Questions tagged [difficult-people]

For questions involving people who have shown a tendency to be stubborn, uncomprehending, or otherwise difficult to communicate with. Use this tag for issues like personality conflicts, not for difficulties arising from a physical or mental condition.

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192 votes
11 answers
52k views

How to deal with unwanted attention at the swimming pool?

I swim twice a week in a sports complex. My hours are late and the place is almost empty. A few days ago a guy started a chat with me while I was in the sauna. I saw nothing wrong with it, so I ...
Arcene's user avatar
  • 1,543
136 votes
7 answers
35k views

Girlfriend's nosy mother keeps expressing that she'll show up unannounced

Some context: my girlfriend and I have been dating for a year, and we've decided to move in together now that she has graduated and found a job in her chosen career. We're both financially ...
Cork's user avatar
  • 1,213
88 votes
17 answers
22k views

How to deal with someone who ignores your lack of knowledge?

I purposely made this question generally broad so that it can apply to more people in need of similar interpersonal skills, but I can easily make it about a specific scenario if needed. Problem My ...
HugoBDesigner's user avatar
74 votes
21 answers
34k views

How can I deal diplomatically with a feminist neighbor who continuously delivers political speeches in private?

This question is unlikely to have a very strong cultural context so I welcome answers from members all over the world. I met this person (code name Jane D) when I was studying sociology at Masters ...
English Student's user avatar
66 votes
9 answers
16k views

How to deal with a dangerous, developmentally disabled person I can not avoid?

On my way to work, I cannot help but encountering a developmentally disabled person who harasses me and other women. How can I deal with him? Background I have been taking the same train to work ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
  • 33.9k
64 votes
5 answers
19k views

How to politely reject a rude advice giver at the gym that won't take it well anyways

Problem So, there is this (big) guy at the gym. He is 210cm and 105Kg (~6'11" and 230 lbs) which makes him look like a mountain, but he seems to not understand that not everyone is naturally as ...
Meow's user avatar
  • 1,795
61 votes
12 answers
22k views

How can I remind someone to do a task when reminding them makes them less likely to do it?

I have a bit of a problem with my girlfriend, in that things aren't getting done because she is forgetful about things she doesn't like to do. We've had many discussions on the topic, and we both ...
Anoplexian's user avatar
  • 3,358
60 votes
13 answers
33k views

I gave a "gift" back to a friend after he asked for it back, and now he is trying to tax me for using it [closed]

I'm usually good at this sort of stuff but I don't know how to handle this situation. I'll start from the beginning. Backstory About 2-3 years ago, a good friend of mine, Henry, stole a grinder from ...
Dough John's user avatar
58 votes
7 answers
18k views

How to help a friend through a rough breakup when his actions are testing the limits of my patience?

One of my close friends, who is 25, has recently broken up with his girlfriend of 10-11 months. Naturally, he has turned to me and other people close to him for help and support. My friend is, by ...
InterpersonalLoser's user avatar
54 votes
17 answers
48k views

Dealing with people who always try to prove you wrong in a conversation [closed]

Consider the following scenario: You have an acquaintance, who would probably be really good at turncoat (the game in which one person has to rapidly switch sides again and again on a topic). ...
Myungjin Hyun's user avatar
52 votes
10 answers
18k views

How do I avoid strange questions because of a flag?

First of I should mention that I like Russia, have been there and I just like the people, the culture, the architecture. Pretty much every friend/coworker/family members knows and accepts that. But ...
user18596's user avatar
  • 629
52 votes
5 answers
19k views

How to deal with disruptive people in the cinema

In my last two cinema trips I have had disruptive people in the cinema. One was a group of 4-5 early 20s men, one of whom in particular was talking very loudly. I stared at him until he looked back ...
WhatEvil's user avatar
  • 1,374
49 votes
6 answers
5k views

How to address a someone who is constantly offended on my behalf

Background: I was born with several disabilities, including Asperger's syndrome, hearing impairment, and other difficulties related to being born blue. (Neonatal hypoxia) I am nearly 50, am ...
user avatar
45 votes
4 answers
20k views

How to tell a "friend" to stop pretending to flirt with my girlfriend?

There's this acquaintance of both my girlfriend and I that pretends to flirt with my girlfriend. Neither of us are close enough with him to classify him as a "friend," though both my girlfriend and I ...
abcdefg's user avatar
  • 411
43 votes
7 answers
67k views

How can I get a friend to stop calling me all of the time?

My friend has been there for me through the worst times of my life, and to the point where no one really helped me besides her. She's going through a bit of a rough time now and I've done everything I ...
user477465's user avatar
42 votes
5 answers
23k views

How do I politely hint to customers to leave my store, without pretending to need to leave myself?

