Questions tagged [strangers]

Questions about interacting with people you are not familiar with.

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1
vote
1answer
134 views

Are there any common hand signals/gestures one can use while wearing a mask that can communicate simple things to others?

I live in New York City — The Big Apple! One of the largest cities in the world! — and also the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. As such, I’ve been wearing a mask daily for ...
1
vote
1answer
241 views

How to respond to strangers who shout compliments across the street?

One sunny afternoon, I was walking down a relatively large downtown street in Canada, when I head a loud voice from across the street: Nice shirt! Looking good! I immediately turned my head and ...
2
votes
1answer
363 views

How to deal with rude remarks from strangers on the street?

Today as I was waiting at the traffic light a old lady came and yelled at me with very rude and loud voice "You have to press the button!!!". I pass there every day and it makes no difference whether ...
19
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I respond to well-meaning comments at the gym?

I go to the gym twice a week. I like the people there, I love what I do, my trainer is great. The only issue I have, is that, well, I'm fat. I'm tall and fat, and people constantly assume that no ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Refusing to let people in

I work in a facility where it is open to the public except for a small section. I work in this section and this section requires an access card when entering the door (anyone can buy one, but it is ...
4
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3answers
581 views

How to make people write down correctly my email, without being condescending?

I have a quite common (in my country) name and surname, so I have a personal email address that is like john.smith.uk@example.com, the country suffix added because john.smith was already taken. It is ...
3
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1answer
583 views

How to ask potential wedding photographer about low number of reviews

My fiance and I are looking at wedding photographers. She found one she says is perfect (matches our budget and preferred style). We talked with him over the phone yesterday and he seemed like a great ...
4
votes
1answer
564 views

How to identify and approach persons of low income with the aim to help [closed]

I apologize in advance if this seems distasteful in any way, I'm genuinely trying to be helpful. I live in a low income area in the UK, however I am fairly comfortable financially. It pains me ...
63
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9answers
19k 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'...
12
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1answer
2k views

How could I have better handled telling this minority woman I liked her cultural hairstyle?

Background This happened in Netherlands. I have some mixed ancestry. I mostly look like a Dutch person, except for my curly bush of hair and my olive skin. In school I got bullied a lot because of my ...
9
votes
1answer
746 views

When offering a ride through a ride-share app, how to politely assign obese people to the front seat?

I use a rideshare app when travelling between cities, which I often do. This saves money and is often very fun. People evaluate you as a driver, and it is important to keep a good score. I let 3 ...
11
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2answers
963 views

How to politely ask for a price for a commision, when I only intend to ask?

I wanted to ask for a price for a commission from an artist. However, my budget is lower than what I think the commission would be worth, hence I intend to only ask for the price and not buy the ...
5
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3answers
646 views

How to talk reasonably to a stubborn person without turning them into a disaster?

My best friend, Liz, is shy, introvert and has anxiety. Sometimes she asks me when I have free time to accompany her to parties, shopping and doing stuff so she feels more comfortable with me around. ...
12
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6answers
2k 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 ...
94
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
906 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
482 views

Etiquette about crossing a door when someone also wants to cross from the opposite side?

Let's take the following situation: I'm on the outside and want to go inside Someone is inside and want to go outside The door is open (one of us is holding it) There isn't enough room for both of ...
5
votes
1answer
585 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
749 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
962 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 ...
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 ...
11
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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
1answer
730 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
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
695 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
625 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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I ask reading people in public transport for the title of their book? [closed]

I travel with public transportation quite a bit, and I read a lot while commuting too. While I don't mind being asked what book I'm reading, other people might. I'm always on the lookout for new ...
6
votes
1answer
499 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
645 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
713 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
817 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
996 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 ...
43
votes
7answers
13k views

How to avoid “who are you?” as a response to “how are you?”

Last week, I got a phone call from an unknown number, and the conversation went this way: Her : How are you? Me  : Who are you? To put things in context, she turned out to be an old ...
54
votes
8answers
9k views

How should I tell someone about a potential medical issue?

I have a long history of skin issues, including several different types of cancers. As a result, I see a dermatologist very frequently to have potential areas removed. Because of this, I have become ...
37
votes
8answers
13k views

How to react to someone pushing me in public transport? [closed]

Backround Today I was on my way to work on a bus that was really packed. A woman boarded at some point pushing the people already on board and near the entrance (including me) really hard. My ...
5
votes
1answer
650 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
725 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
501 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
434 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
15k views

How can I tell someone I don't like the way they speak?

I can't stand "cutesy voice". That is, people who put on a high pitched squeal when they talk, who choose to say things like "wuv" over "love" or say things that are dark in a cute way. It's made ...
0
votes
4answers
3k views

How to “thank” someone who sends you a PostCard you dislike?

Snail-mail has been one of my favourite hobbies in recent times as I have subscribed to an online forum where you sign up and someone (totally random user from anywhere in the world) sends you a ...
4
votes
3answers
420 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How could I ask a stranger to take a photo of me while traveling?

I always travel alone, so it is not possible to take a photo of myself except selfies. Some of my friends also travel alone, yet they frequently upload non-selfie photos of themselves on SNS. I asked ...
8
votes
2answers
529 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 ...