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What to Do When Someone Makes an Assumption About Your Orientation

What is the best way to politely inform strangers.

By
Adam Lowe,

You should also apply a similar filter when questioning someone you don’t know.  Just consider if the question you are asking might make the person uncomfortable if she was different in terms of race, religion, etc., from the way you assumed she was (and we do all make assumptions about people all the time).

How to Avoid Assumptions

In the particular case of asking someone about their spouse, you may use more inclusive terms so as not to make someone uncomfortable because of a narrow assumption.  You may ask something like, “Are you married or partnered?” or, “Do you have a significant other in your life?”  By asking in this way, you will make it easier for people to give you an honest answer without feeling awkward or impolite.

So here’s hoping that you only assume the best of other people, and thank you for listening to quick and dirty tips for a more polite life.

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Gay Couple image courtesy of Shutterstock

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About the Author

Adam Lowe
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