I own a small gelato juice bar with a piddling number of seats for customers. I'm working alone right now; my employees returned to school and I haven't hired yet. Too frequently, after buying and ...
user avatar
39 votes
6 answers
14k views

How do I communicate gracefully to coworkers that they are accidentally misgendering me?

I am a transwoman about 7 months in my real life phase and not a week goes by that I am not accidentally misgendered by my some of my coworkers. That is, they use the wrong pronouns to refer to me or, ...
GretchenV's user avatar
  • 1,956
37 votes
15 answers
6k views

How to find out how my father would like us to decide for him with regard to medical treatment?

So, this weekend my mom and dad both signed some official paperwork, which my dad handed to me with a 'read it carefully please'. The paperwork gives me and my brothers the power to make decisions for ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
  • 33.9k
36 votes
9 answers
21k views

How to tell someone they're not welcome at an event you organise

So I am taking part in organising an event for around 100 people. This is a leisure event. It is not work-related. These are events that take place three times a year, lasting from Friday to Sunday. ...
JAD's user avatar
  • 6,962
36 votes
6 answers
9k views

How to deal with avoiding someone I don't like

Currently, as part of my work, I come into proximity with a lot of people (via getting food, to being at some company-wide meeting, or just at a mutual work friend's party), some of whom I do not like ...
Crafter0800's user avatar
  • 6,938
34 votes
11 answers
15k views

How can I politely tell my fellow tenants that I am not the caretaker?

I have 3 fellow tenants in the same building where I live. Every Monday evening, the refuse bins must be put out in the street so that the next morning the company could collect the garbage and empty ...
NerdGuy's user avatar
  • 349
32 votes
10 answers
19k views

Saying "No" to my brother's demand without causing an argument

Bit of background on my relationship with my brother: ever since my teenage years, I could not bear him. I know it is common for siblings to have arguments and misunderstandings, and that's been the ...
Slapped Penguin's user avatar
29 votes
8 answers
10k views

How to inform a friend who has anxiety that you don't dislike them

I have a friend who has depression and anxiety, they constantly think that when they do certain things such as state that they're feeling down or upset, or feel left out that I suddenly dislike them ...
Twyxz's user avatar
  • 564
29 votes
3 answers
9k views

How to manage an ex-flatmate who refuses any communication at all?

As I moved to Graz a couple of months ago I took a room in a shared flat with three other people. About a month after that one of them decided to leave, because she wanted to move to a friend of hers ...
MansNotHot's user avatar
  • 2,897
25 votes
8 answers
4k views

How should I handle the "loudest" voice in a group project? [closed]

I am in a Software Engineering class in college. Person A likes to be the voice of everyone. For example, I would ask "What do you think of this?" And without any discussion and a very immediate ...
bedtime21's user avatar
  • 351
24 votes
11 answers
10k views

Friend's BF tends to get hammered, how do I politely address that I don't want his behavior to get out of hand at the campsite?

I have a friend and her boyfriend tends to get very hammered. I really enjoy spending time with her but him not so much. I don't want to exclude her from our group campsite but he's an issue. How ...
Stegathesaurus's user avatar
23 votes
8 answers
10k views

How can I best let my once-close friend know that I think our friendship is over--if at all? [closed]

My once-closest friend and I have seriously drifted apart. It's come as far as that I do not want to invest any more energy in the friendship and I'd prefer it to just quietly end. I am unsure, ...
Bakabaka's user avatar
  • 341
23 votes
8 answers
6k views

How to discreetly reject an attention-seeker while you listen to someone else

Situation A group of people, who have known each other for a very long time, meets again. Among them are Alice and Mallory (not real names). Alice She has been gone for quite a while and just came ...
Anne Daunted GoFundMonica's user avatar
23 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to deal with a possibly abusive stranger?

Recently, I was on a trip to a town that I didn’t know well. I play Pokemon GO, which has “raids,” a sort of social feature that requires people to gather in one place to coordinate in-game activities....
Obie 2.0's user avatar
  • 470
22 votes
7 answers
9k views

How can I tactfully ask someone whether posts they made are potentially about me on social media?

Background This is about me and my ex-best friend Alice. I'm currently living in the UK. Alice and I had been very good friends from about September last year, up until the beginning of this month. I ...
CJ1992's user avatar
  • 323
21 votes
7 answers
7k views

An extremely confrontational person knows I blocked them, how to avoid confrontation?

I have a friend X who I have had to block on all social media after they have proven themselves to be: intense and demanding (A) trying to upset me (B) emotionally manipulative (C) having angry and ...
blueberryredbull's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
3k views

How to handle accidentally bumping into a drunk person while walking?

