Questions tagged [united-states]

Questions that have a specific focus on people in the United States, or American culture.

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130
votes
18answers
22k views

How to get spouse to empathetically listen to problems instead of offering solutions?

My spouse and I have a recurring problem. I will try to talk about my day, which may include a tough problem that has been frustrating me. Before I've even had a chance to explain what is going on, he ...
183
votes
10answers
38k views

How to ask a vegan to stop telling me about veganism because I am not interested in it?

I work in an office with a couple of vegan coworkers. If I bring any animal products to lunch (even cheese, which they can smell), I'm likely to get a long earful about it. In the past, I've listened ...
47
votes
20answers
9k views

How can I tell people that my girlfriend and I don't want children of our own?

Every time there's a baby involved in any sort of conversation (new parent, talking about kids, etc.), if I'm involved the question inevitably turns to me and my girlfriend, and when we plan to have ...
75
votes
23answers
23k views

Is it rude to ask someone where they are from originally? [closed]

Introduction This question is different from this excellent one, since it is not about tourists. The differences will become clear later on, I hope. I will, as usual, use fake names (Alice and Eve ...
64
votes
8answers
15k views

How do I announce my presence to someone who is not aware of it without frightening them?

First of all, I'm not sneaking up on people on purpose. But it seems, that I'm quite Ninja-like in my movements and this has caused problems. People are immersed in something (e. g. computer, TV, ...
28
votes
6answers
8k views

Is it appropriate to tell someone of the opposite gender “your fly is down”?

I just spent 15 minutes talking in the hallway at work with a male coworker (I'm female) about the recent arrival of their second child. I spent the last five minutes of that chat trying to decide if ...
25
votes
5answers
19k views

How to gently tell someone that you just want to be friends?

Already many months ago, "Bob" joined my circle of friends. He has a plethora of good character traits and it is really great to hang out with him. In addition, he is a bit shy and also introverted. ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I politely tell someone that they should take a shower?

When I was in college, myself and a few friends gathered weekly to play D&D together. One friend had weekly track & field sessions scheduled prior to our meet-ups. Usually, this wasn't an ...
67
votes
15answers
16k views

How to tell friends something goes against my religion?

I am currently in middle school, and as many of you know, profanity is thrown around in middle school like clothes in a dryer. My religion prohibits me from being profane, how can I tell my friends ...
56
votes
8answers
12k views

How to politely receive someone when you don't know how to pronounce their name?

The situation is a one-on-one meeting with someone I have never met before. I don't know much about that guest, just their profession or connection to our organization, not even if they are from a ...
23
votes
7answers
6k views

How can I ask politely about someone's preferred gender pronouns?

There's a lot of discussion going on about gender identity and gender politics, and I find myself easily confused by the multitude of options for gender pronouns. To solve this, it'd be easier just to ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to talk to my sister about not spending as much time with her?

Background: Growing up, I was always close with my sister because I spent a lot of time with her and told her everything. As I grew older and went to college, I began spending less time with her and ...
60
votes
12answers
16k views

How can I remind someone to do a task when reminding them makes them less likely to do it?

I have a bit of a problem with my girlfriend, in that things aren't getting done because she is forgetful about things she doesn't like to do. We've had many discussions on the topic, and we both ...
85
votes
17answers
22k views

How do I respond when an acquaintance asks if I'm smart?

I recently graduated college and I am now working as a programmer at a startup tech company for a year. I'm a competent programmer, but I'm definitely not a rock-star. When I'm meeting other young ...
39
votes
12answers
25k views

Talking to boyfriend about his close female friends

About our relationship: My boyfriend and I have been together happily for two years now. We both love each other very much and we're always growing closer. We're planning to move in together in a few ...
54
votes
11answers
10k views

How do I effectively forestall gifts for my birthday?

