Questions tagged [public-issues]

For issues that usually occur in public, in public locations or in the public eye. This can include in cafes, shops, or public transport.

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6 votes
1 answer
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Confront supposed harassment/abuse on a bus stop

Scenario: You walk by a bus station and notice a, supposedly, couple that behaves suspicious. The woman seems to be afraid of the man (stares to the ground, submissive posture, he holds her arm ...
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  • 163
1 vote
1 answer
323 views

How to handle seemingly friendly questions from stranger in social situation that ask you where you work etc?

Background : you are at a bar or some similar social place, where people gather and meet, and someone has struck up a friendly conversation with you, talking about the game playing on TV, etc, and ...
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  • 2,147
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to tell an employee that someone in their shop is not wearing a mask?

(Without looking condescending or like I'm telling them how to do their job) The other day, I was at a shop and someone was not wearing their mask (it was hanging on one of their ears, so they clearly ...
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  • 17.2k
6 votes
3 answers
613 views

How to request people to help me speak a language without imposing it on them?

I'm an Indian student who recently moved to the Netherlands to study. I'm intending on it becoming my permanent home at some point. While I was in India (and when I briefly moved to the US with my dad)...
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3 votes
2 answers
519 views

How do I politely tell people in public I won't give out my e-mail? [closed]

I noticed recently when I'm checking out at the store, the cashier will ask for my email address, so that the store can send me flyers, coupons, and promotions. In other words, junk. What I've tried:...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to handle someone making a scene in public?

So I've run into this now and then when there might be a disagreement with girlfriend or ex political issues with some friends The other person flares up in a public or just crowded place and ...
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  • 203
52 votes
7 answers
19k views

How to ask a man to not take up more than one seat on public transport while avoiding conflict?

I live in a big city (in Paris, France) and take public transportation every day. I'm perceived as a woman and I will sometimes have to sit near people who spread out and take up more space than just ...
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  • 17.2k
39 votes
6 answers
17k views

What is Soda Fountain Etiquette?

The other day I was walking with my cup to the Soda Fountain1 at a restaurant. Someone was already using the fountain, but the drink they were getting was on the far right side, while what I wanted ...
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  • 15.3k
-1 votes
2 answers
332 views

Is it OK to delete old tweets about events that are no longer relevant? [closed]

Here's some context: the twitter account is owned by an organisation they post content infrequently some of the tweets are referencing an old event that is no longer relevant; people who go on the ...
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11 votes
1 answer
790 views

How can I end interactions with a stranger after a conversation has turned bad?

The situation Last night I went to a bar after work to meet a friend to have a beer and catch up. There was a man "James" sitting next to us at the bar who had clearly taken an interest in our ...
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  • 9,026
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to respond to complaints from strangers about my loud toddler child?

Yesterday we did grocery shopping in our local supermarket, as every week. Normally, my dad would babysit my son (2.5 years) for this time, but it was not possible, so the child joined us. My son was ...
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  • 1,052
10 votes
1 answer
680 views

How to address the disapproval of someones actions when he/she throws litter on the ground

Today I was cycling home from work. I was just cycling past a group of two girls when one of them hit me carelessly when she was throwing her tin can of energy drink on the ground. They said "sorry ...
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10 votes
3 answers
987 views

How to listen to music without looking antisocial?

A lot of people wear headphones or earbuds, often with no music playing, as a sign that they don't want to be bothered. But maybe I want to listen to music when in public, perhaps simply for the fact ...
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  • 103
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I ask someone in a quiet library to stop clearing their throat?

I have ADHD and as such have terrible difficulty maintaining my concentration, especially when working on homework. Because of this, I often like to work on the "quiet floor" of my university's ...
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  • 111
5 votes
1 answer
694 views

How can I support my aunt when she is being "yelled" at by a stranger?

The other day, I was in some kind of park where children had tools and material to build huts. Since they weren't a lot of material, when a hut was finished it was then dismantled and the material was ...
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  • 17.2k
8 votes
2 answers
772 views

A stranger on the street accidentaly dropped their wallet: if and how may I point it out to them?

