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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.

4
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2answers
1k views

How and when to best approach a stranger about a “wardrobe malfunction?” [duplicate]

So a “wardrobe malfunction” can basically mean someone’s fly being open or someone’s dress, skirt getting bunched up in a weird way in their underpants. If I am dealing with friends, acquaintances, ...
27
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I politely tell someone who is ineffectively holding a door open for me, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

The key word here is “ineffectively.” I have no problem with someone holding a door open for me. They hold it open, I thank them, life goes on. But something I have noticed recently is that some ...
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 ...
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 ...
42
votes
11answers
10k views

How can you distance yourself from people you have nothing in common with without being a snob?

Over the last couple of months, I was entrusted by a few people in my workplace with the fact that I was considered a snob by a large part of the staff. That sort of hit a soft spot since I always ...
57
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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
6answers
10k views

How to politely communicate to your manager that what they did upset you and ask that it doesn't happen again?

Related How to communicate to someone at work that they are overstepping boundaries. This happened recently to a girlfriend, Mary, at work. Mary works as a cashier for a large department store that ...
2
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1answer
2k views

How do I politely let a professor know she has offended me? [closed]

I am very seriously religious, but never mention it to others because I notice it makes them uncomfortable. Plus, I don't want anyone to feel that I am telling them my beliefs are more right than ...
51
votes
11answers
16k views

Asking waiters to let you eat in peace

My problem is that whenever I go to any restaurant where they serve you food, they first take your order, then they bring it and while you are eating with your mouth full of food they have to come to ...
5
votes
2answers
980 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 ...
15
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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 ...
24
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I ask my colleague to stop exploiting my name on projects I am not working on?

I have this co-worker, and since the day I met him, he has been great. He taught me many things and we've had a very friendly relationship. Now my goal here is not to ruin it, but since he is no ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is negotiating a price perceived as rude in the UK culture?

I am looking to buy used car components on eBay from the UK, I found a good deal, the seller put together a nice kit but I feel a 15% discount would better align the item to the market price. I might ...
5
votes
1answer
371 views

How to apologise/thank college for being flexible with accommodation?

I'm going into my 4th year of University. I lived in college-owned accommodation for the first 3 years. I balloted in January for a college-owned room for 4th year, but this summer (June) I signed a ...
1
vote
2answers
367 views

How to politely ask if they would be paying for the project [closed]

Hello I am a junior student of Computer Science Major in Software Engineering, there were persons from other colleges who wants us to collaborate with them to make an application for their thesis. The ...
33
votes
11answers
11k views

How can I politely tell my fellow tenants that I am not the caretaker?

I have 3 fellow tenants in the same building where I live. Every Monday evening, the refuse bins must be put out in the street so that the next morning the company could collect the garbage and empty ...
3
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Guy I met very briefly won't stop messaging me

As the title says, there's a guy I met for five minutes several months ago who won't stop messaging me on Facebook. We're both (straight) guys, so it's not romantic, he just seems to want to shoot the ...
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

Dismissing questions about shameful disease at work

Soooo.... This week I'm quite sick, but not the kind of sickness that could prevent me from working, at least if it doesn't worsen at some point. It is not contagious at all, by the way. So I can ...
64
votes
9answers
12k views

How do I deal with people who can't deal with local payment customs?

I live in Japan. Japan still has a very cash oriented society especially when it comes to restaurants. Often someone will visit from out of town and will expect to be able to (1) pay with a credit ...
11
votes
3answers
560 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. ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I politely tell my friends I can't afford to order takeout?

Me and my boyfriend have two friends (a couple), whom we hang out once a week. The guy will usually pick his girlfriend up from work and then come over to our place to hang out until after midnight. ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I tell a friend to bring something I actually enjoy eating if they will bring something anyway?

My boyfriend's brother-in-law (Bob) visits my boyfriend from time to time. Because he owns a bakery he always brings us a bag full of goodies. The bag almost always includes the following :a ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I respond to verbal abuse when not directed at me?

Background I recently met this couple through my boyfriend. The husband is from southern Europe (Bob) and his wife is from Tibet (Lisa). Bob met Lisa in Nepal during a trip to India some 20 years ago,...
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, ...
68
votes
14answers
19k views

Dealing with a person who continuously needs help

Background I have a "friend" who is currently employed at a job as a software developer. Unfortunately, this friend of mine isn't at all willing to look for solutions by themselves. They would rather ...
30
votes
8answers
9k 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) ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

How to refuse a job offer that I already accepted?

I was offered to collaborate as freelancer in the company I used to work (I quitted and I'm working in a different place right now). I was talking with the company owner, who told me that in case I ...
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 ...
42
votes
5answers
10k views

How can I ask a possible long-lost relative to prove his identity?

I found myself in a peculiar situation yesterday. I was contacted via Facebook by a person (let's call him Bob) who claimed that he was one of my mom's cousins and hadn't talked to her in over 40 ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
594 views

In the US, is it polite to ask someone's name whom I just met in the elevator at work? [closed]

I just met a person in the elevator at work, and he seemed friendly enough and seemed to strike up a friendly conversation with me. Is it okay if I ask what his name is in this short conversation so ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to quickly greet and identify visitors at work?

I work in a smaller startup (about 30 people). We rent an office space in an affluent neighborhood. The office has a very small (3ft x 3ft) "atrium" between the outer door and our office door. We do ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I decline conversation in my native language?

I often meet people who do not natively speak my language (German) but are learning it and would love to practice it by speaking German to me. General Situation The problem is that I talk in a ...
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
4answers
9k views

Is it OK to stop saying hi to people that you have no interest in? [closed]

I got introduced to this person in my neighborhood by a friend, and for a couple of times I said hi to him out of politeness. He also does not have a very close relationship with my friend. I don't ...
0
votes
3answers
479 views

How to ask from somebody I can't remember, where did we meet?

He is working in the same office building but by a different company. He welcomed me sometimes already, and it was clear he remembers me from somewhere. Also, I remember his face, however, I can't ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I thank my private teacher after qualifying and ask for having my books back?

I had a personal home-tuition teacher who used to coach me since I was in 9th grade. At first, he was a very sincere teacher, who always gave me sufficient homework, gave me extra practise questions, ...
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 ...
19
votes
10answers
10k views

How do I tell or convince a friend that he should do an autism test?

I know a person "Bob" and his family very well. He had problems in his apprenticeship. I know another person that has the Asperger Syndrome and my friend Bob shows a lot of similarities. I don't want ...
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 (...
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How to react when a stranger suddenly shares intimate information with you? [closed]

I don't know if this is a common phenomenon, but it has happened to me already more than once. Maybe my opinion of what constitutes intimate information is too narrow, or I just appear to be ...
25
votes
9answers
10k views

How to politely ask someone if they want to eat my (leftover) food?

I live in Dubai. Often, I take home-cooked food to workplace and I can’t eat all of it. A few weeks back, I asked my colleague if they wanted my lunch because I had already eaten from it. They ...
26
votes
2answers
6k views

How to politely approach my neighbours about their excessively screaming child?

Context My neighbours have a child who is around 3 to 4 years old. The walls in my house are really thin, we can hear most things. Which is completely normal in an old terraced British house, but he ...
17
votes
2answers
941 views

What is the best way to put off a talkative fellow traveller?

Many of us have met them, those people in adjoining seats on a train or plane journey that just "have" to make small talk. It may be because they are afraid of flying, etc. Or it may be that since ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

How to share a flat with people who don't speak any language I know?

I am doing an internship in Tokyo and share my flat with two Chinese women. They speak only Chinese and Japanese, I speak only English and some other European languages, and my Japanese is not ...