52 votes

How to tell a colleague to take care of how he looks

Edit 2: Thorsten S. Has mentioned that German culture is different. I will note that my response may be more applicable to most Canadian (in my experience) business/services/companies. If the ...
  • 1,970
51 votes

How to tell a colleague to take care of how he looks

There are two points here. First, if you are concerned because of impact on the company, for example because clients react badly to him, then this is a workplace issue. Your boss should take care of ...
35 votes

How to tell a colleague to take care of how he looks

I hope that I am still in time because as a German I can tell that several answers here are inacceptable for German culture. The social contract here is that once a person is accepted and he does not ...
  • 2,339
22 votes
Accepted

How can I politely tell someone that they should take a shower?

As a track and field college athlete, I know that practices can make scheduling tough. Sometimes it's hard to squeeze in something like dinner, for instance, because practice goes right up until some ...
  • 9,015
17 votes
Accepted

How to convey a message that will convince an unknown person to not urinate next to my garage door?

Bring it up with the owner/landlord. You are trying to communicate with the wrong party. Sometimes, the best solution is not to pick a fight yourself, especially because this is not your fight. Walk ...
  • 1,075
15 votes
Accepted

How to ask a co-worker to sneeze into their elbow?

First things first, start by expressing some concern for his health. I've been sick for a week now, and when I'm sick, I'm usually a bit grumpy. That means that I have a tendency to be on edge. I ...
  • 9,015
13 votes

How do I get my mother to use the bathroom?

This isn't so much an interpersonal skills answer as a common sense one, but maybe there's enough overlap. How can I get her to use the bathroom? You can't, unless there's something you have that ...
13 votes

How to convey a message that will convince an unknown person to not urinate next to my garage door?

I would try the low tech route first. Place a poster with eyes on it at the spot, and see what happens. A group of scientists at Newcastle University, headed by Melissa Bateson and Daniel Nettle of ...
  • 1,286
13 votes
Accepted

New roommate from India does something to make bathroom smell really bad

Insights of the problem I am Indian and I can confirm such behaviour. The problem is, in most parts of India, we use bidet as opposed to the tissue papers. Also, even today, many homes have a hole-...
12 votes
Accepted

How can I encourage cleaner habits to my partner?

I'm a clean(-ish) person and my partner a messy and hoarder(-ish) person. We've been living together for a year and a half. Things aren't perfect yet, but we're getting there; it's a process. I was ...
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9 votes

How to convey a message that will convince an unknown person to not urinate next to my garage door?

Asking your landlord about hydrophobic paint may be an option, depending on the shape/angle of things. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/27/walls-that-pee-back-people-urinate-in-public As ...
9 votes

How do I ask my unhygienic housemate to move out?

I've never had to kick out a tenant, but I have had to end relationships, both personal and professional. I feel the situation calls for a similar approach. Assuming you have the right to terminate ...
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8 votes
Accepted

What is the politest way to tell someone their breath smells?

When someone has bad breathe I take gum out of my pocket and take a piece for myself, and then offer them a piece. It appears as not rude since they can pretend that I was being polite since I took ...
  • 4,762
8 votes

How to deal with a runny nose in Japan?

What I did during my trip to Japan (I spent a week there) was to go to the bathroom whenever I had to blow my nose. Ideally, I tried to wait for a time when there were no other people in there. When ...
8 votes
Accepted

How to blow your nose in public

In general, see first if you can just wipe it with a tissue paper since this is a silent way. However, if you really need to blow it and you think it can be done quickly and silently, turn your head ...
  • 7,774
8 votes

How can I politely tell someone that they should take a shower?

On the days that your friend comes from track & field, you can give him the opportunity to shower in your bathroom using your toiletries - if he has not done so at home. If he takes the offer, all ...
8 votes

How to ask a co-worker to sneeze into their elbow?

Oh, I know the feeling! I had a very similar situation with someone I worked with for several years. It was a fairly close work setting, so there wasn't really any way to just avoid him. The way to ...
  • 2,821
7 votes

How do I get my mother to use the bathroom?

The best I can offer is agree with her. Generally agreeing with the person first helps them be more accommodating to your request. So you could say something like I know I shouldn't be so ...
7 votes
Accepted

How and when to tell someone they have food in their teeth

The rule I always follow, is that if it can't be fixed in 5 seconds, don't bring it up. If somebody has something stuck in their teeth, or something that can be easily fixed on the spot, let them know ...
7 votes
Accepted

How to deal with someone accidentally spitting in my food while dining out

What a sticky situation! In a one on one setting, I would be direct and apologetic. Usually the person will feel a little embarrassed, and I would be as warm and reassuring as I could be, and we ...
  • 2,756
7 votes

What is the politest way to tell someone their breath smells?

To close friends Move closer, and hint that their breath smells without drawing others' attention to it. To not-so-close friends Probably stand a little further away, and hope they sense why I did ...
  • 10.2k
7 votes

How can I polite ask someone to blow their nose in public?

From the perspective of someone with allergies: I'm usually acutely aware of my sniffling, so it can be mildly embarrassing and annoying when someone mentions it. So I'm glad you're being mindful of ...
  • 13.6k
7 votes

How to tell a colleague to take care of how he looks

Speaking directly to Bob is the best way. Other options just seem like they will backfire and make you look sneaky. Let's be frank - Bob isn't going to be happy when he finds out that 'Alice' hasn't ...
  • 27k
7 votes
Accepted

How to communicate to work colleagues about the importance of hand hygiene

I think your best shot is to wait for a "special occasion" when the risk of getting a disease because people don't wash their hands are at the highest (like when there is the flu running around). ...
  • 17.2k
7 votes
Accepted

How to tactfully tell a martial arts instructor that I was freaked out by his lack of action?

I have practiced several martial arts. In one of them I got close to get a black belt. However I was never interested in really violent martial arts, so I didn't have to deal with blood like you ...
  • 2,248
7 votes

Preventing strangers from touching my phone without causing negative response

A friend of mine which had a similar aversion had himself diagnosed and treated for minor OCD and I believe he handles the situation better now. Without saying you have OCD or that you should follow ...
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6 votes

How to blow your nose in public

As reflected in AJ's response, it needs to be discreet, and where possible to politely absent yourself to carry out the function. Most people will not be offended by this approach. If you are in a ...
  • 4,366
6 votes

How to tell a colleague to take care of how he looks

I've worked in companies that had strict appearance policies from dress code, to hair style, to even shoe style. Such policies are standard in client facing or customer service businesses. I've ...
  • 507
6 votes

How do I talk to my housemate about bathroom hygiene?

You have an issue with the hygiene situation, not with the health problem. It would be inappropriate for you to complain about things that are not under someone's control, for example using the ...
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