216 votes
Accepted

How to deflect awkward questions when shopping for women's clothing as a man?

First things first. There's no reason to be ashamed. Some people may judge you and you may still be judging yourself, but there's really no need to. Love yourself for who you are and try not to let ...
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  • 54.6k
127 votes
Accepted

How do I deal with other people's screaming children in restaurants?

The way I've dealt with this situation is to ask my server if I could be moved to a different table. It's a little loud over here could we move to another table? Perhaps outside? Approaching the ...
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  • 54.6k
120 votes

Asking guys to quit shouting in a bar

Finding out if you are in a bar where this is the norm or exception can go a long way in making sure you are not needlessly putting yourself in this kind of situation. Per the comments, you can ask ...
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  • 4,810
118 votes
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How to intervene in a random abuse/harassment situation?

In this specific situation I think you did the right thing. Well, in most situations like these, the chances of a totally peaceable resolution are slim. People who go out looking for trouble are sure ...
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  • 54.6k
110 votes

How do I deal with other people's screaming children in restaurants?

(Preface: Some people have taken offense at how pro-parent this answer is. There's good reason for this. In any meaningful interpersonal situation, we have to pay attention to the mindset of both ...
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  • 4,282
101 votes

How to ask a man to not take up more than one seat on public transport while avoiding conflict?

Instead of saying Excuse me, you are taking all the room. I'd go with Excuse me, I don't have enough space, could you move a bit? It's just less accusatory (and as such, less confrontational), ...
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  • 5,410
85 votes

How to intervene in a random abuse/harassment situation?

I haven't had occasion to use this technique since seeing it described, but this graphical guide to bystander intervention describes a non-confrontational way to help the victim. That guide was ...
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82 votes

How do I dismiss a stranger asking for money?

At the bottom, this is someone asking you to do them a favor, and a stranger at that. You can choose to do something, but it is not impolite to not do so. There is nothing wrong with saying, "sorry, ...
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74 votes

How to ask a man to not take up more than one seat on public transport while avoiding conflict?

Quick note: This answer is writing from my own experience. I fully acknowledge that there are (several?) men (maybe women too?) who are far less considerate than I am and just push out to get as much ...
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  • 5,863
70 votes

How can I address a man talking inappropriately about women?

You don't usually want to start a discussion, you don't want to attack them, so don't try things like "Now I see how you are still single". Merely express your displeasure: Not cool, man. There ...
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  • 3,880
69 votes
Accepted

Responding to being told to "smile" by a stranger?

People like that can have no boundaries. They tend to take offense when others respond negatively. Depending on my mood and the vibe I get from people who approach me like that, I'll respond with: &...
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  • 1,970
67 votes

How to approach the situation where someone "steals" your table?

In short: Place some of your belongings on the table/chair ASAP. In similar situations, when I'm out with family or friends and we notice a table about to be vacated, we ask the present occupants if ...
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  • 755
61 votes
Accepted

How do I tactfully ask a flight attendant what's going on if I know my plane has a problem?

Just because you are someone who will take that information calmly doesn't mean everyone is. To the flight attendants, you could well freak out about the possibility of something terribly wrong on the ...
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  • 6,978
59 votes

How to ask someone to stop playing music without sounding religious?

"All power lies in self-control." You want to change things about your environment that you are obviously powerless over, you have no control in these situations, and seek to be deceitful as a means ...
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  • 547
59 votes
Accepted

How to effectively give out a last warning?

The critical thing here is that neither of you feel blamed for the tension between you. If the person you're talking to feels like you're saying, "This is your fault," likely, you won't end with a ...
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  • 2,821
57 votes

How to deflect awkward questions when shopping for women's clothing as a man?

I buy clothes for other people routinely. I have never been asked that. If someone in a store were to ask me "who are you buying these for?" I would stare at them in a way that made it clear they were ...
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  • 43.5k
52 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a dangerous, developmentally disabled person I can not avoid?

I had a similar problem a few years ago. A particular commuter (who I knew from a previous employment) would spot me on the platform and insist on coming up and talking to me. Because we have friends ...
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  • 656
51 votes
Accepted

How to approach the situation where someone "steals" your table?

In order to avoid an argument, wait for another table to open up. None of the tables is your table, they are owned by the coffee place. I agree that the woman's behaviour can be interpreted as rude, ...
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51 votes
Accepted

How can I politely tell someone who is ineffectively holding a door open for me, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

If you feel that they are obstructing your path while opening the door, saying "Excuse me" while indicating you are fine holding the door open will trigger them to stop holding the door and actually ...
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  • 8,478
51 votes

How do I tactfully ask a flight attendant what's going on if I know my plane has a problem?

There's a good time to be quiet. This is one of those. More or less, panicking people is a terrible idea. You're in a tin can hurtling through the sky on jet fuel and engineering. Your pilot is a ...
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50 votes
Accepted

Appropriate ways to dismiss street vendors?

Put yourself in the shoes of the person who is making a very small salary trying to get you to sign up for things. They need to get a certain number of "yes" over the course of a day. They know they ...
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  • 43.5k
49 votes
Accepted

Using reserved "disabled parking" with a disability people cannot see

It is rude and presumptuous of them to question whether you have a disability, especially since your car was marked. This is something I understand happens to a lot of people with invisible illnesses ...
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49 votes
Accepted

Under what circumstances is it okay to not hold a door open?

I usually determine this by distance and perceived ability. Are they close enough to the door to not feel obligated to walk faster for my benefit and are they able to easily open the door themselves. ...
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  • 54.6k
46 votes

How to tell a friend I can see through her swimming suit

The situation sounds like it is over, so I definitely do not think bringing it up now is necessary. While the situation was unfolding you could have just waited for her to finish talking to her ...
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  • 4,762
44 votes

How to deal with a dangerous, developmentally disabled person I can not avoid?

I agree with the suggested actions in this answer by Valorum -- report it to the train station every time it happens, keep a log, and confer with the other affected women. But I noticed something ...
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