357 votes
Accepted

How to deal with unwanted attention at the swimming pool?

This is not an interpersonal issue as such, it's a security concern. I don't advocate overreacting, or misinterpreting polite interest, but the guy has gone way beyond the pale. You've done nothing ...
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  • 17.1k
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. ...
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  • 54.7k
164 votes

I gave a "gift" back to a friend after he asked for it back, and now he is trying to tax me for using it

This incident should really tell you everything you need to know about your friend. I mean .. he "stole" the grinder from someone else to begin with. And then he "stole" it back from you, further ...
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  • 17.1k
137 votes

How to tell a "friend" to stop pretending to flirt with my girlfriend?

Short answer: Really it is your girlfriend that needs to be firm with him and tell him to stop. You can and should back her up, but she has to establish her boundaries with this person herself. I ...
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  • 3,260
129 votes
Accepted

How to politely reject a rude advice giver at the gym that won't take it well anyways

I'm assuming you are paying to use this gym, and that Mr Big-mouth is also a member, not someone employed by the gym. I suggest you make a formal complaint to management. Start by telling them that ...
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128 votes

How do I politely hint to customers to leave my store, without pretending to need to leave myself?

Pester them with service Continuously come up to them and ask them if they need anything else. You'll either make more sales (good!) or (hopefully) they'll get the hint that your space and tables are ...
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  • 731
124 votes

How do I avoid strange questions because of a flag?

You know, I'd like to quote the British comedian Stewart Lee on this, because there is many a true word spoken in jest. By way of a disclaimer, the subject of this comedy routine is absolutely not the ...
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  • 26.9k
113 votes

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

So how do I diplomatically deal with Jane D's this habit of continuously delivering political speeches in private? Don't argue with Jane. Don't offer counter-arguments, don't say that you are on her ...
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  • 33.7k
95 votes

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

From the tone of most answers, it seems most people agree with her position, but feel that she conveys it wrong. For people who may read this question and disagree with her view, I will post a few ...
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  • 2,813
82 votes

How to deal with someone who ignores your lack of knowledge?

For those of us who work in IT, this is a pretty common curse. I know mainframe operators who get asked to look at PCs, I see IT security guys who get asked about databases, and I know of Desktop ...
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  • 32.3k
72 votes

I gave a "gift" back to a friend after he asked for it back, and now he is trying to tax me for using it

In this situation, you have a person who: Steals from one friend Uses another friend to cover it up Reneges on a "gift" when it is convenient for him Rearranges the situation to suit ...
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  • 4,219
71 votes

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

When we were training our dog, in the section under barking, the book claimed that you can't teach a dog not to bark until you have first taught the dog to bark. This establishes that the barking is ...
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  • 43.4k
71 votes
Accepted

How to help a friend through a rough breakup when his actions are testing the limits of my patience?

I have been in your position but never in such an extreme case. You must understand that he is going through a tough emotional time and he isn't really thinking how it might affect your friendship. ...
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  • 5,103
70 votes
Accepted

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

I disagree with those who claim it is immature or otherwise wrong for her to object to you telling her to do it. You're not her parent or manager. The two of you are partners. You want to work ...
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  • 43.4k
66 votes

How can I politely tell my fellow tenants that I am not the caretaker?

Well, just stop doing it. Had the same problem when I was living in Hungary with 5 other girls. Don't wanna blame them, I think they just hadn't noticed at the time and since somebody was already ...
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  • 14.3k
66 votes

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

Between Jane and your mother, most sensible solutions are closed to you. Unlike many people here, I don't think you should "not all men" her anyway. It's rarely useful and demonstrates a mis-alignment ...
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  • 43.4k
62 votes
Accepted

How do I avoid strange questions because of a flag?

There are two answers, one for each of the paths that you ask about: Avoid questions by either removing the flag or putting it in context. The context could be other countries you like, or stickers ...
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  • 7,046
61 votes

How to deal with unwanted attention at the swimming pool?

I'm sorry this happened to you. You didn't do anything wrong - this guy kept harassing you even after you made it clear you weren't interested. If you encounter him again, tell him once "No, I'm not ...
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59 votes

How to deal with unwanted attention at the swimming pool?

What you ended up doing, while a perfectly normal reaction, was actually quite dangerous. You retreated to a place with (presumably) no other people, (presumably) only a single exit, and the only ...
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  • 3,880
58 votes

How do I politely hint to customers to leave my store, without pretending to need to leave myself?

Politeness makes it hard to tell them to do anything. However, brains are weird, and you may have far better success regretting to inform them of something you have to do, and the consequences for ...
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  • 43.4k
56 votes

How do I avoid strange questions because of a flag?

If this is the only flag on your backpack, one answer could be to add some flags for other Countries you like or have been to. Considering the current geo-political situation, having only one flag (...
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  • 691
55 votes

How to deal with disruptive people in the cinema

Yeah, it's unfortunate people behave this way. However, reading what you've written it sounds like you might initiate those encounters with an angry or annoyed tone. While you have every right to ...
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  • 660
54 votes
Accepted

Dealing with people who always try to prove you wrong in a conversation

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's almost always a no-win situation when two people argue or debate over something (and especially when temper has reached critical levels). What I suggest is to pretend to agree with ...
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  • 10.3k
52 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a dangerous, developmentally disabled person I can not avoid?

I had a similar problem a few years ago. A particular commuter (who I knew from a previous employment) would spot me on the platform and insist on coming up and talking to me. Because we have friends ...
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  • 656
52 votes

How to deal with someone who ignores your lack of knowledge?

Sometimes I have the same problem. I am a biologist. People happen to ask me all sort of things about health (but I've never worked on humans) or their plants (but I'm a zoologist). Lots of times I ...
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  • 9,711
49 votes

Dealing with people who always try to prove you wrong in a conversation

Change the question The strategy I am aware of, which usually also works very well with people you don't know much, or people you absolutely don't want to leave a bad impression with (because of ...
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