While walking down the street I noticed another pedestrian, who was ahead of me, accidentally dropping his wallet. I did not stare at this wallet, of course, but it wasn't hard to notice that it ...
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  • 239
42 votes
7 answers
16k views

Asking guys to quit shouting in a bar

I've been making a more conscious effort to work on my social skills lately. Particularly soft skills dealings with random people in public places. My shrink recommended that I do the obvious thing, "...
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  • 54.7k
13 votes
2 answers
889 views

How can I wait in line for the bathroom without crowding people as they exit?

When I'm in a public establishment and there's a wait for the bathroom, I prefer not to stand too close to the door, because then I'm right in the face of the person exiting. In particular, I think ...
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  • 149
62 votes
9 answers
19k views

How to introduce metamours without causing awkwardness?

I am involved in a polyamorous relationship. Currently my wife has both a husband (me) and a boyfriend. We like to go out for normal "couple" type activities like dinner dates, movies, and attending ...
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52 votes
12 answers
15k views

How to effectively give out a last warning?

I'm a very calm person. You can insult or harass me a long time before I actually react. But when I react, I tend to go from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds (think, from looking visibly displeased to ...
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  • 1,380
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I approach telling someone that they are not invited to an event that I am having?

I'm part of a tabletop RPG (roleplaying game) group, and I also happen to be the host, the organizer and the game master (read: the one who runs the game) of our weekly games. I got asked to help ...
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  • 303
45 votes
14 answers
13k views

How can I address a man talking inappropriately about women? [duplicate]

Source is this twitter thread: https://twitter.com/MalwareJake/status/976848126987374593 Excerpt: She said that the guy who appeared to be the unofficial group leader started talking about one of ...
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  • 575
23 votes
5 answers
4k views

How do I tactfully ask a flight attendant what's going on if I know my plane has a problem?

I think it's worth explaining that I fall on the autism spectrum, so certain answers that may seem extremely obvious to others are not at all obvious to me. So I was on a flight recently (let's say, ...
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  • 1,723
14 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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  • 1,008
1 vote
1 answer
696 views

How to not feel weird when buying girl clothes as a teen boy [duplicate]

I'm a young high school student that really like dressing up as a girl in my house when my parents aren't here I usually use my mom’s clothes but I wanna get my own too. I really don't know how to go ...
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8 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to handle people stressing me by standing too close in a line (and other similar circumstances)?

People standing too close In the lunch buffet room, I'm putting the food from the container on my plate, then scootch a step to the side, put some potatoes or whatever, then scootch again, etc. Right ...
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Stop and prevent unwanted conversation with a stranger

This question comes from my wife Alice (her English is even worse than mine). In the middle of the day, my wife ("Alice") goes for a walk in the park with our 2 months old son, and a dog. ...
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  • 253
81 votes
13 answers
27k views

Responding to being told to "smile" by a stranger?

This seems to be a fairly common scenario. Since I don't work in a public environment anymore, it's been something that hasn't crossed my mind in a long while. However, today while paying for a few ...
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  • 22.6k
60 votes
4 answers
10k views

Dismissing a stranger asking for help without being dismissive of their possible situation?

For some background into the layout of where this situation takes place, my apartment complex has it's own dog park. Within a few hundred feet of the dog park is a large and spacious public park, ...
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  • 22.6k
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to handle an unreasonably hostile individual when avoiding them/the situation is not an option?

This question was inspired by the events that took place on the Southwest flight from Portland to Sacramento where a woman became unruly and threatened to kill everyone on the plane when she was ...
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  • 2,982
50 votes
9 answers
67k views

How to deal with someone secretly taking pictures of you

As the title says: How should you react if you notice someone taking pictures of you without your consent? Background: It happened to me yesterday on the bus that a woman, of about my age, sat ...
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

What to do if I find a woman already waiting for an elevator?

When I try to get on an elevator, sometimes a woman is already waiting for the elevator. There is no other person around there. Then, after the woman recognizes I'm also going to get on, she suddenly ...
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  • 1,806
24 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to effectively make others aware of my hearing impairment, which is non-obvious?

