When you visit a home that is not your own, you adhere to the rules.
That is just common decency.
Even though it may seem awkward and uncomfortable, you deal.
Redditor sebastian25525 wanted to hear about the times we've had to participate in certain events, in certain ways, when in the home of others. They asked:
"What is the weirdest thing you had to do at someone else’s house because of their culture/religion?"
I wish I had some sort of tradition.
“grandfather”Water Smiling GIFGiphy
"Went over to my Laotian friends house when I was little and upon entering his house he said I had to remove my shoes and bow to his grandfather. When he said 'grandfather' he pointed to a fish mounted on the wall. Thinking it was some kind of reincarnation thing I did it and was instantly berated and laughed at by his whole family."
Just Like A Pill
"So, I was invited to my friend's grandmother's home for Thanksgiving. I was new to the area and I had no family near so I graciously accepted. My buddy, Jason, gave me the breakdown of his extended family that was going to be in attendance. His parents were divorced but would both be attending. His grandparents were married but legally separated and lived apart, but Grandfather would attending."
"His Uncle Carl would be there with his 'mail order bride' and their young son. His other Uncle Ted, was openly gay and battling AIDS. He and his lover would also be there. So I have set the stage, you can probably picture all of them in your mind. In person, it exceeded my imagination. Ted’s boyfriend wore cowboy chaps to dinner. They were all very colorful and animated, the pre dinner discussions were riveting."
"As we were seated for the meal, Jason’s grandmother (Sara) took out an Altoids tin, took two and began passing it around the table. I watched as everyone took 1-2 and immediately took them and washed them down with a drink. Jason got the tin and did the same. I asked him, why is everyone swallowing Altoids before supper? They all laughed. He said oh, these are Valium."
"We learned several years ago that as we gather for Thanksgiving we drank and arguments ensued. So one year my Uncle said, we should all just take a Valium at the beginning of the meal so we can all just chill the hell out. They all laughed hysterically and agreed."
"I passed on the offer and handed the tin to Jason’s mom as next in line. And as the evening played out, they all essentially zoned out during dinner, no fights transpired, and they considered it a successful Thanksgiving. I would have never imagined this would happen, but it was a damn fun experience."
"When I was 11 I stayed at my aunt's house over the school holidays with my 13yr old brother, she had a rule that we couldn't watch any tv shows that she considered 'impressionable.' That meant no cartoons, namely Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon. We missed the end of the Cell Saga. My brother was pissed, he hasn't let it go to this day, over 20 years later."
I think this counts...
"Drank slightly-chocolaty water for a month. I think this counts. Years back I was prospecting for a field site on a very remote island in the south pacific. It was sufficiently remote that having me in the neighborhood was something of a spectacle, so as I made trips out to villages from my 'home village', I was feted along the way. I'd get to a village and the local head man and I would get to talking and they'd have a nice feast."
"These guys aren't entirely cut off from the world so one nice trade good they had was powdered milk and Ovaltine. On arriving at the second village, I noticed that they weren't exactly well-to-do, but out came the Ovaltine. Not wanting to use up their supplies, I foolishly interrupted the preparation to tell them 'that was enough'. They looked confused but handed over water with just a bit of Ovaltine floating at the top."
"It was wretched. But trying to be polite, I drank it all. And smiled. Word got around so every village I went to thereafter was informed of my 'preference.' Couldn't exactly correct them at this point as somebody might have been insulted, sooo I drank it. Kinda wonder if the next visitor benefitted from my blunders in protocol."
Being polite...Dessert Merry Happy GIF by TWICEGiphy
"Went to a friend's house for dinner a lovely meal. The whole family cleaned their plates of food then turned them over and ate dessert on the back of their plates like it was the most normal thing in the world. I copied them just to be polite."
People really do have interesting ways to celebrate and live.
