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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 being rude, use the "rudeness" tag.

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19
votes
4answers
5k views

How to ask someone about something without accusing them [on hold]

I would like to know how to ask someone about something without accusing them. If I want to know if someone at work has used my computer, can I ask "Have you used my computer?", without insulting ...
7
votes
2answers
572 views

How can I handle someone railroading conversations?

So I have a few fairly new friends. Most are very quiet and shy except for one person who is super confident, friendly and LOUD... lets call her Lucy. The other day the 6 of us had a barbecue where ...
7
votes
5answers
635 views

Do I need to keep on asking my coworker if I can lower the window blinds (in a German company)

I am doing my internship at a German company (while being a student from the Netherlands) and my German skills are limited. On sunny days, I get blinded by the sun and want to lower the window blinds. ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you deal with someone who is nosy, projects their feelings about career, and gives unsolicited advice in that area?

A friend of a friend has on multiple occasions aggressively asked how my self-study for software engineering interviews is going. Most recently I answered very briefly, because I find it too nosy and ...
43
votes
13answers
29k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
811 views

How to explain to roommate from India if I'm with a guest it's not a good time to discuss roommate issues?

I live in a shared house in the US. Generally speaking it's very nice and the people I share it with are nice. There's a young lady from India who I noticed has very different views than I do. She ...
47
votes
12answers
16k views

How to avoid answering “what were you sick with”?

I have been on "sick leave" for a little more than a week due to mental health issues. I'm now back to work and my coworkers are asking "did you have the flu?" or other questions like that. I know ...
3
votes
0answers
302 views

How to politely decline an invitation to a dinner from a colleague? [closed]

TL;DR: A colleague invited me and my wife to a dinner and we don't want to go. How to politely decline? More background: I have a colleague that sometime works on the same project as I do. When he ...
0
votes
3answers
655 views

How can I find out how many photos I should take If I'm given a film camera to take a picture?

On occasion, when I go to tourist hotspots, people sometimes give me their cameras and ask me to take pictures of them. Most of the time, those are digital camera (e.g. smartphones), and it makes ...
77
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
607 views

How and why to be politically correct? [closed]

Comming from the 2nd/3rd world and living in the 1st now, I often have the problem of speaking in a way counted often as politically incorrect. Political correctness intends to avoid offense or ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

How many photos should I take If I'm given a camera to take a picture?

I live in a fairly touristic place and get asked to take pictures of strangers a lot. When I do this, I get a little bit self-conscious thinking if they are saying to themselves "this dude is taking ...
39
votes
4answers
6k views

Showing a homeless person that you care about their well-being

Every day, when I go to work, I pass by a homeless person. At first, I just waved hello to them, but now I shake hands with them and, when doing that, they will start asking me questions (like "how ...
51
votes
4answers
21k views

How do I get my boyfriend to remove pictures of his ex girlfriend hanging in his apartment?

Background Information: We have been together for 2.5 years. We do not live together, but visit each others apartments around 5 times a week. He is in his early 30s and I am in my mid 20s. We live in ...
2
votes
2answers
524 views

How to make sure to get non-alcoholic beer at a bar? [closed]

Sometimes I have to drive by car after going to a bar. Hence at these times I don't want to drink alcohol (even though driving after drinking a modest amount of alcohol is allowed where I live, I don'...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How to inform a friend about my will of ending the relationship?

I'm in my mid 20s and I've been friends for 20 years with this person with whom I practically grew up. We were in the same middle school, played together almost every single day after school, same ...
16
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I ask someone to be my roommate?

I am going to complete my freshman year of college this spring and I have run into a small problem. My roommate (let's call him "Jim") seems to not like the college and in all probability is going to ...
33
votes
11answers
18k 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 ...
80
votes
9answers
21k views

How do I stop making people jump at home and at work?

