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Questions tagged [politeness]

A behaviour that is respectful and considerate of other people. To be used when consideration, tact, deference, or courtesy is on the line. For question regarding someone else rudeness, use the "rudeness" tag.

52
votes
7answers
11k 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'...
9
votes
2answers
604 views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
496 views

How should I address a person who offers a choice of personal pronouns

I've recently seen a number of people who, when listing their personal pronouns, appear to be offering a choice. In particular, I have seen folks say "she" or "they" In situations where asking ...
9
votes
3answers
646 views

How to interact with a person asking for change without giving them false hope?

I live in a big city with a lot of homeless people. When I'm on the subway, I will often see them going around asking for money, food or "just a smile." I know these people--like anyone--probably don'...
36
votes
6answers
8k views

How to refuse politely to play with someone as a streamer

I'm a new (game) streamer, I don't have a massive audience, and I find myself in quite a challenge. Often when I play, some viewers will ask if they can play with me (or us if I'm already playing ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Acknowledge someone's presence without encouraging conversation

I have had a friend during my college days. Unfortunately, it was only one directional and she never reciprocated my friendship appropriately. She used me for monetary purpose and mistreated me ...
-1
votes
1answer
301 views

Why is it considered rude to burp in public? [closed]

Why is it considered rude to burp in public? It's largely involuntary and better for one's health than holding all that gas in.
3
votes
2answers
467 views

When sitting, how to non-verbally communicate that someone is invading your personal space?

I don't like it when people are physically too close to me. When standing, this isn't a problem since I can move a little and distance myself from the person being too close to me. However, when ...
1
vote
1answer
550 views

Someone else using my cooler without my permission

This might be very intuitive for someone to suggest me to ask him to put it back. But please hold on. I live in a hostel and changed room to the next room which had a cooler already (owned by my new ...
2
votes
3answers
547 views

How can I tell my wife to pay more attention to everything without sounding condescending or rude?

My wife doesn't pay attention to anything she's doing or what is happening around her. For example: she doesn't pay attention to holes, pits, and ledges when we're out and she's pushing our son's ...
25
votes
9answers
9k views

How to refuse to shake hands without offending the other party?

TL;DR: I don't like to shake hands and I'm looking for suggestions about how to turn people down without seeming rude or stand-offish; or how to prevent a handshake gesture from being initiated at all....
1
vote
3answers
548 views

Asking my coworker to get to the point without being rude

Background I have a coworker with whom I communicate online (slack). When this coworker has something to tell me, they always start by saying: Hello, how are you? Then they wait for me to answer (...
9
votes
1answer
607 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
530 views

Asking friend to wait before ordering meal

A close group of girl friends and I enjoy getting together for lunch and dinners a few times a month. There are four of us, and every time we sit down and the server introduces themself to ask for our ...
45
votes
8answers
9k views

How to politely correct a teacher?

I'm a high-school student in the United States, and from time to time a teacher makes a mistake while writing on the board in front of the class. Usually, the mistakes are minor, such as forgotten ...
35
votes
5answers
7k views

How to ask my boyfriend's family if it bothers them that I'm coming along

I am in a romantic relationship with a very close friend of mine (we are both French and in the early 20s). We have been very close for years and we have been living together for a few months now. We ...
2
votes
2answers
489 views

How to cancel a nearing appointment with a friend that I forgot about?

About a month ago, a friend I haven't heard from in some years invited me for dinner. We decided on a date that worked for both of us but I forgot to add it to my personal calendar. I was not ...
60
votes
15answers
30k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
535 views

How can I politely point out to a non-native English speaker that they have used the wrong word?

I do a lot of communication through text, often with people who are not native speakers of English. Spelling and grammar mistakes can be quite common when speaking a non-native language and when I see ...
1
vote
0answers
205 views

How to treat someone a meal without sounding rude? [closed]

So when I showed someone in germany a picture of local food from my country (Indonesia), he told me he'd love to try it if he visit my country. and I told him "I will show you my favorite restaurant ...
4
votes
1answer
489 views

Politely declining a request to use my railway card to get a ticket when the person has to stand in the queue

Background: I'm from India. In our railways, we have multiple ways of booking tickets, one of them being the regular way (stand in the queue) and the other, a card which lets you get your ticket ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I communicate to friends and family that I don't want a specific type of birthday gift?

Disclaimer: It is not really a sock. It is an everyday, non-consumable article that I have way too much of. My birthday is in a few months, and every single year several people give me socks. It is ...
10
votes
1answer
846 views

How to approach a person that does not respond to me after I was potentially rude to them?

I am an 18-year-old German, I live in a small (~100 citizens) town neighboring a somewhat bigger (~2000 citizens) town. We have our own small local fire-station but we do not do regular training. To ...
5
votes
2answers
982 views

How to sign off an e-mail after finding out a work contact is out of the office due to a family emergency?

Background I am liaising with a client about a project. My main contact works off-site a lot but is fairly responsive with e-mails. She e-mailed me with a status update of a pending task and when I ...
2
votes
0answers
261 views

How can I take Stack Exchange answers less defensively and give answers less aggressively? [closed]

Stack Exchange sites have garnered a bit of a reputation for being harsh even though users genuinely want to help each other out. I've been told that I've been a bit hard giving answers. I've also ...
40
votes
12answers
13k views

How should I ask people to stop over explaining things?

