Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

122
votes
14answers
24k views

How to deal politely with people asking about your job but unable to understand it?

I work as a researcher in a very abstract field of Mathematics (this kind of thing) It is very pure Mathematics, without any concrete applications. When I meet somebody for the first time, they often ...
100
votes
9answers
20k 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, ...
67
votes
12answers
21k views

Stopping a relationship with a good friend because It's too overwhelming and new for me

Context : I'm in my early forties and I've always been a loner and never really made friends. Until recently I didn't even know what was so great about them. I don't have any problems socializing, ...
78
votes
9answers
17k views

How to discuss girlfriend's weight loss plans?

My girlfriend is in the process of losing weight, and the topic comes up between us occasionally (at her instigation), usually with a context of "I'm going to be so much hotter in a few months". She'...
37
votes
9answers
8k views

How to join in when people are gossiping?

I have been struggling with this for quite a while now. Sometimes, I have to interact with people whom I did not choose as friends (read: family and neighbors). After the last event (a neighborhood ...
11
votes
3answers
559 views

How to enter a group conversation with relative strangers?

Imagine you're at a party or a networking event, or something along those lines. You're confronted with a large room full of people all talking in small groups. You know nobody or next to nobody here. ...
84
votes
8answers
44k views

How to reject a proposal from a close friend?

I have been friends with a girl at work for more than a year. I have always seen her as a friend and I am pretty sure I never did anything to lead her on. I am going to switch jobs in a couple of ...
68
votes
11answers
18k views

What could you possibly say to a friend who cooked a meal you didn't enjoy at all?

Some friends invite you to their home. There's just the 4 of you (2 couples). S/he is cooking. At the end, s/he is asking you how was the meal s/he made for you. You didn't enjoy it at all, food was ...
40
votes
9answers
13k views

How can I talk to my boyfriend about chores “sharing”?

Background I have been living with my boyfriend for three months. Both of us are working as trainees in different companies, but while he has 2 hours of daily commuting, I can reach my workplace ...
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 ...
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....
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 ...
87
votes
9answers
19k 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 ...
38
votes
13answers
23k views

How can I politely refuse to help classmates with their work?

I am the smart guy at school and people always want my help. I don't want to be rude, but they pester me and I try to escape but I can't -- I end up spending a lot of time helping them to do a ...
112
votes
11answers
25k views

How to politely notify in an online conversation that I am a woman?

Context I am a woman and I sometimes post things online, on Stack Exchange for instance. Usually, my posts are very neutral and do not provide any hint of my gender. It seems that most people assume ...
73
votes
5answers
15k views

Offering to share my umbrella without sounding creepy

Yesterday afternoon I (male, late 30) went to the supermarket in my neighborhood to buy something. Since the sky was menacing rain, I took along an umbrella. Lucky me, when I got out from the ...
72
votes
6answers
15k views

Politely telling an incompetent software project volunteer they are too inexperienced

I am currently the project lead of an online volunteer run software project. I originally created this and work on it my in free time. There are also a few other people who took interest in this ...
56
votes
7answers
13k views

Politest way to stress I do not wish to eat something?

A couple of weeks ago me and my partner decided to change our diet/lifestyle to a mostly plant based diet. It has made us feel much better and happier. We make the occasional exception here and there ...
34
votes
13answers
7k views

Explaining why I don't use social media

I don't use social media. Faceplace, flutter, you name it, I really hate it, and I avoid it. Unfortunately social media seems to be expected these days. Like it's a given that everybody uses it and ...
59
votes
6answers
16k views

How do I tell a woman that her pants have a menstruation stain?

I was working in my work space today and a female coworker came to give me some information that I needed, then left. I'm male. Suddenly, when she was on her way back to her work space, I saw a ...
48
votes
10answers
10k 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, ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

How to convey who will be asked to join my wife and me in the delivery room without causing offense?

My wife and I have just started trying to expand our family. Last night, the topic randomly came up of who should be in the delivery room with us (if we are lucky enough to conceive) as my wife asked ...
53
votes
11answers
20k views

How do I get someone to call me by the name I prefer?

Let's say my name is Fred. My family and friends call me that and when I introduce myself I use that name. Well, of course you can imagine that I'm registered as Frederick, but nobody calls me that. I ...
34
votes
7answers
11k views

How to tell someone not to start a business?

My Tae Kwon-Do instructor is looking to make a little extra money on the side. He's hired me to do some graphics work for him, which I'm more than happy to do, but now I'm beginning to wonder if he's ...
28
votes
9answers
9k views

Under what circumstances is it okay to not hold a door open?

So, we’ve all had a situation where someone is coming into—our out of—some place, we notice someone coming towards the doorway we are in… At what point is it safe to just let a door close an not hold ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I tell my guests that I need time alone?

My husband and I live alone and are very introverted. We have very little social interaction apart from each other and often will go days without talking to anyone else because we work from home. As ...
8
votes
3answers
924 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say no without sounding rude?

Recently I have been having a lot of troubles with my friends, when they ask me to do something and I say no, because I don't like it or I don't want to do it. Example Friend: Wanna dance with ...
46
votes
12answers
19k views

Is it rude to ask if a pregnancy was planned? [closed]

When someone tells you that they (or their partner) are pregnant, is it rude or impolite to ask if the pregnancy was planned? I imagine it depends on how close one is to the couple or one of the (...
39
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
846 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
3answers
787 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I prevent people from thinking my deformity disables me?

Explanation:When I was younger, I broke my arm close to my growth plate near my elbow. As a result, part of my arm grew and the other part did not, resulting in a boomerang shaped arm (if I hold my ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

How do I control my emotions when someone disagrees or is a layman [closed]

A little background, I had online interaction a lot and never made real-life friends as I was shy and didn't know how to interact and how to start a conversation. Even now. If I am about to make a ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to respond to peer pressure without being excluded.

Often a group of my friends will leave a party to smoke cigars/cigarettes. I do not smoke and have no interest in picking up the habit but I would like to be included in the conversation that happens ...
9
votes
5answers
637 views

Answering “how did you make this dish” questions

I love cooking. I especially enjoy making complex dishes that require days of preparation and hours over the stove. Nothing that requires a Michelin Star chef, but it does require time, patience and ...
3
votes
3answers
948 views

How do I avoid meeting an acquaintance that comes to visit every few months?

An acquaintance visits my city for 1-2 weeks every few months because her boyfriend lives here and wants all of three of us to meet up together. I'm fine with her, but do not like her boyfriend, ...