Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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30
votes
6answers
5k views

How to help my mother work through extreme anxieties?

My mom has had anxiety issues for as long as I can remember. It used to be sort of quirky and not disruptive of our lives, including (but not limited to): Touring each room of the house to make sure ...
30
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
29
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4answers
6k views

How to handle leadership saying, “we have been over this”

I am a contractor (software development) that is currently in contract with a small business--about 6 employees. There is one project manager and one owner of the business. Both of those people seem ...
29
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I correct my family's use of language related to LGBT+ issues without making them uncomfortable?

How can I correct my family's use of language related to LGBT+ issues without making them uncomfortable? I recently "came out" as queer, or more specifically somewhat pansexual¹, to two more members ...
28
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5answers
32k 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. ...
28
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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 ...
28
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I get out of sitting between two professors?

Earlier this week, my research group (~6 students) was having a catered, buffet-style dinner with our faculty leader, who I'm close with (we'll call him Professor Bob), and a professor from a nearby ...
27
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5answers
6k views

How can I decline or redirect a religiously-objectionable community-service project without alienating people?

My large, international employer supports employees volunteering in our local communities, even allowing us to spend a certain amount of work time on such projects. My local office of about a dozen ...
27
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5answers
8k views

Recovering from stumbling over words

There are times when I'm telling a story to friends, having a discussion in a meeting or giving a presentation when I'll stumble over my words. This may result in a word coming out sounding like ...
26
votes
5answers
12k views

How do I respond to someone apologizing for coughing/yawning?

Many times I'll be talking to someone and they'll yawn or cough (or something similar), then say "excuse me", or "sorry". I have no idea what type of response to give to this. If they'd sneezed, ...
26
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6answers
4k views

How to refer to someone by name in an online community?

Forgive me if this sounds stupid, but I'm not familiar with the "First Name" and "Last Name" system, although I know last name means "family name". Case 1 Suppose someone use his real name as an ...
25
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7answers
13k views

Are there any ways to avoid unwanted approaches when not wearing a wedding ring?

I am happily married man and have no interest in engaging in a relationship outside of it. I have heard that wearing a wedding ring alerts women to the fact that I'm married and not looking for ...
25
votes
5answers
6k views

How to talk to my brother about a shared interest in pornographic furry material?

My brother and I are both 24, male, and twins (though we are fraternal and as physically different as possible). We have a healthy sibling relationship with many shared interests (video games, book ...
24
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3answers
9k 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
7k views

How to respond to questions at family holiday gatherings without making the asker uncomfortable about my sexuality?

Tis the season for social obligation... Unfortunately for some this leads to some awkward and uncomfortable situations. How do you navigate family holiday parties when many family members are ...
24
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I convey to someone that the way she communicates is awkward without upsetting her?

Context During family conversations my sister, who is 27, often interrupts the flow of a conversation with in order to mention something that is marginally related to the topic at hand. Most of the ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I decline to help my teacher with their personal IT problem?

Background Note: Certain details have been changed for privacy's sake. I am the go-to person for tech help for my friends (and enemies), family, and teachers. I have helped everyone I know with ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I use a cell phone at work for work purposes without appearing to be slacking off?

Where I work, it is frequently mentioned by both co-workers and managers that many people find it rude when staff use cell phones while on duty because it is seen as attending to personal items while ...
23
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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
9answers
11k views

How do I correct my daughter's teacher's grammar?

An email I received from my daughter's 2nd grade teacher has a grammatical error. The teacher wrote "your daughter can meet with Amy and I" where he should have written, "your daughter can meet with ...
23
votes
12answers
9k views

Polite way to ask how to pronounce name with sounds outside local language?

In my experience, it is not common practice for native English speakers in the United States to attempt to pronounce non-English sounds, such as gutturals or trills. So say I meet a new colleague ...
23
votes
7answers
10k views

How can I tell someone that their teasing is hurting my feelings?

There are times and situations that teasing someone can create a bond of friendship and that the bond created is a result of a well-meaning intention to prepare a person for what they might encounter ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

How to deal with a possibly abusive stranger?

Recently, I was on a trip to a town that I didn’t know well. I play Pokemon GO, which has “raids,” a sort of social feature that requires people to gather in one place to coordinate in-game activities....
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Etiquette at communion for someone who is not religious

I'm an agnostic young adult living in America A few years ago my family and I were at a Lutheran church because my cousin was becoming a pastor. Throughout the whole ceremony I did what I saw others ...
23
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

How to tactfully respond to compliments when I don't feel I deserve them?

