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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.

58
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 - ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I politely tell parents of kids to stop playing with my son's toys/equipment to give him and his friends a chance?

Quite often we go to the park, or host a party and we have a few things like Stomp Rockets or Jumpers or other such things/toys. There are quite a few kids who look at longingly and want to come over (...
5
votes
2answers
859 views

Discussing going to a therapist and seeing my father

Background I'm a 22 year old male who had quite a rough past, however I will stick to what I think is important for the question. Currently I'm still a student. When I was 16 I stopped going to my ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Reminding lecturer to reply to previous email I sent

I sent an email to my lecturer asking for clarification about something however it has been a few days and he has not replied. Sometimes he replies to emails sometimes he does not. I need a reply fast ...
4
votes
2answers
613 views

How can I tell people that I’m not interested in donating to their charity? [duplicate]

Sometimes people will approach me in public places (such as a train station) and ask me to make a donation or to buy an item for charity. Usually they’re positioned at an entrance, exit or in such a ...
58
votes
10answers
20k views

How to politely interrupt recruiters who keep cold-calling me during my work hours?

About a year and a half ago I was waist deep in a job search. Having found a new job, I've since attempted to remove my resume from the internet. However, this hasn't stopped recruiters from finding ...
7
votes
6answers
1k 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, ...
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, ...
10
votes
3answers
894 views

How can I offer priority seat to a plus sized lady that I assume is pregnant?

Firstly, please do correct me if it is not right/respectful to use the phrase ‘plus-sized’ as I am unsure of how it would be taken as, in other countries/cultures. Sometimes I face the situation and ...
8
votes
2answers
867 views

How to insist (and convince) on a course of action when you are not in a position of power

I help a young teenage boy learn English at a non-profit organization where I am a volunteer. The boy is considered at-risk youth as he's the child of immigrant parents and of low socioeconomic status....
-1
votes
1answer
535 views

How do I anticipate whether using the expression “of color” will be received favourably or not? [closed]

I am European, and I seem to understand that in North America it's particularly common to use the expression "Person of color" instead of, for example, "Black person". I understand that it's meant ...
5
votes
3answers
327 views

How do I schedule an event with multiple people?

A few examples I've struggled with is scheduling scrimmages with a VR League I play in; I have four people on my team's availabilities to manage in conjunction with 5 others on a different team each ...
0
votes
1answer
149 views

How to explain your future goals in an evaluation interview? [closed]

I've thought about this for a while but don't really know how to go about this. Our company just got merged with a bigger market player. However this opens up a whole lot of opportunities towards ...
2
votes
1answer
241 views

Reply to an email that does not necessarily need an answer [closed]

I live in an apartment building with about 150 small apartments, owned by various private landlords. For these apartment buildings, there is often a house management company that is responsible for ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I explain to my partner that my online interactions are important to me to reduce their frustration when I talk about them?

How can I explain, to my partner, that my online interactions, particularly here on Stack Exchange, are important and of value to me with the goal of them not feeling frustrated that I'm "wasting" my ...
11
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
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....
22
votes
10answers
9k views

Best way to give coworker chance to share personal (religious) information with me that I already heard from someone else?

This is my first holiday season at my current company. I recently noticed that one of my team members, 'Alice', wasn't coming to any of the work sponsored events. When I asked a coworker, they ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Telling people that feeding bread to ducks is harmful

Many people like to go and feed the ducks at the ponds and lakes near where I live. It's lovely that they want to interact with and appreciate these wild animals. Unfortunately, they nearly always ...
9
votes
2answers
805 views

How to tactfully ask someone to adjust their shirt for a photo?

I was taking some photos for a work function (it's my workplace, I'm not a professional photographer) and I was taking a photo of a group of people. One of them was overweight, and his shirt had ...
59
votes
4answers
10k views

Dismissing a stranger asking for help without being dismissive of their possible situation?

