Are Sunglasses Rude?

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I went to meet my friend at a restaurant for coffee, and she brought her boyfriend along. I met him briefly once before, when I ran into my friend in the parking lot of a store. Both times that I have met him, he has had on his sunglasses. At the restaurant, we sat outside, and I understand if he felt like he could see better with sunglasses on, but he never once took them off. He came across as very aloof when we talked, and I felt like I did not really get to know him, because I never saw his eyes. I then got to spend time with him a month later at dinner. It turns out he is a very charming guy. It then struck me how seeing his eyes made him seem more personable. Is there an etiquette rule about wearing sunglasses? It made me think about if I may wear my sunglasses at times that maybe I should not. Thank you.


Dear Anonymous,

In some countries there is “sunglasses” etiquette. For example, in Guatemala, wearing sunglasses is considered rude because the Guatemalan people consider it an insult to not be able to see your eyes and your expressions. It sounds like you feel that way too, and I understand why. When I meet or greet someone, I always take off my sunglasses. I feel like it is a sign of respect. Also, when I run into someone who I do not know very well, I always wonder if they will recognize me with my sunglasses on. At least take off your sunglasses when meeting or greeting someone, and only put them back on if the sun is really blinding your eyes.