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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20
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 ...
11
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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 ...
7
votes
2answers
745 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
890 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
769 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. ...
47
votes
11answers
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
311 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
619 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 ...
0
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3answers
662 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 ...
26
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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 ...
2
votes
2answers
525 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'...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
480 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
382 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
408 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
447 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'...
8
votes
2answers
633 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? ...
8
votes
1answer
638 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
517 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
711 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
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'...
11
votes
2answers
919 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'...
-2
votes
1answer
424 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
500 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
615 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
594 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
580 views

Asking friend to wait before ordering meal

A close group of girl friends and I enjoy getting together for lunch and dinners a few times a month. There are four of us, and every time we sit down and the server introduces themself to ask for our ...
9
votes
1answer
677 views

How to try to find out who stole a valuable item in a social situation?

I was recently at a friend's birthday party and at one point in the event he told everyone that an electronic gadget was missing and that no one would leave until he found it. It was an embarrassing ...
6
votes
3answers
608 views

How can I politely point out to a non-native English speaker that they have used the wrong word?

I do a lot of communication through text, often with people who are not native speakers of English. Spelling and grammar mistakes can be quite common when speaking a non-native language and when I see ...
2
votes
3answers
613 views

Asking my coworker to get to the point without being rude

Background I have a coworker with whom I communicate online (slack). When this coworker has something to tell me, they always start by saying: Hello, how are you? Then they wait for me to answer (...
1
vote
0answers
225 views

How to treat someone a meal without sounding rude? [closed]

So when I showed someone in germany a picture of local food from my country (Indonesia), he told me he'd love to try it if he visit my country. and I told him "I will show you my favorite restaurant ...
4
votes
1answer
520 views

Politely declining a request to use my railway card to get a ticket when the person has to stand in the queue

Background: I'm from India. In our railways, we have multiple ways of booking tickets, one of them being the regular way (stand in the queue) and the other, a card which lets you get your ticket ...
10
votes
1answer
931 views

How to approach a person that does not respond to me after I was potentially rude to them?

I am an 18-year-old German, I live in a small (~100 citizens) town neighboring a somewhat bigger (~2000 citizens) town. We have our own small local fire-station but we do not do regular training. To ...
2
votes
0answers
273 views

How can I take Stack Exchange answers less defensively and give answers less aggressively? [closed]

Stack Exchange sites have garnered a bit of a reputation for being harsh even though users genuinely want to help each other out. I've been told that I've been a bit hard giving answers. I've also ...
2
votes
2answers
504 views

How to cancel a nearing appointment with a friend that I forgot about?

About a month ago, a friend I haven't heard from in some years invited me for dinner. We decided on a date that worked for both of us but I forgot to add it to my personal calendar. I was not ...
1
vote
1answer
557 views

How can I stop restaurant cashiers from putting their hands on the rim of my cup?

Whenever I go out to eat at a fast food restaurant or cafeteria, I order a drink. The drink comes in a paper cup, which is located behind the counter. The cashier hands me the paper cup, holding it by ...
6
votes
2answers
409 views

How can I ask my client to send the memento which is originally addressed to me?

I work as a graphic designer on a freelance platform. Recently, one of my regular clients messaged and said he had a surprise for me. He said that the poster I designed for his play won the award for ...
4
votes
2answers
518 views

How can I tactfully point out that someone misunderstood me?

Yesterday at work I had the same misunderstanding with two different co-workers. I'm working on a website with both an English and Spanish version. I explained over Slack that I found the resource ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Talking to your girlfriend about her personal messages you read by chance?

While using my girlfriend's laptop I happened to see a message notification from a guy she met on holiday just before we started dating. I was working and she was sitting in front of me using her ...
5
votes
2answers
648 views

How to tell beginner pickleball player they shouldn't play?

Often a lower level pickleball player will come to a day set aside for advanced players. (Pickleball has 4 people on a court &usually played at community centers.) It seems if I am nice to them ...
3
votes
1answer
377 views

Asking an update from a friend who agreed to help me but who didn't respond me last time

I have a friend who agreed to help me on something half a year ago. Around the winter holidays, last time we chatted, I told him I was ready to implement my plan but he told me that he was upset ...