134 votes
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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 ...
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  • 26.9k
119 votes
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How do I convince someone formalities between internet friends aren't necessary over a casual, informal text chat?

It sounds like your friend is trying to indirectly ease into the conversation, hoping that you will give them a graceful entry point to their purpose, and it's only after several back-and-forth ...
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  • 3,694
112 votes
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How to politely handle support requests which lack some basic understanding?

Anyone with a basic grasp on interpersonal skills wouldn't be posting this question. This title is unequivocally rude. Just to be clear, this is not my real answer, it's the example that proves the ...
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  • 6,366
106 votes
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Politely telling an incompetent software project volunteer they are too inexperienced

You can side step that issue entirely. You don't even have to be deceitful about it. Simply say to them that the part of the project they can realistically help with is finished now (since it is, ...
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  • 10.7k
101 votes

How to politely notify in an online conversation that I am a woman?

That being said, I'd like to politely inform people who mistake me for a man that I am actually a woman. I don't want it to sound aggressive because I don't really mind and it doesn't change anything ...
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  • 4,375
90 votes

How to make a gift without seeming creepy?

I once had the same issue with an online friend. Since I have anxiety, I was very afraid that the person might react badly to me giving them a gift (feeling embarrassed and awkward). To resolve this, ...
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  • 17.2k
85 votes

How to approach discussion with wife about a possible "emotional affair"

It sounds like your wife is having what is often called an emotional affair. Even though it is just talk, the heart is involved. I say this not to escalate the situation, but because it is important ...
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  • 26.9k
75 votes
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In an online conversation, is it okay to use "guys" to address everyone?

Sure, it's fine to use it, guys! It's fine as long as it's informal. I use it all the time, even at work among colleagues of either sex. I have heard it being used almost my entire life, every city I'...
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  • 10.2k
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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  • 54.7k
75 votes

How can I contact a long-lost friend I tracked down on the internet without being creepy?

I'm not easily creeped out though some people have managed to. The people I'll be talking about below aren't people I have lost contact with for over a decade, some of the people on my Facebook were ...
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  • 33.8k
70 votes

Is it rude to ignore everybody else in a chatroom and only talk with one person?

What I'm wondering is: Is this rude to the other users of the room? Yeah. People respond to being intentionally ignored in a chat room about as well as they do to being ignored in real life. (Which ...
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  • 7,265
67 votes

How to politely notify in an online conversation that I am a woman?

In English, and in most cultures that use English as a first language, the masculine gender has historically been the default when speaking about an unidentified person. For example, written ...
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  • 26.9k
64 votes

How do I effectively get people to look past my age when considering my abilities, if they know how old I am?

First I question why you need everyone to trust your abilities. Some random JoeSchmo from chat's opinion hasn't got much bearing on what you can actually do, so convincing them is probably not ...
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  • 10.7k
63 votes

How to politely handle support requests which lack some basic understanding?

Anyone with basic understanding of how Y works would be able to infer that from the examples. I can’t teach you how Y works. That's pretty rude. You're basically using a polite way of saying "If ...
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  • 10.7k
63 votes

How do you tell a Facebook friend that they might be on the autism spectrum?

You don't As someone that has been in a similar situation, I can give you a bit of insight in how this would be received by your friend. Simply put, you are not in a position to diagnose (or meddle ...
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  • 6,992
61 votes

How to respond to an unfalsifiable accusation?

The best defense is typically to display an openness for resolving potential issues where possible. I would suggest directing the user to the Reddit rules on the matter and stating that if they ...
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  • 2,036
61 votes

How can I tactfully discuss the intentions of an online acquaintance before meeting?

Each time I found myself in this situation, honesty and simplicity paid back. I think that simply approaching the topic directly can clarify his expectation. Refer to your previous experiences to ...
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  • 9,713
59 votes

How can I ask a possible long-lost relative to prove his identity?

What a coincidence! Last week, I got a phone call. It was from someone claiming to be a cousin (living in another country) that I hadn't spoken to in 48 years. He was driving down to Washington and he ...
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59 votes
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How can I contact a long-lost friend I tracked down on the internet without being creepy?

Regarding sounding creepy You could try to contact her in the lines you described. Problem, you didn't obtain this info with her consent nor with the consent of anybody that knows her. She's unknown ...
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  • 4,740
57 votes

How to refuse politely to play with someone as a streamer

As someone with a little streaming experience, I'd like to throw in my own two cents. First and foremost, if someone asks if they can jump in and play with you and you flat out are not interested, ...
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  • 22.6k
54 votes

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

I've been a freelance web developer for a number of years and dealt with this situation countless times. The best course of action I've found is to call them rather than e-mail them, explain the ...
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  • 3,041
54 votes

How do I support a friend on Social Media who contacted me directly about something I don't want to be involved in?

First, let me explain why your friend has a problem with "all lives matter." It sounds like a rebuttal, like you're correcting the person who said Black Lives Matter. I've seen analogies like "if ...
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  • 43.5k
53 votes

How to make a gift without seeming creepy?

I'd suggest something similar to @Ælis' answer. However, I'd phrase it like: You: I'm going to be in London for the big Poké event! Her: Omgggg. Really? ... (Poké discussion here) ...
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  • 15.2k
49 votes
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How to gently end involvement with an online community?

what's the more gentle way to say that I'm leaving in early 2020 You say exactly that. Make a post, either on your website or some other site (I've seen similar posts on Twitlonger) that explains ...
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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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  • 1,086
44 votes
Accepted

How to respond to an unfalsifiable accusation?

You say: Note that there aren't any ads on my blog site and the content is all free. I was also surprised at how well the post performed, most of my other posts didn't do quite so well [...]. I ...
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  • 13.5k
43 votes
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How do I indicate sarcasm/irony online?

Be explicit. By Poe's law, if you aren't explicit, it won't work. Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody [any view] in such a way that ...
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  • 1,587
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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41 votes

How to initiate a conversation with a person who recently had transition but you were not in touch with them?

Now I want to talk to her to show my support => does she want that too? That's the point. When in doubt, I usually just let people know who I am, and what I'm looking for. I don't put pressure on ...
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  • 21.5k
40 votes
Accepted

Pointing the index fingers to one another as a way to excuse oneself: is this a common gesture?

Maybe it's just me, but in the UK I would not understand any of that. It's completely alien to me. If you work in an international setting, it might be better to use full words and sentences to ...
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