Questions tagged [politeness]

Questions where acting with consideration, tact, deference, or courtesy is important. Include other tags for cultural context! For questions regarding someone else being rude, use the "rudeness" tag instead.

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How do I politely reject my brother's morning dessert invitation?

This morning, my brother sent me a short message: Come get some strudel I was going to reply Thank you, but I don't feel like eating strudel right now Before I could send the message, I was ...
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8 votes
4 answers
985 views

How to tell a borrower the fuel type of your car without implying they should fill it?

My mother-in-law borrowed my car, and in her politeness / gratitude went so far as refill it with petrol. The problem is, the car takes diesel! Thankfully there was no lasting damage, but even in my ...
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3 votes
0 answers
248 views

How can I let a classmate know I can't help them on an assignment anymore?

I'm enrolled in a university course. For some time, I've been helping another student with a major project for our class, which counts for a quarter of our grade. It is an individual project where ...
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3 votes
2 answers
414 views

How to signal to partner that I'm unresponsive because I'm focussing on something?

I have social anxiety disorder. I also often zone out for unrelated reasons (say, when I'm really focused on something technical). My partner mistakes my zoning out for me not being okay, so they ask ...
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1 vote
2 answers
648 views

Is it appropriate for foreigners to thank US veterans for their service?

I am a foreigner living in the USA. I sometimes come across veterans and I know that in the local culture it is custom to respectfully acknowledge their service. Nothing too fancy: Person A: "... ...
1 vote
2 answers
417 views

How to interpret and respond to people who belittle themselves?

Background: I am totally blind. I am using a screen reading software to use the computer. I am a programmer. Whenever I meet new people (especially in the IT industry), the following happens in many ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to tell someone a friendship has run its course?

This person (male) and I (male) went to high school together over 10 years ago, during that time we spent a lot of time together, the typical bro-relationship. Since then a lot has changed, I went to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
399 views

How to handle overly praise for superficialities that make me look better off than the other person?

So I met this person (opposite gender) online and we were just getting to know each other. I noticed I am struggling a lot with talking to someone who may think themselves - at least on a superficial ...
17 votes
5 answers
8k views

How to ask friend not to leave so quickly, or at least let me know if he doesn't plan on staying very long?

I have a friend who often leaves early and abruptly. He does this in many different situations. Here is one common example: we met for coffee. After about 30 minutes he said he had to leave in 15 ...
1 vote
1 answer
388 views

Decline giving personal information to salespeople [closed]

My country is full of pushy salespeople who are asking for a phone number, name or email in scenarios where they are not warranted. Scenario 1: Cashier at a pizza shop asks for my phone number before ...
3 votes
1 answer
467 views

In group discussions, how should I deal with a person who frequently participates in the discussion with incoherent comments?

Context: I'm a student who is in a philosophical discussion group which meets weekly and discusses readings and thoughts about a particular topic. It's hosted by an organization so I don't have ...
20 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do you tactfully suggest that someone would benefit from making their accent more clear?

I was recently trying to help someone to identify skills that would help them to find a job. This individual is very technically capable so is seeking a technical role. They learned English as a ...
2 votes
2 answers
487 views

How to give a gift that was declined on the basis of welfare of the gifting party without being rude?

I am attending the wedding of a very close family member soon (45 days). This family member and their fiancé need new phones, their current one doesn't seem to last 30 minutes of use with a full ...
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6 votes
3 answers
844 views

How to stop my mother from questioning my decisions out of selflessness?

Quite often (say, 3-5 times a week), my mother will ask me something, I will answer, and she will question whether my answer is legitimate or whether I'm just answering what I think she thinks she ...
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2 votes
2 answers
664 views

How to avoid being a wallflower in a group conversation

Is there anything I can do to avoid being the only person who doesn’t say anything in a social group setting? The obvious answer is to talk, but I find it difficult to (i) find the right time to ...
2 votes
2 answers
590 views

How to let people know I am fine?

When I'm sitting by myself, people sometimes come to talk to me or ask me if I'm okay. I suspect this is because when I'm not controlling my expressions, it looks like I'm scowling or frowning, and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
999 views

How to proceed after being ignored on Dating app?

