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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166
votes
9answers
40k views

As a pedestrian, how to get someone to stop following you in a car?

Sorry, I just never had these situations occur until I moved into a neighborhood. Usually, we (well, my dogs) get most of our exercise in a large, unused field near my house. The people on our way ...
144
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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 ...
122
votes
14answers
24k views

Is it acceptable to violate table manners in public due to my disability?

I have a tremor, which varies in intensity. I recently ordered a sandwich at a restaurant, which was pretty easy to eat, but I gave up trying to eat the salad, because I was unable to do so with a ...
101
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11answers
34k views

Complimenting a female co-worker without coming across as flirting?

I am asking this question for a friend. My friend is straight, male, and married to a woman and loyal to his wife. He is a somewhat socially awkward person. He works in an office of software ...
88
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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 ...
87
votes
6answers
26k views

How can I give out my telephone number to my neighbors without implying anything?

I have recently purchased a new home and have moved into a neighborhood. I would like to introduce myself to my immediate neighbors and offer them my telephone number in case there is an emergency or ...
82
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 ...
74
votes
8answers
20k views

How to quickly end a date?

I use a dating app to go on dates with people I have never seen in person. Usually we spend 1-2 hours to go for some coffee etc. I've had dates turn up that e.g. don't look like their picture/...
64
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13answers
23k views

How can I decline someone's business card with tact?

I am an engineer in a technical field, but I work regularly with sales, and I am often given business cards by vendors or customers at work. I know that I will never use them, and I almost always ...
64
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9answers
13k views

How do I deal with people who can't deal with local payment customs?

I live in Japan. Japan still has a very cash oriented society especially when it comes to restaurants. Often someone will visit from out of town and will expect to be able to (1) pay with a credit ...
62
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12answers
19k views

How do I treat my friends to something without it being awkward?

There are some things I love doing with my friends that I know they cannot afford to do on a regular basis. In particular, I love going out for a big sushi dinner every once in a while. This type of ...
62
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15answers
24k 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 ...
54
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4answers
20k views

My cousin doesn't know that I know he received money that belongs to me - how do I approach him about receiving the money?

My cousin was supposed to receive money from a sale, keep a percentage and then send the rest over to me. I found out that not only did he receive more money from the sale of my item ($550 instead of ...
49
votes
9answers
59k views

How to deal with someone secretly taking pictures of you

As the title says: How should you react if you notice someone taking pictures of you without your consent? Background: It happened to me yesterday on the bus that a woman, of about my age, sat ...
48
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6answers
29k views

How do I respond when someone answers 'Yes' when I ask “Would anyone like the last [Item]?”?

So today at work we had a tray of doughnuts, my colleague called out to the office, "I'm going to have the last one unless anyone else would like it?". At this point, I realised that I don't think I'...
45
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13answers
14k views

What is the current etiquette in the US and UK regarding a man holding doors for female companions?

In my country of origin, Hungary, men should enter pubs and bars before their female companions, as opposed to holding the door for them. This is due to the assumption that pubs and bars can be ...
44
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4answers
18k views

How to find out if a party received your gift if it hasn't been somehow acknowledged?

This past winter, a pair of neighbors dug me out of a snowstorm*. I was incredibly grateful, as it was very deep and it would have taken me days to do what they did together in about two hours. I ...
42
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11answers
13k views

Is it rude to offer my seat up on public transit to someone who is much older than me but not yet a senior? [closed]

I am in my mid-twenties and I frequently use public transit in my city. Sometimes I notice someone get on the bus who appears to be much older than me but still seems young enough to have no problem ...
42
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10answers
41k 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 ...
42
votes
6answers
13k views

How do I approach the issue of someone reading what's on my phone when I'm on public transportation with them?

This is a problem which I face when I travel using public transportation. I have a habit of checking my messages, call data or Stack Exchange stuff that I missed and other social media stuff while I'...
42
votes
10answers
27k views

What do you do if someone is telling you something you already know about, such as a fact or something that happened?

One thing that has been happening lately is that people will tell me something that I already know. Naturally, I respond saying something like, "oh I heard/read about that". However, I feel like when ...
39
votes
6answers
17k views

What is Soda Fountain Etiquette?

The other day I was walking with my cup to the Soda Fountain1 at a restaurant. Someone was already using the fountain, but the drink they were getting was on the far right side, while what I wanted ...
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 ...
36
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9answers
8k views

What can I do to be a courteous guest, when someone says I don't need to bring anything?