Diablo 2diablo 3 GIFGiphy
"We got yelled at for 'playing that devil game again!' We were playing Mario kart. And Bowser kept freaking his mom out. So we muted it and all was fine from then on. Meanwhile his little brother was literally playing Diablo 2 at the time in the same room. But he already had it muted so it wasn't a problem I guess."
"I once got roped into a wassailing. Marching by torchlight (literal flaming torches) down to the guys orchard to sing at the trees was a new one on me. It wouldn't have been so bad but it was just a handful of us, as in just me, my schoolfriend, his brother, and his parents. Still, we got some cider out of it."
"I guess this qualifies as "culture:"
"My sister was dating a man that had been raised in a nudist colony. He took her to meet his family at their house at the colony. She was a tad surprised when his mother immediately says 'there is a hook on the bathroom door for your clothes.' My sister proceeds to spend the entire evening naked with his folks. Her BF had told her before they went that it would be her option but I guess his parents didn't think so."
"When I lived in Antwerp (Belgium), I once was stopped by an elderly, woman on the street. She was asking for help inside her house. Guiding me through a house where the temperature was way too hot, she stopped at every radiator and asked me to turn them down."
"In the end we went to the kitchen, where some jewish women and children were watching me silently while I was putting all the burning gas stoves on a low heat. Then she showed me out, thanked me and closed the door. In Antwerp there is a big community of hasidic jews, I can imagine this was during sabbath."
Time and PlaceBig Brother What GIF by Big Brother After DarkGiphy
"I work for the ambulance service and I was asked to take my shoes off before attending to their mother in cardiac arrest. Politely reminded them that there was a time and place."
When in Rome... so as people do...
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Motor mouths. Babblers. Jabber Jaws. Gossipmongers. Chatterboxes.
Whatever you call them, they're a rare combination of pointless information and undying persistence. And, like a vortex, they feel impossible to elude.
But lucky for us, Reddit was on the case recently.
A bunch of people on the site shared the most expedient ways to *politely* get a very talkative person to shut their traps, finally.
No_Photograph_4520 asked, "Hey people of Reddit, what's a nice way of telling a talkative person to shut up?"
First came the schemes. These Redditors were masters of subtlety. They have no interest confronting the blabbermouth directly.
Instead, they pull the strings in just the right way to get the heck out of there.
The Window You Needed
"In person: drop something. As you bend down to pick it up change the topic or use an exit line. The drop should cause the talkative person to momentarily lose their momentum allowing you to make the transition."
The Old Bait and Switch
"Kind of selfish, but drag another person into the conversation, then sneak away. I've had to do this before, and it works pretty much every time." -- MrAlek360
"My husband does this to me with his mom when she's drunk. Jerk. 😂" -- MrsEyepo
Flipping It Upside Down
"On the phone I say 'Hey, I'm going to let you go now.' " -- thandiwe0429
"Tell them you're going to go do something essential helps, like taking a sh!t or returning video tapes" -- BoysenberryPrize856
"My old boss was this way. I freaking love her but I always tell people that if you are going to talk to her, make sure you have an exit strategy. If that is a meeting in 15 minutes or that you have to help someone else ... ANYTHING ... But she will talk to you for 90 minutes easy"
The Older You Are, the More Acceptable This One Is
"Do it the British way. Slap your thigh and loudly proclaim 'well must be going' then just walk away." -- Key_Barber_4161
"In my family, we do the thigh slap, followed by a loud and meaningless, '...Welp!' and then an abrupt exit." -- erinberrypie
"My grandpa was known for doing similar, but saying instead "it must be getting past your bedtime" when they were over visiting at his house as a semi polite way of saying get out." -- Cerulean_Shades
Others were fully willing to confront the situation directly. Sometimes a little honesty goes a very long way, even if it does make for an awkward couple seconds.
