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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14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to refuse someone who would like to borrow our baby?

I have a 7 month old daughter, and there are instances that a relative or a friend will ask to borrow our baby or carry our baby for a while. There are times that I would like to refuse because of ...
14
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
14
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1answer
1k views

How to say you already want to leave the party decently (you're just bored)?

It's a minor social party for friends and it doesn't go very well. You've been there for an hour or two and it's not really lightening up. You want to go home but have no pragmatic reasons, you just ...
13
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3answers
6k views

What's the polite response to being informed you've told the same thing more than once?

Background I am quite a forgetful person and will frequently tell the same story, or make the same statement, more than once. This usually occurs when I will see or hear something and that will ...
13
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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 ...
13
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6answers
2k views

Telling people that feeding bread to ducks is harmful

Many people like to go and feed the ducks at the ponds and lakes near where I live. It's lovely that they want to interact with and appreciate these wild animals. Unfortunately, they nearly always ...
13
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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 ...
13
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3answers
2k 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 ...
12
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2answers
1k views

How do I tell my guests that I need time alone?

My husband and I live alone and are very introverted. We have very little social interaction apart from each other and often will go days without talking to anyone else because we work from home. As ...
12
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3answers
618 views

How to enter a group conversation with relative strangers?

Imagine you're at a party or a networking event, or something along those lines. You're confronted with a large room full of people all talking in small groups. You know nobody or next to nobody here. ...
12
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2answers
3k views

How to approach my father about selling my brand new (expensive) laptop because it does not work the way I thought it would

3 months ago I was able to get a new laptop for school and work. I was able to choose between all laptops but I decided to buy a MacBook Pro 2017 because back in 2010 I had a MacBook pro as well and ...
11
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6answers
1k views

How can I politely tell parents of kids to stop playing with my son's toys/equipment to give him and his friends a chance?

Quite often we go to the park, or host a party and we have a few things like Stomp Rockets or Jumpers or other such things/toys. There are quite a few kids who look at longingly and want to come over (...
11
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6answers
6k 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 ...
11
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3answers
2k views

How can I communicate to friends and family that I don't want a specific type of birthday gift?

Disclaimer: It is not really a sock. It is an everyday, non-consumable article that I have way too much of. My birthday is in a few months, and every single year several people give me socks. It is ...
11
votes
2answers
977 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
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4answers
882 views

How can I tell a friend that their self-published book needs editing?

Background An acquaintance of mine and his wife just self-published a very short book. Unfortunately, it has scores of grammatical mistakes on most pages. My friend and his wife have a great message ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Roommate on my wifi

I'm living in an apartment with a roommate. When they first moved in they didn't have a router and therefore could not connect to the internet. I offered to let them connect to my wifi until they were ...
11
votes
2answers
834 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'...
11
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
942 views

How to politely ask for a price for a commision, when I only intend to ask?

I wanted to ask for a price for a commission from an artist. However, my budget is lower than what I think the commission would be worth, hence I intend to only ask for the price and not buy the ...
11
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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 ...
11
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2answers
2k views

I'm a bibimbap heretic - can I eat my food the way I want without coming off as disrespectful?

I enjoy bibimbap. In American Korean restaurants, bibimbap is typically served as a large bowl of rice with individual portions of each topping arranged over it, like so. The traditional way to eat ...
11
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2answers
2k 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? ...
11
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2answers
899 views

How to tell a friend that she is too loud when she speaks without offending?

My partner and I hang out with another couple. We share many interests, have children of the same age, and are fairly compatible in many aspects. So all is fine for spending several hours together ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How can I prevent people from touching my laptop screen with their finger?

Because of my work, I often bring my laptop with me to show stuff to other people. The problem is that a lot of people end up touching my screen to point to things on it. One developer I worked with ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How to tactfully tell a martial arts instructor that I was freaked out by his lack of action?

The other day I joined a martial art/combat sport class. Apart from the many positive aspects of the experience, there was unfortunately one thing that really freaked me out. When the sparring session ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Refusing to let people in

I work in a facility where it is open to the public except for a small section. I work in this section and this section requires an access card when entering the door (anyone can buy one, but it is ...
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 ...
11
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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 ...
10
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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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I tell a friend I don't want to play their game anymore, but invite them to mine

I am in a group of friends who meet to play dungeons and dragons. The person whose house we go to often cancels because their partner can't make it. So as we are all adults we don't meet up very often ...
10
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8answers
8k views

How can I get someone to stop paying for my meal?

I have a good friend and every time we go out for a drink or dinner, he always insists on paying. That sounds good to have someone pay for you but it's actually not. For a start, it's kind of ...
10
votes
5answers
937 views

Answering “how did you make this dish” questions

I love cooking. I especially enjoy making complex dishes that require days of preparation and hours over the stove. Nothing that requires a Michelin Star chef, but it does require time, patience and ...
10
votes
1answer
956 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How to handle being at the same events as my partner's ex-lover?

10 months ago I was out of the country for a period of three months for work reasons. During this time, my partner cheated on me with one of his friends, who is also one of his colleagues. This person ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
923 views

How can I offer priority seat to a plus sized lady that I assume is pregnant?

Firstly, please do correct me if it is not right/respectful to use the phrase ‘plus-sized’ as I am unsure of how it would be taken as, in other countries/cultures. Sometimes I face the situation and ...
10
votes
2answers
885 views

How do I tell my friend that she is, indeed, rude?

My friend recently texted me asking if she's mean to people and/or a bully, explaining to me that people at work told her she was. Unfortunately, she has a handful of negative characteristics and a ...
9
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3answers
2k views

How can I ask a stranger who I'd be living with if he believes in weird things?

I'm a master student (20+) that for the last 6 months has been renting a room in an older woman's (50+) house, that is we're living in the same house (just two of us). Unfortunately, I didn't have a ...
9
votes
1answer
765 views

How to gently ask my neighbor not to use my bins for their waste?

In the past months, there were several occasions when I found foreign waste in my personal bins. I cannot say, that was my neighbor for sure as I never saw anyone. But the waste type and content made ...
9
votes
1answer
698 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
734 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How to communicate with neighbour with banging door without making her uncomfortable

I live in Australia in a block of flats. We are the middle flat of three. Each flat has a front and back balcony. Due to the nature of the flats the back doors will bang in the wind if not secured - ...
9
votes
2answers
818 views

How to tactfully ask someone to adjust their shirt for a photo?

I was taking some photos for a work function (it's my workplace, I'm not a professional photographer) and I was taking a photo of a group of people. One of them was overweight, and his shirt had ...
9
votes
1answer
740 views

When offering a ride through a ride-share app, how to politely assign obese people to the front seat?

I use a rideshare app when travelling between cities, which I often do. This saves money and is often very fun. People evaluate you as a driver, and it is important to keep a good score. I let 3 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How to decline giving personal information until you recieved some in return

I need to move and find a new home to rent. The city I live in is having a housing crisis (as declared by the mayor). I think many landlords take advantage of this. I know that they’re just trying to ...
9
votes
2answers
455 views

How to respond to loud people in workplace?

TL;DR: People in my academic department office like to talk loudly, and today, there was boisterous laughing, which caused me to lose concentration. How do I indicate that they need to quiet down, ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How to explain that it upsets me to see people kill insects?

I feel like most humans have judged value of life by size since beginning of the universe, but I tend to not share that same viewpoint. For example, when something sweet is left in my kitchen, ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Guy I met very briefly won't stop messaging me

As the title says, there's a guy I met for five minutes several months ago who won't stop messaging me on Facebook. We're both (straight) guys, so it's not romantic, he just seems to want to shoot the ...

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