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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2answers
5k views

Is it OK to engage in strangers' conversation during a break in a lecture?

I was recently on an public meeting with 2 famous journalists. As it's usual, firstly there was an organized discussion lead by the host, after which there was a space for questions from the audience. ...
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1answer
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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), ...
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How best to avoid politics at family gatherings?

Live in the United States where my family (on all sides) are extremely polarized. Often at family gatherings (holiday, birthday, etc.) family discusses their political views in strong terms. This ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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Are there “rules” for vaping etiquette?

In the past, it seemed generally accepted as a matter of courtesy that a smoker should ask "do you mind if I smoke?" This became more and more prescriptive as health concerns increased over the use ...
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For how long after New Year's Day is it appropriate to wish people all the best for the new year?

Today is my first day back at the office after a two-week vacation, and so there's a lot of handshakes and well-wishing ('happy new year', 'best wishes') going on. Which raised a fun discussion ...
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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 ...
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How do you communicate efficiently with someone who is stuttering?

I recently got a project at work where I need to regularly talk to a person who is suffering from very bad stuttering. He is very competent and professional at his job, but talking with him is a bit ...
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Accidental queue jumpers refuse to believe their mistake

I was queuing at a café when two older men cut the queue ahead of me. I believe it was a genuine mistake - the room was cramped with people, and a space appeared when a woman missed that the queue was ...
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How to inform my family of my child's new gender identity?

As an extension to this question, my daughter was very relieved when I offered to talk to my family for her. My husband thought of having a brunch with our kids not in attendance. I thought of doing ...
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As a runner, should I move onto the road to avoid a collision?

I run daily, training in a suburban area with poor sidewalks. From time to time, I'll encounter a pedestrian going in the opposite direction. The sidewalk isn't quite wide enough for us both to pass, ...
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When is it more suitable to say “no problem” versus “you're welcome”? [closed]

Most times, when I am thanked - I respond using no problem rather than saying you're welcome. I find it more habitual for me to say the former than the latter. In terms of a societal standpoint, are ...
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Is it rude to ask how much a new neighbour paid for their apartment? [closed]

TLDR; Is it rude to ask how much a new neighbour paid for their apartment? My view is that it isn't, because it's information that's probably their favourite topic of conversation right now, and also ...
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How to decline a wedding invitation from a friend I haven't seen in years?

Three years back somebody of my group of friends got a girlfriend. Ever since he got together with her, me and the other friends of the same group did not hear from him again, despite our efforts to ...
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507 views

How can I offer to take care of the dog of a stranger when he/she is not home?

I live in an apartment building and I can often hear a dog whining in the apartment above mine, presumably because the owner is not home. The noise is only a slight bother, I more so feel bad for the ...
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How do express my condolences, when I couldn't show up at the funeral?

Two days ago, one of my old relatives passed away. His family lives 900km away and due to my job, I couldn't show up at funeral. Where I live it's important to show up. I've thought of calling his ...
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Asking someone “What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you”? [closed]

Let's say I'm interviewing a person that has likely gone through significant personal hardship. The purpose of the interview is ultimately to provide a short documentary of that person's life ...
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6answers
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How to prevent misunderstandings about food with hungry people?

Yesterday, a group of families whom I've known for a while along with mine went out for dinner together. The families are united in their common language and culture, and we often go out together. ...
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How can I convey to people that they spell my name wrong?

My name ends with a 'c', while in the country I live in it is much more often spelled with a 'k' at the end. When communicating verbally, this makes no difference as both names have the same ...
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When is it appropriate and when is it inappropriate for a neurotypical (NT) to refer to a person with Asperger's as an Aspie? [closed]

People with Asperger's on this site refer to themselves as Aspies. Is this a term that should be used only by people with Asperger's? Or can neurotypicals (NTs, a term I learned only a few days ago) ...
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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 ...
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How can I prevent people from touching my laptop screen with their finger?

Because of my work, I often bring my laptop with me to show stuff to other people. The problem is that a lot of people end up touching my screen to point to things on it. One developer I worked with ...
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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 ...
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6answers
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How should one deal with overly familiar serving staff?

This question is very culturally specific to the United Kingdom. Social and age deference is waning in the UK, this may be a matter of personal opinion as to whether that is a desirable trend. Many ...
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Should permission be sought if someone's picture will end up on my online post about a restaurant?

Today more and more people are reviewing their dining experiences on such forums as Facebook and TripAdvisor. Many of these reviews include photos of their food and surroundings. Sometimes in these ...
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Who pays for the date?

