181

That might not be the best solution, but how about I'm sorry, I'm not feeling well, can I please sit down? Anyone, no matter how young and fit, might not be feeling well on a particular day, with no visible signs. So you wouldn't need to go into any lengthy explanations. And people are usually nice and helpful when you ask nicely. This is what I usually ...


178

I'm probably going to Hell for this, but what we might need here is a little white lie. I have an arthritic knee and sometimes this means I end up using a fold up walking stick (available in many pharmacies and in charity shops sometimes). It does mean if I need to shift someone from the notionally reserved special seating on buses I've got visible ...


102

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"), ...


82

No - it is not rude to offer your seat. To anyone. If a particular individual decides to be offended, that is up to them, but you are within your right to free up your seat for any reason you like. Maybe because you liked their smile. Maybe you just wanted to stand up for a bit. It really doesn't matter. Don't second guess this, just give your seat up if ...


75

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 ...


63

I was always thought not to distract a working dog, so I did not want to approach the dog without the owners permission.  This is normally correct. Except for safety or life and death issues. Chocolate can kill a dog. Even if they are not killed, severe medical issues can result from ingesting a chemical that the dog cannot breakdown. It's essentially ...


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 ...


58

In London, UK, we have "Please Offer Me A Seat" badges and cards: https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/please-offer-me-a-seat Once you have one of these badges, the duty of a true English citizen is to stand in the middle of the tube, flaunting the badge and avoiding making any eye contact with anyone. If someone has not offered you a seat within a few seconds, the ...


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 ...


51

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 ...


50

I think you can give exactly the information you gave in the question, to anyone who is seated: Excuse me, I have a disability/health issue/problem that makes it difficult/unsafe/unhealthy for me to stand for long periods of the time. Would you mind if I sat down? If they inquire into the nature of the disability, you can simply but firmly say I'd ...


49

Okay, since there have been loads of answers saying 'don't do private things in public': you stated in the question the things you're doing aren't really that privacy-sensitive. You're not doing online banking, you're not reading sensitive company e-mails. You're doing social media stuff. If you were doing the very private stuff, I would definitely advise ...


48

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

I travel by public transport a lot. So I have also dealt with a fair share of overstuffed trains and buses. And the rudeness people exhibit in these situations. I'm from Northern Europe though. First of all, it is important to remember that the other person wants to get to their destination just as desperately as you. Just the sight of an overstuffed bus ...


44

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 additional in your question that hasn't been addressed: A developmentally disabled person has to take the same train to get to this special workplace for ...


41

Personally, my policy is two-fold: If the reason for rejection is likely to upset the person, just generically and politely indicate that you're not interested. "Sorry, I'm not interested" works in 99% of the cases, and only rarely would the person pursue "why?". In your specific example (you rejected them based on looks), this may be a ...


35

OP here, with an update: Almost six weeks have passed now. The problem is going to resolve itself for me, but not in a very satisfying way. I am switching customers while continuing work for the same company, and I will soon be taking a different/no train each day. There were some suggestions of trying to make other small talk. I notified the male from ...


30

Use your knowledge of airline operations to everyone's advantage - please sit in your seat quietly and wait for instructions, being a good role model to those around you. This will actually help the crew tremendously. Airlines divert for any number of reasons that aren't huge-mechanical-failure-we-all-might-die emergencies, so just because you are ...


27

What you said in the comments is relevant for my answer: Directly asking the girl shows the group that i suspect everything IS NOT alright, and that puts the group in an opposing position to me and would likely but in and say "mind your own business". I would prefer to phrase it in a way that better avoids conflict. You need to understand the reason ...


26

Hmm, that's a tricky situation. If possible, it's best if you convey the idea that your new friend is not alone in the boat. Since you said Facebook ID is fine, my personal recommendation would be something along the lines of, Ah, I don't usually share my WhatsApp credentials publicly. Would my Facebook account work instead? The advantages of this ...


25

It isn't rude, it is nice. However, as a 55-year old woman, I prefer people don't give up their seat for me as I really want to be treated like others. I wear jeans, am in great shape and not tired looking. I give up my seat to younger women who are overweight and/or tired looking, and especially if they have a child. If this isn't too complicated, try to ...


25

Why not being polite but direct? I beg your pardon... I'm going through private stuff. Note how this is not rude but kind ("beg your pardon") making that person aware that they should stop ("private stuff") And rotate yourself/your phone a bit. Or, joking a bit, as I remember reading on a random post on G+: open Google search page and slowly type "...


24

The "natural" subject to talk about is your mutual friend. Because that is what you and the "stranger" have in common. It's a subject you both know something about. After you've exchanged stories about "how long have you known X," you'll be in a better position to judge whether or not you have anything else to talk about.


24

Etiquette in immediate situations is necessarily different. While it may seem inappropriate to touch someone or shout in most situations it's generally acceptable when helping others avoid danger. In this specific case it would probably have been best to do what the person sitting next to the blind person did. Take the chocolate away from the dog, and then ...


23

As a potential fellow passenger, my answer is that you should handle this by: Sitting down and shutting up The crew's priority in that situation is handling the situation. I, and most likely every other passenger on the plane, want them doing exactly that. Not dealing with a back-seat pilot. Your hobby gives you "secret" information on what's going on? ...


21

It's entirely down to personal preference. Yes it is generally acceptable to offer your seat to an elderly or disabled person (there are even some seats in places where you must give up your seat if a disabled person comes along), it isn't always necessary to offer it to women. If you don't want to offer it to a woman (just because they're a woman) then you ...


21

I can speak as a follow Canadian public transit rider. I have also received condescending / insulted looks for doing this, even from people carrying lots of stuff. Canadian politeness ("No, you take it, I insist"), personal pride, and the almost British keep-your-eyes-to-yourself attitude on public transit are all at play here. My solution is often to make ...


21

I smoke like a chimney, and to be honest I'm not always entirely considerate about the rules in my country. I wouldn't smoke on a bus or a plane, but if I'm outdoors... Ya... I should probably work on that... My general assumption when people hassle me about smoking is that they just don't like it. Usually the worst cases are former smokers on crusade. ...


18

I had a very similar issue with a man who suffered from a traumatic brain injury while I was volunteering at a local food bank. It started much as you describe. He was just a little too agressive with the women, not necessarily dangerous, but he had a habit of being a little too familiar and often times saying very inappropriate things. Unfortunately I was ...


18

In my answer, I hope to give you some background on the issue that might help you overcome your shyness/conflict aversion over it. You characterized this behaviour to be very rude and unpleasant. While it's certainly unpleasant, I think it's important to understand that it's not necessarily rude. Don't assume malice, where social unawareness, obliviousness, ...


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