424 votes

How do you deal with colleagues, acquaintances asking you for knowledge that you gained with months of effort?

You're asking this question on Stack Exchange, a website built on the very idea of obtaining information from others without much interest about them personally. Can you imagine everybody on the ...
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  • 6,982
176 votes

How do I deal with people trying to convince me to wear makeup?

As a fellow woman who does not wear makeup, I feel your pain. Usually my mother is the one nagging at me, and I've found that it's most effective to say something along the lines of: "I appreciate ...
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144 votes
Accepted

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

I am Indian and it's considered good etiquette here to receive a compliment with indirect modesty. So I have tended to focus on the specific requirements or challenges of the job rather than my own ...
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135 votes
Accepted

How to respond to someone when they ask how much you earn?

How I would normally respond is: "Enough to pay the bills" This way, they'll get that you're unwilling to disclose this information, they'll also know you earn enough to get by. You should reply ...
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132 votes

How to explain my complicated family background to people that I don't know very well?

These questions make my skin crawl. That is very much a perception issue you have that may just need to get to grips with, as honestly, they are all perfectly normal conversational questions in ...
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  • 4,030
79 votes

How do you deal with colleagues, acquaintances asking you for knowledge that you gained with months of effort?

As has already been pointed out by @JAD in their excellent answer, the idea that we shouldn't share what we know with others does not sit well on this website. Sharing information freely is exactly ...
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  • 26.9k
76 votes

How to respond to someone when they ask how much you earn?

I'm always reminded of my sage uncle's answer to such rude, inappropriate questions: If you'll forgive me for not answering, I'll forgive you for asking This answer is on-target because it ...
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  • 1,141
75 votes
Accepted

How can I stop acquaintances from reposting my photos on social media without credit to me?

Well, you could try contacting each person in turn, and asking them to give you credit by following the steps you described in your post. You shouldn't bring them stealing your work into the ...
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  • 17.1k
71 votes

How do I deal with people trying to convince me to wear makeup?

To add to the list of suggested rebuttals: I have carefully considered the matter, and decided against it. No justifications, excuses, or reasons. You have already resolved the issue to your ...
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68 votes
Accepted

How do you deal with colleagues, acquaintances asking you for knowledge that you gained with months of effort?

First I would like to clarify something, I don't fully agree with the Stack Exchange (SE) example in other answers. SE is a network which asks others to volunteer to answer; you don't tag a particular ...
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  • 1,163
64 votes

How can I get someone to say their first name without letting on that I've forgotten?

I personally am very bad with names, and often come across this issue myself. Firstly, if you have a mutual friend, or someone else who knows the person, it's always best to ask them first, to see if ...
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  • 6,978
62 votes

How to ask a casual acquaintance for phone number without being awkward?

I find that you have two prime options - Give her your number and let her decide what to do with it from there If you choose this method, try explaining your situation, something along the lines of: ...
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  • 22.6k
54 votes

How to deal with a suite mate who gossips about me within the first few days of move-in

You guys got off on the wrong foot, which is not to say that things might not change for the better (or worse). Very few of us actually stop and try to look at things from the other person's point ...
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52 votes
Accepted

How can I get someone to say their first name without letting on that I've forgotten?

A trick to save you a bit of embarrassment, is the following. "What was your name again?" "John." "Sorry, I mean your surname." That makes it seem you've only forgotten their surname. Should ...
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  • 4,931
49 votes

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

These are rather loaded question. The one about being smart, because "smart" is an incredibly vague and broad term that means lots of things to lots of people, and the one about whether what you do is ...
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  • 7,266
47 votes

How do you deal with colleagues, acquaintances asking you for knowledge that you gained with months of effort?

An approach that would work nicely in your situation is to just point them to where you got your research done. For example to the question of "What software did you use to create it?" you can say ...
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  • 5,105
44 votes

How do I deal with people trying to convince me to wear makeup?

I don't wear makeup as well and I've been through the process of people trying to persuade me about wearing it. The reasons people tell you to wear make-up are really offensive, actually: they imply ...
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  • 9,723
40 votes

How to explain my complicated family background to people that I don't know very well?

To start with I like all the points in Rory's answer. The people asking these questions are trying to make conversation with you and there is nothing wrong with what they have asked. Your skin ...
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  • 7,108
39 votes

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

That style of communication is indeed anything but cute in an adult. It communicates that the person in question is either not taking your interaction seriously, or is utterly immature. It might fly ...
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  • 17.1k
38 votes
Accepted

Why are people unwilling to share information about their salary?

From a UK perspective it's considered rude to ask such a question (it could be considered nosy, as it's something personal to you and something only you can choose to share), but I will delve into why ...
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38 votes
Accepted

How to resume contact with a former manager who I haven't talked to for 3 years?

There's nothing wrong with getting back in touch because you're looking for work. In fact, I'd recommend against random "hey how are you it's been a while" contact that slowly morphs to "oh yeah btw I'...
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  • 43.5k
35 votes
Accepted

Should I apologize for not acknowledging a colleague in office?

You seem to be reading way too much into it. While it's possible/probable that there was awkwardness about this situation it isn't that big of a deal and apologising for it likely will make it worse, ...
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  • 3,041
33 votes
Accepted

How do I politely refuse/cut-off a person who needs me only when they want something?

These are techniques that I've successfully used and which allow me to protect my time while, at the same time, keeping a certain level of politeness and civility. Don't engage in the small talk. ...
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  • 1,146
32 votes

How to respond to someone when they ask how much you earn?

In the UK, it is incredibly rude to directly ask someone how much they earn. I wouldn't even expect to be asked by my own parents. It's not necessary to make light of the situation or play it off with ...
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  • 608
32 votes
Accepted

How to advise someone that I've thrown away a project they were helping me with, without offending them?

I believe that you missed an important step right here: My best course of action, for myself, was to stop the project and sell off all the materials etc that I had acquired. This has now been done. ...
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  • 21.5k
29 votes

How can I get someone to say their first name without letting on that I've forgotten?

You could ask them directly, by saying something like: I'm sorry, I have a terrible memory. Remind me one more time of your name? Or, if you actually have a good memory and you're pedantic, maybe ...
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  • 1,587
26 votes

How can I politely reject someone asking for WhatsApp number?

Hmm, that's a tricky situation. If possible, it's best if you convey the idea that your new friend is not alone in the boat. Since you said Facebook ID is fine, my personal recommendation would be ...
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  • 2,821
25 votes

Why are people unwilling to share information about their salary?

People are unwilling to talk openly about their salaries because there is a social taboo surrounding the practice. Like all taboos, there isn't necessarily a good rationale behind its existence. And ...
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  • 366
25 votes

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

(A little late to the party...) You could literally just reply with Thanks! This has two benefits: If what you heard was a compliment, it acknowledges that without affirming or denying it and ...
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  • 2,275
24 votes

How do you deal with colleagues, acquaintances asking you for knowledge that you gained with months of effort?

If you feel the need to avoid sharing your knowledge and experiences with your colleagues - which I think is a shame - then direct them to online resources (articles / tutorials) which would enable ...
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