I am from northern Europe, but currently live in China. I was going to be a speaker at this social event at a cafe. I asked a Taiwanese woman if she would like to join me to the event (just me and her)...
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Is it okay to talk about a blind person's guide dog to the blind person? [closed]

Obviously it's wrong to talk to a guide dog instead of the person: Don't talk to then guide dog instead of the blind person, this is insulting and the dog never answers. For some reason I was ...
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Happy Juneteenth?

I recently learned about Juneteenth. For anyone not familiar: Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas ...
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934 views

How to make a proper, harmless April Fools' joke?

From Wikipedia: April Fools' Day or April Fool's Day (sometimes called All Fools' Day) is an annual celebration commemorated on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes ...
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What is the proper etiquette with regards to reciprocating Thanksgiving dinner invitations?

A little bit of background: I am an international graduate student at a university in the US. A domestic friend invited me to his apartment to celebrate Thanksgiving Day and we had a great time on ...
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3answers
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How to suggest to friend that he should clean up after himself in another's home

In our group of friends, "Mike" always hosts game nights, study sessions, etc. The rest of us never can return the favor since we don't have enough space and privacy. I feel it's the least I can do to ...
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How do you deal with someone that wants to converse in a public bathroom?

Most public restrooms for men in the US have a row of urinals separated by a small wall shingle bolted to the wall. These are usually around shoulder height on me, so do not block vision sideways. ...
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Etiquette when someone’s birthday is on the same day as the funeral of one of their loved ones

Bob’s grandmother passed away last week. Her funeral is today. It is also Bob’s birthday today. I am attending the funeral. Obviously, I offer him condolences, but do I wish him a happy birthday too? ...
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If I want a child to stop a behavior, should I talk directly to the child or to the parents?

Consider a case where a young child is doing something that directly impacts me, and most everyone would consider it reasonable to want them to stop. Here are a few real examples of things they've ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
506 views

Is it acceptable to call restaurant staff to take our picture?

Recently I was eating with friends in a busy restaurant, and I was surprised to see one friend call a waiter only to take a group picture of us. Is it acceptable to bother busy restaurant staff for ...
10
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1answer
622 views

How to respond to a particular aspect of Indian culture?

In my line of work, I spend lots of time meeting people from various companies. Often, especially when the companies are tech companies, my counterpart will be Indian. One useful skill in working with ...
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2answers
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I have suggested my friend's toddler has down syndrome. How can I explain myself or apologies to her?

Background We were at a party for a mutual friend and as we were standing in a circle, talking to each other, she started talking about her kids' field trip. I was semi listening, semi listening to ...
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1answer
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Sty on my eye, how to handle a meeting with my lecturer? [closed]

Today I had a rather larger sty on my lower eyelid, big enough that you could unmistakably see it within a couple of metres. I also had a meeting with my lecturer, that I needed to go to in order to ...
9
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1answer
722 views

How to try to find out who stole a valuable item in a social situation?

I was recently at a friend's birthday party and at one point in the event he told everyone that an electronic gadget was missing and that no one would leave until he found it. It was an embarrassing ...
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4answers
874 views

Does the way that someone signs an email change how I should address them?

Imagine you write an email to a professor (or, to avoid academic specifics, councillor) Joseph Doe whom you never met personally before: Dear Professor (Councillor) Doe, blah-blah-blah ...
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5answers
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Should food containers be returned to the donor?

In the event of bereavements and health emergencies, many people are given meals by friends and more distant relatives. While there is little (or no) question as to whether objects such as casserole ...
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4answers
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What is the proper etiquette for sharing menu items at a restaurant?

When I dine at a nice restaurant (not fast food), I frequently "collaborate" with another in my party so that between the two of us we can order two different items from the menu and then we each the ...
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5answers
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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,...
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4answers
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What should I do with a short, unintentional eye contact? [closed]

Sometimes while walking past people, or because you thought you heard them say something (but they didn't), you look at people for a second. Sometimes your eye wanders when you're lost in thought. And ...
9
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4answers
510 views

Should I leave comments when people answer my questions?

I've been active on many Stack Exchange sites and post many Questions and Answers. I know I like it when I get feedback when I post answers, either in the form of an accepted answer or a comment ...
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3answers
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Would it be unseemly or worse to ask a Japanese acquaintance if I could name my cat after him?

This question is now moot, because the cat died several years ago at an advanced age, but I have always been curious as to whether it would have been OK or horribly rude or somewhere in between. ...
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6answers
986 views

Is it acceptable to use someone else's device to look something up without their permission?

So not too long ago I was sitting in the living room and needed to quickly look something up on the internet. There weren't any of my devices (phone, tablet) near me, but my younger sister's phone was ...