275

I have recently had to make a long series of doctors appointments. After the 3rd time someone asked me this I got a bit annoyed too and asked them why they were asking. The receptionist smiled at me and said I didn't have to be specific, but she wanted to know so she could provide details for the doctor. This way they can determine multiple things: How ...


236

Always. My dog is a black labrador; an abused rescue I found at a shelter. When I got him (a male), he was limping and terrified. If you touched an ear, he would yelp like you kicked him: somebody had been dragging him (or lifting him) by his ear. An x-ray of his leg showed healing from a cracked bone, and his knee had been dislocated for so long it couldn't ...


194

"I'm sorry, I selected this seat in advance. But thank you for asking!" Another option is to say, "Thank you for asking! I like this seat just fine." Smile and be polite yet firm. It's been my experience that when people want a reason, it's to argue. So I never offer a reason. In this case, my response to "why?" would be "I do not wish to change" or "...


175

Answer: Try doing the following: Thank him for being your friend. State your problem, tell him that you are not very good at social interactions and are afraid you will offend him eventually. State what you intend to do to fix your problem. In your case go back to not having any close friends. End by thanking him again and apologizing for your shortcomings ...


175

Normally, the way to handle overly intrusive and rude questions is by staring a little and then saying Excuse me? Should they happen to repeat the question again, you can then ask Are you seriously asking me why I have a child? And then just stare until they apologize. You are not answering the question, in fact you are questioning the question, ...


170

Recognise your own biases When someone from a minority group says "that's racist/sexist/homophobic/etc" and the retort from someone from a majority group is, more or less, "no it isn't" This is phrased in extremely general terms. The example you added to the question is quite clear-cut, but in other situations which fall within the scope of the quoted ...


169

You need multiple strategies here. First, be more precise about your job. "I work in the space industry" naturally makes people think you're an astronaut or a rocket scientist. "I'm in professional baseball" would make people think you're a player or a coach rather than an accountant, chef, or janitor. So if you develop software, say you develop software. ...


163

Keep this in mind: recruiters are salespeople. They get paid when positions get filled. They want to pursue potential opportunities and not go after something that won't work. That said, showing that they're wasting their time on you is not rude. It saves them time and enables them to pursue a potential sale and not pursue someone who is not interested. ...


162

Make the conversation about experience . . . and baby steps. I'm a regular runner. I compete at a DIII school, and I've been running for . . . maybe eight years now. I've been both the overeager person and the person trying to hold back someone who's overeager. It's kind of a difficult situation for everyone, sometimes exacerbated if the other runner is ...


161

No one likes to be ignored, but with digital media, that's unfortunately something you will have to get used to. People often read messages pretty quickly but do not always have the time to immediately respond. Especially in a case where a reply is not a quick answer or might need some more thought behind it, such as how it sounds from your example. This is ...


159

If someone says yes, then give the item to them. It's pretty simple really. If you don't want to offer the last one, then take it yourself. Or you can just do the British thing and let the last one go stale on the plate before someone finally throws it away. The chances are that anyone who says "Does anyone mind if I take the last one?" has probably ...


155

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 affected. (Not necessarily ruined, though!) You can't avoid that, since it comes from the fact that she has feelings you don't reciprocate. She is going to have to ...


142

Unless they make a convincing appeal for why they really need my seat, I say something like "sorry, but I specifically reserved {an aisle seat, a window seat, a seat in the front of the plane, etc}". This approach communicates that I have a specific preference (that I arranged for). It leaves the door open for them to propose something different that still ...


124

You say you're sure, but you can't ever really be. It's easy enough to spill or sit on something. And it doesn't even matter: you don't need to tell her what kind of stain it is, just that it's there. So just keep it simple, like you presumably would if it were anything else: "hey, I think you have something on your pants." She can figure it out and take ...


124

In this context, I prefer Hang on Unlike shh, it clearly conveys a sense of temporariness. Not "don't talk" but "don't talk right now". It's also not something adults say to children (eg teachers, librarians) so it carries less "baggage" for the person hearing it. Usually I accompany this with pointing at the thing I urgently need to hear (in the case ...


120

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 exchanges without such an entry-point that they can bring themselves to come right out with it. For some people, this is a natural way of interacting, and it is very ...


110

I've been the white person in that situation, and probably more blundering than I want to admit. I have friends who are black, gay, and transgender, and all of them have had to deal with clueless majority people expecting them to be always-on ambassadors for their groups. It's exhausting. (As a member of a minority religion I get some of this from your ...


107

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, that's entirely the truth) and that you'll contact them again if something else comes up that they can help with. This has key advantages: You're not burning any ...


106

The potential romantic angle is a red herring. Whether or not Bob is interested in you and intends these gestures to be his "moves" on you, you don't want the gestures at all because they suggest that he might harbor those intentions. Him denying romantic interest probably wouldn't resolve this (would you believe him and then become totally fine with the ...


105

I'm a mathematician too. I think there are two important things to keep in mind: the first is that asking what someone does is just a polite question. The second is that they are probably very aware that they lack knowledge about higher mathematics. You don't need to tell them current exact research interest to answer the question. What I do is tell them my ...


103

Bluntly, most people will see it as very rude. Even if it's not your intention, it's as if you were asking if that pregnancy was rather the result of an informed choice following a measured reflection or their failing to use birth control and then trying to make a mistake pass as a success. If they want you to know if it was planned or not, they will tell ...


100

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 to the answer, nonetheless I think they ought to know in order, maybe, to realize that there are also women here. People can never seem to figure out my gender....


99

Generally you shouldn't offer further help. As soon as she wants to go her way you let her do so. You are a random stranger to her, there is every chance she doesn't want to lead you to her home because you might be just a nice guy, but you might be psycho stalker. Any insistence to walk her home might be seen as creepy. Saying all that the only possible ...


97

She is trying to justify herself My guess is that she is lying because she tries to give you a picture of herself that, she imagines, will meet your expectations. Try to make clear to her that she is your friend and that you are OK with whatever she wants to do with her personal life. She can start a relationship, have friends for the night or stay alone ...


95

Your in-laws have broken your trust here. It's not so much about the diet itself (they're free to disagree with it, they can even refuse to cook it and let you cook) but this is about them refusing to respect your personal decisions and then deceiving you by making you things you don't want to eat. So approach it like that. Revoke their privilege of cooking ...


92

You can't expect people to answer you right away when you send them a written message. They might be busy, they might be too tired to answer, they might haven't taken any decision yet and so one. Unless you are sending a message to one of your employees during work hours, this person doesn't owe you their time. And responding to someone is something that ...


90

On the one hand, the fact that one or both of these people is trans is utterly irrelevant. (I'm going to take you at your word that your objection is to Public Displays of Affection whether with opposite sex couples who are both cis, same sex couples who are both cis, or opposite or same sex couples that include one or two trans people.) Different people ...


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