Take Your Pick
"My sister is like this sometimes, so I'll say, 'I want to give you my full attention, but right now I'm watching something/feeling tired/need to go and plan dinner, etc. Can you hold that thought until later?' "
"At work I use the same tactic, like, 'I'm in the middle of something (even if you're not pretend you are), can this wait or is this critical for right now?' "
"Another tactic I use is to let them know right away how much time they have: 'Before you start, I need to use the bathroom/make a phone call/check an email. I can give you three minutes, or we can talk later.' "
"Nine times out of ten the person will back down. When you are feeling ready to talk again, make sure you thank them and let them know you're ready."
No More Space In There
"I tell my kids 'my ears are tired' " -- m3u2r9
"I do this too! Or more often 'My ears are full.' Started when my kid was little and still use it with a middle school ager who talks all.the.time." -- Foreignfig
A Bit Brusk, But Efficient
"I had a talker as a roommate in college. 'Look. I know you're excited about being away from home for the first time, but I have an 8 o'clock class, and I need to go to sleep. Good night.' Didn't work. Repeated in various ways several times. I finally said, 'Shut up.' Roommate got all huffy."
" 'Fine. Be huffy. Just be quiet about it.' "
Missing the Cues
"If someone is overly talkative to the point where you find this is a problem, they are usually aware of it. In my experience the best bet is to just be blunt about it. If you need to leave or do something say so, if they are irritating or you can't keep up with the conversation just say so."
"Frankly it's more rude of THEM to not be aware of your body language and disinterest or not considering your time."
Worth Ruffling Some Feathers
"Interrupt them and tell them that they are kind of overwhelming you, Apologize for being rude but just be real. Usually people who talk a lot are pretty aware that they talk a lot and shouldn't be too offended by you just being honest but in a nice, more friendly tone."
"I'm a quiet person and I will always speak up if somebody is driving me fu**ing crazy. It's worth it."
Short, Sweet, To the Point
"Former neighbour was nice enough but wanted to chat all the time. If I was carrying something, I'd say I should really get this food in the fridge. Or - nice chatting but I really have to go and get back to work."
"There was this girl I had to help train at my last job. She had no concept of personal space. I often had to tell her that I really had to get back to work and couldn't sit and chat all day."
Know Your Audience
"On the phone: 'Listen, I'm gonna let you go because I need to—' get to the store/pharmacy, start dinner, get to work. Anything."
"With a stranger: 'Don't take it personally but I came here to be alone' or 'I don't want to talk right now.' Anyone who doesn't know you and can't respect the fundamental human need for solitude can take a hike."
"To a trusted loved one: 'I need to be alone in my own head now' "
"The hardest one is with a friend or coworker, in my opinion. But I think saying 'don't take this the wrong way, but I can't talk right now' "
"My personal favorite in general: 'Let's play the quiet game, first person who speaks loses.' Works great with little ones 😂"
Some people had some fun with the prompt.
These folks decided to imagine the most absurd possible way they could end a conversation with an extremely talkative person. These ideas may depart from the polite priority, but they're hilarious to imagine.
"Make your face appear worried and pretend that your hand is moving beyond your control, then politely pinch their lips together with your thumb and index finger." -- sosogos
"I have reached out and just pushed their lower jaw up gently. They get so surprised they do shut up for at least a few moments." -- Nomikos
Scramble Their Brains
"I don't think it's 'nice' as in 'polite,' but you can ask them why they're so quiet and just run away when they shut up for a few seconds out of confusion" -- maciej_telecaster
"That's not confusion. They are processing the sting." -- ADDeviant-again
"You've got more story than I've got time. Let's continue this later." -- Bandeth
"I actually really like this as a talker - it isn't mean, to my ears." -- cfo6
"Haha, OP said nice way, that's brutal" -- Mithrandir_The_Gray
Laughing It Off
"You're at an 11, I'm gonna need you at like a 3....max" -- Felonious_Zookeeper
"I actual use this one and it's pretty effective. In the right context, it can even be a little funny." -- CaigeSpade
So there you have it: a full list of helpful tips for the next time you found yourself trapped in an eternal, one-sided conversation.