Most people that I interact with on a daily/regular basis seem to need to over explain and qualify every statement. An example would be: I'm heading out shortly and your car is blocking the drive. ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Talking to your girlfriend about her personal messages you read by chance?

While using my girlfriend's laptop I happened to see a message notification from a guy she met on holiday just before we started dating. I was working and she was sitting in front of me using her ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I ask a close family friend who keeps delaying communication to pay me for the work I've done

Situation A close family friend who has given my brother a lot of photography work in the past offered me some work designing and implementing some new websites for a brand new business that she is ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

Right way to ask a colleague not to slam the door

We have the following problem in the office: there is a colleague who, I think is nice enough once you get to know him a bit more closely. The thing is, most of the time he looks really grumpy or ...
1
vote
1answer
531 views

How can I stop restaurant cashiers from putting their hands on the rim of my cup?

Whenever I go out to eat at a fast food restaurant or cafeteria, I order a drink. The drink comes in a paper cup, which is located behind the counter. The cashier hands me the paper cup, holding it by ...
3
votes
1answer
364 views

Asking an update from a friend who agreed to help me but who didn't respond me last time

I have a friend who agreed to help me on something half a year ago. Around the winter holidays, last time we chatted, I told him I was ready to implement my plan but he told me that he was upset ...
7
votes
1answer
847 views

How do I tell my friend that I don't want to go to her church without hurting her feelings

My friend invited me to her church and I went to the Sunday service. However, I didn't really enjoy the way the pastor communicated his ideas with us and he repeated a lot of the same things over and ...
6
votes
2answers
398 views

How can I ask my client to send the memento which is originally addressed to me?

I work as a graphic designer on a freelance platform. Recently, one of my regular clients messaged and said he had a surprise for me. He said that the poster I designed for his play won the award for ...
8
votes
3answers
926 views

How to avoid shaking hands?

I recently developed dyshidrosis, which makes my palms look disgusting. So I don't want to show my hands to anybody to see. People often do not looking at the hands when shaking, and this eczema ...
55
votes
5answers
6k views

How to leave when I'm not part of the conversation?

This is something that I constantly run into. I don't talk much, especially in large groups, so there will often come a time when I want to leave, but don't know how to do so. I can think of two ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
444 views

How can I tactfully point out that someone misunderstood me?

Yesterday at work I had the same misunderstanding with two different co-workers. I'm working on a website with both an English and Spanish version. I explained over Slack that I found the resource ...
3
votes
1answer
504 views

How can I cancel an appointment politely? [closed]

I have never gone to a dentist, maybe just one or twice in my entire life. I found a dentist who has his office next to my home and in my desperation for my dental hygiene, I made an appointment for ...
5
votes
2answers
609 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 ...
43
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
605 views

What cultural hints to be aware of when Jewish friends are staying at our place?

Note: I considered asking this at Mi Yodeya but it is really about how to deal with people and culture, more than about Judaism as a religion. We will have Jewish friends (from the US) staying at our ...
2
votes
1answer
310 views

How do I request a different hairdresser?

When I get my hair cut I always go to the same chain location, because it's on my way home from work and convenient. I don't have a particular stylist, so I don't make an appointment and just walk in ...
2
votes
1answer
515 views

How do I talk to my girlfriend about pitching in financially when we go out? [closed]

We have been together for 6 months. We are far away. We meet on the weekends. I have been to paying, but now I think it's time to share. We also talk about living together. How can I discuss this ...
5
votes
4answers
980 views

How to evade request to sit somewhere uncomfortable?

Background I was invited to my friend’s flat the other day to enjoy an infrequent visit. It isn’t often I spend time with her, so this was a special occasion. Her flat isn’t exactly high-end and is ...
-1
votes
1answer
355 views

What is the most polite way to ask someone if they understand English?

If I'm communicating with someone online via email or on a website and they clearly do not understand English, what is the most polite way to ask them if they understand English or to ask if they ...
2
votes
3answers
481 views

How can I discuss beer without sounding like a snob?

I like beer. I like drinking it, discovering it, and I just recently started brewing it. Needless to say, one of my common topics of conversation is beer (of course there are plenty more, and beer is ...
7
votes
1answer
313 views

How can I correct text of another person during a chat without being pedant or making fun of the other person?

A written chat is not a good channel of communication for no verbal language, hence, is quite easy to make mistakes because each side might add different context to the sentences. This might cause ...
6
votes
3answers
789 views

How to refuse a hairdresser because I want someone who's cut my hair before, without being rude?

I went to have my haircut, and the first hairdresser who became available was the one I know the least, and has only cut my hair once or twice before. For context, I've lived in the area all my life ...
30
votes
11answers
17k views

How can I effectively tell people that their defensiveness over me bringing up an issue is part of the issue?

Seems like it would be kind of self evident, but it's something that I encounter fairly often when talking to some folks about issues of discrimination and bias that drives me crazy... When someone ...
15
votes
10answers
15k views

How to politely tell my roommates that I don't want to spend time with them?

Background Information: Basically, I don't have enough time. It's an annoying problem that I guess most people share, but it still bothers me. I have so many things I want to do (books to read, ...