We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.
204

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 other people get you down. It may be a little early for this suggestion, but consider trying to become comfortable enough with yourself to be comfortable ...


125

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 parents of the screaming child isn't likely to go well for anyone, they're already stressed and preoccupied, just don't. Asking to move to a new table solves ...


121

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 the bartender "is it always this loud in here?" and this will give you a hint whether to expect this rowdy behavior frequently. It's very possible that the ...


116

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 to find it, particularly if they're of that age group, have those racial/political leanings, and feel they have the reassurance of their group. The only thing ...


109

(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 parties in order to find the best solution. Everyone knows the mindset of the person who has to hear the child screaming. We've all been there. Those without ...


99

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), you're not telling them they're doing something wrong but instead making them aware you have a problem they can solve. For me, just a "Pardon" ("Excuse me"), ...


88

You confront directly. Excuse me, do I know you? Are you taking photos of me? Obviously, do this if you're fairly sure someone is taking photos of you, but it does seem pretty likely to me from what you're saying. In cases like this, directness is appropriate.


83

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, no," and leaving it at that. You are under no compulsion to give them a reason or explain yourself. Re "isn't saying 'sorry' lying?": it's phatic shorthand for ...


83

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 created for a specific type of case but would apply to any sort of harassment or bullying. This site provides a transcription of the steps: Engage ...


76

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 space as they want. Why I spread my legs (and why your attempts did not work) I'm a tall man. 1,94 m (6 foot 4.4 inches) to be precise. I also can't stand ...


70

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: "How often does that work for you?" "Well, I'm pissed now that you think you can demand any type of emotion from me." In my case: "I suffered an ...


70

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 are similar alternatives depending on how bad and how long the chat has gone on, like "Too far", "Just no". The most common outcome is that they will attempt to ...


69

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 they are about to leave, and if we could occupy table after them. In case they don't mind, as is the case usually, one person from my group places one of his/...


61

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 plane, they may not know you. In addition, if someone else overheard what was said, they could freak out instead. Sure, you may be curious as to what has ...


59

"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 to gain your control, which seems to only contradict your faith. My roommate isn't clean, I can't change that, so I focus on self-control, which leads me to ...


59

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 resolution, it'll just make them feel angrier than they already are. On the other hand, if you take the responsibility for the tension, it will likely make you ...


52

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 and colleagues in common and because there was a strong possibility I'd end up working with them in future, I was extremely keen not to offend them by ...


52

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, but she possibly didn't even know about your agreement. She was in your exact same situation and took the chance. What you could have done instead: Try to be ...


52

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 crossing a line, and then say I'm not asking for assistance with this, thankyou or I'm sure you don't need to know that I would do my very best to ...


51

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 making you a way. Just be sure to thank them afterward. I've learned this after someone did this to me. It was purely because my brain stopped processing common ...


50

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 will get a lot of "no". The ideal no is fast and is not rude or hurtful. A slow no may be of some value if it causes other people to gather round and one of them ...


50

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 trained professional, as is your air crew. You got home safe. If you need to know, they will probably tell you. Don't be this guy. Actually oddly enough, that ...


49

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 or disabilities. Anyone who confronts or questions you is already being rude. You say that you want to help educate people, so do so when you have the energy. ...


49

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. Like if someone is far away it usually gets a little awkward, they feel pressed to hurry and you get stuck letting the ac vent out of the building for longer ...


47

Have you tried politely asking them to move their legs? From personal experience, they might not know that they're doing it. I have unintentionally sat in seats with my legs spread rather wide. I have always moved my legs when asked. Sometimes this simply wasn't possible because the leg room was physically too small for my long legs. As Imus said in their ...


46

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 friend and then quietly said something about it to her. I suggest something vague and lighthearted like: "Hey ____, that swimsuit gets kind of awkward in direct ...


45

Short answer: I would not waste energy trying to solve or worrying about this. In this day and age where virtually everyone has a video camera in their pocket, I would not concern myself with this at all as this is not any where near in your control. What are you going to do, confront everyone who could potentially be taking a photo or video of you? I ...


44

My go-to reply is: Sorry, no. Have a nice day! [turn and walk away] It's courteous You provide no reason, so they cannot point out flaws in your reasoning You have not given them nothing; a well-wish is more acknowledgement than they may otherwise receive from any stranger This works even after they have told a long story. I recommend committing to the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible