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80
votes
12answers
23k views

How can I ask if something's free, without looking stingy?

Some waiters offer something (e.g. distilled water; more amuse-bouches, hors d'œuvre or bread) without disclosing if it's free. How can I clarify tactfully? I always decline, as I don't know how to ...
80
votes
13answers
27k 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 ...
80
votes
15answers
23k views

How do I stress that having children is not an option when picking a date?

I have had some issues that have convinced me that I will never try and have/raise kids (either my own or those of someone else). This, however, leads to some serious problems when dating/having a ...
80
votes
9answers
23k views

How do I stop making people jump at home and at work?

I make a lot of people jump when I enter the room or try to get their attention. I am not sure what exactly I am doing wrong, but I would like to stop it so I am looking for suggestions. I have had a ...
80
votes
8answers
18k views

How to discuss girlfriend's weight loss plans?

My girlfriend is in the process of losing weight, and the topic comes up between us occasionally (at her instigation), usually with a context of "I'm going to be so much hotter in a few months". She'...
79
votes
17answers
20k views

How to talk to someone about being chronically late - not to fix it, just to get more accurate ETAs?

I've been friends with "Susan" for about 8 years now. She's part of my inner circle of best friends and the four of us meet up at my house every couple of weekends to play games and hang out....
78
votes
16answers
61k views

Dreamt of another girl, want to tell my girlfriend, but how without getting smited?

So, I've recently dabbled in D&D, which is basically a bunch of people hanging out and talking (punching goblins aside). So this opened up my social circle. During my time doing this, I met this ...
78
votes
20answers
22k views

Not having to explain my reasons for wanting to keep my last name

As a female in the UK, I'm expected to drop my last name and take my (male) partners' name when we get married - there's no law against me keeping my last name, though it's generally frowned upon. ...
78
votes
11answers
27k views

How do I tell students at a school I volunteer at to stop flirting with me?

Occasionally, I head out to volunteer to teach robotics programming at an all-girls school in my area. For context, I'm male and age 20, and the students are adolescent females in 7th and 8th grade (...
78
votes
14answers
29k views

How to help significant other lose gracefully in games?

My significant other (SO) and I like to play card and boardgames from time to time. The problem is she always throws a tantrum when losing (crying, being mad). When she gets the slightest bit behind ...
78
votes
17answers
41k views

How do I react when a girl I like has a new haircut that I don't like very much? [closed]

I've had a past teenage experience (~10 years ago) where a girl I liked (only friends) asked me about whether I liked her fake nails. I answered honestly and say I didn't like them at all and prefer ...
78
votes
5answers
18k views

Offering to share my umbrella without sounding creepy

Yesterday afternoon I (male, late 30) went to the supermarket in my neighborhood to buy something. Since the sky was menacing rain, I took along an umbrella. Lucky me, when I got out from the ...
78
votes
14answers
21k views

How can I stress to my brother the importance of saving when he relies on me as a safety net?

My younger brother has a wife and two daughters and has habit of spending money. For example, he likes going to movies often, eating out often, and buying name brand clothes. I also have a wife and ...
78
votes
9answers
21k views

How to handle very opinionated and aggressive friend?

A bit of background first I've been hanging with the same circle of friends for roughly 10 years now, we're quite a diverse bunch in terms of opinions, and it often sparks debates. Usually, everything ...
77
votes
14answers
21k views

How can I tactfully interrupt a customer service representative over the phone?

I had to telephone my bank, as my security device stopped working. The staff member said: Before we continue with the nature of your call, are you interested in completing a survey I wasn't. So I ...
77
votes
15answers
23k views

How to tactfully communicate with ex-boyfriend about my personal choices?

