What Is Proper Etiquette When Going Up Stairs? Should A Man Let The Woman Go First, Or Should He Always Go Ahead Of Her?


8 Answers

Sarah Marsh Profile
Sarah Marsh answered
It depends on the situation and the people involved. The idea of someone going up the stairs second is to offer support if the person stumbles, However, a woman may feel embarrassed about going up the stairs first if she has a short skirt on, and so the man should go first in that circumstance.

Some people have the idea that women like to feel cherished and looked after, so a man going up the stairs second is a caring and desired gesture. In fact, many women feel, particularly if there is no physical reason why the woman needs to be supported, patronised and annoyed at having to collude with old fashioned and sexist gestures that subliminally reduce women to little girls that need to be looked after by a big brave man.

There is a fine line though, and it is easy to fall foul of it. If a man assumes that the woman he is with will be upset if he adopts the role of protector and simply goes up the stairs in front of her, she may believe that he is simply rude. The probable only safe way to address this problem is to be aware of subtle gestures in body language that will give you clues to how you should behave.

If you still really don’t know what would be best then you can take the circumstances into consideration and use them to your advantage. For example, if the reason you are going up the stairs is to show someone round a house, the man can quite easily say that he will go first so that he can show the woman where to go. This shows that he is being polite and wanting to make her comfortable so that she doesn’t end up on the landing not knowing which direction to take, and also negates the chance of offending her.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
To walk behind a lady going up a stair and walking in front going down is part of the social manners we were taught as a boy. Also offering your arm when walking side-by-side, walking on the outside of the curb, opening doors, paying the check... And many, many more "gentleman" behavior. Today, they are mostly considered sexist and refuted by the modern woman (except for picking up the check!)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Going up the stairs the women proceeds the man.
Going down the stairs the man proceeds the women.
In each case the reason is, should the women trip, the man will break her fall.
1 Person thanked the writer.
Alan L. Jones
Alan L. Jones commented
I agree. This is the way that I've always understood to be the accepted practice and, as highlighted, it is to break the woman's fall should she stumble.
Rose P Profile
Rose P answered
What woman doesn't LOVE chivalry?????  He should let you in first and if anything, go ahead of you if there is some sort of BLOCK ahead or if there is a door to open....  

I believe that him staying behind is just a man watching out for you.....

greg c Profile
greg c answered
I don't think there's an etiquette for that but I walk behind my wife going up the stairs and in front of her going down the stairs. Going up, I am ready to catch her if she trips and going down, I am ready to be fallen on if she trips!! As well, she suffers from two muscle diseases so by walking behind her going up I can support her if she starts to tire.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I believe the proper etiquette is to have the man go ahead of the woman when going up stairs.
oradsche contageux Profile

The man is supposed to crouch at the base of the stairs and offer a ride.

shelly johnson Profile
shelly johnson answered
If at all possible you should go up the stairs side by side. You should never walk in front or behind your man. Always stay right by his side!

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