Events: I matched with a woman on Facebook dating, had a short chat with long delay between messages, but all seemed very enthusiastic. In the end she agreed to have a beer with me, I suggested a day ...
7 votes
2 answers
795 views

How to make eye contact while talking with more than one person?

My question looks similar to this question but in my case, I am the one doing the talking and not the listening. So, in an office environment or while talking to friends, when I am talking and two or ...
7 votes
1 answer
600 views

How to tell a doctor or nurse to speak to me in technical details without being rude

I have regular appointments with nurses and doctors due to a long term but not serious health condition. It's often a new doctor or nurse I see each time so I have to try to judge how best to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
418 views

How many "bise" (kisses) should I give?

Context Let's assume we are in a COVID-free environment. In France, depending on where you are, we give different amounts of "bises" (kisses on the cheek) in greeting. For example, we give ...
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to tell an employee that someone in their shop is not wearing a mask?

(Without looking condescending or like I'm telling them how to do their job) The other day, I was at a shop and someone was not wearing their mask (it was hanging on one of their ears, so they clearly ...
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22 votes
3 answers
8k views

How do I politely turn down requests to show wedding photos?

I got married recently and have changed my name at work. People have noticed and are now asking for wedding photos. How do I tell them politely that no, I'm not going to show them? Lying and saying I ...
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8 votes
2 answers
707 views

Dealing with Extremely Chatty Housemates

I am a graduate student at the moment and sharing a house with undergraduate students. What I've noticed is that a lot of undergraduate students who are studying let's say relatively soft subjects ...
  • 247
2 votes
1 answer
436 views

Boss tells me to face him when talking [closed]

So I was talking to my boss in the hallway today. During part of the conversation I turned to face somewhere to the left side of him for ~ 20 seconds, I think I got restless/bored from standing still....
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3 votes
1 answer
778 views

How do I chase a teacher who hasn't replied to my messages despite reading them?

I'm studying a course remotely, and sent my teacher a message on Teams about 10 days ago now, asking a question. No response, but I can see the read receipt. Hoping to prompt a reply, I asked another ...
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5 votes
2 answers
545 views

How do you respond (in a reasonable manner) when a less-educated friend suggests reasons for your current psychiatric disorder?

My friend suggested that a recent and ongoing flare of my autoimmune disease was causing my ongoing depression. She is a very close friend, and I love her dearly, but she is much less educated than I ...
42 votes
9 answers
11k views

Why is it socially not acceptable to point at someone with your finger?

I am on the autism spectrum and I tend to point at things, including people. The other day, I was talking with a coworker about some tasks I needed them to do and, while I was talking, I was also ...
  • 17.2k
35 votes
4 answers
7k views

How can I politely decline to guide a student?

I am a lecturer in a department in which undergraduate students have to do a final-year project guided (= supervised) by a faculty member. Faculty members do not have to guide students: those who do, ...
5 votes
1 answer
504 views

How to politely address the rude accusations being thrown your way?

I don't know if the title of this post is explanatory and descriptive or not, but I shall be giving a detailed insight of my problem below. Situation: So there is this committee in our college who ...
4 votes
1 answer
703 views

Preventing strangers from touching my phone without causing negative response

The typical scenario is as follows. I go into a store and ask a question. During the conversation, I need to show them that they actually do carry an item I'm inquiring about (or maybe that something ...
2 votes
1 answer
674 views

How to save face and apologize after a text was taken the wrong way?

Okay, so our coaching has a discussion forum for all members to post questions related to our studies. The group is on Telegram, where I'm registered with a gender-neutral username and a profile pic ...
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3 votes
1 answer
493 views

How to politely let someone know that their feedback is unhelpful?

I am on a forum where I frequently post creative projects in progress before publishing them. I ask for constructive critique / feedback / opinions on these projects from fellow creators. Sometimes ...
1 vote
1 answer
249 views

How to communicate with employees when requesting documents to minimize response time?

I often face the following scenario: I need to ask for a document, a piece of information or make a request to an employer of a company/organization whose job includes responding to people like me. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to appear less insensitive when texting with women I would like to date?

