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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40
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 ...
40
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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 ...
40
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7answers
9k views

How to establish boundaries with a roommate without confrontation?

For some context - this is my first semester in college where I'm having a roommate, and there have been several complications. It's off-campus housing and we don't attend the same university. My ...
38
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6answers
12k 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
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4answers
16k 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 ...
38
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7answers
9k 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 ...
36
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6answers
9k 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 ...
35
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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 ...
35
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13answers
8k 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 ...
34
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11answers
12k 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 ...
33
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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 ...
33
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7answers
11k views

How to tell someone not to start a business?

My Tae Kwon-Do instructor is looking to make a little extra money on the side. He's hired me to do some graphics work for him, which I'm more than happy to do, but now I'm beginning to wonder if he's ...
33
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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 ...
32
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6answers
7k 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 ...
31
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13answers
38k 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 ...
31
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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 ...
31
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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 ...
30
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9answers
10k 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 ...
30
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7answers
12k 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) ...
28
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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 ...
27
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2answers
8k 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 ...
26
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6answers
11k views

How can I say I am an outstanding leader without sounding arrogant? [closed]

I'm filling out a short resume sort of form to apply for a volunteer leadership position and one question I need to answer is, "Why do you want to come back as a leader? What makes you good for this ...
26
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5answers
13k 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 ...
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 ...
25
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3answers
10k views

How to tell a professor that I don't mind if he is busy?

Sorry this got a little long... I am self-studying a course. Two years ago I began to use some lectures by a professor from the United States (I'm from a different country). He is retired now. While ...
25
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9answers
22k 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....
25
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9answers
12k 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 ...
25
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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 ...
24
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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 ...
23
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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 ...
21
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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 ...
21
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10answers
9k views

Best way to give coworker chance to share personal (religious) information with me that I already heard from someone else?

This is my first holiday season at my current company. I recently noticed that one of my team members, 'Alice', wasn't coming to any of the work sponsored events. When I asked a coworker, they ...
21
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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 ...
20
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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 ...
20
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5answers
4k views

How to convey who will be asked to join my wife and me in the delivery room without causing offense?

My wife and I have just started trying to expand our family. Last night, the topic randomly came up of who should be in the delivery room with us (if we are lucky enough to conceive) as my wife asked ...
20
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3answers
6k views

How to ask someone about something without accusing them [closed]

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 ...
19
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11answers
10k 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,...
19
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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 ...
19
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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. ...
18
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5answers
11k views

How do I prevent people from repeating to others everything I say to them? [closed]

I’d like to know how I can make people stop telling others every single thing I tell them. Here’s a dialog between me and my high-school classmate, in class: Me: In case you can’t eat any more, ...
18
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7answers
8k views

How to avoid having a snorer share your dormroom?

So every few months I go away for a weekend with a large group (100 people give or take). We generally sleep in a camphouse, which has dorm-like accomodation with a few bunkbeds per room. There are a ...
18
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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 ...
17
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5answers
6k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
958 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 ...
16
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2answers
12k 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 ...
16
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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 ...
16
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3answers
7k 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 ...
15
votes
10answers
21k 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, ...
14
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
14
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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 ...

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