We're taught at an early age that it's wrong to cut in line because we have to wait your turn just like everyone else, and then we flout this rule by cutting whenever we see someone we know in line.
But what if there was a scientifically proven way to cut in line without making people pull out their torches and pitchforks- would you cut in line if you knew the power of science would allow you to get away with it?
Of course you would, so here's the skinny on skipping ahead in line, as collected by The Atlantic:
First, cutting is much less likely to work at special events. Waiting for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Get in line. The morning queue at your local Starbucks is much lower stakes, and so you’re less likely to face blowback.
Second: ask! Don’t try to sneak or saunter ahead. No one believes that you didn’t know where the end of the line was, anyway. Research has found that even if you don’t have an excuse, a polite ask to cut gets an okay 60% of the time. (And if the person you’re trying to cut ahead of says yes, people farther back are unlikely to object.) If you’ve got a good reason—your flight leaves in an hour, or you only have a few items for check-out—your odds are even better.
Finally, keep in mind that this etiquette varies country to country. Spain, for example, is pretty lax on cutting. Britain, well—if any Brits have made it through this article without a coronary, I’m sure they’ll tell you about it in the comments.