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When I'm writing a new script and I come across characters who are destined to be enemies it's aways fun to concoct scorching insults to sling. And right away what you learn from your dramaturge is that less is more. You can eliminate twenty words and infuse them into a ferocious look that leaves the audience heaving. So you realize it's actually quite easy to keep it clean and classy by leaving foul words--though they often send the point home--out first. Hidden meanings in plain sight that leave people in tears are the best.
I bet your parents change the subject when their friends ask about you.
I freaking wish they would. Dad just had a laundry list of crap that I needed to change to be more successful.
I got straight A's, lettered in Latin and AP Physics, and took all AP classes, dad. No crap I wasn't getting out for more exercise or doing more pleasure reading-- I had 4 hours of homework a night!
In 2004 I once told a girl, "You're like Visa, everywhere I want to be". She giggled and then went on with her life.
in 2013, while drunk at a wedding after party of one of my best friends, I was sharing stories of dumb things I did as a teen and young adult to a table full of people when a very pretty lady sitting on her fiancée's lap drunkenly slurred out, "Where have you been all my life?" to which I replied, "I'm not sure, but I got here as fast as I could"...
The two of them left soon after that statement was made.
Stay backTell The Tea GIF by DreezyGiphy
I once asked a girl, "Where have you been all my life?"
Her response was, "I don't know, but I wish I was still there."
"You're a conversation starter. Not when you are around but once you leave."
- Oscar Wilde
Take the Boot
Dad's old one is "couldn't pour pee out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel."
Oh no... this one got me because at first I was picturing someone lifting the boot above their head to read the underside. Took me a few seconds to realize you would flip it over instead. 🤦🏻♂️
Turns out I couldn't pour pee out of a boot.
You own a Mirror?megan mullally nbc GIF by Will & GraceGiphy
Calling them by a characteristic or article of clothing they are wearing.
Whatever you say haircut. Or sure thing sunglasses.
It will bother them long after the comment.
I find the fact that you lived this long both surprising and disappointing.
I see that you haven't met some of my neighbors. Here's a good example. One of them lit their yard on fire, forgot they had a garden hose, ran around with a bucket trying to put it out, and then eventually remembered there was a hose.
Did I mention that they are a firefighter so none of these things ought to have happened? I am glad I don't live immediately next to them and that incident has resulted in me having less confidence in my local fire department... for obvious reasons.
Bless your Heartdumb patrick star GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
Your grades say marry rich, but your face says study harder.
Or "honey, you're not pretty enough to be this dumb."
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Sometimes, you just have to say it. You're in the presence of someone wildly hard-headed, misguided, self-absorbed, or just plain arrogant. And they're just going on and on.
You can't imagine letting this person leave this interaction without any awareness of their behavior. They need to be told and, ideally, pushed to reflect.
And yet you do not enjoy conflict. In fact, you avoid it whenever possible. These two facts--a loudmouth and pacifism--create a tiresome impasse.
But there is a solution. It's the ideal comment to hover right in that sweet spot where true conflict isn't stirred but annoyance is nonetheless expressed. It's the polite insult.
The polite insult is difficult to master but a worthy tool in your arsenal as you navigate a world full of all kinds of people. On the outside, it's nice enough to remain in the friendly tone of most interactions. And yet, if the person really thinks about it, there is no doubt what is conveyed.
Lucky for us, a Reddit thread pulled together the best of them.
Lampy5 asked, "What is your favorite polite insult?"
