12 Locker Room Etiquette Rules

Locker Room Etiquette
Locker room etiquette is about respecting others' space. People go there to clean themselves and change, so they don't want to be bothered. The awkwardness is difficult to handle, but if you keep things clean, mind your business, and try to wear appropriate clothing, you are already on the path.

1. Less is more

Don’t occupy more space than you need. That involves not bringing too much stuff and keeping everything organized. To make things quicker, keep your belongings in bags inside the lockers.

Gym locker rooms can be busy, so other people will need that space. Besides that, it may be difficult to maneuver around a room with so many objects lying around. Someone may even trip over something and fall.

2. Lock it up

Locker rooms are shared spaces, so everyone has access to your things. So lock them up. Don’t risk theft or loss. This is better for everyone since people won’t have to second guess if the locker is empty. If you leave it unlocked, people will open it, only to find your belongings in it.

3. Not a word

Being in a room full of half-naked strangers is weird enough. Don’t try to have an in-depth conversation there. Even small talk can get awkward when you’re only trying to get cleaned and dressed in peace. Respect people’s personal space.

If you really want to talk to someone, read the social cues. If the person seems rushed or is on their phone, they probably don’t want to be disturbed. But if such signs aren’t there, you can wait until you’re both dressed to talk. Just don’t do that in areas of the locker room with a lot of people.

4. Put your phone away

don't use phone in locker room
Don’t use your phone in locker room

Not only is it unsafe and inconvenient to have your cell phone out in a wet and dirty place like a locker room. Although it is not appropriate to have conversations in locker rooms, people do it. They don’t want to be overheard. Also, people may feel exposed if others are listening to what they’re doing.

Email the person you need to talk to or text them. That’s more appropriate. But if the call is unavoidable, keep it short and quiet. Also, go to an uncrowded spot.

5. Stop staring!

If talking is weird, imagine having someone stare at you. You may be comfortable in your own skin, but others may not have all that confidence. Everyone needs privacy. So avoid gazing at people’s bodies or making eye contact. This may seem invasive, and you may be harassing people.

6. Keep things dry

Dry off in the shower stall. This can prevent accidents like someone slipping and falling. It is very uncomfortable to walk with flip-flops on a wet floor. Moist locker rooms are also health hazards. Germs spread quicker, and things get nastier.

7. Don’t flex

don't flex your body in locker room
Don’t flex your body in locker room

You can be all about body positivity but must be as respectful as possible. So, don’t show off! It’s hard not to be naked when you’re showering, but cover yourself with a towel or wear underwear afterward. Nudity is normal in locker rooms, but don’t overdo it.

8. No pictures, please

Do you know those mirror photos where people unintentionally show too much? That can escalate quickly in a gym locker room, where there are lots of undressed people. So take those post-workout selfies somewhere else. You may be naively getting yourself into a mess. People may even sue you for privacy violations and unauthorized image use.

9. Grooming can wait

Doing grooming in a shared space is inconsiderate. Nail and body hair trimming leave clippings everywhere, blow-drying makes the room hot, and your entire skincare routine takes too long. Besides, you can do them all at home. So why do them in a locker room?

10. Do not overuse deodorants

Deodorant and perfume disperse through the air, so an allergic person may have a reaction to them. It may be your signature scent or favorite one but think of others. The already less-ventilated locker room is the worst place for using too much deodorant since it may fill up with the smell.

11. Clean up after yourself

Don’t be the person who leaves everything dirty in the locker room. Other people will use it. Dry water puddles you make with a towel or mop, wipe down the surfaces you use and throw your towels in the towel bin after using them.

You also have to protect yourself from germs. Wash your hands, wear flip-flops in the shower to protect your feet, and avoid sharing your personal items.

Also read: Sauna Etiquette: 15 Do’s and Don’ts

12. Speak to the manager

You don’t know who you’re talking to, so don’t. You can contact management later. But don’t get into conflict with a stranger. It can easily become a fight, or people can hate you forever because of that.

Some situations worth mentioning to management are the locker room always being dirty, someone not following locker room rules, or items not working.

Ana C.

Ana C. is an artistic writer who loves shaping language around her message. For her, etiquette is about respecting everyone and spreading kindness. She loves hanging out with goats, analyzing TV shows, and eating feijoada with farofa.

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