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Questions tagged [strangers]

Questions about interacting with people you are not familiar with.

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5
votes
1answer
521 views

How to know how much money to give someone for a ride home?

With my work, we sometimes travel to different locations. At the end of the day, it's common for people to offer and ask for rides home. There was one person who lived relatively close to me. We never ...
0
votes
3answers
658 views

How can I find out how many photos I should take If I'm given a film camera to take a picture?

On occasion, when I go to tourist hotspots, people sometimes give me their cameras and ask me to take pictures of them. Most of the time, those are digital camera (e.g. smartphones), and it makes ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

How many photos should I take If I'm given a camera to take a picture?

I live in a fairly touristic place and get asked to take pictures of strangers a lot. When I do this, I get a little bit self-conscious thinking if they are saying to themselves "this dude is taking ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Negative feedbacks and “Language smoother”

I don't know what is the "scientific" term for that but I noticed that, when people give negative feedback, they sometimes use "tricks" to make their words less harsh. For example, they will use ...
6
votes
3answers
948 views

Goal: make conversation enjoyable for another person which you barely know, but has made it clear she wants to chat

I'm staying in an AirBnB and the host made it fairly clear that she's chatty. So let's say I want to be a really nice guest, and so I do want not only to chat with her, but make it as good as I can -- ...
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
698 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

On what to compliment someone with anorexia in order to improve their body image?

I'm in an online support group for people with anxiety, depression and these kinds of things (I already talked about it in this question). The other day, someone with anorexia (her words) posted a ...
12
votes
1answer
664 views

How to help a stranger (woman) in an abusive relationship?

I'm in an online support group for people with anxiety, depression and these kinds of things and, in this group, people would often post things about the difficult situation they are in. Recently, a ...
6
votes
2answers
512 views

How to ask someone to not try to fix your issues

Sometimes, you talk to someone about a problem you are facing and what you want them to say is something like: Oh yeah, that sucks. However, the person might not get the hint and well instead tell ...
11
votes
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 ...
61
votes
8answers
17k views

How to make clear to people I don't want to answer their “Where are you from?” question?

I live in the UK but am not originally from here, having moved in the last decade. Quite often when I talk to people I get asked where I'm from. It usually seems to be in response to my accent, as I'...
9
votes
2answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
493 views

How to look at someone's apparel or tattoos without appearing weird?

I've often found myself admiring someone's tattoo simply for its intricate patterns and neat colors or observing someone's shirt that might have a logo or emblem of a popular video game that they ...
10
votes
1answer
628 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How to tell an unknown cyclist I don't want to give them the pace

I commute to work by bike. Being tall and going at a fair speed, I am aware a give a good wake. Sometimes it happens that some other cyclist, a complete stranger to me, simply stitch behind me and ...
6
votes
2answers
634 views

Professor gets cursory requests for advice from total strangers — how to make them be more considerate?

I am a professor in a popular STEM field with a reasonably prominent list of publications, enough that if you Google AREA or method XXX you may encounter my name. About once a week I receive emails ...
4
votes
4answers
801 views

How to make a new trainee feel comfortable at lunch?

Today, one of my coworkers "tasked" me to eat with the new trainee (so that she won't eat alone since my colleague wasn't available for lunch). I wanted this person to feel comfortable so I started ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to tell a stranger that the way I wish to educate my child is none of his/her business?

Consider the following scenario: I'm taking my kid (5 years old) to a coffeeshop and we do some 'math problems'. By math problems I mean that I explain him about the numbers, addition, counting and so ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
623 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
701 views

Complimenting a complete stranger on public transportation

The other day, I was in the subway when I saw a bag with a very funny joke on it. The joke made me smile, so I wanted to compliment the person wearing it (my thought was that they brightened my day ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

How to tell a user at the gym that it's not OK to use one machine and “reserve” another one?

The following situation has happened to me several times: A user in the gym is using some machine or equipment (a bench, a row machine, a bar, etc.). When I'm going to use another machine or ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Proper etiquette when walking at night to not scare people [duplicate]

When walking around at night, I feel like some other people walking around may be worried. Everyone who knows me knows there is no need for worry, but my stature could make me look threatening to a ...
15
votes
2answers
493 views

How can I offer to take care of the dog of a stranger when he/she is not home?

I live in an apartment building and I can often hear a dog whining in the apartment above mine, presumably because the owner is not home. The noise is only a slight bother, I more so feel bad for the ...
4
votes
2answers
406 views

How to approach an unknown person via email if I only have a name that sounds like her nickname?

So, I am researching master courses opportunities on a university at a different country (Scotland) and I was talking to the course director via email, asking about the workload of the course and he ...
4
votes
3answers
412 views

How to gracefully ask HOA residents about their experiences?

I am currently looking for a condominium and would like to ask the residents within the HOA (Home Owner Association) building about their experiences with said HOA. This most likely involves knocking ...
8
votes
2answers
510 views

public transport: how to know (non-verbally) if someone needs a seat?

