342 votes

How to talk to a girl who's sitting next to me but wearing headphones?

You don't. You're asking how to interrupt someone who's working with mostly-inconsequential personal matters. If someone did that to me, I'd be annoyed at their lack of situational awareness, and ...
  • 2,477
323 votes
Accepted

How can I avoid the awkwardness of a returning player who wears a low-cut shirt?

Prompted to give an answer by @apaul, I thought I'd give a woman's perspective here :) As per my answer over at Workplace.SE on wandering eyes, most women are fairly used to the occasional ...
  • 3,260
274 votes
Accepted

How to respond when a Doctor's Receptionist asks the reason for the appointment, after confirming appointment is made?

I have recently had to make a long series of doctors appointments. After the 3rd time someone asked me this I got a bit annoyed too and asked them why they were asking. The receptionist smiled at me ...
  • 8,510
218 votes
Accepted

What to do if you are accidentally following someone?

Sorry if this comes across as barking out orders; it's not. You have every right to walk the way you want around me. But you asked. :) As a woman who has often walked alone late at night in less than ...
206 votes

Appropriate response when someone announces pregnancy?

When confronted with news that could either be good or bad, pick the response that is most common. Pregnancies, even unplanned, are normally met with cheer in the US. Congratulate them. That's just ...
  • 5,124
187 votes
Accepted

Girlfriend's nosy mother keeps expressing that she'll show up unannounced

Like most boundary related issues, this is one of those "set a boundary and stick to it" situations. If the boundary you set says that it isn't ok to drop by unannounced, then that's the boundary. ...
  • 54.7k
183 votes

How to significantly reduce my hairstylist's tip, without upsetting her?

Just don't If you're paying $15 as a tip on a $55 hair cut, that's a total of $70 per haircut. You've flat out said other hairstylists are charging more than that for the same basic work. Except this ...
  • 1,516
178 votes

I'm 24 with a 4-year-old son. How to handle uncomfortable questions from people?

Normally, the way to handle overly intrusive and rude questions is by staring a little and then saying Excuse me? Should they happen to repeat the question again, you can then ask Are you ...
  • 43.9k
175 votes

How do I politely explain to my neighbour that I don't feel comfortable being alone with her in her house while my kids play?

Spend some time (with your wife) getting to know Jane. Invite her and her kids over for dinner, or a Saturday lunch grill-out, or have your two families meet for bowling or something. It seems strange ...
  • 1,341
171 votes

How to avoid explaining science to strangers

You need multiple strategies here. First, be more precise about your job. "I work in the space industry" naturally makes people think you're an astronaut or a rocket scientist. "I'm in professional ...
  • 43.9k
163 votes
Accepted

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

I know a mother with two kids who frequently mentions how much she envies my career and my current relaxed life. But, of course, she would never even think about trading her life and her kids for mine....
  • 1,766
160 votes

How do I ask my dad's friend if he's interested in me?

The default reaction of people these days is "I'm not gonna judge", but ... I'm going to go there. But first I'll address your actual question, then you can stop reading. ;D The problem is that ...
  • 5,955
160 votes
Accepted

How do I gently reject an indecent proposal?

I think you handled it perfectly. First, a long silence. This is the best way to indicate to someone that their joke, suggestion, comment or whatnot is over some sort of line and not ok. Second, a ...
  • 43.9k
157 votes
Accepted

How to reject a proposal from a close friend?

How do I explain this to her without her getting hurt/our friendship getting ruined? Okay, that is definitely not going to happen. She is going to get hurt, and your friendship is going to be ...
  • 1,844
147 votes
Accepted

How do I politely explain to my neighbour that I don't feel comfortable being alone with her in her house while my kids play?

My biggest concern with you addressing Jane is that she could take offense to the implication of her wanting to seduce you (presently or at a future time), so to avoid that I'd suggest saying ...
  • 22.7k
147 votes

How do I answer the question "why are you vegan?" honestly, without making them resent me?

When you say "ethical reasons" you are implying that you have made the right choice (morally correct choice). This has an inherent implication that every one else has made the wrong choice. The ...
  • 7,664
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 ...
136 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 ...
135 votes
Accepted

How to let tech support subtly know that I am proficient without showing off?

Unfortunately the tech support people you are speaking to are probably as frustrated as you are at having to go through the basic stuff with you. Large companies especially deal with the massive ...
  • 27k
124 votes
Accepted

I live in a desirable, world-famous vacation spot. How do I handle visiting friends and set healthy boundaries?

A few years ago, I used to fantasize about what it would be like to be in your situation, because I wanted to live in a very beautiful part of Europe. Kind of like winning the lottery, I suppose; it ...
123 votes
Accepted

How do I tell a woman that her pants have a menstruation stain?

You say you're sure, but you can't ever really be. It's easy enough to spill or sit on something. And it doesn't even matter: you don't need to tell her what kind of stain it is, just that it's there. ...
  • 1,492
120 votes
Accepted

How to have dinner without romance involved

The requests usually come out of the blue, so I don't have time to work my relationship status into the conversation naturally. What's wrong with saying "Sounds great. I know a few great places ...
  • 1,241
119 votes

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

Judging by the answers already given, I'm apparently alone in that I find the whole thing kind of...funny? I'm picturing putting myself in the girlfriend's shoes. My boyfriend sits me down, very ...
  • 1,383
118 votes
Accepted

I'm in a committed relationship and I'm being hit on in the workplace - how do I stop it without bringing it to HR?

It's hard to deal with someone in a respectful manner if they themselves are not giving you respect. In this situation I would recommend being blunt and get directly to the point when refusing him. ...

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