250

I'm very sorry but your loans are in fact gifts. What you describe is actually you filling the gap in their spending pattern. That gap will not close, ever. Consecutive 'loans' without mention of previous debts or payback means no payback is intended by the 'loaner'. Your money is lost. Don't worry about politeness. Apparently your money is theirs. And ...


205

Tell her exactly what you've written above. That you're "not comfortable having a child out there whose life I have no part in". If she tries to engage in a debate, remember that you don't owe her an explanation beyond that. I would absolutely not engage in a debate along the lines of "what if you could visit" or anything of the sort. When it comes to these ...


198

Having been here before myself, I think you need to realize what this means for your relationship. You don't feel able to relax and have you-time with her around. This is probably because you place a set of responsibilities on yourself when you spend time with her, but also want to be able to shed those responsibilities at times and do what you're interested ...


195

"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 "...


187

Like most boundary related issues, this is one of those "set a boundary and stick to it" situations. If the boundary you set says that it isn't ok to drop by unannounced, then that's the boundary. Don't answer the door when she just drops by. Her reasons for feeling that it's ok to violate boundaries are really irrelevant, because dealing with it ends up ...


174

As a computer scientist myself, here are the avenues I have taken: When asked to fix a Bluray player at a holiday gathering... "I can look, but your guess is as good as mine. I know how to write software, not fix hardware." When asked opinions on software I know nothing about... "Yeah... I know nothing about this. I would try looking for reviews on ...


173

Yeah, fraud is what I call "Not a good thing". The feds aren't pleasant about that particular one. She apparently won't talk seriously about this, so follow her lead: don't talk seriously about it. She mentions getting married to commit visa fraud, you treat it the same way: as a joke. "haha! Yeah, that'd be hilarious! We can do prison time together! ...


158

It is very rude to bluntly say you won't use her email address. In my opinion you shouldn't turn her down at all. Take the email, thank her and just don't use it if you don't want to use it. In this case it was a very concrete gesture with her handing an address but usually these kind of things are just said as a gesture of goodwill and friendliness. And ...


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 ...


146

As a woman who used to tend bar, I've dealt with a lot of intrusive questions at work, mostly from customers. A lot of men want to take home the bartender and many of them can be quite pushy about it. Off the clock, I could just walk away from guys like this, but at work I had to be polite in rejecting these advances and it was sometimes pretty difficult. ...


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 ...


128

This reminds me of a short story in Mandarin, roughly translated as such: A guy always gave a handout to a beggar near his home. When he was single, he gave five dollars. After he married, he gave three dollars. Once he had his first child, he reduced the handout to one dollar. When that happened, the beggar yelled angrily : "How could you give my money ...


110

Anyone with a basic grasp on interpersonal skills wouldn't be posting this question. This title is unequivocally rude. Just to be clear, this is not my real answer, it's the example that proves the point. You were intending to send your short message to this person, likely with no surrounding context. When you read this title, before you read the rest of ...


109

Tell them just what you told us. Arguing is obviously not productive. My sister is attempting to become a vegan, and many of my friends and teammates are either vegans or vegetarians. I've found that debating the point is not at all productive - not because vegans are argumentative, but because there's no objectively right answer to whether or not a person ...


107

Given the constraints you've laid out in your question, you can't. You want to be seen (roughly) as a peer to these students, but also want them to treat you as a professional that is off-limits for any non-professional activities. You want to clearly lay out a broad class of behaviors you would like the students to cease, but don't want to be direct in ...


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

When it comes to my own young cousins and children of friends, I usually give them an explicit choice between sharing physical affection and not, while still expecting that they will obey the spirit of the parents request by giving a greeting. My personal script for it is, "Hugs, bye-byes or high fives?" (Basically, give a hug, wave goodbye at each other, ...


101

The answer I'd give Mom is: "It's not my party". I wouldn't offer excuses or tell her anything beyond that. Yes, she may want your brother, for some reason, invited to the bachelor party. But it's not her party. Or yours. Or your brother's. Whoever is arranging the party has decided the guest list, there's some expense associated with it, and these are ...


95

This sounds like stereotypical "door-to-door salesman" behavior, and I think you might try the same tricks that work with those. Say "No.", and if they try to continue, just refuse to engage with them. If they come up with a "Why not?" just keep saying "We're not going to do it. Let's talk about something else." Once you made clear that it's not a ...


94

The nub of this is that you want to have your cake and eat it. You want to act like another kid with similar interests yet not have them respond to you as though you were another kid with similar interests In your interactions with the students, you set the tone for how they respond to you. If in all other ways you want them to respond to you as ...


91

Just in case this person is really in a hurry every time (1), I would not give any reason/excuse, because that may backfire with any possible fake / true counter-argument. I would just let them know that "my time is as valuable as theirs" (in spirit, not with words, as this is most probably seen as aggressive). It means that I don't see any reason why I ...


82

You just say, "I'm honored you thought of this. I'm sorry, that's not possible" and don't offer any further explanation or reason. Generally people want reasons to try to work around them; if you just don't want to do it then there's no need to offer a reason. Keep this in mind: in one recent case, the donor had to pay child support. Are you willing to ...


75

I've had to deal with this issue in a few different contexts, from friends to people I've dated, even with complete strangers... My approach is usually pretty simple and direct. I respect your decision to be vegan, but I am not a vegan, nor do I intend to become one. If they persist, sometimes likening their approach to evangelists will get them to ...


72

I experienced this too, in addition to the charities that I wanted to make donations to. I am adding this because it is very similar to you. I learned to allocate a percentage of my income to a fund that I labelled "Donations". When the donation budget was empty, I would tell people just that, but that I would add their name/cause to my next months one. ...


71

When we were training our dog, in the section under barking, the book claimed that you can't teach a dog not to bark until you have first taught the dog to bark. This establishes that the barking is something you control, not the dog. So, in the case of your mother-in-law (or as we called it when we lived together, mother-in-sin) to-be, you take control of ...


70

What works for me with the food pushing relatives is: Saying something like "I'm sure it's delicious / That looks nice - but I don't want any at the moment" the first time. This should make it clear to well-meaning people that you don't have anything against their food, you're just not hungry/in the mood. Saying a brief and neutral "No, thank you" about 1 ...


70

Firstly, he seems annoyed. He probably knows you're at least somewhat correct, but at this point you comes across more as a know-it-all vibe than good intentions. The fact that he is annoyed makes sense: It's his money and you're telling him how he should spend it (or actually, to save it). How would you feel if he kept telling you to "spend more money, ...


68

I am not a lawyer, however... I think it unfortunate that "preachy" was removed from your question. First, your use of that word, and your question's phrasing, indicates how the behavior of others has affected you. Secondly, based on the report of their actions, in a non-judgmental way, that is literally what they are, in fact doing, preaching their way of ...


68

I have been told I tend to be a bit passive aggressive when dealing with those kinds of situations, but I like to mask it with a bit of humor. In your position I would reply something like: 我不会来 When he asks you what is that you can reply "I am not coming in Chinese, you don't seem to understand when I write it in German so I decided to try some other ...


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