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 ...


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 ...


81

The example you gave reminds me of a similar conversation we've had about phrasing constructive comments on this site ;) I'm heading out shortly and your car is blocking the drive. This is a statement of fact. OK, so what? You'll need to move it out onto the road. If you don't I can't get my car out. Aha - they want you to do something about it! It ...


68

This is going to be amazingly hard to pull off, without making people frown a little. You rightfully remark that outright declining to answer the question will be seen as strange: since I'm reacting as if I were asked a deeply personal question while, in their eyes, they were just making conversation. 'Where are you from' is a form of small talk. ...


68

Without seeing you "in action", it's really difficult for us to know what the issue could be. I was going to suggest that you might be very quiet, but you tried stepping loudly and still have the same results. I was also wondering if maybe your friends and coworkers now have make it "a thing", and that they now jump even if they do hear you coming as a joke. ...


67

Don't give them anything to talk about This is a critical IPS skill that, unfortunately, not everyone comes by naturally. Sometimes you have to really work for it, and it can take a lot of trial and error to understand how your actions will be perceived. A good rule of thumb is if you haven't seen other people doing or saying something before in a ...


58

Some people just want to know this trivia, no matter how irrelevant it is for them afterwards. Maybe you'll say a country they've visited and they will follow-up with "I loved city X" or "monument Z" and others just want to know that "George T is Y-ian" Since you've moved in the last decade, I'm assuming you feel pretty comfortable where you live now, so ...


51

I also have that ability to scare people because I move silently and without noise, so I have developed a series of actions that will get people's attention: 1) Knock on the door frame/wall when entering a room This sound is associated with people entering. Feet stomping can be mistaken for neighbors and are usually tuned out. A knocking sound, however, ...


49

I don't think you could have. Different people have different sensibility to what makes them uncomfortable. I know that, for me (a woman), the mere fact that you propose your umbrella would have made me uncomfortable. The fact that she accepted your proposition doesn't necessarily mean she is comfortable. I know that I would be capable of accepting this ...


39

I live in Spain, and have done for the past ten years. Constantly, when talking to people I haven't met before, I get asked where I'm from. It's because of my accent - I've been here long enough that my Spanish accent isn't bad, but that also makes it harder to place. People aren't sure whether I'm French, English, maybe Belgian, could even be Canadian, who ...


36

The basic thing you are doing wrong is talking to people before they have realized you are there. How do you know when they know you are there? Simple: you watch to see when they look at you. You don't need to make noises, etc. Just position yourself so you are in the person's peripheral vision, and wait. Human peripheral vision evolved to protect people ...


34

Your friend is probably not really lying, at least not primarily to you. This sounds like a case of her not being truthful to herself first and foremost. I would assume that she would honestly like the things she says to you to be true (that she's not into relationships right now, that the thing with her ex is over, etc.), but evidently they are not. In ...


31

It sounds like you're looking for a gentle, yet direct approach that will level the field without making him feel snubbed or put off... So, why not word it that way? It'll probably help to set the stage before you're already on your way to lunch: Hey Bob, I appreciate your old fashioned gentlemanly way, but it feels kind of unequal by today's standards, ...


25

I think you’re probably right about not relying on the existing relationship, as that’s not in-and-of-itself the reason you are uncomfortable with this behavior. It would be inaccurate, and can cause anguish later if, as a worst-case scenario, your relationship status were to change. And frankly, it’s not his business why you are uncomfortable with his ...


24

It sounds to me, like the person was surprised by your request and wanted to express that surprise. This is likely due to a difference in cultural norms. Like BlackThorn mentioned, it appears you're breaking some cultural norm by asking for the rest of her food. When she shared with her friend, not only was she expressing her surprise, but was also subtly (...


22

The reason such answers come off as "offensive" is that they're confrontational - you're challenging the other person's interest in the topic, which implies that you don't think they should be interested in it. So try not to do that. Instead, accept it as a given that the other person is interested in the topic they've brought up and ask questions which ...


21

It's quite a good thing you used a "NL" tag, because I live in France and that would definitely sounds like you were hitting on her. That being said, when I offer my help to someone and they say something like : It's alright, you can leave my package here! I live just to the opposite side of the road! I would just ask : Are you sure? That doesn't ...


20

Don't accuse anyone of stealing something, unless you can prove it. Otherwise people tend to get defensive and you are most likely not to get anything back from them, as nobody likes being caught stealing stuff. What I found works best, is to announce that you are missing said item and ask the people to help you search for it. This way you don't accuse ...


20

Since you seem to be asked this question frequently in a common situation, I would recommend coming up with one, "good," answer. Something creative and in-line with your personality (funny, sarcastic, dry, etc., as fits you) will give you good results much of the time. Many of the people who ask you this are doing so in an effort to make small talk. Small ...


20

I got teased a lot about my accent as a kid, so perhaps I'm a bit sensitive to what, for many people, is intended as a casual conversation starter. A tactic that I've used in the past when small talk crossed boundaries is to acknowledge the question and use it as a starting point to slide the conversation in a different direction. For example, you might ...


19

Most answers here discuss the first example but not so much the other examples: Telling me I need to click "send" after writing an email. Telling me that the kettle will need water in it before I can boil it. The printer needs switching on first before trying to print. Which rather seem to indicate an assumed lack of knowledge on your part which, it ...


18

Based on your comment I guess that was my profile :) Personally, the main reason I included that is because I don't care too much which is used, so long as it's not "he/him". People assume I'm male on the internet enough that it kind of annoys me, so I figured I ought to explicitly say somewhere what I am comfortable being called. It's a mix of not feeling ...


18

I've had the same problem a few times. Especially in our condo. It's the same situation. And yes, you're right, anything done by yourself may lead to worse than good, I've seen it happen. What to do then? Ask the one in charge to write (or send) a small note/reminder. NICE. Not accusative in any way. For instance : Hi everyone, as you all know, we have ...


16

One possibility you might like to consider is that they feel the need to add further explanation because your body language doesn't tell them that you have already understood. If they say I'm heading out shortly and your car is blocking the drive then what happens next will depend on how you react, or are perceived to react. If you explicitly respond "...


16

You don't know what Leon is thinking, of course. But I can pretty much guarantee he isn't thinking about you at all. He's going through a lot right now. He lost a friend to suicide. Some people may have consoled him amazingly well. You didn't do a terrible job: you didn't make him explain, and you said it was a shame (though a clearer response would have ...


15

As you have mentioned in comments that you have not told Bob that this makes you uncomfortable (and why), I suggest you do so. I would recommend explicitly telling him to stop the behaviors that are bothering you, and would note that "You don't have to do this" is not, strictly or even generally speaking, telling him to not doing something. It is telling ...


14

First of all, you won't be able to avoid those situation in the future, but maybe next time you will be more prepared to face them. My opinion regarding the 'hamburger' situation, you should make the whole thing as coming from their side, not yours. In your example make her offer you the rest of the hamburger without even asking. I am gonna write you ...


14

Sometimes in cases like this I reply using the correct spelling or phrase (or pronunciation), without explicitly pointing out that the person made a mistake. In this case you might reply with Let me know when you are back from your coffee break without saying "hey, you made a mistake there". Obviously he's going to understand that you saw a mistake, but ...


14

I can see how you may feel that your interest is invalidated by your friends' response. However, being known as a ___ snob (wine, beer, food, film, etc) may lead to teasing, but it doesn't in general have the same strong connotations of negative character traits and unpleasant personal qualities as being generally 'snobby' does. I think your friends ...


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