My boyfriend made plans for us to have dinner with two of his friends, another couple. Since I have some dietary restrictions, they've decided to cook at home rather than go out (despite me saying I'm ...
34
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2answers
4k views

Is it appropriate to ask for the text of a eulogy?

At a funeral there is usually a eulogy by family or close friend of the deceased. This usually covers interesting details of their lives. Unfortunately, just hearing it once means you'll miss things. ...
31
votes
13answers
52k views

Is adding “let me know if anything is unclear” to an e-mail really necessary or is it redundant?

(Note that I originally asked this question on the English Language Stack Exchange and was told that it belonged here (Interpersonal Stack Exchange), so I removed it from the EL SE and manually moved ...
31
votes
3answers
7k views

Etiquette regarding borrowing of power tools

Based on television shows, it seems borrowing tools from neighbors is a potential minefield. I need to power wash my front and back porches and the siding of my house. My neighbor has a power washer ...
30
votes
4answers
14k views

Is there a polite way to ask a kid to “move along”?

Another dog-related question, sorry. I read this question but I'm not sure it applies. My two Border Collies need/want a lot of exercise. One of the reasons I chose this neighborhood is that about ...
27
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3answers
4k views

How can I respond to “It's because I'm <historically oppressed quality>” as a rebuttal to a request?

Occasionally I hear or encounter "it's because I'm <historically oppressed quality>" as a response to an objectionable request to the claimant. The claimant is usually a minor who in my ...
26
votes
5answers
13k views

How do I respond to someone apologizing for coughing/yawning?

Many times I'll be talking to someone and they'll yawn or cough (or something similar), then say "excuse me", or "sorry". I have no idea what type of response to give to this. If they'd sneezed, ...
26
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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 ...
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 (...
25
votes
3answers
7k views

How to explain to someone that expecting a favour from you is rude?

Context My partner and I are co-habiting, living with my parents. I commute to work Monday to Friday, working 38 hours a week. My partner works from home. He wakes up with me in the mornings to see ...
25
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the etiquette for smalltalk in a workplace when the context and person is always the same?

Every single day at 3:45 PM Bob rings the doorbell at work. Every single day I answer the door and hand Bob a small amount of paperwork. Every single day there is about 10 seconds as Bob flips through ...
24
votes
6answers
47k 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 ...
24
votes
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 ...
23
votes
5answers
10k views

Etiquette when riding a taxi in Germany?

So I just recently rode a taxi again in Germany and I was wondering about the proper etiquette if there is one. I rode a total of like 3 taxi in my life and I never was sure on how to behave (I always ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Etiquette at communion for someone who is not religious

I'm an agnostic young adult living in America A few years ago my family and I were at a Lutheran church because my cousin was becoming a pastor. Throughout the whole ceremony I did what I saw others ...
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 ...
22
votes
4answers
6k views

Etiquette for a person who has already queued once

I was at the front of a queue of 5 or 6 people waiting for train tickets, at a station in London, England. It was a similar length when I joined, and had taken about 10 minutes to reach the front. A ...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

Offering free food to random people as a kind gesture, without being condescending or strange

I recently watched a YouTube video of a person who was handing out free food to random people - donuts, iced coffees, etc. - and so, inspired by this, I bought an ice cream bar last night for a ...
21
votes
9answers
5k views

How do I decline contact with a previous buyer?

I recently sold my first car to someone. The sale went very fast, they test drove it, looked at it and signed over the car. This was about 3 weeks ago. All of a sudden I get a text message 'Can you ...
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
10k views

Friendly Cuddling, in a non-romantic way

Might be a weird questions, but I'm really confused. A good female friend of mine (I'm male) recently suggested we should cuddle, after we talked about how both of us feel rather lonely at the moment. ...
20
votes
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 ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Lift etiquette - Should I talk to people who get in our lift?

We have lifts in our apartment block. Our lift goes to approximately 13 apartments, which is not a huge number. Some people I recognise, as they've owned their places since it was built (like me), ...
19
votes
10answers
26k views

Pointing the index fingers to one another as a way to excuse oneself: is this a common gesture?

I grew up in Italy, and there is a gesture I use that I'm wondering whether is strictly Italian or is used/understood elsewhere. It means either of: "I know this may bother you, but I'd really ...
19
votes
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

Does the “never wear white to a wedding” rule of etiquette only apply to weddings attended in the United States?

As far as I have ever been aware, it has always been a rule of etiquette for a female guest to NEVER wear white when attending a wedding in the United States. It has always been my understanding that ...
19
votes
8answers
29k 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 ...

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