Questions tagged [etiquette]

Etiquette is a set of rules or customs that control accepted behaviour in particular social groups or social situations.

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145
votes
16answers
25k views

Arguing science with a passionate non-scientist?

As a physician for more than three decades and a Molecular Biologist before that, I know a lot of science and medicine (I also keep up with the literature.) I find that people hold on tightly to ...
81
votes
22answers
20k views

Is it rude to ask tourists where they are from?

“So… Where are you from?” It's normal small talk for us, most Indians; and only general whereabouts is expected. In my tours in India, I've met some foreigners along the way, usually western. I ...
5
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3answers
3k views

How do I maintain eye contact with someone as a listener if it makes my body physically uncomfortable?

Here is an example: I'm talking to one of my professors, making eye contact and being engaged like a good student does, but all of a sudden I feel like I lose depth perception (I find that this ...
41
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10answers
43k views

What is the etiquette for asking whether someone has a special diet

Is there an etiquette for asking if there are certain things a person does not want or cannot eat? If I cook for a group of people, is it on them to tell me about it, or do I ask them? If it's on me ...
8
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5answers
1k views

When should one do “la bise” in France?

As a French woman with ASD, I often find myself struggling to know if I should do "la bise" (cheek-kiss) in greeting. In general, I don't like to do "la bise" for various reasons--one of them being ...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

Are “pleasantries” in emails still … “pleasant”?

Hi [your name here]! It's been a long time since we last had a chance to catch up and I really hope you're doing well. Everything is great on my end [. . .] I'm writing because I really need someone ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

“Reserved” seats at crowded food court? [closed]

I am at a crowded food court, food stalls all have a 20 minutes queue, and not a single seat is available. Eating outside of the food court is not an easy option either. But then there is this 4 ...
5
votes
3answers
662 views

How and when to tell someone they have food in their teeth

I'm in America and every once in a while I come across someone with food stuck in their teeth. Recently it happened with a coworker I feel friendly towards. I first noticed while we were having a 1:...
3
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2answers
2k views

What's the proper etiquette to be relocated from table at a restaurant?

Context I was at a restaurant yesterday and one person on the table next to us was so loud that they sounded as if sat right at our own table, an annoying companion you could say. Regularly, loud ...
87
votes
9answers
21k views

What is the etiquette for asking a dog owner before I pet their dog?

Dogs are what I see mostly out on my day to day activities and I see some tied up outside shops and I'll pet them, I'll also pet some in passing i.e. just stroking them as I walk past and sometimes as ...
61
votes
15answers
25k views

Who should identify themself first on the phone: the caller or the person called?

This may be a generational thing. I was taught that the caller always identified himself first. The person answering says "hello", to establish that contact has been made, but is under no obligation ...
20
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9answers
5k views

Is there a general rule for when/how to compliment a stranger? [closed]

The title pretty much says it all, I know there are cases where giving compliments to strangers makes them uncomfortable (for example, catcalling), but as I understand it there is a separate set of ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

How many photos should I take If I'm given a camera to take a picture?

I live in a fairly touristic place and get asked to take pictures of strangers a lot. When I do this, I get a little bit self-conscious thinking if they are saying to themselves "this dude is taking ...
24
votes
6answers
50k views

When should I use Mrs. or Ms. in emails?

When I am writing emails, I prefer to use either Mr., Mrs., or Ms. when addressing the recipient's name. When I am addressing a woman, I may not always know their marital status and don't know whether ...
10
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3answers
4k views

When is it appropriate to look into people's eyes while walking on street? [closed]

Is it normal or recommended to look into stranger's eyes when walking on a street, especially when it involves the opposite sex? If so how long and how many times you look towards that person ...
38
votes
7answers
10k views

Is there a Russian etiquette on declining offers of food when visiting someone?

I'm 15 years old, living in Israel. Occasionally, I visit senior citizens on their birthdays - bringing balloons and stuff, with a few other people. These people who we visit are usually older ...
25
votes
7answers
8k views

Should I help pay for a traffic ticket someone got while helping me? [closed]

A couple of weeks ago, my brother-in-law helped me by transporting a piece of furniture in his car, as my car was too small. On our way home, with me following him in my own car, he ran a red light (...
24
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2answers
4k views

How can I use a cell phone at work for work purposes without appearing to be slacking off?

Where I work, it is frequently mentioned by both co-workers and managers that many people find it rude when staff use cell phones while on duty because it is seen as attending to personal items while ...
18
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5answers
4k views

How do I talk to someone through a translator?

I am a private piano teacher. I recently accepted a student who has only been living in the US for a couple weeks and does not know English. Her mother sits next to us during the lessons and ...
17
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7answers
26k views

Is it rude to refer to someone as “he” or “she” in their presence? [closed]

I always feel like it's rude when someone refers to some as "she" or "he" in their presence or when I've done it in the past. But I'm not sure what etiquette says to this in UK ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What is the best way to deal with “reserved” seats at place like a hotel pool?

This question is not about "officially" reserved seating in a restaurant or similar venue, but rather about the practice of some people to put a towel, jacket, or other "personal item," on a seat or ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Why does a man pay for the first date with a woman? [closed]

It still seems to be common etiquette, at least in Greece (and probably in other countries as well) for a man to pay for the first date with a woman. While some women do not accept their bill to be ...
11
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5answers
4k views

What is the etiquette for hosting your own birthday event? Who pays?

I've never really had friends, so I've never really celebrated my birthday. This year, though, I wanted to invite my friends out somewhere, perhaps Topgolf [1] (not an advertisement, trying to give ...
7
votes
3answers
857 views

How to politely decline an equipment rent request?

Recently, my acquaintance asked me to do him a favor. He wants to borrow my ski googles for a week-end (2 days). I don't really want to lend them to him, because we are not close at all, furthermore ...
22
votes
4answers
11k views

What is the etiquette regarding ordering food at a restaurant if someone is late?

When at a restaurant with a group of friends (3 or more), and one person is running late, what is the etiquette around ordering before everyone has arrived? Considering that with an especially large ...
19
votes
8answers
30k views

What is the right way to refer to someone with dark brown skin who is not African American?

I had a conversation recently where someone was deathly afraid of referring to a person by their skin color. It went something like this: Coworker: One of the people on the other team came by and ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What reply is expected to the query “How are you?”

This is closely related to the How to respond to "What's up?" post, but carries some different nuances. What is the best course of action when a casual acquaintance or work colleague ...
9
votes
5answers
8k views

When should I make eye contact with someone I intend to walk past?

I am an adult male living in the US, in case it matters. Anyway, there's something I do when walking past people on a (not too busy) sidewalk or in a hallway, where I will make eye contact with them,...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the proper etiquette for making ones presence known non-verbally?

Years of dedicated martial arts training has resulted in a condition where my footfalls are nearly silent. This has led to some IPS problems. Specifically: People often jump when I "appear" in the ...
2
votes
1answer
431 views

How to address a Korean co-worker?

My current employer is a global software company with offices in several continents. The company tries to maintain a culture of conviviality. Our main communication medium is text chat in English ; ...