I have a milestone birthday coming up, and a friend insists on giving me a party. But please, no presents! I don't like stuff to begin with, I have everything I need or want already, and am in de-...
35
votes
15answers
4k views

How can I calm myself down when giving a presentation? [closed]

So, I have to give presentations in school, and of course the number of those presentations is just going to increase (I'm just entering highschool). I'm a classic nerd and my social skills are......
10
votes
5answers
3k views

What to say to steer passive-aggressive narcissist parent(s) away from saying guilt-tripping statements to me or other people?

My relationship with my dad has been rocky the past 9+ years. After divorcing my mom when I was 16, (I am 25 now) his passive-aggressive narcissist behavior has become more prevalent. For example, ...
40
votes
9answers
16k views

Why do men shake hands with each other but hug women?

I've noticed an oddly confusing greeting mismatch in the US that I wanted to understand. Unless men are very close friends or family, they tend to shake hands in greeting. When greeting a woman - even ...
22
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Demonstrating my intentions (date/relationship) while dealing with cultural differences

I'm having problems figuring out how to move forward with a girl I like. About me I'm in my mid 20's, about low to average in appearance and style, heavy thinker, introverted, and shy person. I find ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I approach telling guests not to overstay their welcome?

I had a game night last night and two of my sister's friends came and played, one is male and 20, call him B, and the other is a female ~18 years old, call her L. When my husband was finishing his ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Correcting what I see as factual errors in a political discussion

The day after the United States 2016 election, I attended a public political discussion club in the United States. I personally am very left-leaning, but this club was a conservative club; in fact, ...
43
votes
10answers
38k views

It's my birthday! How do I tell people who don't know, who might want to know, without being awkward?

It's my birthday*! It's a rather important birthday. There are a lot of people who might want to know such a thing, because of social customs or friendliness or something. One of those things. ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Are “pleasantries” in emails still … “pleasant”?

Hi [your name here]! It's been a long time since we last had a chance to catch up and I really hope you're doing well. Everything is great on my end [. . .] I'm writing because I really need ...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I support a friend with healthy weight loss?

I caught up with a friend recently, and she mentioned that she is trying to lose weight (she is overweight). She told me about the program she is using for it which sounded great and supportive. But ...
17
votes
8answers
6k views

How to approach a strategy game against a 5-10 year old child you don't know?

I saw a related question on Parenting, but this one is different, since it's a) about older children and b) not your own child. Disclaimer: This is based on the experience of a friend - I will call ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

How to ask a friend/roommate to do/to stop doing something? And how not to feel bad asking?

There are different situations where I would like to ask a friend or a roommate to do something or to stop doing something. For example, I have a roommate that sometimes doesn't wash his dishes and ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

“Reserved” seats at crowded food court? [closed]

I am at a crowded food court, food stalls all have a 20 minutes queue, and not a single seat is available. Eating outside of the food court is not an easy option either. But then there is this 4 ...
8
votes
1answer
837 views

Tactfully avoiding sharing food with a friend

Note: one of my best friends is in this situation with her friends, so I'm asking this question for her (from her perspective). I have a friend, Alice, who I was very close with in college. We'd ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Asking family members to not send gifts

Note: This is similar to How do I effectively forestall gifts for my birthday?, but this is specifically about family members, and isn't in the context of a party. I want a specific person to stop ...
4
votes
1answer
446 views

How can I tell my roommates they are being too loud at night?

Background: I'm a university student (USA) that currently shares an apartment with 5 other people, 2 people to each room. Typically, I have to get up early to go to work and then go to school after ...
3
votes
2answers
515 views

How to Build a Friendship with a Private Instructor

Background: I'm a twenty something male who takes guitar and foreign language from two private instructors. Both are master's level university students giving lessons as a source of side income. Both ...
97
votes
17answers
30k views

How can I politely ask my date to not use her phone unnecessarily during dinner, without ruining the night out?

When I am on a dinner date with a girl (generally in her early twenties), how can I politely tell her that I am annoyed and feel disrespected when she unnecessarily uses her phone to send text ...
112
votes
17answers
31k views

How can I respond when someone asks me when I'm going to get married to my girlfriend?