I'm the most senior developer on my current team, and I often get asked for help by my teammates. Sometimes when they ask for help, it's with something that I think is fairly obvious or easy to do. ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do people expect me to feel exactly the same as they do?

Background My fiancee and I recently had a small argument over the following text exchange F: I wish I could have seen you tonight. Me: I would have liked to see you tonight too. F: I always want to ...
22
votes
8answers
17k 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
5answers
8k views

Attending the 9/11 Memorial next month - how to interact with families that lost loved ones?

A couple of us are planning to visit the 9/11 Memorial in New York next month on September 11th itself; it would be our first time visiting the memorial. I want to be careful to not treat the event as ...
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 ...
22
votes
8answers
6k views

How to discreetly reject an attention-seeker while you listen to someone else

Situation A group of people, who have known each other for a very long time, meets again. Among them are Alice and Mallory (not real names). Alice She has been gone for quite a while and just came ...
22
votes
4answers
6k views

So, my boss is teaching a class “about transgenders” [closed]

So, my boss is teaching a class "about transgenders"... My boss mentioned at a staff meeting today that she would be teaching a class "about transgenders" at an upcoming industry conference. To be ...
21
votes
10answers
9k views

Best way to give coworker chance to share personal (religious) information with me that I already heard from someone else?

This is my first holiday season at my current company. I recently noticed that one of my team members, 'Alice', wasn't coming to any of the work sponsored events. When I asked a coworker, they ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

Dealing with sexual comments from customers

One of my best friends had to deal with a creeper at work today. She's a rather attractive young woman, and gets unwanted attention on a fairly regular basis, maybe once every couple of weeks, when ...
21
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 ...
21
votes
8answers
5k views

How to tell whether someone would like to have my painting, without imposing a gift on them?

I paint as a hobby. Made few hi-bye friends at office because of this. I would be happy to give my painting to someone who truly appreciates it from the bottom of their heart. Usually when a painting ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

How to avoid a lengthy conversation with someone from the neighborhood I don't share interests with

I'm here on behalf of my neighbor, who we'll call Betty. She is a 40 year old woman and she has some issues dealing with one of her neighbors, also a woman, but who is 20 years old. Let's call her ...
21
votes
3answers
5k 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 someone ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

How to let people know I won't be offended by explicit talk?

I was raised conservatively, and despite all my changes after getting out into the wide world, it still shows. I'm quiet, dress fairly modestly, and never swear in public - I have strong inhibitions ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Being talked over in conversations

I'm a fairly quiet person and during conversations, I quite frequently am cut off by people that I'm talking with (This happens in more than just one group). I find it very irritating because I ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

How to help my child come out as a trans woman to extended family?

My daughter was brave enough to come out to us that she is a woman. That story is on Parenting SE. My daughter would like to come out to the extended family well before the holidays so that people ...
20
votes
3answers
8k views

Requesting time off to attend a Pride event

For those that are unfamiliar June is Pride month. The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many ...
20
votes
6answers
7k views

Approach a coworker-friend about being nicer to his friends

TLDR: My coworker makes unkind jokes about someone else to build rapport or support friendship with me. This makes me uncomfortable because it is outright mean and has noticeably hurt the teased party ...
20
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there a general rule for when/how to compliment a stranger? [closed]

The title pretty much says it all, I know there are cases where giving compliments to strangers makes them uncomfortable (for example, catcalling), but as I understand it there is a separate set of ...
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I encourage discussion of sensitive topics with my girlfriend?

Background I have been dating my girlfriend for about three months. We are both in our mid 20s, grew up in the mid-western United States, and now live in New York City. She has defined boundaries for ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I call attention to a casual acquaintance's mispronunciation?

How can I call attention to a casual acquaintance's mispronunciation? The individual is a native speaker, yet regularly misuses words like "antidote," when meaning "anecdote," as just one example. If ...
20
votes
1answer
21k views

How do I deal with a neighbor who stopped talking to me?

I recently moved from 20 years in an isolated location (no neighbors in sight) to a suburban neighborhood (we can all easily see into each other's windows.) This alone made me anxious; meeting and ...
19
votes
6answers
7k views

How do you distinguish between a guy wanting a relationship or just sex?

I went to the movies with two people: a friend and a guy that I previously had gone on a date with. He has never touched me before. I think maybe once lightly on the arm when he was guiding me ...

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