I make a lot of people jump when I enter the room or try to get their attention. I am not sure what exactly I am doing wrong, but I would like to stop it so I am looking for suggestions. I have had a ...
1
vote
2answers
306 views

Is there a polite/tactful way to ask someone to leave your house after they come round for dinner? [duplicate]

I sometimes have friends over for dinner. I am an introvert & after they've been here for about 2-3 hours I wish for them to leave so I can relax a little before bed alone. Is there a polite way I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you ask your father not to get angry when he sees a male teacher is teaching his child?

Dealing with a father that gets angry when a man teaches his child in additional courses I’m 18 years male. Currently, I am pursuing 12th( the final year of High school) year education and very close ...
6
votes
1answer
478 views

How do you politely respond to people who ask too many obvious questions?

I really like helping people and I don't mind helping others with work and assignments etc. However, there are a few people who will take it very far and I've come across this a few times. For ...
8
votes
1answer
379 views

How to join an ongoing conversation without being rude?

I'm an introvert and sometimes when people are having conversations I usually tend to not engage. However, currently , I wanted to change my behavior, to be more social and engaging. And not to be ...
1
vote
3answers
806 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
446 views

How do I respond to my doctor's message in which she mentions she's doing voluntary work? [closed]

I WhatsApp'd my British doctor to ask for an appointment, and she responded along the lines of Thank you for your message. I'm really happy to see you but I'm doing voluntary work in [country]. I'...
0
votes
1answer
407 views

How to politely ask for verification delay?

I've worked in a market. Suddenly they stopped my work for verification purpose. They requested me to provide a student ID card. I've sent a scanned copy of my Student ID card for verification. One ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

How to politely turn down roommate offer for awkward reason

Awhile ago I was roommates with someone. We stopped being roommates on good terms (we both moved to different cities but are now back in the same one). My roommate became a cop. I'm still friends with ...
92
votes
14answers
56k views

How to respond when a Doctor's Receptionist asks the reason for the appointment, after confirming appointment is made?

I have recently come across a situation that made me feel very uncomfortable, especially if it had been more of a personal issue. I contacted my doctor yesterday with pains in my hand/wrist as I didn'...
44
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 ...
53
votes
11answers
17k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
625 views

Etiquette when someone’s birthday is on the same day as the funeral of one of their loved ones

Bob’s grandmother passed away last week. Her funeral is today. It is also Bob’s birthday today. I am attending the funeral. Obviously, I offer him condolences, but do I wish him a happy birthday too? ...
62
votes
7answers
14k views

How to politely stress that 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
637 views

How to make aware co worker about their parking skills?

I work in a MNC (Multi national company) in a populated city where having a car is necessary for transport purposes and daily commute. Question How can I tell/make aware a coworker (who is not in ...
3
votes
0answers
249 views

Telling a friend I normally hangout with on a holiday, I don't want to this time [closed]

A national holiday is coming up :) I have a friend (call him Joe) I normally hangout with on this holiday. I also see him on a regular basis. This time I would like to hangout with a different group ...
6
votes
1answer
534 views

How do I correct someone using the incorrect plural?

I am working with / instructing a new intern who is frequently using the incorrect plural of a technical term, for example, ‘Gooses’ instead of ‘Geese’. I’m fine giving him technical instruction ...
2
votes
2answers
514 views

Tactfully telling someone that they are the reason for your anxiety

Last weekend, I was at my parent's home and my aunt, uncle and a family friend were also invited. I have some anxiety issue which means that, when there is too many people, or just people that I'm ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How to reply to small talk/random facts in a non-offensive way?

I've discovered that when I have a conversation with someone, I sometimes answer in a somehow offensive way. For example: Person: I just read that actor is born in town X. Me: So what? You're ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
61
votes
8answers
17k 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
709 views

How to tell an acquaintance that there will be only me

A friend and I (both males) met a girl at university who is in the city as part of an exchange program. The 3 of us have been working occasionally together on university material. We get along well ...
11
votes
2answers
916 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
812 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
421 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.
4
votes
2answers
499 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
614 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
593 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
13k 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....