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
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5answers
2k views

How can I tell a friend to bring something I actually enjoy eating if they will bring something anyway?

My boyfriend's brother-in-law (Bob) visits my boyfriend from time to time. Because he owns a bakery he always brings us a bag full of goodies. The bag almost always includes the following :a ...
8
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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 ...
8
votes
1answer
692 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 ...
8
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5answers
2k 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, ...
8
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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 ...
8
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3answers
906 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
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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 ...
8
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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 ...
8
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5answers
990 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 ...
8
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2answers
1k 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
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2answers
898 views

How to insist (and convince) on a course of action when you are not in a position of power

I help a young teenage boy learn English at a non-profit organization where I am a volunteer. The boy is considered at-risk youth as he's the child of immigrant parents and of low socioeconomic status....
8
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1answer
448 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
8
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3answers
791 views

How do I greet someone when bowing is a common greeting among the people without being disrespectful?

Muslims are only allowed to bow and prostrate to God because we consider such things acts of worship, and Islam is a very monotheistic religion. This is a problem in Japan, where bowing is considered ...
8
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1answer
606 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k views

How do I give money for the tickets to the girl that I'm seeing?

I've been out with this girl a couple of times already, we're going out again soon and once more after that to a concert. I couldn't buy the tickets online, so she did. I've been brought up in a way ...
7
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2answers
597 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 ...
7
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1answer
352 views

How can I correct text of another person during a chat without being pedant or making fun of the other person?

A written chat is not a good channel of communication for no verbal language, hence, is quite easy to make mistakes because each side might add different context to the sentences. This might cause ...
7
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2answers
2k views

How to react to a coworker calling themselves dumb?

First of all I want to express that I feel this question belongs in here and not in workplace because it's an interpersonal thing more than a work thing and I'd like a more general answer. So I was ...
7
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5answers
4k views

How best to address a former teacher

I'm a 22-year-old college student soon to be entering my final semester of my undergraduate degree. For the second time this semester (and for entirely unrelated occasions), I've been contacted by ...
7
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5answers
934 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. ...
7
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5answers
2k views

How do I ask a close family friend who keeps delaying communication to pay me for the work I've done

Situation A close family friend who has given my brother a lot of photography work in the past offered me some work designing and implementing some new websites for a brand new business that she is ...
7
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2answers
583 views

How do I tell my cousin that he has a bad haircut?

My cousin has mild autism (not Asperger's Syndrome). He's 22 and never manages to get past his probation period in the jobs he's had. He is a hard worker and a warm person, but he is pretty dim. It ...
7
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1answer
1k views

How do I tell my friend that I don't want to go to her church without hurting her feelings

My friend invited me to her church and I went to the Sunday service. However, I didn't really enjoy the way the pastor communicated his ideas with us and he repeated a lot of the same things over and ...
7
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3answers
759 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 ...
7
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1answer
582 views

How to politely decline a personal service without offending the servicer?

Background I am blind. I work as a software developer in a company. I hate all kinds of gatherings. If I have a choice, I would spend my time alone with a computer. Situation I was attending my ...
7
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2answers
2k 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 ...
7
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7answers
13k 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 ...
7
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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,...
6
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2answers
3k views

What can I do to make taking someone's details less awkward for both of us?

So I am a software engineer at a very small medical technology company where we work mostly on developing new products. We have no store-front and only sell online but occasionally a particularly ...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

How to politely inform university accommodation housekeeping that their morning chats are waking me up?

EDIT: I fear I've come across quite poorly. I get on well with these particular cleaners and none of the below is meant as a demand, but rather a favour. There are places to sit and talk just 5m down ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How to refuse a hairdresser because I want someone who's cut my hair before, without being rude?

I went to have my haircut, and the first hairdresser who became available was the one I know the least, and has only cut my hair once or twice before. For context, I've lived in the area all my life ...
6
votes
2answers
897 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 ...
6
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4answers
722 views

How to politely tell someone in a professional setting to stop using lazy English in his e-mails

I have just received yet another e-mail from a technical contact at one of our business partners. He has a list of questions that I need to provide answers to but he uses such a lazy form of writing ...
6
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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 ...
6
votes
2answers
415 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 ...
6
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4answers
1k views

How to evade request to sit somewhere uncomfortable?

Background I was invited to my friend’s flat the other day to enjoy an infrequent visit. It isn’t often I spend time with her, so this was a special occasion. Her flat isn’t exactly high-end and is ...
6
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1answer
55k views

How can I politely ask someone to call me? (As opposed to me calling them)

I recently contacted a restaurant where I had a bad experience, and a manager got back in contact with me. At the end of the email, they said: I would very much appreciate the opportunity to speak ...
6
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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, ...
6
votes
3answers
933 views

How to ask people not to push in front of me at concerts?

I have some experience with concerts (mostly heavy-metal ones, but pretty sure it's the same for any genre). And every time some people try get to the front rows either by just walking as they have a ...
6
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3answers
1k views

How to deal with someone attempting to “push buttons” and pick fights during casual social gatherings?

So the context of this question is as follows: I attended a friend’s art opening a week or so ago. It was a pleasant, low key affair and a few of the people in attendance tangentially were connected ...
6
votes
1answer
685 views

What cultural hints to be aware of when Jewish friends are staying at our place?

Note: I considered asking this at Mi Yodeya but it is really about how to deal with people and culture, more than about Judaism as a religion. We will have Jewish friends (from the US) staying at our ...
6
votes
1answer
504 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 ...
6
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3answers
795 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How to ask my ex if she has a dependence relationship with me?

I had a friend with benefits for almost one year who eventually became my girlfriend even though I didn't see her as so, I could say it was just by routine, we were seeing just each her and doing "...
6
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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 ...
6
votes
1answer
549 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
564 views

How to politely minimise frequency of Mum's requests for visiting

I've been living with my girlfriend for nearly 2 years now. About once or twice a month, my Mum wants to visit or meet up somewhere. I don't mind doing this occasionally (say 6 times a year), but she ...
6
votes
2answers
456 views

How to politely reject classmates that are constantly asking for my help? [duplicate]

I am in a situation where I am overwhelmed by school mates constantly asking for my help for their assignments and tests. (They have been doing this since grade 10!) And this has resulted in serious ...

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