I'm someone who gets easily physically tired. This means that, on public transportation, I will almost always look for a seat. Some days, there are no seats available but I'm so tired that I will ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Non-disabled people parking on handicap spots

This morning, when I went to the local bakery, a woman (maybe around 25 years old) parking on the handicap spot right in front of the store. To me, she didn't look disabled at all. Granted, not every ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Gently turning down undesired physical contact/setting boundaries in a nightclub environment

In many ways this question mirrors Asking a girl whether she would like to dance with me The setting: I am alone in a nightclub. I am located in a city/region known for being culturally progressive ...
4
votes
0answers
474 views

How to start the conversation with my neighbor [closed]

I'm a boy in my twenties and I'm living in my parent's house in the north of France. For more than one year we have new neighbors. Their daughter (who is about my age) is beautiful and I want to get ...
2
votes
1answer
314 views

How should I converse with a stranger [closed]

I am a male freshman in university, and don't have many friends as my modules are mostly taught in a flipped classroom fashion. There is a module I'm taking right now and since I have been ...
8
votes
3answers
961 views

How to avoid shaking hands?

I recently developed dyshidrosis, which makes my palms look disgusting. So I don't want to show my hands to anybody to see. People often do not looking at the hands when shaking, and this eczema ...
11
votes
2answers
706 views

How to gently and compassionately stop a stranger talking to you about their problems?

I recently dropped my wallet while shopping, reached out among local lost-and-found groups on Facebook, made contact with someone who found it and made arrangements with them to meet up so they can ...
3
votes
1answer
461 views

I noticed an old friend of mine has died. Should I contact her father (whom I've never met) to ask about her death? [closed]

I had a friend whom I met online, who seemed to disappear from the internet almost a year ago. I do not know anyone else who also knew her. She is a person I had known for some years, who I met up ...
92
votes
17answers
23k views

How to handle people blocking your view and breaking the rules at the theater by not sitting in their assigned seats?

A while ago, my parents/brothers and I went to visit a theatre performance (in The Netherlands, where we live). We booked really nice first class tickets with empty seats in front of us. We booked ...
14
votes
4answers
7k views

How to turn down unsolicited advice at the gym? [duplicate]

I'm going to the gym quite frequently, so does the guy this question revolves around. I don't really like chit-chatting (or talking in general) while im working out - I'm usually in my zone, with ...
19
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it OK to engage in strangers' conversation during a break in a lecture?

I was recently on an public meeting with 2 famous journalists. As it's usual, firstly there was an organized discussion lead by the host, after which there was a space for questions from the audience. ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I politely say no to a stranger asking to use my phone to make a personal call?

TL;DR A stranger approached me and asked me if they could use my phone. I didn't want to be rude and say no bluntly, so I wavered, and felt uncomfortable. How do I say no to strangers asking for use ...
9
votes
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 ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

How to convey (non-awkwardly) that its my birthday? [duplicate]

First off, I know that this question is very close to mine, but has no answer that would match my needs. Secondly, I find it shocking how many people answer for a workplace situation. This question ...
3
votes
1answer
791 views

How to approach a random person that appears to be interested in you?

A lot of the time (3-5 times a month) when I'm walking in the street or sitting on the public transit random strangers will make eye contact with me for more than 3 seconds and also smile at me in a ...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

Offering free food to random people as a kind gesture, without being condescending or strange

I recently watched a YouTube video of a person who was handing out free food to random people - donuts, iced coffees, etc. - and so, inspired by this, I bought an ice cream bar last night for a ...
1
vote
1answer
368 views

As a student, how can I negotiate appropriate sleeping arrangements with strangers for an academic conference?

I'm an undergraduate student that was offered a role researching for a grant. I was able to get authorship status on a paper and will be attending a conference for it later this year. The professor I ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to respond to a stranger's compliments on my themed t-shirt when I am unfamiliar with the theme?

The compliments I receive about my choice of clothes are from my relatives and close friends, which I can just say "thanks!" without sounding disinterested or off-putting as they know me well and ...
42
votes
3answers
15k views

How do I tell between compliments and 'ball' jokes while juggling?

While training juggling in a park, from behind me I heard a female's voice say, "You are really good with your balls." The vocal inflection was that of a compliment, but she didn't reference juggling ...
9
votes
4answers
834 views

Does the way that someone signs an email change how I should address them?

Imagine you write an email to a professor (or, to avoid academic specifics, councillor) Joseph Doe whom you never met personally before: Dear Professor (Councillor) Doe, blah-blah-blah ...
17
votes
5answers
6k views

I sent an email about an urgent message, but want to call instead. How to correct?

Note: this is not a situation I am currently facing, but I have faced in the recent past. I apologized afterwards, which helped, but I'd rather learn how to fix the problem before it even occurs. My ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

A stranger keeps calling and is confused that my phone number is his friend's old phone number

A man called me a few times today- I'll refer to him as "Bill". He was looking for a man named Wayne. He is pretty upset that Wayne's old number happens to now be my number. He explained that he has ...
13
votes
2answers
793 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 ...