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39 posts tagged with politeness.
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How to stop being polite and start getting real

I consider myself an exceedingly polite and considerate person, but often this makes me seem overly formal and has the (unintended?) effect of keeping people at arms' length. How can I reduce this behavior and act more casual and normal with people? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 22, 2014 - 15 answers

Is it acceptable to use a smart phone in a public talk?

I went to a talk by a well-known author yesterday in an auditorium. The lights were somewhat dimmed, but definitely not dark. The person in front of me spent about half of the talk live-tweeting bits from the talk. The lights were sufficiently dim that the (5-6") cell phone of the person in front of me was quite distracting to me, since it shined directly at me (the user actually turned the phone away from them a bit, which I wonder was due to the brightness of the screen.). However, I am somewhat more sensitive to bright light than other people. Has smart phone usage reached sufficient social acceptance to allow usage in a non-darkened auditorium? [more inside]
posted by saeculorum on Sep 10, 2014 - 33 answers

Help me get out of this wedding

So, back in February or so, we were invited to a friend's September wedding in Cape Cod (both us and the friend are in LA). It sounded great; my fiancée and I RSVPed. Now, due to a passel of unforeseen circumstances, we can't really do it. Can you help us get out of it without being giant assholes? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 6, 2014 - 18 answers

So long, and thanks for all the books!

What thank-you gift for a couple of nice librarians? [more inside]
posted by Bardolph on May 16, 2014 - 16 answers

What's a good sort-of-host-gift for a first-time house visit?

At the behest of a third-party acquaintance, I'll be visiting the house of someone I don't know, to see a Cool Thing that's relevant to my interests. What (if anything) is an appropriate gift to bring along in these circumstances? [more inside]
posted by yersinia on Jul 10, 2013 - 18 answers

Dealing with casual bigotry?

What strategies do people have to deal with casual bigots when the situation mandates basic politeness? [more inside]
posted by Cannon Fodder on Jun 28, 2013 - 28 answers

Is it rude to have sex in an AirBnB room rental?

I'm staying in an AirBnb room rental for the first time in a few weeks with my SO. The rental is just a room in someone's house, where there are roommates who will be there for the weekend. Is it considered rude to have sex with my SO in the room? [more inside]
posted by sockpuppetofexistentialconfusion on Apr 5, 2013 - 29 answers

It's yo' cat / It's yo' problem!

CatLivingFilter: One of my roommate's two cats has become very attached to me, probably because my roommate (by his own admission) inherited the cat from an ex relationship and never really liked it that much. That's cool--I like cats, and cats like me. What I don't like is that the cat has become so attached that it will yell inconsolably outside my door, scratch at my door, and sometimes even bash into my door in despair of not being in my room. This has become a major sleep disrupting problem for me. What can I reasonably expect my roommate to do to respond to this situation? [more inside]
posted by The Sock Puppet Sentience Movement on Feb 14, 2013 - 35 answers

Please come in, we don't have anything worth stealing anyway

I find it very hard to say no to people. I try to please everybody, especially people I don't know well. I worry a lot about offending, committing social faux-pas or hurting people's feelings. The idea that somebody wouldn't like me makes me anxious. What can I do about it? And how do I learn to NOTICE when my boundaries are being crossed? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 22, 2012 - 15 answers

Nicknames. Just say no.

How do I tactfully ask people whom I don't know very well not to call me by a nickname? [more inside]
posted by Ziggy500 on Aug 10, 2012 - 32 answers

Help me take more offense so I stop offending others

Is there a way for me to increase my sensitivity to the insults of others, and thus maybe decrease my aggressiveness/harshness? I think I don't take enough offense, and so don't realize how offensive I am. [more inside]
posted by schroedinger on Mar 19, 2012 - 23 answers

Developing the non-pushy ask

How do I, very much an asker, make it easy and comfortable for an askee if they want to say "no"? or do I need to just not ask? [more inside]
posted by spbmp on Mar 10, 2012 - 29 answers

Hey, I don't really want to hug her, either.

Unwilling toddlers and forced social interactions with adults: is it OK to instruct your child to (for instance) hug Great-Aunt Maisie, when she'd prefer not to? [more inside]
posted by Bardolph on Dec 29, 2011 - 46 answers

Uncommon Courtesies

In the last Roderick on the Line, John says that he always gets a houseguest a glass of water, before they ask - because 9 times out of 10, someone always loves a glass of water. I love this idea. What are some low-key courtesies you extend or have had extended to you by friends, romantic partners, suitors, etc. that show someone you're thinking about their needs and general comfort? [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on Nov 28, 2011 - 55 answers

How could I have handled this situation better?

Please tell me how I could have handled this situation better. I unintentionally got into an argument with a dog-walker at the park where I was conducting a running training session. I thought I handled the situation to the best of my ability, but my trainee told me that she thought I hadn't. So I wanted to ask your advice on how to deal with the same situation if it arose again. [more inside]
posted by Petrot on Nov 14, 2011 - 34 answers

Keeping Your Soul Without Losing Your Edge

I have, unexpectedly, become something of a celebrity and I think it's changing my behavior for the worse. In short, I am worried I am becoming a complete pill because I now have the freedom to tell people to screw off. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 29, 2011 - 58 answers

Not-obvious things you shouldn't say to women

What are some not-obvious things you can't/shouldn't say to women? [more inside]
posted by pauldonato on Sep 15, 2010 - 172 answers

How to Handle Weight With Tact?