Fingers Crossed for Karma
"I hope your day is as pleasant as you are." -- llcucf80
"Its a solid insult for working retail because odds are they figure out what you mean while they are in the car driving away." -- runawaytoaster
"This is a staple sentence as a server/bartender" -- SpicySoggypickle
Someone's Gotta Keep Things In Check
"I'd agree with you but then we'd both be wrong." -- Oniwaban9
"Definitely using this one" -- umasa001
"I'd agree thats a good insult, but then we'd both be wrong...No, it actually is a good one, I just wanted to use it on u xD" -- kegegeam
"As per my last email..." -- TipsyPeanuts
"I once got a very nasty email from our admin staff that one of my time sheets had not been sent in, and it needed to be sent in IMMEDIATELY or the world would end. So I forwarded the same email I had sent them last week that had everything attached" -- PM_UR_NUDES_LADIES
Never Good to Be Quaint
"Well aren't you precious? (soft, super-condescending smile here)" -- Unknown_system_error
"Aww bless your heart." -- billybobjimmyjoe
"This all the way." -- ChangetheGame20
"It's more like 'you poor idiot,' or 'it must be hard being that stupid'" -- _PM_ME_YOUR_SYNTAX
"When somebody compliments themselves, I'll ask 'Who told you that?'" -- msb41
"Brutal" -- Krissy_loo
"And if the stars align, they say 'My mom,' to which you can say, 'ah yes, she just wants you to be happy.'" -- im_dead_sirius
Hovering Nicely in the Bell Curve
"It's nice that you're so ordinary." -- ReaverRogue
"You look like you'd be easy to draw." -- wesontap
"This made me chuckle! Love it." -- THE_Lena
"'Yeah, that's an idea' if I can't genuinely say it's a good idea." -- KiloRomeo0588
"'That's a... unique idea' is my go to" -- Sethrial
Odorless, Tasteless, Featureless
"If you were a spice, you would be flour." -- ItsYourBoyReckster
"That wasn't polite, that was f***ing heartless. Ouch, I wanna try it out." -- 2HrsOnTheName
All About Tone
"'good for you' said in the right condescending tone." -- immajustgooglethat
"Want a cookie works well" -- AMouse82
"'If you say so' is - I believe - the English equivalent." -- christianunionist
Take a Load Off
"'He was never overburdened by intelligence.'" -- DrumlineFreak
"Cant remember who but someone said about George bush 'he was a humble man with much to be humble about'" -- woosterthunkit
"Who ties your shoelaces for you?"
"What colour is the sky in your world?"
"Do you have someone who looks after you?"
Keeping it Neutral
"'Look at that face'"
"My ex-husband (we were married at the time) had friends who had a baby right after ours was born. I went to visit and commiserate about newborns with the wife."
"She brought out the baby and...well all I could say was 'look at that face' because while I find babies weird looking (even my own) as newborns, this one was...well...idk I feel bad saying it but fugly"
Nudging Them to Awareness
"'Oh, you're welcome!'"
"(Me pretending like I heard them say 'thank you' when they're just ungrateful.)"
"I don't care what they say about you, you're ok" -- vhfdthcfjvff
"This one's pure evil, and it's why I love it so much." -- addictivemischief
Just Posh Enough to Throw Off the Scent
"'One hardly speaks of such things'"
"My standard response to anyone who asks a question about something that is none of their damn business."
"Calling someone 'bud'" -- bigaus25
"This or 'bub' 'Hey I got some issues for you to deal with today bub. You and and young bucks out there should be able to handle it bub!'" -- FupaSmacker
"i feel like when dads do it its more... reassuring..? idk just dads give off a certain energy." -- Longjumping_Diamond5
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When you open up your home for a dinner party, game night, or a low-key catching up with friends over a couple glasses of wine, inviting them over is the easy part.
Asking them to leave, however, is a different beast.
Giving someone the boot can be awkward, especially if you have that one guest who has no concept of time and enough social graces to know they are overstaying their welcome.
There are two camps of hosts: one that has no problem being direct in declaring the party is over, and another who is courteous to a fault and doesn't want to seem rude by holding the door open to say "goodnight."
Redditor BattlCrusrBiggrLoser solicited strangers to share their effective techniques by asking:
People shared tactics that work for them, while others said they don't have time to pussyfoot around the issue.
What are your methods?
Say What You Mean
"Ask: how are you getting home? And ' help' look up their bus schedule, call a taxi or 'I/my dog can use a walk before bed, I'll walk out with you.'"
