It's called public transport for a reason.
Oh, it's rant time, reader. If you're looking for something sunshiny, this isn't it.
Bad enough dealing with brake noise like an ice pick in your ear; you've got to deal with people who think 'everybody does it' excuses any sort of mess.
Here are (not here's, because that's singular) several tips inspired by mass transit.
Lose all expectation of privacy.
When it's quiet, of course you'll have more space than usual; but during rush hours, you'll be lucky to get breathing room. Add that kind of close proximity to a language that the majority of the people around you understands, and you've got no call to complain when you're overheard talking some foolishness. (Of course, I'm not discounting the chance that you were aiming to be overheard.)
Seats are for butts.
It just so happens that these things fill up sometimes, and - just a thought - people are gonna wanna sit down. Having your face in your phone, your headset on, and your bag on the seat next to you, and then pulling an attitude when you're the one with your stuff in the way? That's ignorant. If it's light enough for your back or your shoulder, it's light enough for your lap, and odds are the floor won't do it too much damage either.
Read the signs.
They're not there to look pretty; the ones near the doors are just a reminder that sometimes old and hurt people use public transport too. Don't expect anything but contempt if you refuse to get up for a grandfather on crutches, pal; just because your nose is running doesn't mean your feet have stopped working. And the No Smoking ones in a crowded underground room are there for the people who don't wanna mess up their lungs the way you're doing with yours.
If all else fails, laugh.
Because all the petty cruelties of humans are never going to go away, from gossip and politics to playing 'I'm not touching you' with a jet fighter, sometimes you just need a good hard laugh to keep you from a felony.
The subway gets pretty packed in the late afternoon, and one enterprising character took some creative measures to get a space in one of those painfully crowded cars. He called out 'ohmigod, look!' and (shut up) I looked. By the time I looked back, the crafty fella was grinning in the subway car. Still calling him a pain, but I have to say, that was pretty funny.
And it's a safe bet somebody's gonna try that trick on down the line - so if you're reading it here, and planning on copycatting, that's only funny once.