Frequently I'll have my friends and family tease me, or ask questions about when my girlfriend and I are going to get married. Sometimes, they'll even make these kinds of jokes to me while she's ...
83
votes
10answers
27k views

How do I gently reject an indecent proposal?

Background People: Bob, John and Alice are old acquaintances of mine. They are a little older than me, mid-to-late twenties. We are not close friends, but we get along together well and see each ...
68
votes
17answers
22k views

Is it rude to drive at the speed limit on dangerous roads when another driver wants to go faster? [closed]

Each day, I drive through a heavily wooded area in a nature reservation (in the United States). The roads have many twists, turns and hills, and the speed limit is 25 miles per hour. Cars going much ...
96
votes
11answers
26k views

How to deal with (male) friends mocking me about my weight choices

A while ago, I went through a phase. I gained weight, lots of it. I'm not proud of what I had become. Recently (the last four months) I have been going to the gym regularly, losing weight and getting ...
64
votes
9answers
14k views

How can I tell my mom to not cause herself so much stress when I'm visiting?

Situation I visit my parents about one time per month, for one to two days. Sometimes I manage to visit them twice, in rare cases I have to skip a month. So we see each other in person regularly (and,...
44
votes
17answers
19k views

How should one respond to trivial, obvious questions? [closed]

I'm not sure how to respond to questions where it is obvious that the asker knows the answer. For example, when I'm the only one in the room waiting for a meeting to start, the project manager comes ...
40
votes
7answers
9k views

How to establish boundaries with a roommate without confrontation?

For some context - this is my first semester in college where I'm having a roommate, and there have been several complications. It's off-campus housing and we don't attend the same university. My ...
31
votes
7answers
12k views

How to make someone respect your time when making plans without being rude?

Ok, here is my situation. I met this guy a few months ago, we met a couple of times (not dating, just as friends). We don't talk often but every once in a month or two he suggests that we would get ...
56
votes
16answers
18k views

How to act when people bring a baby to work?

I am uncomfortable interacting with babies because I personally don't find them cute or interesting to interact with. I also am not good at faking positive interactions with babies, because I really ...
48
votes
7answers
9k views

How do I deal with someone people think is funny, but I think is mean?

There is someone that dropped out of college but still visits our friend group about once a month who tries to be funny by making intentionally hurtful comments to 2 or 3 different people in the group ...
33
votes
15answers
13k views

Dealing with a friend trying to get me a girlfriend

TL;DR: Bruce is pushing for me to enter a relationship with Mary, and I like Mary, but don't want any relationship right now, and I want him to back off. The People Me: I am not interested in a ...
61
votes
12answers
15k views

How do I tell my parents “I don't want to go to church” over the holidays?

This is a little bit of a complicated problem. My mom and dad are both Catholic, and they have a tradition - every Easter and Christmas, they take the immediate family (themselves, me, and my sister) ...
57
votes
13answers
12k views

What is the most respectful way to respond when invited into a prayer circle or other religious activity I don't believe in?

I live in a part of the United States where Christians are a strong majority. I frequently find myself in social situations that involve everyone being asked to join in prayer. I'm not religious, ...
39
votes
9answers
13k views

How do I ask for a receipt without implying distrust?

A good friend of mine loaned me a significant amount of money a few years ago when I needed some. Based on our agreement, I’m due to pay that as a lump sum in about a month. I trust the guy, and I’m ...
24
votes
3answers
8k views

How do I help my girlfriend get out of this dangerous situation with her parents? [closed]

Hello Interpersonal Stack Exchange, About two weeks ago I posted the question "How do I help my girlfriend defend herself against manipulative parents?". I recommend reading that one first as it ...
84
votes
10answers
13k views

How do I respond when someone is glad their loved one's suffering will end soon due to death?

I recently had a conversation like this: Coworker: I just wanted to let you know that I'm probably going to be out early next week. My father is on death's door. Me: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that....