I'm sitting alone in a restaurant when a group of teenagers or young adults comes in and takes a table near the center of the restaurant. We're the only customers in the restaurant, and I'm listening to an audiobook using earbuds.
There are six of them, all men, and they're practically shouting at each other while sitting around the same table. I can clearly hear them over my audiobook, and it's making it difficult to focus on my story. If I turn up the volume, I risk damaging my hearing.
In the past, I would go over, tell them they're being loud and ask them to lower their voices. This usually earns me cold stares, like I'm imposing on them. I'd like to learn some more effective strategies.
If it's at all relevant, I'm a woman in my 30s and this is a rural town in Tennessee, USA.
How can I go over and politely ask them to lower their voices without coming across as demanding or rude, without risking being mocked?