Is it Rude To Not Say Hello To Someone?

Granted, not everyone is as socially comfortable, or polite for that matter, around other people. 

But, when someone greets you, what do people think if you do not say hello back?

Is it rude to not say hello to someone? 

Read on below and explore the full and in-depth answer!

Is it Rude To Not Say Hello To Someone?

Not saying hello to someone is your prerogative, but it does make you come off as rude to those around you (besides the person you fail to greet), regardless of your reasoning.

The exception to appearing rude when you choose not to say hello to someone is when that someone does not “deserve” your greeting. 

In other words, if someone has treated you poorly, or otherwise is someone you have no desire to talk to or interact with, not saying hello is perfectly fine.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, not saying hello to someone rates 8

The primary reason not saying hello to someone rates so high on the meter is that most people warrant a greeting.

Proper etiquette is to greet friends, family, co-workers, as well as customers and other ordinary people that you come in contact with, whether at home, school, work, or elsewhere out in the public.

Choosing to not say hello to someone, especially if they are being polite towards you, is typically considered extremely rude.

Why is it Rude?

Not saying hello to someone is more often than not considered very much rude. 

Even if you have no desire to carry on a conversation or get to know someone, saying hello at the very least when they’ve greeted you or showed up at your home or place of business, is considered proper etiquette.

Now, that is not to say that you must carry on a conversation with said person, or otherwise entertain them after you’ve politely said hello.

Common Questions

Is it rude to not greet someone?

It is typically rude to not greet someone who has already greeted you, or if you are otherwise expected to do so. 

That said, if you are having a bad day, or see someone you really don’t like, not greeting people may be forgiven by those who know you. 

But, that doesn’t change the fact that you will look likely look rude to others, regardless of your reasons.

Is it a must to greet people?

It isn’t a must to greet people unless it is literally your job or position to do so. 

However, just because no one is forcing you at gunpoint to greet others doesn’t mean people won’t find it odd, or rude if you choose not to say hello to them.

Why is saying hello so important?

Saying hello is incredibly important to display your general humanity and politeness. 

When we fail to do things like smile, make eye contact, and say hello, to the people we meet each day, we fail to show them the sort of respect and acknowledgment we ourselves appreciate (if not expect) from others.