"Alternatively a direct, 'I am getting tired, I think we better call it a night...'"
"We are all adults here, can handle basic honesty and courtesy, no need to sugarcoat it."
"I had a friend ask if I needed a place to sleep. I said 'no.'"
"Didn't understand what he meant."
"Direct honesty is always better."
An Example Of An Overstaying Guest
"I have a friend who I love 'from a distance'. I care for her and want her to be happy but she is too much to handle when together. One main reason is, she doesn't understand the concept of privacy and personal space and just lacks some basic manners. She keeps asking me if she can visit me during the evening (i live alone) but i know what will follow. She will eat chips and create a mess on the sofa, fall asleep for hours , then won't go back home for the night. Next day would wake up early(i work night shifts so i sleep till the afternoon) , create noise to wake me up. Ask me in a 'friendly' way if i can make some food for her. And basically just pamper her.
This is ultra stupid so i always make up some excuse about why she can't come. I always hoped that i will do it so often that she will understand i am not comfortable. But sadly, she doesn't get the hint and still keeps asking. I just got a text again today asking if she can come."
"Try changing up the dynamic, don't meet at yours, visit hers or meet in a public place for a walk. That way you can call the shots on when it ends. If she doesn't want to go along with those plans she was never in to spending time with you, she just wanted to burden your space and use you for food and company when it suited her."
"The 'I'm getting tired' is perfect and works well if done politely."
"I just say, 'welp looks like I'm gonna have to kick you out I gotta do some cleaning before I get to bed. Have a good night! Thanks for coming! Do you have everything?'"
"I've used the ol' 'I hate to kick you out, but I have to (blah blah blah).' Doesn't feel like you're putting the blame on them for staying too long, or that you just don't want to hang out with them anymore."
Follow The Sound Of My Voice
"My father in law wanted a friend to go home once, after a long night where the friend in question kept talking and talking and didn't get the hint when my MIL brushed her teeth and went to bed. My FIL walked out of the house, his friend walked with him and kept talking, and my FIL went back in the house and closed and locked the door in front of his face. Lol."
Do As The Brits Do
"In Britain we have a universal sign for this - we slap our thighs with our hands, exhale through a pursed mouth and say 'right...' whilst standing up."
"Literally never fails."
"Welp. Jeopardy comes on in 10 minutes, so be off my property in 5 or I'll release the hounds."
"I'm from the Midwest where everyone takes 4 hours to say goodbye so when you find out please let me know."
"But in all seriousness, I have a friend that will be the last to leave a party every time, and the only way I can get him to gtfo is to tell him to GTFO. I will clean up, I'll start yawning and saying how exhausted I am, maybe even lie and say I didn't get much sleep last night and I've got to get up early the next morning. Hell, I've even put on my pajamas and started scrolling through my phone, ignoring him. Now I just tell him to leave."
"On the flip side, another friend has no problem capping all hangouts at 9:30 and saying 'I've had fun but please leave,' and I've never been offended. Anyway, moral of the story is: just tell them to leave."
When Small Cues Don't Work
"People should be paying attention and read the small cues, but if they don't, traditionally you would put the booze away. Also, you can turn off the music."
"If they still don't get it. 'I'm going to call it quits for tonight, but do finish your drink.'"
"If that all fails: I really should go to bed, it was wonderful seeing you, let me get your coat."
"I definitely had a friend who threw a Christmas party in college and at midnight politely said 'I love you fuckers but I got class tomorrow morning so get your asses out' I couldn't stop laughing at how bold she was."
How Gramps Rolls
"My grandfather used to tell people to turn off the lights before leaving because he was going to bed."
A Little Love Goes A Long Way
"I have many friends that like to stay way to long. I tell them I'm closing up. I'm tired. Y'all gotta be out of the driveway before the lights go off. And if your ever worried bout sounding rude. 'Love you bye' makes everything better."