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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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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to say you already want to leave the party decently (you're just bored)?

It's a minor social party for friends and it doesn't go very well. You've been there for an hour or two and it's not really lightening up. You want to go home but have no pragmatic reasons, you just ...
9 votes
2 answers
967 views

How can I get women to reject me more openly?

I'm a rather socially active guy in my early thirties. I meet many interesting women at meetups, speaking clubs, speed dating events and such. When I want to get to know them better, I will usually ...
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to politely repel a flattering comment

Working in an average university, it's pretty common to get flattering comments from students (who more often than not pass it just to please the teacher), but recently I am facing a new problem of ...
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to politely repel negative suggestive comments about the work morale or atmosphere?

I am part of a group of software developers who work remotely in different parts of the world. Some of us work in the U.S. and some in 3 other countries. The colleagues that work outside of USA are ...
6 votes
2 answers
831 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to ask my father to not get angry because my tutor is male

TL;DR: Dealing with a father that gets angry because my out of school tutor is male. I’m 18 years old and male. Currently, I am pursuing 12th year education (the final year of high school) and am very ...
11 votes
6 answers
3k views

How to explain that it upsets me to see people kill insects?

I feel like most humans have judged value of life by size since beginning of the universe, but I tend to not share that same viewpoint. For example, when something sweet is left in my kitchen, ...
3 votes
3 answers
954 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 ...
11 votes
3 answers
8k views

How to tell a friend that she is too loud when she speaks without offending?

My partner and I hang out with another couple. We share many interests, have children of the same age, and are fairly compatible in many aspects. So all is fine for spending several hours together ...
11 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do I tell a friend I don't want to play their game anymore, but invite them to mine

I am in a group of friends who meet to play dungeons and dragons. The person whose house we go to often cancels because their partner can't make it. So as we are all adults we don't meet up very often ...
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do you politely respond to people who ask too many obvious questions?

I really like helping people and I don't mind helping others with work and assignments etc. However, there are a few people who will take it very far and I've come across this a few times. For ...
3 votes
1 answer
456 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
664 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: There is this committee in our college who ...
4 votes
2 answers
563 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 ...
45 votes
7 answers
14k views

How to avoid "who are you?" as a response to "how are you?"

Last week, I got a phone call from an unknown number, and the conversation went this way: Her : How are you? Me  : Who are you? To put things in context, she turned out to be an old ...
11 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
31 votes
7 answers
16k views

How to politely answer someone who resists your request to escalate against him/her?

Difficulty: How do I deal with someone who won't escalate my complaint? Assumptions I'm the customer, and can't take business elsewhere; the other party (let's call them REP for Representative) works ...
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to ask people not to push in front of me at concerts?

I have some experience with concerts (mostly heavy-metal ones, but pretty sure it's the same for any genre). And every time some people try get to the front rows either by just walking as they have a ...
5 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
43 votes
10 answers
42k 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
937 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: "... ...
64 votes
9 answers
23k views

How to make clear to people I don't want to answer their "Where are you from?" question?

I live in the UK but am not originally from here, having moved in the last decade. Quite often when I talk to people I get asked where I'm from. It usually seems to be in response to my accent, as I'...
106 votes
8 answers
22k views

How to avoid explaining science to strangers

So, I was at a Barbeque the other day and a situation occurred that, well, I'm getting tired of. It happens almost every time I meet a new group of people. When you meet someone, eventually you come ...
1 vote
1 answer
451 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 ...
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Politely telling someone a claim they shared on social media is false?

My question is similar to this except the person is usually not passionate about it. I have friends who post things about vaccines causing autism, how bell peppers have different genders and other ...
17 votes
5 answers
9k 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
542 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 ...
12 votes
8 answers
19k views

How can I get someone to stop paying for my meal?

I have a good friend and every time we go out for a drink or dinner, he always insists on paying. That sounds good to have someone pay for you but it's actually not. For a start, it's kind of ...
3 votes
1 answer
501 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

How should I continue to have contact with this girl online?

Context All conversations I had with her are through text messages, games and on occasion through calls. We've known each other for 3 years, with a big pause in between of 1.5 years that ended last ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
21 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 ...
65 votes
15 answers
136k views

How to let people know I don't appreciate being ignored in instant messaging?

When talking with people through instant messenger or texting, I find it rude when someone doesn't reply. The other day I had met up with someone I knew from school. He told me about a business idea ...
105 votes
11 answers
23k views

How to tell someone believing in pseudoscience & conspiracy theories is wrong without making them feel stupid/upset?

A close family member of mine is a raw vegan, anti vaxer, anti-antibiotics, anti-fluoride, believes in chemtrails, has a machine that filters water and makes it alkaline, eats lots of supplements, ...
25 votes
3 answers
14k views

How to tell a busy professor that I don't mind if he answers my questions when he has time?

I am self-studying a course. Two years ago I began to use some lectures by a professor from the United States (I'm from a different country). He is retired now. While watching his lectures, I began to ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
16 votes
5 answers
8k views

I sent an email about an urgent message, but want to call instead. How to correct?

Note: this is not a situation I am currently facing, but I have faced in the recent past. I apologized afterwards, which helped, but I'd rather learn how to fix the problem before it even occurs. My ...
2 votes
2 answers
511 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 ...
34 votes
3 answers
8k 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, ...
33 votes
6 answers
10k views

How to politely ask people to pick up the litter they threw, especially if they don't own up

I live in India. As far as I know, littering is not much of a problem in other countries, but India has always been a place where even the adults teach their children: "Beta, yahin pe phek do, sabhi ...
2 votes
2 answers
797 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 ...
47 votes
10 answers
11k views

How to communicate to a new coworker that I am not comfortable being touched?

Last week a new coworker joined our team, and yesterday we were both invited to eat lunch in the work cafeteria with some other colleagues that I have known for around a year and a half. As he, ...
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to tell beginner pickleball player they shouldn't play?

Often a lower level pickleball player will come to a day set aside for advanced players. (Pickleball has 4 people on a court &usually played at community centers.) It seems if I am nice to them ...
2 votes
2 answers
842 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
2k 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
1 answer
646 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
465 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
912 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 ...
9 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to communicate with neighbour with banging door without making her uncomfortable

I live in Australia in a block of flats. We are the middle flat of three. Each flat has a front and back balcony. Due to the nature of the flats the back doors will bang in the wind if not secured - ...

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