If someone looks confused or overwhelmed, by all means lend them a hand. Some of those machines are like rocket ships to operate. But there's a difference between being friendly and helpful and being an insufferable know-it-all. We're all grown-ups, and if you have an opinion about the number of reps a fellow lifter is doing, bite your tongue unless they ask for your expert insight.
Also try to resist the urge to visually critique others. It's OK to glance around and be friendly and all that, but keep the mental assessments to a minimum. "Please don't stare at me while I'm trying to work out. It's so creepy," says Megan Cory-Sills of Chula Vista, California. "Move along!"
I know I'm being a bit caustic throughout this article, but I'm completely serious about this next point. Body shaming is not cool. Whether someone is overweight, underweight or somewhere in between, mind your own business. "One time I was talking to my trainer and a stranger yelled at me to eat a sandwich," recounts a fellow HowStuffWorks staffer of her own body-shaming experience. The gym is supposed to be a place for personal improvement, not an opportunity to cut others down just for the heck of it. Instead, compliment someone on their form, outfit or general attitude and watch it help them surge toward new goals.Or just keep your mouth shut!