Yesterday when I left my office, I bumped into a drunk person while walking. I didn't notice him, since I was walking while checking my WhatsApp messages. Then, since he was drunk, he started ...
Sagar VD's user avatar
  • 1,644
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to discuss bad communication with team leader?

My teamleader and I struggle to communicate sometimes. One day a week I'm allowed to work from home so we communicate via Slack or Skype calls. We speak the same native language but there's a 30 year ...
Summer's user avatar
  • 8,520
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to help my friend accept criticism?

tl;dr Bruce believes that the world is, at its core, a very nice, nonjudgmental place where people get along and don't criticize, and when this belief is contradicted he either refuses the evidence or ...
Imperator's user avatar
  • 753
16 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to disassociate with an obnoxious, arrogant, selfish friend

I'm from England. When I first moved to a foreign, non-English-speaking, country (France), it was difficult for me to make friends, I had to deal with the language barrier and culture shock. Luckily, ...
user avatar
14 votes
10 answers
15k views

How can I tell someone that I am glad to be leaving them without sounding petty?

Background After this year, I will be going to a different school than the rest of my friends and so I am writing them cards. There is one person in the group who I especially don't like, and I would ...
user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
11k views

How to respond to self-deprecating remarks

I have a few friends who will try to manipulate me with self deprecating remarks. Perhaps I've been helping them with something for a while and am obviously making moves to leave when they say ...
Lio Elbammalf's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do my wife and I get her mother to stop buying stuff for us?

For years, my mother-in-law has purchased a huge number of holiday gifts for us. This is frustrating because at other points in the year, she'll ask for small loans ($500-$1000 or so) to pay for ...
Kulahan's user avatar
  • 806
13 votes
6 answers
2k views

How can I politely tell parents of kids to stop playing with my son's toys/equipment to give him and his friends a chance?

Quite often we go to the park, or host a party and we have a few things like Stomp Rockets or Jumpers or other such things/toys. There are quite a few kids who look at longingly and want to come over (...
PhD's user avatar
  • 231
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Dealing With Unwanted, Repeated, Public Advances

TL;DR Meghan, a member of a close friend group, is pushing me to attend an event with her via repeated, public statements. I find these confusing, distracting, and would like them to stop, with ...
Imperator's user avatar
  • 753
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Relative emailed me demanding to know my political views because they disliked my wife's Facebook posts

This morning I received an email from a relative demanding that I state my political viewpoints on a hot-button topic in US politics because his political views are opposite from those that are being ...
Rincewind's user avatar
  • 405
12 votes
4 answers
4k views

Preventing certain topics from being raised by a close relative

My friend (I got her consent to ask this question here) is currently dealing with major depression and anxiety issues (she is currently on therapy and medication), which started after a messy breakup -...
Noctiphobia's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
6k views

How to tell my mother not to visit?

I left my mother's home to live on my own 8,5 years ago. Since then, no one in my family has visited me once. Some years ago, my mother even dismissed my idea to visit me when I suggested to do so, I ...
Purrrple's user avatar
  • 3,125
12 votes
1 answer
15k views

My girlfriend occasionally blocks me on social media

We have known each other for almost a year, and have been dating for more than 6 months. Most of the time it has been going really well; we like each other and enjoy each other's company. For most of ...
Maria's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can one handle an encounter with a beggar/homeless person? [closed]

I used to work in Downtown Orlando, which is notorious for its amount of people walking the streets no matter if it's day or night. I worked Downtown for about six months, and I started to notice the ...
Robert Dewitt's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to acquire information from a confrontational stranger

I recently encountered a situation where I felt it was important to ask a stranger what they were doing/if everything was alright or prompt them to explain themselves, however, after they acted ...
Jesse's user avatar
  • 7,123
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

How do I to tell someone to stop criticizing what we do?

TL;DR: How do I to tell a judgemental person with unsubstantiated statements, making it a clear and definitive statement, that she may not move things around in our office? That person (I'll call her ...
OldPadawan's user avatar
  • 22.2k
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to deal with someone who always feels treated disrespectfully?

I already asked this question before, and it was deleted for being off-topic (also because I did not check back for too long, and thus was unable to adjust my post according to the comments / the ...
questionasker's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
4k views

What to say to steer passive-aggressive narcissist parent(s) away from saying guilt-tripping statements to me or other people?

My relationship with my dad has been rocky the past 9+ years. After divorcing my mom when I was 16, (I am 25 now) his passive-aggressive narcissist behavior has become more prevalent. For example, he ...
ElizB's user avatar
  • 3,585
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to handle being at the same events as my partner's ex-lover?

10 months ago I was out of the country for a period of three months for work reasons. During this time, my partner cheated on me with one of his friends, who is also one of his colleagues. This person ...
fhng's user avatar
  • 329