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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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139 votes
11 answers
39k 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, ...
user avatar
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 ...
JohnP's user avatar
  • 4,249
101 votes
6 answers
24k 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 ...
Beofett's user avatar
  • 6,391
76 votes
13 answers
29k 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 ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
  • 22.7k
66 votes
9 answers
16k 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 ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
  • 34k
60 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 ...
paperpapaya's user avatar
59 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, ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
  • 22.7k
53 votes
7 answers
20k 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 ...
Ael's user avatar
  • 17.2k
53 votes
17 answers
38k 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 ...
Anne Daunted GoFundMonica's user avatar
50 votes
9 answers
74k views

How to deal with someone secretly taking pictures of you [closed]

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 ...
Tim Hallyburton's user avatar
50 votes
12 answers
16k 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 ...
Dastardly's user avatar
  • 1,350
48 votes
7 answers
6k 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, ...
user avatar
44 votes
14 answers
14k 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 ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 565
43 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, "...
apaul's user avatar
  • 54.8k
42 votes
11 answers
7k 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 ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
  • 34k
40 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 ...
Xander's user avatar
  • 2,279
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 ...
scohe001's user avatar
  • 15.2k
36 votes
7 answers
13k 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 ...
user310's user avatar
  • 377
33 votes
6 answers
10k 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 ...
Abhigyan's user avatar
  • 3,134
30 votes
9 answers
12k 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 ...
Giacomo1968's user avatar
  • 1,378
29 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
Failed Scientist's user avatar
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 ...
Giacomo1968's user avatar
  • 1,378
25 votes
5 answers
8k 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. ...
papakias's user avatar
  • 491
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 ...
Anne Daunted GoFundMonica's user avatar
23 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 ...
user avatar
21 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, ...
gparyani's user avatar
  • 1,713
21 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
apaul's user avatar
  • 54.8k
21 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
nic's user avatar
  • 1,195
20 votes
10 answers
5k 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 ...
Anoplexian's user avatar
  • 3,318
19 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
r m's user avatar
  • 4,346
18 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
Sagar VD's user avatar
  • 1,644
17 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
baranskistad's user avatar
  • 1,237
16 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Bradley Wilson's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 1,756
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 ...
WonderWoman's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Tfish's user avatar
  • 632
13 votes
3 answers
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 ...
r m's user avatar
  • 4,346
12 votes
7 answers
13k 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 ...
Failed Scientist's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
760 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 ...
r m's user avatar
  • 4,346
12 votes
2 answers
939 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 ...
han's user avatar
  • 139
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

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

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 ...
Kinaeh's user avatar
  • 1,062
11 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
Crafter0800's user avatar
  • 6,948
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. ...
JohnP's user avatar
  • 4,249
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 ...
user23806's user avatar
  • 111
11 votes
1 answer
860 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 ...
Rainbacon's user avatar
  • 9,012
10 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
SCFi's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
jlc's user avatar
  • 103
10 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 ...
Zachiel's user avatar
  • 293
10 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 8,987
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 ...
Ael's user avatar
  • 17.2k