Background I recently broke up with a guy (let's call him Tom) that I had only been casually dating for a couple months. During this time, I had what I thought was simply a crush on a co-worker for a ...
76
votes
6answers
51k views

Ask a girl whether she would like to come back to a hotel with me on a night out without being creepy

A bit of a background, I am in my early 20's, I was in a relationship for 8 years, we have broke up on good terms, and I have never experienced "single life" so I don't have any experience in this ...
76
votes
10answers
28k views

Friend keeps making jokes about my ethnicity which are not funny

My parents are from India, but I was born and raised in the Netherlands (which is where I still live). I am in university and a friend keeps making jokes about the fact that I am of Indian descent. ...
76
votes
10answers
26k views

How to approach discussion with wife about a possible “emotional affair”

Background: My wife and I have been together for about 8 years now (married for 6) and we have two gorgeous children. My wife, unfortunately, has been suffering from mild depression for quite a while, ...
76
votes
8answers
16k views

My grandmother doesn't talk or communicate any more. How can I be good company to her?

My grandmother is over 90 years old, and lives in a retirement home. She can't do anything alone anymore, almost not even move, and basically she is in bed all day, almost only sleeping. There are ...
75
votes
23answers
31k 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 ...
75
votes
11answers
31k views

Should I have my child apologize to someone after he called them fat?

I was accompanying my 4-year-old son into the bathroom where there happened to be a very large individual. At the sight of him, my son proceeded to say (very loudly), "Daddy, that man is really ...
75
votes
9answers
17k views

How to redirect a real-life help vampire to an alternate source of food… um… assistance?

I've recently had some troubles with a help-vampire in the office. She's about my age (late twenties), from India and she doesn't speak Dutch. She works in the same office as me, but not on the same ...
74
votes
21answers
34k views

How can I deal diplomatically with a feminist neighbor who continuously delivers political speeches in private?

This question is unlikely to have a very strong cultural context so I welcome answers from members all over the world. I met this person (code name Jane D) when I was studying sociology at Masters ...
74
votes
7answers
27k views

How to politely refuse telling your parents where you work?

While I don’t have a bad relationship with my parent who tries to find out, you could say that our relation is rather cold. I haven’t lived with my parents for about six years. Since I’ve already had ...
74
votes
13answers
31k views

How can I convince my partner to accept my best friend instead of wanting to break up?

Background My partner (27F) and I (26M) have been together for about a year. We live together. Throughout our relationship, my partner has been jealous of my friendship with my best friend (25F) of 4 ...
74
votes
12answers
25k views

Asking a coworker to discontinue his chivalrous acts towards me?

I've made a friend, Bob, in my workplace who is too much of a gentleman for my comfort level. Initially, we became fast friends due to our shared interests and political beliefs. We often message ...
74
votes
7answers
40k views

Uncomfortable With Neighbor Mowing Our Lawn

A couple of days ago we looked out our window and saw that our next-door neighbor was mowing our lawn. We have noticed her lack of interpersonal boundaries on several occasions since we moved in a ...
74
votes
7answers
75k views

How to determine if someone is busy or just doesn't want to spend time with me?

A friend of mine, Tim, is often busy. I've been trying to make plans with him to go out for drinks, but he seems to be busy every time I make this offer. This happens fairly often so I have a slight ...
74
votes
12answers
17k views

How to convince my parents I'm happy with my social life?

Context I'm 19 years old and I live with my mother. I completed an apprenticeship in software engineering earlier this year. I'm now working full time at the company where I finished my ...
73
votes
10answers
27k views

How can I ask my girlfriend to split gas money for a long trip?

A situation came up with my girlfriend where I drove her to an event that she needed to go to that was a two hour drive away (so a four hour round trip). After we got back, I charged her for half of ...
73
votes
10answers
26k views

How to talk about my comfortable lifestyle without sounding like I'm bragging?

Most of my friends have gone down the marriage with 2.4 kids route. Great for them but it does eat most of their time/money. Not having done that, I can afford a decent house, to have a couple of ...
73
votes
8answers
21k views

How to quickly end a date?