I have been hearing impaired since birth due to nerve damage. Since the problem is with the nerves themselves, there is no treatment so there's no hearing aid or surgery that can help. I read lips ...
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140 votes
11 answers
36k views

How to deflect awkward questions when shopping for women's clothing as a man?

This is going to be a bit of weird question, but I don't know how to deal with this anymore. I'm an Indian guy who's recently immigrated to Britain for college. I'm also very, how to put this, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
762 views

How to deal with someone who seemingly only asks you loaded/leading questions in casual situations? [closed]

The subject says it all: There is no one specific incident I can summarize, but in general I have had encounters with people who endlessly ask loaded/leading questions and statements that are simply ...
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  • 1,426
23 votes
8 answers
19k views

How do I politely tell a stranger to stop making annoying noises I can't name?

Background I've encountered this problem several times and under different circumstances. It really annoys me when people constantly make noises with their mouth. Now, I can't name them and they come ...
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8 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to handle second meeting with a sex offender? [closed]

This is a completely new situation to me, and I really have no idea how to handle it. I was at the local grocery store, waiting in line at the deli. As I usually do, I make small talk with some of ...
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  • 4,219
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How and when to best approach a stranger about a “wardrobe malfunction?” [duplicate]

So a “wardrobe malfunction” can basically mean someone’s fly being open or someone’s dress, skirt getting bunched up in a weird way in their underpants. If I am dealing with friends, acquaintances, ...
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  • 1,426
28 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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  • 1,426
109 votes
9 answers
13k views

How to intervene in a random abuse/harassment situation?

To be clear, this is not a situation where it is an abusive relationship. This was an interaction that took place in an impromptu manner in a public setting. I was relaxing at an outdoor area in a ...
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  • 4,219
30 votes
9 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 1,426
42 votes
6 answers
13k views

How to approach the situation where someone "steals" your table?

Part of my daily routine is having an early morning coffee with my wife at this cute little coffee house near our work. Said coffee house is usually packed so finding a table is a gambit, especially ...
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  • 2,339
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

The etiquette of holding foot traffic up to take a photo in public?

Is there a general consensus that I'm not aware of regarding the etiquette of holding foot traffic up to take a photo in public? This is most apparent where it is a group photo with a public monument ...
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54 votes
17 answers
36k views

How do I dismiss a stranger asking for money?

I'm not sure if the answers to Appropriate ways to dismiss street vendors? apply to this situation, as it is about people asking for money without a compensation. That's why I'm asking a new question ...
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4 votes
5 answers
3k views

How to politely repel a flattering comment

Working in an average university, it's pretty common to get flattering comments from students (who more often than not pass it just to please the teacher), but recently I am facing a new problem of ...
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11 votes
7 answers
12k views

How to ask someone to stop playing music without sounding religious? [duplicate]

Background Music is one of those things which are declared Haram (unlawful) by Islam, yet there are a lot of people here (and in other Islamic countries) who listen to it. So Music isn't considered a ...
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11 votes
4 answers
1k views

How do you deal with someone that wants to converse in a public bathroom?

Most public restrooms for men in the US have a row of urinals separated by a small wall shingle bolted to the wall. These are usually around shoulder height on me, so do not block vision sideways. ...
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  • 4,219
32 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to politely tell someone "No Smoking here"?

I am pretty allergic to smoking and often come across people in public, public transport and in gatherings, etc. who carelessly smoke without caring about their environment. This issue gets more ...
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0 votes
3 answers
14k views

What is the proper way to ask someone if they smoke or not? [closed]

I have been around people who smoke all my life, and so I know what the smell is like. Sometimes people sit beside me in lecture, and this smell comes from these people beside me. However sometimes ...
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  • 421
9 votes
3 answers
868 views

How to convince someone my pet doesn't like being handled a certain way?

A day or two ago I brought in my pet (Bearded Dragon) to the place of work of a girl I have a crush on. The beardie was on my shoulder as he mostly always is when the aforementioned girl comes up and ...
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