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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.

2
votes
1answer
293 views

How to ask people not to send me voicemails via text messaging apps

I find listening to voicemails on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp very time consuming. In particular, the Facebook Messenger interface doesn't let me skip in the message if most of it is irrelevant to ...
7
votes
2answers
691 views

How to politely say 'I have a prior appointment' to a friend inviting me to a meaningful event, without going into details?

Recently, a friend invited me to an event that was important to her. I said "I have an appointment." but worry I may have blown her off. I didn't want to go into specifics - the appointment was for ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

When is it rude to speak a language that other people around do not understand? [closed]

When is it rude to speak a language that at least one person who can hear cannot understand? My family and friends generally are of the opinion this is rude behavior but I noticed with some new ...
4
votes
3answers
445 views

How to say hello without asking “how are you going?”

I try to say what I mean, and mean what I say. Sometimes I just want to say "Hi" or "Hello" without asking the person how they are going. I like to ask how they are or how they are going only when I ...
6
votes
5answers
904 views

How to tactfully refuse to provide academic help?

As an undergraduate student(and a so-called nerd), I have had friends who requested academic help a day or two before exams. Now, I don't have much problem with helping them and I try my best to do ...
3
votes
3answers
702 views

Politely requesting the office lights remain on?

I work in a small office, there's 6 of us in total, so it's not possible to turn off "some" of the lights without turning them all off. In the UK, we're now in the Spring season, which generally ...
7
votes
7answers
4k views

Gentle way of asking for feedback after the first casual date?

I've met someone online, and after a few very pleasant exchanges we decided to go on a casual date, which I also quite enjoyed. Ever since that moment, our online exchanges started dying down. As of ...
53
votes
8answers
12k views

How to tell someone to be quiet immediately while listening to an announcement?

Backstory: my girlfriend and I were at a sporting event, having casual conversation, but an announcement came over the loud speaker that caught my interest and I wanted to hear. I turned my head so ...
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

How to advise someone that I've thrown away a project they were helping me with, without offending them?

A couple of months ago I undertook a long term household project to build a large outdoor entertainment area including a deck, pergola and various other niceties. I did not have the all the skills ...
14
votes
10answers
5k views

What’s the best way to decline sharing my WiFi network with neighbours?

Occasionally when we have friends who are neighbours over to visit we are asked for access to our wifi so their kids can watch videos on their phone or whatever. Since neighbours are very close to ...
32
votes
2answers
13k views

How can I politely find out the gender of a potential roommate via email?

I was looking for a shared room on Craigslist and I found one I'm interested in. On the post, the writer didn't specify if he/she is male or female. I'm female, and personally I would only feel ...
34
votes
5answers
5k views

How to be firm on what I need without causing offense?

At least once a week, I have to get blood drawn to comply with a treatment regimen. I don't have a problem with this. I'm not afraid of needles. The trouble is that I can't always have the same ...
38
votes
6answers
12k views

Rebuffing a former friend's (now a convicted criminal) attempts to restore friendship

I used to have a friend who I would fairly regularly see - usually for lunch. A few details about this individual: Very quiet and shy Is a high-functioning autistic individual Socially awkward We ...
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 ...
104
votes
9answers
37k views

How can I tactfully refuse to switch seats on flights?

On flights, seatmates (strangers near my seat) have asked me to swap my aisle seat (reserved in advance, sometimes paid for), usually to my disadvantage as their seat has some snag (dirtier, narrower, ...
62
votes
6answers
21k views

How do I politely indicate that I want to go home?

Situation: I hang out with A for a while. Having lunch together, shopping for a bit. I now feel tired and I want to go home. I don't dislike the person and I don't want to give them the impression I ...
7
votes
3answers
871 views

How to politely deal with smoking, within range of my window, in a block of flats?

I live on the fourth floor of a building that's shaped a bit like a T, and I live on the inside edge of the top of the T. One of my neighbours, who lives in my side of the long edge of the T, on the ...
4
votes
2answers
958 views

How to avoid sitting with friends during an exam

I have an important exam coming up and a few friends in my class want me to sit with them. Normally I would, but I'm worried about this group distracting me while I'm writing the exam. I won't discuss ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I take issue with inappropriate statements without offending people?

I live in North America but in the particular area I live in there are more Asians than Caucasians. I sometimes hear things I find racist but am afraid to speak up fearing a negative response. Just ...
67
votes
10answers
20k views

How to politely deal with white people wanting to talk to me about racism/race issues

Now this is a sensitive topic, and I do not wish to offend anyone's sensibilities - but at the same time, I want to know of an effective way of dealing with the disproportionate emotional work ...
31
votes
3answers
9k views

How to convince the other party that I'm not going to do “the right thing” as the alternative matters more to me

I went on a vacation to a coffee plantation recently. After enjoying my stay there, on the last day, some of the kids of the coffee plantation workers played football (soccer) with my dad and my ...
7
votes
3answers
509 views

How can I politely interrupt someone on the phone when I have questions about what they're saying?