I am a male student who has been an introvert almost my entire life, and not having many female friends. Currently, I’m in college and due to the nature of my course, I did not have the chance to meet ...
5 votes
3 answers
572 views

How can I refuse to kiss my mother while minimizing the hurt feelings?

Note: this has nothing to do with the current pandemic. I don't like physical contact, especially kisses and especially when I don't fully trust the person touching me. Also, my current relationship ...
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4 votes
4 answers
876 views

Figuring out interesting questions in friendly or romantic conversations

How can I figure out which questions are interesting and will be pleasant for the person to whom they are addressed to answer? I am a person who has an extreme problem conveying what he wants to ...
6 votes
2 answers
570 views

How to politely reject classmates that are constantly asking for my help? [duplicate]

I am in a situation where I am overwhelmed by school mates constantly asking for my help for their assignments and tests. (They have been doing this since grade 10!) And this has resulted in serious ...
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Refusing to let people in

I work in a facility where it is open to the public except for a small section. I work in this section and this section requires an access card when entering the door (anyone can buy one, but it is ...
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3 votes
2 answers
797 views

How to ask potential wedding photographer about low number of reviews

My fiance and I are looking at wedding photographers. She found one she says is perfect (matches our budget and preferred style). We talked with him over the phone yesterday and he seemed like a great ...
0 votes
2 answers
374 views

How can I ask for recommendations from an acquaintance?

I used to live in city X, and I have an acquaintance Y back then that I have not contacted since I left X. I recently moved back to X (after 6 years) and have some problems at home where I will need ...
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2 votes
1 answer
860 views

How to tell our mutual friend that we wouldn't like to spend one of our days with her on our four day trip

Background I am in a relationship with this girl who came to do her master's degree to my university for one year. We met in the Russian society and hence have mutual acquaintances from there. Since ...
2 votes
1 answer
473 views

How to avoid blaming a single person for issues submitting a group assignment?

I have a group assignment that is due soon. We are only allowed one submission per group (and further submissions, even before the deadline, will be penalized). This group assignment is worth a ...
5 votes
1 answer
710 views

How to politely tell someone to clean their nose? [duplicate]

Today at work one of me colleagues was talking to me but I had no concentration on what she was saying because there was something on her nose and I was thinking about "how am I supposed to tell her?" ...
4 votes
1 answer
587 views

How to identify and approach persons of low income with the aim to help [closed]

I apologize in advance if this seems distasteful in any way, I'm genuinely trying to be helpful. I live in a low income area in the UK, however I am fairly comfortable financially. It pains me ...
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1 vote
0 answers
118 views

How to avoid telling people about my job? [duplicate]

New people who I meet always ask what I do for work. This question is normal and polite to ask, but I don't always want to tell people what I do for the following reasons: My job is unusual, which ...
  • 111
4 votes
1 answer
758 views

How to non-rudely exit or change the subject of a conversation where someone is wittering

Sometimes I find myself on the receiving end of what I call "wittering," or for lack of a better term verbal diarrhea. This is essentially where someone will start talking at length, often ...
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9 votes
1 answer
812 views

When offering a ride through a ride-share app, how to politely assign obese people to the front seat?

I use a rideshare app when travelling between cities, which I often do. This saves money and is often very fun. People evaluate you as a driver, and it is important to keep a good score. I let 3 ...
  • 307
2 votes
1 answer
536 views

How to respond to a friend who wants to share her poetry? [closed]

I have a certain friend who appears to be enjoying writing, particularly poetry. Unfortunately, I do not appreciate the poetry she writes. Her poetry often reads like the inner voice of a person ...
7 votes
1 answer
638 views

How to politely decline a personal service without offending the servicer?

Background I am blind. I work as a software developer in a company. I hate all kinds of gatherings. If I have a choice, I would spend my time alone with a computer. Situation I was attending my ...
2 votes
1 answer
309 views

How to do you politely tell somebody to stop interrupting a conversation? [closed]

Participants: person A was telling a story; person B (me) asked a follow-up question while person A was talking (telling the story); person C (a friend) aggressively told me to stop interrupting. ...

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