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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8
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
29k 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, ...
69
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
7answers
14k 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) works ...
2
votes
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 ...
86
votes
9answers
21k 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 ...
44
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
124
votes
14answers
26k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
612 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 ...
8
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 ...
18
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
14k 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
17k 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
720 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 ...
67
votes
10answers
29k 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? [closed]

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, ...
49
votes
8answers
16k 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 ...
20
votes
10answers
11k 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
21k 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 (...
35
votes
13answers
9k 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
15k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
10k 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
983 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 ...
22
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
605 views

The issue of phones (or how to politely read a text)

I have a flip phone that my parents use to contact me. Since only my parents contact me on it, I generally assume that if my phone dings, it's kinda important that I read it. For example, this past ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

My coworker invited me to go camping. I hate camping but instinctively agreed. How can I back out?

I'm an idiot and I've always had the "nice guy / pushover" mentality which I've been working on personally and have steadily gotten a lot better at overcoming. This one caught me by surprise and I ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How can I politely make an offer on a used vehicle?

This is the first time I buy a vehicle on my own, so I have no experience in this matter. Today I will be meeting someone who is selling their motorbike. I think he is asking too much for it so I want ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say no without sounding rude?

Recently I have been having a lot of troubles with my friends, when they ask me to do something and I say no, because I don't like it or I don't want to do it. Example Friend: Wanna dance with ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

How to ask a friend/roommate to do/to stop doing something? And how not to feel bad asking?

There are different situations where I would like to ask a friend or a roommate to do something or to stop doing something. For example, I have a roommate that sometimes doesn't wash his dishes and ...
19
votes
10answers
11k views

How to ask someone to stop wasting water without sounding rude or hurting their feelings?

A few days ago, when I was in office washroom, I saw my colleague leave the tap opened while applying hand-wash. I asked him to never waste water like this again and quickly closed the tap. After that,...
33
votes
6answers
9k views

How to politely ask people to pick up the litter they threw, especially if they don't own up

I live in India. As far as I know, littering is not much of a problem in other countries, but India has always been a place where even the adults teach their children: "Beta, yahin pe phek do, sabhi ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

How to tell someone I only want to speak to them if they don't transmit my words to e.g. Google, Amazon, or Apple?

Millions of people use smart speakers in their homes which detect all spoken words in a room and send them across an internet connection to companies such as Google (Google Home), Amazon (Amazon Echo ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to respond to peer pressure without being excluded.

Often a group of my friends will leave a party to smoke cigars/cigarettes. I do not smoke and have no interest in picking up the habit but I would like to be included in the conversation that happens ...
55
votes
5answers
7k views

How to leave when I'm not part of the conversation?

This is something that I constantly run into. I don't talk much, especially in large groups, so there will often come a time when I want to leave, but don't know how to do so. I can think of two ...
14
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I politely ask if my invitation to an event was simply forgotten?

I've been in situations where my friends are invited to an event and they'll get an invitation electronically, or physically. Sometimes I won't get one even though my friends have gotten one, and I ...

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