I use a dating app to go on dates with people I have never seen in person. Usually we spend 1-2 hours to go for some coffee etc. I've had dates turn up that e.g. don't look like their picture/...
73
votes
7answers
13k views

How to politely handle support requests which lack some basic understanding?

So as a free software developer, I'm fond that there are users of my projects. However, from time to time, it happens that some people who are definitely not in the target audience for a piece of ...
73
votes
16answers
18k views

How to stop classmate from bullying me [closed]

I am Austrian, 17 years old. After that year, I have one last year left in my school. I have one classmate who never liked me very much. Since this year’s christmas our relationship got even worse. ...
73
votes
5answers
11k views

How to maintain healthy conversation with a partner long term

So my partner and I have dating for a couple years, and it's definitely been a relationship of learning. Our communication feels pretty healthy. However, now as we're finishing college/university, we ...
72
votes
10answers
29k views

How to tell a friend I won't pay them for a favor they did for me?

I recently received, out of the blue, a text message from a friend which very much surprised me. In the message, my friend mentions that I borrowed her Netflix account for about a month (she said she ...
72
votes
9answers
24k views

How can I politely tell someone I won't do my job for free?

I am a relatively open individual who is shy (for lack of a better word) around new people. One of my coworkers has a business and is asking for my help as a financial analyst outside of work, and ...
72
votes
6answers
16k views

Politely telling an incompetent software project volunteer they are too inexperienced

I am currently the project lead of an online volunteer run software project. I originally created this and work on it my in free time. There are also a few other people who took interest in this ...
72
votes
11answers
22k views

How do I tell a potential partner about my autism?

Background I recently met a woman on a dating app and we hit it off. Last night we went on our first date, which went very well and we are planning to go out again. I am interested in potentially ...
71
votes
21answers
27k views

How do I deal with a mother who won't take “no” for an answer?

My mother is quite single-minded in getting what she wants. Unfortunately, she also has only a single tactic: trying to convince me every single time we talk. Most of these things are products or ...
71
votes
14answers
30k views

How do I respond to racist remarks from a coworker?

Recently, I've had a couple short conversations with a coworker that have taken a racist turn, and I'm not really sure how to respond. We don't work directly together, but often see each other in ...
71
votes
6answers
16k views

How do I tell my girlfriend she's been buying me books by the wrong author for the last nine months?

Help! For the last nine months my girlfriend has been buying me books by the wrong author, fully believing that she's treating me to work by my favourite writer (who incidentally she believes is a ...
70
votes
9answers
19k views

Responding to my mom's remarks about my love life when she refuses to accept/acknowledge it

Background I'm the only child in a religious, conservative family. We do not see eye to eye on many current events, as they often only watch a single (biased) news source, and stand their ground on ...
70
votes
10answers
28k views

When and how do I tell the person I've been “Netflix and chilling” with that I love her?

We have been seeing each other for almost 3 months, she is 24, I'm 26 years old. We did not 'date' in the regular way, but she comes over to my place regularly (weekly), where we usually 'netflix and ...
70
votes
11answers
14k views

How to behave at a work organized drinking event as a non drinker?

I work in a medium sized company (~150 people) and every year they have this drink off event in conjunction with one of the local fairs. This means they basicly all get together and drink wine and do ....
70
votes
9answers
15k views

How to politely deflect questions about awkward scars?

Content warning: Self-harm Due to some issues I had a few years ago with self harming (related to mental health issues which I no longer have - hurrah!), I'm left with a lot of awkward scars on my ...
69
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 ...
69
votes
14answers
27k views

Can I give flowers to a feminist as a present for hosting a party? [closed]

My wife and I are going to a social event to the house of a (not so close but still) friend who is a self-declared and active feminist (e.g. she blogs about it). For such social events, we normally ...
69
votes
10answers
21k views

How to politely deal with white people wanting to talk to me about racism/race issues

Now this is a sensitive topic, and I do not wish to offend anyone's sensibilities - but at the same time, I want to know of an effective way of dealing with the disproportionate emotional work ...

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