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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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130
votes
11answers
30k 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, ...
107
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
102
votes
6answers
21k views

How do I deal with other people's screaming children in restaurants?

I want to start off by saying that I'm not referring to "family friendly" restaurants or other venues where a loud, informal atmosphere might be expected. I'm specifically asking about dining ...
79
votes
13answers
23k 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 ...
63
votes
9answers
13k views

How to deal with a dangerous, developmentally disabled person I can not avoid?

On my way to work, I cannot help but encountering a developmentally disabled person who harasses me and other women. How can I deal with him? Background I have been taking the same train to work ...
60
votes
4answers
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, ...
60
votes
9answers
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 ...
52
votes
18answers
31k 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 ...
51
votes
7answers
18k 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 ...
51
votes
12answers
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 ...
49
votes
6answers
5k views

Using reserved “disabled parking” with a disability people cannot see

I have a disability that cannot be seen (diffuse scleroderma and a recalcitrant and relapsing polymyositis). I seem to walk around ok, but my muscles are wasted and continue to rebuild and waste, ...
48
votes
9answers
42k 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 ...
45
votes
14answers
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 ...
42
votes
9answers
5k views

Appropriate ways to dismiss street vendors?

In the Netherlands, it seems to be quite common lately to hire some students, put them on a busy main street or outside a supermarket, and have them target every passerby by asking 'Can I ask you ...
41
votes
6answers
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 ...
40
votes
7answers
15k 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, "...
39
votes
6answers
16k 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 ...
38
votes
7answers
11k views

How to tell a friend I can see through her swimming suit

I (male) and a friend (female) went swimming in a public outdoor pool together. She met with another female friend there. When she (my friend) sat outside for a couple minutes the sun made her ...
32
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
30
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
29
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
28
votes
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 ...
23
votes
5answers
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, ...
23
votes
5answers
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 ...
23
votes
4answers
7k views

How to deal with a person that does something wrong like littering or hitting a dog and yells at you when you tell them that they did something wrong?

In my life I come across people that do things that are wrong (and most of the times illegal) like littering, hitting animals, parking on the pavement without leaving an inch for pedestrians to pass. ...
22
votes
8answers
16k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it appropriate for a non-Japanese person to wear a yukata when going to fireworks?

During the summer, many Japanese people go to fireworks or bonodori festivals wearing a "yukata": source As a non-Japanese person going to such events, should I refrain from using a yukata? I'm ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

When playing darts, how can I separate real players from random drunks?

I know my dart playing habits are a little odd... I usually hit my local bar alone, on an off night, grab a pint and head straight back to the dartboard in the back corner where I'm least likely to be ...
20
votes
10answers
4k views

How can I avoid the awkward side step shuffle?

When travelling down a hallway with few people going different ways, I sometimes come across someone who travels down the same side of the hall in a different direction from me. When I go to move ...
19
votes
2answers
897 views

How do you show concern or kindness to a stranger without being intrusive?

I was on the train and a young woman, who was a stranger to me, was sitting in the seat across the aisle from me. She was clearly in distress, and periodically would begin to cry. In such a case how ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the politest way to tell someone their breath smells?

Sometimes people have morning breath or garlic-breath of some sort. If I'm talking to a friend in a public place and I notice this, what should I do? Should I tell them to brush their teeth in the ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How to handle accidentally bumping into a drunk person while walking?

Yesterday when I left my office, I bumped into a drunk person while walking. I didn't notice him, since I was walking while checking my WhatsApp messages. Then, since he was drunk, he started ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How to react when a complete stranger bursts out crying in front of you?

I was at Victoria coach station in London a few months back and a woman out of nowhere started crying in front of me. She had just got off of the phone and was visibly shaken up, she just kind of sat ...
15
votes
2answers
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I address a drag queen?

I've been invited to a night out with a few friends and we're going to a drag show! Something that I've never done before but I am excited about. I believe that there will be other drag queens ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
791 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to deal with “reserved” seats at place like a hotel pool?

This question is not about "officially" reserved seating in a restaurant or similar venue, but rather about the practice of some people to put a towel, jacket, or other "personal item," on a seat or ...
12
votes
4answers
578 views

Should permission be sought if someone's picture will end up on my online post about a restaurant?

Today more and more people are reviewing their dining experiences on such forums as Facebook and TripAdvisor. Many of these reviews include photos of their food and surroundings. Sometimes in these ...
11
votes
7answers
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
985 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. ...
11
votes
1answer
692 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
905 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I help a shy friend to be less shy?

In a few weeks time I'm spending a week with a close friend, and as part of that we're planning on going to various places (via bus) and going out in public together a lot. However my friend is very ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I ask if a person is leaving a parking space?

Yesterday, I was going out with a friend. We were looking for parking in a small city (population ~30,000) in the northeastern United States at around 6:00 PM, and things were fairly crowded. After 20 ...
10
votes
3answers
469 views

Is it acceptable to call restaurant staff to take our picture?

Recently I was eating with friends in a busy restaurant, and I was surprised to see one friend call a waiter only to take a group picture of us. Is it acceptable to bother busy restaurant staff for ...
10
votes
1answer
624 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
849 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 ...