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84 votes
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How to politely deflect questions about awkward scars?

Recently, at a party, somebody loudly asked "What are those marks on your forearm?", before turning a deep shade of red and looking mortified. The room promptly went silent, I made some sort ...
kscherrer's user avatar
  • 4,859
72 votes

How do I talk to my wife about unrealistic expectations?

Unrealistic expectations are just that: unrealistic. It is unfortunately common that our expectations don't actually align with reality, and someone has to bring us down to Earth. Ultimately, you want ...
Rainbacon's user avatar
  • 9,012
66 votes
Accepted

How do I tell therapist that something is a big issue to me, even though culturally it's not?

Preamble: First off, I'm so sorry. It appears that you have gone through something very traumatic. From your question, it sounds like someone you trusted and loved, someone you were sexually ...
Dan Anderson's user avatar
  • 7,634
61 votes

Telling my mother that I have anorexia without panicking her

If you want to talk to your mother about the issues you're facing right now, I would not advise you to use the word anorexia. Please be assured: I am not questioning your diagnosis in any way. I ...
avazula's user avatar
  • 14.3k
52 votes

How to avoid answering "what were you sick with"?

Most languages will have a saying akin to "I was feeling a bit under the weather" or something close to that. I would simply say that. When I am sick and my co-workers ask me about it I usually say ...
Robin's user avatar
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47 votes
Accepted

How can I have a conversation with my fiancé about a subject he doesn't want to talk about?

I have depression and anxiety. I had it for years and it took me a very long time for me to finally be able to reach out and see a therapist for help. First of all, you need to know that only one ...
Ael's user avatar
  • 17.2k
30 votes
Accepted

How to respond to self-deprecating remarks

Teach your friend to say "thank you" instead of sorry. It's an incredibly powerful lesson that will make both of you feel better. (Follow the link above for more examples and explanation.) ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 44.8k
28 votes
Accepted

Bringing up mental illness to dates?

A Good Read Bustle has a great article on the matter: When To Disclose Your Mental Illness To Someone You're Dating They note five different times when you should consider disclosing your mental ...
Bradley Wilson's user avatar
25 votes

How to avoid answering "what were you sick with"?

Some people have suggested strategies to do with being vague and evasive, but I'm going to suggest a different approach. Be honest that it is a private matter. People are naturally inquisitive, and ...
Doctor Jones's user avatar
24 votes

How do I talk to my wife about unrealistic expectations?

Right now I'm kind of in the same spot as you : I'm supporting myself and my partner (who lost his job two years ago), and we budget to be able to afford the basics, save a little, and also have a ...
MlleMei's user avatar
  • 5,410
24 votes
Accepted

Telling my mother that I have anorexia without panicking her

Some of this is similar to avazula's answer (which is great!), but I wanted to share the approach that I've used too. The main differences I think is that my mother is in the second category (tends to ...
Em C's user avatar
  • 13.6k
23 votes

How to avoid answering "what were you sick with"?

From what I've seen my coworkers do when they didn't want to talk about some personal thing (like the reason for sick leave) there are 2 main ways to handle any inquiry about it. Which one to choose ...
Imus's user avatar
  • 5,731
20 votes

How to politely deflect questions about awkward scars?

I'd challenge one premise here: asking loudly in a group "what's with your arms?" is a poor social skill. That question should be asked quietly, in a one-on-one situation where you can answer in a ...
baldPrussian's user avatar
  • 32.4k
20 votes

How can I communicate to my mother that her complaints about me make me feel like I'm not enough?

I didn't have this exact issue with my mom, but I have had the need to have difficult conversations with her about certain things she did and how they made me feel that it seemed like she was totally ...
Mykazuki's user avatar
  • 2,276
19 votes
Accepted

How to tell my girlfriend, my friends and relatives that I might have alexithymia, without making it sound like an excuse?

But I don't know how I can say this to my girlfriend or my friends/family in a way that does not seems like a excuse. First of all: don't talk about it after (or worse, during) a fight about your ...
Em C's user avatar
  • 13.6k
19 votes

How to avoid answering "what were you sick with"?

It sounds like you need a way to change the subject. Business Insider lists two techniques that I've personally found great success with: Use a distraction The article says to do something like ...
scohe001's user avatar
  • 15.2k
18 votes
Accepted

How to tell partner we need boundaries?

Run. Run as fast as you can. This is a toxic, abusive relationship. Your partner, in addition to being controlling(stealing numbers, not respecting boundaries), may also have issues of their own. And ...
Tazin.c's user avatar
  • 951
18 votes

When is it appropriate to mention someone else's suicide attempt?

(I've been in all the parts of this dynamic over the decades.) Do not worry about "bringing up bad memories." When you see your friend, tell him you are glad to see him. And mean it. If he wants to ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 44.8k
15 votes

How to stop friends giving me burnout at social events?

My response will be a bit of a "workaround" (as I don't know how to solve your issue otherwise). What I would suggest is: instead of having the choice between "bringing a game that needs a lot of ...
Ael's user avatar
  • 17.2k
14 votes

How to politely deflect questions about awkward scars?

Firstly, congratulations on your victory over self harming. I know it's not easy and can be a struggle. Based on experience, the person who publicly asked the question made it awkward for the group. &...
doctordonna's user avatar
  • 1,960
14 votes

How do I tell my parents I don't enjoy their company?

It sounds like there's a couple things going on here... Your parents aren't respecting your transition/gender. And they're not respecting your time and space. It may be a bit easier to separate these ...
apaul's user avatar
  • 54.8k
14 votes
Accepted

Worried about girlfriend lifestyle changes

The starting approach Your approach of telling her that being a minimalist doesn't require getting rid of all of her possessions is the right way to start. Minimalism is a philosophical way of living,...
Rainbacon's user avatar
  • 9,012
13 votes

How can I help a close person that is toxic seek professional help?

The best thing your mother can do is pursue therapy. We often like to think that we can step in and help those around us, but most of the time we are either not qualified, or not cognizant of the ...
AndreiROM's user avatar
  • 17.1k
12 votes
Accepted

How best to comfort someone who is worried about an upcoming medical procedure?

Talk with her about other stuff The first thing that comes to mind is that you should try to comfort her by talking with her like you would normally do. About normal everyday stuff, about hobbies, ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 1,249
12 votes

Acknowledge there is a problem without making the other person more worried

This sort of thing is a very common problem for lots of people. I've been there too. When a statement is vague, it can help to use a technique called "active listening" to learn more. So you could ...
Icaval's user avatar
  • 139
12 votes

How do I convince someone that I "Just don't want to be friends again" if they are in denial about it

The issue here not that you are a bad communicator, or that you lack the magic words that will make him want to respect your wishes. You don't need magic words, you don't have to convince him of ...
swbarnes2's user avatar
  • 2,808
11 votes

How do I tell therapist that something is a big issue to me, even though culturally it's not?

The job of a therapist includes validation of whatever you are feeling. If she dismisses your thoughts, immediately walk out and find another therapist. Your thoughts are the exact reason that people ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 7,045

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