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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 ...
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128 votes

Friend keeps making jokes about my ethnicity which are not funny

Pretend like you didn't understand that it was a joke and take him seriously. It could go like this: "Hey do you know that random Indian person I met on the train last weekend?" Stare at him for ~...
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127 votes

How to ask for a wish from a woman?

As I said in the question's comments, I think this is strongly culturally-related, but let's take a shot in the dark: In many regions of the world, such a bet would already be considered as flirting, ...
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117 votes
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I'm in marketing in a team whose name sounds too much like mine. What to do when introducing myself?

I suggest you "own" it and if need be, tell a mild joke about it first. I know someone whose initials are STL and who worked on the C++ Standard Library (which for historical reasons we all call STL) ...
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86 votes

Is it rude to ask tourists where they are from?

Is it in general a bad question to ask westerners ? Some westerners (and people from anywhere) are inclined to be very private, but I've stayed in many hostels and hotels and I can't imagine someone ...
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82 votes
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Is it rude to wear a sari as a westerner to a wedding in India?

I was wondering if it is rude (or expected) to wear a sari to the wedding. Being from India, I'd say there is no such thing that only Indian women must wear a sari. You can always wear it if you ...
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75 votes
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How to respond to someone who wants to know my dark side and wild things that I have done?

It sounds like he's laying his kink cards on the table early. This may seem agressive, and perhaps foolish, but it boils down to: "I'm into these kinds of things sexually, what are you into?" He's ...
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72 votes

How can I convincingly communicate to a friend that I don't have a 'personal' mobile number?

Just tell the person that your mobile phone is only for family calls: "I'm sorry, but I only use my mobile number to contact my family. I do have a phone number, though: <home number>"...
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65 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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  • 7,008
64 votes

Is it rude to wear a sari as a westerner to a wedding in India?

Let me tell you a story that happened at my friend's wedding (say John) a few months ago. John's an Indian who works in Sweden. The wedding was in India and John had invited a few of his Swedish ...
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61 votes
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How To Respond to Rude Cashier?

I'm going start by challenging this a little bit. There are a couple of things to keep in mind. Each of the two parties in an interaction have their perspective and desired goal of the interaction. ...
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60 votes

How to ask for a wish from a woman?

It's pretty close to impossible to comment on someone else's motives, especially when they aren't here to clarify their position. All we can comment on is your course of action. But let's look at ...
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53 votes
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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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52 votes

How to tell a colleague to not drink water from my bottle

Have you tried just putting the bottle out of their reach whenever they enter the room? If you are not leaving your chair, take the water bottle off your desk and put it in the ground next to your ...
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  • 670
50 votes

A server in a restaurant got offended when we addressed him as "Uncle"

This might be an unlucky coincidence - in German, young people sometimes also refer to older male persons as "Onkel", but it would mean something like "dude" (informal!). If you, as a stranger, would ...
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50 votes

Friend keeps making jokes about my ethnicity which are not funny

As long as the jokes aren't offensive I think an indirect approach would work better than a straight confrontation as it would seem like you can't take a joke if you directly call him out on it. If ...
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49 votes
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How do I approach the issue of someone reading what's on my phone when I'm on public transportation with them?

Okay, since there have been loads of answers saying 'don't do private things in public': you stated in the question the things you're doing aren't really that privacy-sensitive. You're not doing ...
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46 votes
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How to tell a lady that she is doing wrong by inviting/feeding street dogs?

the dogs are getting mad, and bite kids and elderly people This sentence alone means that the time to be nice is over. I have children and was faced with a similar situation before. First, call the ...
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46 votes

How to respond to someone who wants to know my dark side and wild things that I have done?

I can only tell from my experience (means my answer is based on my own experiences and should be only linked to them. I don't mean it at a general rule). When men start talking about topics like ...
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43 votes
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How to ask someone on a date when dating isn't usual in your culture?

You may be worrying excessively because you are scared of the possible consequences. Of course, if this is important to you then you are right to take care! But you are telling us that you already ...
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41 votes
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A server in a restaurant got offended when we addressed him as "Uncle"

calling him "Uncle" shouldn't be offensive at all since he was anyway quite elderly for us. Calling the waiter uncle might have offended him because, possibly he thought that you either mistook his ...
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41 votes
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How to respond to questions that make one uncomfortable?

Indian, male here. I think you don't owe any kind of explanation to anyone. It's your choice how you live or lead your life. I would most definitely suggest you to not interact with him anymore as ...
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37 votes

A server in a restaurant got offended when we addressed him as "Uncle"

Referring to any stranger/service professional as 'Uncle' in Western Europe is likely to be received as strange, even outside of the restaurant scenario. You mention that you held this conversation in ...
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36 votes
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How to ask someone to stop wasting water without sounding rude or hurting their feelings?

how do I ask someone to stop wasting water like this without sounding rude ? You can't, as there's no straight out-of-the-box answer... You want them to share your POV, therefore, you need to explain ...
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36 votes

How to reject a proposal from a close friend?

I am Indian & know that feeling; and not from your side of the situation! Sorry but I don't see you with a romantic eye, you are a dear friend of mine. This seems to be the reason in your mind ...
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35 votes
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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
35 votes

How to stop someone from complaining about a third person in front of you without sounding rude?

Things you want to say: your impressions of the person do not match you do not know, but suspect it might not be true or at least exaggerated you are not interested in this discussion So if the ...
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34 votes

Is it rude to wear a sari as a westerner to a wedding in India?

While the other advice given here on the Indian culture and how to respect it are wonderful, I am going to try a different approach that involves people. In my mind this part of your question is the ...
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