Taking into consideration the notes left in answers below, the help page has been updated. Feel free to leave any commentary on the text.
This site really needs content for the help center's "On Topic" page and since it didn't seem to be happening, I did it myself but it needs your voice. We won't be able to make everyone happy with all of the rules here because... well... what the rules should be is something we're probably not all going to agree with 100%.
Rules for discussion.
- If you think a section needs rewording, post an answer quoting it and how it should be edited/improved. If you have more illustrative links than what I've used (or links for things I haven't linked to meta) include them.
- If you think a section should be removed, post an answer quoting it and why it should be removed - quote any meta posts that refute it, etc.
- If you think a section is missing, post an answer and explain what's missing, why it should be included and cite a meta post that supports it.
- Vote on the answers to show agreement or disagreement. Feel free to comment on answers to support or disagree.
Most important rule - BE RESPECTFUL & CONSTRUCTIVE.
Bickering and derision will not be tolerated. We all want this site to grow and be helpful to everyone let's keep this discussion respectful and constructive.
What topics can I ask about here?
Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange is a question & answer site for people looking to better understand or improve their interpersonal skills.
Questions about the following subjects are on topic for this site:
- using or understanding interpersonal interactions to resolve specific problems or prevent problems from occurring with a specific goal in mind. This includes interactions with
- family - spouse/partner/date, parents, children, siblings, etc. (note that questions about interacting with your children may be better suited to Parenting)
- work associates - boss, coworkers, staff, etc (note that questions specific to the workplace environment may be better suited to The Workplace)
- school associates - professors/teachers, colleagues, students, roommates, etc (note that questions specific to the college-level academic world may be better suited to Academia)
- everyone else - Friends/Acquaintances/Strangers
- the written and unwritten - but well-established and expected - rules or conventions of behavior in a specific setting (also called etiquette).
- understanding social norms as they relate to interpersonal interactions - why do we interact the way we do?
- understanding theories and concepts commonly associated with interpersonal skills. - What is [theory/concept] or How do I use [theory/concept] to achieve [goal]?
Questions must be specific enough to be answered
Because interpersonal interactions are very complex, we require that questions be specific - and preferably that they relate to a situation you are actually in. We ask that you provide sufficient detail including the context of the situation and any cultural information of the people involved (to the degree you are comfortable providing it). As this is an international site, what is common in one culture may be rare or even completely inappropriate in others so knowing the relevant culture/s can vastly change the appropriate response to a question.
Questions failing to provide this detail, asking overly broad, general questions, or questions that are purely hypothetical, will likely be closed. Please endeavor to provide this initially or add it to your question if requested.
Questions should focus on the Interpersonal Interaction
Interactions between people happen in relation to just about any subject. On IPS, our focus is the interpersonal interaction, not the subject of the interaction. While the context is important to the situation, it is secondary to the interpersonal interaction. As such, questions (and answers and comments) should focus on the interpersonal concerns rather than the contextual ones.
What questions are off topic here?
While this site allows questions that meet the Good Subjective requirements, some questions are too subjective for us. This includes questions that:
- lack a clear goal we can address. We can provide solutions to achieve goals but we can not tell you what your goal should be. Questions should state the preferred outcome of the situation clearly.
- ask us to adjudicate “right” and “wrong” in a situation or whether something is rude/racist/sexist/[insert other discriminatory terms]. If you are having a dispute with your spouse or coworker, we are not going to settle the dispute for you or give you points to argue. Focus your question on resolving your issue, rather than whether there is an issue or not.
Other types of questions that are off topic include questions that:
- ask us to rewrite text or otherwise tell you what to say. We are not an editing service. Questions should focus on how to generally write or decide what to say so that you can tailor them to your situation.
- violate the Stack Exchange “Be Nice” rules by encouraging bigotry of any kind, harassment, or abuse of others. While not all interpersonal interactions meet these guidelines, our goals are to encourage respectful interpersonal skills.
This site is specifically not here to discuss issues and disputes between users on the Stack Exchange Network. This site is not the “court of public opinion” of Stack Exchange. Please refer all concerns related to Stack Exchange to
- the child meta of the site you are using
- Meta Stack Exchange
- the staff directly using the Contact link at the bottom of any page.
If you’re still unsure whether your question fits on the site, please check Interpersonal Skills Meta to see if there are any discussions related to what you would like to ask. If there aren’t any, please go ahead and ask the question on the main site and the users will help guide you to improve it if it does not meet our standards. If it is closed, please ask for help improving it on meta. For more information, see our discussion here.
Alternately, if you have 20 reputation total on the Stack Exchange Network, feel free to visit our main chat room, The Awkward Silence, to get help deciding whether your question fits here.
Thank you for your attention.