Is It Rude To Knock on Someone’s Door?

Whether visiting someone, making a work call, or otherwise, sometimes you find yourself standing in front of a door with a couple of options: knock on the door, or ring the doorbell. 

Theoretically, you may also opt for calling or messaging someone instead of knocking on their door.

But, the real question here is whether or not it’s rude to knock on someone’s door. Read on below and explore the in-depth answer.

Is it Rude to Knock on Someone’s Door?

Knocking on someone’s door is one of those old traditions that are still in use today. But, is it rude? 

For the most part, knocking on someone’s door isn’t considered rude. However, it is vital to note that there is a huge difference between politely knocking on someone’s door and banging or pounding on their door.

So long as you aren’t interrupting a function, like lunch or breakfast, and are actually knocking rather than banging, you are in the good.

How Rude Is it?


Knocking on someone’s door rates 1 out of 10 on the rude meter. That rating steeply increases by several digits if you are pounding on the door instead of knocking politely or if you are knocking at an inappropriate time of the day (too early/too late).

Why is it Rude?

Knocking on someone’s door isn’t rude at all unless you get carried away. If someone doesn’t answer the door quickly enough for your liking, restraining from knocking louder and longer keeps your rudeness level low on the meter. Pounding away at someone’s door after sundown, especially if they have a family, on the other hand, rates at 8 or 9 on the rude meter. 

Why is it Not Rude?

People have been knocking on doors since doors have been in existence, which is why it typically isn’t considered rude. If you can’t reach someone via phone or message or don’t know the person, to begin with, you have no choice but to knock on the door (especially if there is no doorbell).

Other Options to Do Instead

The main options you have, instead of knocking on someone’s door, are:

  • Calling them
  • Text messaging them
  • Ringing the doorbell
  • Scheduling a time to meet
  • Leaving a note for them

Common Questions

What do you do if someone knocks on your door?

Check the lock, look through the peephole if there is one, and then answer them verbally (through the door). If it is someone you know, or a public official (like a policeman), unlock the door and open it up to continue the conversation.

Is it rude to not answer the door when someone knocks?

No, it is not rude to answer the door when someone knocks (if you are at your own home, especially early in the morning or late at night). That said, if you are expecting someone to come over and then ignore them when they knock, it is extremely rude.

Should I knock on the neighbor’s door?

There is nothing wrong with knocking on your neighbors’ door from time to time, especially if you have a good reason. Whether you noticed some property damage that you want to alert them to, or simply want to welcome them to the neighborhood with a warm apple pie, knocking on their door is one of the best ways to meet/stay in touch with your neighbors.