. Just to hear the noise bothers me. I do not like when others blow their noses. This is why I don’t do that or almost never. As you say that I’m always discreet, making it unobtrusively.
That’s better. Plus, bathrooms are just the right place to do such things.
People would be well-advised to be courteous to the other people around them who are eating! This is not only rude, but it is all the more gross. If they need to blow their noses in a restaurant, they must have the decency to walk to the bath room. There is always one close. Besides, they should wash their hands after blowing their nose anyway, so they will want to be near a sink. The thought of germs and flying snot that might come in contact with food is one that can ruin the appetite of people with the strongest of stomachs, I think. Blowing their nose at the table is simply something I can’t admit.

glacial's avatar

@Highbrow Perhaps dining in the midst of other people, who have different ideas and priorities than yours, is not for you. Consider spending more time alone, where you can rest safe in the knowledge that no unwanted sights, sounds, or (gasp!) germs can ever affect you.

Paradox25's avatar

I would suppose so, which is why I won’t eat out when I’m sick, or eat hot and spicy dishes. I don’t want to run to the bathroom like 20 times to blow my nose.

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