I often make and receive phone calls in a business context where the other person talks with too much jargon. Occasionally I need to interrupt them with questions to get a better understanding of what ...
54
votes
4answers
18k views

How to tell a trans couple that their overly romantic behaviour makes you uncomfortable, without coming across transphobic?

Intro: We all have seen a couple who are so in love they have lengthy kisses in public, always display affection, call each other cute names and wherever they go or sit, they always appear to cuddle. ...
34
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
786 views

Someone keeps bugging me to come in for a job interview. How to politely decline?

I'm in between jobs at the moment and have some temp work I've been doing to pay the bills. Often time's I work with, or at least see, the same people. The other day someone started asking me all of ...
41
votes
7answers
9k views

How to establish boundaries with a roommate without confrontation?

For some context - this is my first semester in college where I'm having a roommate, and there have been several complications. It's off-campus housing and we don't attend the same university. My ...
6
votes
4answers
681 views

How to politely tell someone in a professional setting to stop using lazy English in his e-mails

I have just received yet another e-mail from a technical contact at one of our business partners. He has a list of questions that I need to provide answers to but he uses such a lazy form of writing ...
26
votes
6answers
10k views

How can I say I am an outstanding leader without sounding arrogant? [closed]

I'm filling out a short resume sort of form to apply for a volunteer leadership position and one question I need to answer is, "Why do you want to come back as a leader? What makes you good for this ...
10
votes
4answers
829 views

How can I tell a friend that their self-published book needs editing?

Background An acquaintance of mine and his wife just self-published a very short book. Unfortunately, it has scores of grammatical mistakes on most pages. My friend and his wife have a great message ...
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, ...
3
votes
1answer
441 views

Is it ok to video a TV reporter without their consent?

I am on vacation in city X, and it starts raining heavily. I stop at a petrol kiosk, and a TV reporter is on camera reporting the extremely heavy rain. I want to record the TV reporter and send the ...
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
286 views

Politeness vs. conciseness in writing emails [duplicate]

I often find myself starting sentences with phrases like "I just want to let you know that", "I would like to ask if", "I am writing to discuss", or "I was wondering if" in emails. I could simply just ...
87
votes
16answers
32k views

How to tell an overweight person that the hike will be too hard?

Please note, I don't want to be mean or anything and I don't want to go "fat shaming" or things like that. Context With my SO and a couple of friends, we planned a hike for this summer. The GR20 is ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
839 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How to decline giving personal information until you recieved some in return

I need to move and find a new home to rent. The city I live in is having a housing crisis (as declared by the mayor). I think many landlords take advantage of this. I know that they’re just trying to ...
6
votes
1answer
16k views

How can I politely ask someone to call me? (As opposed to me calling them)

I recently contacted a restaurant where I had a bad experience, and a manager got back in contact with me. At the end of the email, they said: I would very much appreciate the opportunity to speak ...
4
votes
3answers
859 views

How to handle two friends talking to me at the same time?

I am a 19 years old male living in Canada. Sometimes, when I'm having a discussion with friends, two of them will start telling me something at the same time, each of them ignoring the fact that the ...
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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
468 views

What to answer to a compliment when you don't understand the intention [closed]

Context The other day at work, one of my female coworker from another team and I were working on a common task on my computer (we were discussing about our respective understanding of the problem we ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
843 views

How to tell someone you don't remember an important event that happened?

Background While it is normal to forget events that happened in the past, there is an event I can't remember at all. This event happened 2 years ago when someone confessed(confession of love) to me. ...
59
votes
5answers
12k views

How do I convince someone formalities between internet friends aren't necessary over a casual, informal text chat?

I have a friend of mine who absolutely refuses to begin conversations online by just asking me what they want, and instead insists on formalities that drive me crazy. We're online gaming friends, so ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to politely inform university accommodation housekeeping that their morning chats are waking me up?

EDIT: I fear I've come across quite poorly. I get on well with these particular cleaners and none of the below is meant as a demand, but rather a favour. There are places to sit and talk just 5m down ...
51
votes
11answers
21k views

“Stole” my friend's excitement about a personal project - how to deal with the fallout

Background: I work at a woodworking shop, doing design etc. and both myself and a colleague sometimes do personal projects using the tools, machinery etc. here in our own time. These projects are ...