If you have been obese, how do you prefer friends and acquaintances to approach the issue of weight and size when it comes up? [more inside]
posted by HotPatatta on Jul 27, 2010 - 28 answers

Please help me be nicer to people

I get snappy with certain work colleagues, sometimes to the point of being downright rude, and this upsets people. I usually apologise and we move on, but it's gotten to the point that it's starting to impact on my working relationships, and I want to stop. It's unprofessional, not nice for anyone involved, and bad for the project. I need to find ways of managing my stress better and not letting it manifest itself in cutting comments or disparaging remarks or general rudeness. Please help!!! [more inside]
posted by finding.perdita on Jun 18, 2010 - 20 answers

"There's no escape, there's no excuse, so just suck up and be nice.”

What are memorable phrases that reinforce the idea that you should suck it up and play nice? I'm thinking of this line from Tomato Nation: "Rudeness is not a signifier of your importance. Rudeness is a signifier of itself, nothing more. We all have bad days; yours is not weightier than anyone else's, comparatively, and does not excuse displays of poor breeding. Be civil or be elsewhere." [more inside]
posted by verbyournouns on Jun 11, 2010 - 28 answers

How to get over disappointment?

I'm hypersensitive to societal politeness. I return phone calls and emails promptly, arrive early to all appointments and go out of my way to help friends. How do I deal with the disappointment when it is not reciprocated? [more inside]
posted by kanata on May 12, 2010 - 31 answers

I'm so bad with death.

Calling Ms. Manners: whats an appropriate thing to say when a co-worker's parent has died? [more inside]
posted by jak68 on Apr 6, 2010 - 31 answers

Thanks! Greetings!

Regional variations on "you're welcome"? [more inside]
posted by molecicco on Jan 23, 2010 - 78 answers

Tell me about "Tell me about" ... if you'd be so very kind.

Every time I hear a journalist say "Tell me about ..." when interviewing someone on television, I get really annoyed. It seems so incredibly presumptuous, pompous and impolite to demand an answer of a guest like that. Yet it happens all over the world. Is this standard journalistic practice? What's the reasoning behind it? Anyone else feel the same way or am I being a relic? [more inside]
posted by zaebiz on May 9, 2008 - 39 answers

Oh, so you're a [insert profession here]! How [insert whacky generalization and misguided curiosity here]?

What is the first question people ask when you tell them what you do? Are there common misconceptions or generalizations that people make? How do you tactfully and/or humorously correct them? [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Apr 28, 2008 - 156 answers

My Fair Gentleman

My Fair ... Gentleman? Please give me a crash course on being a gentleman for a date with a lady. [more inside]
posted by TimeTravelSpeed on Oct 16, 2007 - 59 answers

missed connections

ModernDayEtiquetteFilter: What is the general consensus on returning calls (received on one's mobile phone) based on a missed call log vs. leaving a message? [more inside]
posted by uaudio on Aug 30, 2007 - 56 answers

Who said, "Humor is the politeness of despair?"

Who said, "Humor is the politeness of despair?" [more inside]
posted by StopMakingSense on Jun 3, 2007 - 3 answers

Do deaf people get distracted by very expressive hand and body movements?

Is it annoying, distracting, or offensive to a deaf person who is using an interpreter to interact with hearing people who gesticulate a lot and have very expressive facial or body movements? [more inside]
posted by lychee on Feb 21, 2007 - 7 answers

I don't hate babies, but . . .

What should I say/do to be polite about someone's baby? [more inside]
posted by Listener on Feb 9, 2007 - 44 answers

de-drooping my drawers

Is it crass for a man to tighten his belt in public? [more inside]
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! on Feb 5, 2007 - 44 answers

Job Description: Classified

How to tell a family friend that I don't want his help finding me a job in his line of work? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 23, 2006 - 15 answers

Language & Kids at work

How should I speak when someone brings their kids into a coarse-language-OK area? [more inside]
posted by Invoke on Nov 18, 2005 - 48 answers

I would like to be more polite

In (some) languages, why is the conditional so frequently related to politeness? [more inside]
posted by ORthey on Sep 27, 2005 - 25 answers

Is it misogynistic to use the "C-word?"

Is it considered misogynous to use "the C-word" ? It had never even occured to me that it might be until my sister asked that I never use it as it was "so anti-women." At the right moment, it's SUCH a useful word, but I don't want to appear to be "anti-women", since I'm not . Is my sister's view unusual?
posted by bunglin jones on Jan 17, 2005 - 112 answers

Long Distance Conflicts

My best friend, who lives about 300 miles away from me, and I had made plans to get together for Christmas, along with our other best friend, for whom I paid 600 bucks to fly out here so we all could be together. Now 300-mile away best friend has e-mailed me with a weak excuse and cancelled his visit here. I know he's not adjusting well to his new home, and seems to be isolating himself from everyone, including me. I'm hurt and angry. How best to address this situation?
posted by anonymous on Dec 19, 2004 - 7 answers

Saying No

What do you say or do when someone out of the Blue - generally a fellow user who rarely comments and so is quite new to you - suddenly e-mails for the first time saying he or she will be in town, is interested in something you could help with and would like to have a drink with you?

It's clearly a friendly invitation but how do you politely decline, without having to lie and/or appearing to be a stuffed shirt?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 21, 2004 - 45 answers

Fish and Houseguests

Dealing with parents: How to say 'no'? They want to make an extended visit beyond anything we find reasonable. More behind the door... [more inside]
posted by Goofyy on May 20, 2004 - 14 answers

Etiquette Question

i want to be polite. Is there an alternative honorific to Miss and Ma'am which is age indiscriminate? [more inside]
posted by quin on Feb 10, 2004 - 16 answers

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