Questions tagged [politeness]

Questions where acting with consideration, tact, deference, or courtesy is important. Include other tags for cultural context! For questions regarding someone else being rude, use the "rudeness" tag instead.

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35
votes
5answers
8k views

How to ask my boyfriend's family if it bothers them that I'm coming along

I am in a romantic relationship with a very close friend of mine (we are both French and in the early 20s). We have been very close for years and we have been living together for a few months now. We ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Letting roommates know I put up with them more than they put up with me

I recently moved into a new apartment with 2 other roommates. Both of them are around 4-5 years elder to me, if not more. They do treat me as a younger colleague. I would have expected that this ...
32
votes
13answers
63k views

Is adding “let me know if anything is unclear” to an e-mail really necessary or is it redundant?

(Note that I originally asked this question on the English Language Stack Exchange and was told that it belonged here (Interpersonal Stack Exchange), so I removed it from the EL SE and manually moved ...
4
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0answers
386 views

Should I try to react to behind-the-back insults in my partner's minority outreach program? [closed]

Relevant identity context, I'm white, my partner can be reasonably seen to a stranger as white, and both of us are genderqueer and LGBTQ+ identifying. I work at a college in Boston, and my partner (...
19
votes
4answers
11k views

How to tell a classmate I don’t want to give him a contact for an internship?

Background I am studying mechanics at the university. Last summer, I did a great internship in an auto industry company. This internship was really rewarding, I did a useful job and I learned many ...
44
votes
12answers
24k views

How to get my wife to remember to say "please"

We've been married for over five years now, have two little kids and our relationship is as good as can be. We both value harmony very highly and thus tend to avoid an open conflict whenever possible -...
1
vote
1answer
931 views

How to apologise for not recognising someone [closed]

Recently I was at an academic conference where I met a famous academic in my area during the banquet dinner. However, for some reason I haven't recognised the name and the physical figure of the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I politely decline a lunch invitation from a friend's family?

I frequently go over to my friend's house on the weekends to work on projects. We usually meet up in the morning then work until lunch before we go our separate ways. My friend still lives with his ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

I sent an email about an urgent message, but want to call instead. How to correct?

Note: this is not a situation I am currently facing, but I have faced in the recent past. I apologized afterwards, which helped, but I'd rather learn how to fix the problem before it even occurs. My ...
11
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
129
votes
12answers
42k views

I'm 24 with a 4-year-old son. How to handle uncomfortable questions from people?

I'm 24 years old and I have a 4 year old son who was conceived by accident. I don't know about other countries but that's definitely not usual in mine (Spain). My son's mother and I broke up about ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I tell someone that possibly unwanted body skin is showing?

So the title sums it up, but let me provide an example so it has a bit of context. I am living and working in California in an accounting office, so lax business casual is the usual attire. I am a ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to politely ask a coworker not to disturb me when I have headphones on

I do not like to be disturbed or constantly asked questions while I'm working intently. I use headphones to deal with that, and do not like to be disturbed while I have them on. How do I tell my ...
37
votes
4answers
18k views

How to politely communicate to a friend I don't want to host him at my place any more?

I have this long time friend, living in another city. We usually kept in touch when, from time to time, he came to the city I live, or when I went to the city where he lives. It went all smoothly ...
108
votes
7answers
21k views

How to avoid explaining science to strangers

So, I was at a Barbeque the other day and a situation occurred that, well, I'm getting tired of. It happens almost every time I meet a new group of people. When you meet someone, eventually you come ...
11
votes
6answers
8k views

Right way to ask a colleague not to slam the door

We have the following problem in the office: there is a colleague who, I think is nice enough once you get to know him a bit more closely. The thing is, most of the time he looks really grumpy or ...
49
votes
10answers
11k views

How to communicate to a new coworker that I am not comfortable being touched?

Last week a new coworker joined our team, and yesterday we were both invited to eat lunch in the work cafeteria with some other colleagues that I have known for around a year and a half. As he, ...
1
vote
3answers
324 views

Is using profanity only around some people considered two faced? [closed]

From my perspective, profanity "is what it is", I don't use it frequently but I have no real issue with it. Though, I do understand that some people do have issue with profanity. Because of this, ...
80
votes
8answers
18k views

How to discuss girlfriend's weight loss plans?

My girlfriend is in the process of losing weight, and the topic comes up between us occasionally (at her instigation), usually with a context of "I'm going to be so much hotter in a few months". She'...
26
votes
5answers
16k views

How to tell my professor that I don't understand the class and that I want office hours?

It's been a while (about 2 weeks) since I stopped understanding anything in class and I am afraid to tell the professor about my situation because she may get upset with me (which is obviously a not ...
25
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I prevent people from thinking my deformity disables me?

Explanation:When I was younger, I broke my arm close to my growth plate near my elbow. As a result, part of my arm grew and the other part did not, resulting in a boomerang shaped arm (if I hold my ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I politely ask a person why they did something, without coming across as being angry or expecting an apology?

Recently, I came across a person who keeps doing something I don't like them doing, for various reasons (though those actions are otherwise fine, just something I don't personally like). However, ...
33
votes
11answers
19k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
868 views

How can I cancel an appointment politely? [closed]

I have never gone to a dentist, maybe just one or twice in my entire life. I found a dentist who has his office next to my home and in my desperation for my dental hygiene, I made an appointment for ...
2
votes
1answer
345 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
3k 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
11k 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
532 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k 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
862 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
21k 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 ...
60
votes
6answers
19k 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
6k 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
13k 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 ...
31
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
13k 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 ...
38
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
109
votes
8answers
39k 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, ...
63
votes
6answers
36k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
923 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
69
votes
10answers
21k 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
893 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. ...
36
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...

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