For some background into the layout of where this situation takes place, my apartment complex has it's own dog park. Within a few hundred feet of the dog park is a large and spacious public park, ...
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, ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
695 views

How to tactfully give someone a chance to leave without compromising the conversation

At social events I have found I am some-what guilty of getting into in depth discussions that may occasionally drag the other person/s away from the main group. Most of the time this is fine, based ...
0
votes
2answers
332 views

How to notifiy cleaning personnel that they've “missed a spot” [closed]

I think it's ill-mannered to tell someone that is cleaning for you to do a better job. However, how can I tell them that they probably missed a spot, without offending them? For example, when they ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How best to address a former teacher

I'm a 22-year-old college student soon to be entering my final semester of my undergraduate degree. For the second time this semester (and for entirely unrelated occasions), I've been contacted by ...
49
votes
6answers
21k views

How do I respond when someone answers 'Yes' when I ask “Would anyone like the last [Item]?”?

So today at work we had a tray of doughnuts, my colleague called out to the office, "I'm going to have the last one unless anyone else would like it?". At this point, I realised that I don't think I'...
18
votes
7answers
7k views

How to avoid having a snorer share your dormroom?

So every few months I go away for a weekend with a large group (100 people give or take). We generally sleep in a camphouse, which has dorm-like accomodation with a few bunkbeds per room. There are a ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
285 views

Follow up to informational interview [closed]

For an engineering class I'm taking, I've been interviewing experts in the field. The goal of these interview is to learn important information on our potential customers, find out more about the ...
2
votes
0answers
131 views

Communication while setting up an informational interview via email [closed]

For an engineering class I'm taking, I've been interviewing experts in the field. The goal of these interviews is to: learn important information on our potential customers. find out more about the ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

What's the polite response to being informed you've told the same thing more than once?

Background I am quite a forgetful person and will frequently tell the same story, or make the same statement, more than once. This usually occurs when I will see or hear something and that will ...
41
votes
10answers
15k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How to handle being at the same events as my partner's ex-lover?

10 months ago I was out of the country for a period of three months for work reasons. During this time, my partner cheated on me with one of his friends, who is also one of his colleagues. This person ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What can I do to make taking someone's details less awkward for both of us?

So I am a software engineer at a very small medical technology company where we work mostly on developing new products. We have no store-front and only sell online but occasionally a particularly ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
556 views

How to politely minimise frequency of Mum's requests for visiting

I've been living with my girlfriend for nearly 2 years now. About once or twice a month, my Mum wants to visit or meet up somewhere. I don't mind doing this occasionally (say 6 times a year), but she ...
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How to approach my father about selling my brand new (expensive) laptop because it does not work the way I thought it would

3 months ago I was able to get a new laptop for school and work. I was able to choose between all laptops but I decided to buy a MacBook Pro 2017 because back in 2010 I had a MacBook pro as well and ...
3
votes
0answers
284 views

How to make sincere offers across cultural boundaries? [closed]

This often happens to me when I interact with Asian "face-saving" cultures, some South Americans that are really formal, and even some Americans who are really polite. The general case is, imagine I ...
1
vote
5answers
481 views

Should I reply to the email or just leave it? [closed]

I am currently an intern in a company in Singapore. My supervisor's colleague gave me a small task and asked me to collate some details about others interns. I did it and sent him an email. He replied ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
168 views

Use of “what” when asking for partial clarification of what was said

I had it ingrained in me to avoid saying "what?" when I didn't hear what someone said, and instead ask "pardon?" to avoid sounding rude. What if I only need partial clarification of what was said ...
6
votes
2answers
548 views

How do I tell my cousin that he has a bad haircut?

My cousin has mild autism (not Asperger's Syndrome). He's 22 and never manages to get past his probation period in the jobs he's had. He is a hard worker and a warm person, but he is pretty dim. It ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How to refuse someone who would like to borrow our baby?

I have a 7 month old daughter, and there are instances that a relative or a friend will ask to borrow our baby or carry our baby for a while. There are times that I would like to refuse because of ...