What is the Sandbox?

This "Sandbox" is a place where InterpersonalSkills.SE users can get feedback on prospective questions they wish to post. This is useful because writing a clear and fully specified question on the first try can be difficult. There is a much better chance of your question being well received if you post it in the Sandbox first.

To post a question to the Sandbox: Post an answer to this post with the content of your proposed question. You can create as many answers as you have proposed questions, but it is recommended that you only work on one question at a time. The content of the post should be as close as possible to the format you would use when asking on the main site. If you would like, you may add a section at the bottom explaining what parts of the proposed question you are most worried about (See the WorldBuilding Sandbox FAQ for more information on suggested syntax).

Once you have posted your proposed question, users will be able to comment on it with feedback. You can then respond to their feedback with comments of your own, or make edits to your post to attempt to address their feedback (after editing, be sure to comment to notify the user that you have taken their advice). The feedback/edit cycle can go on for as long as needed until either you are confident that your question is ready to be asked on the main site, or you've decided the question just won't work.

When you think your question is ready for the public, go ahead and post it to the main site. To help keep this sandbox clean, you should edit your post here so that it contains the title and URL of the posted question, and nothing else. Regardless of whether or not you decided to post to the main site, once you are done with your Sandbox post, you should delete it. This will not completely delete the post, but it will get it out of the way so that new proposed questions can be more easily located.

Keep the Sandbox clean. In order to keep the Sandbox clean users are encouraged to look out for questions that have not seen any activity in some time. If you come across a question draft that has not seen any activity from the author in the form of edits to the draft and comments as responses to other people's comments you should leave a comment. In the comment you should ask if the user is still working on the question draft and remind him that his post might be deleted in the future if there is no further activity. If you see a question draft that has not seen any activity for at least 30 days and that has had a comment asking if the author is still working on the question draft for at least a week you should flag the post for moderator attention and ask for deletion. This helps to keep the Sandbox clean in cases where the author has abandoned his question draft.

Delete your comments when they no longer apply. It's normal that the OP will incorporate the feedback they get into their posts. Please make it easy for others to see which comments are still relevant to the discussion by removing your obsolete ones.

Use votes sparingly. Up- and Downvotes in the Sandbox should be used sparingly as the drafts here are supposed to be questions that would not fit the guidelines of the Main site in their current form. Only upvote if you think a draft is ready for the Main site and only downvote if you think that a question is just not a good fit, no matter how much the OP works on the draft. In any case, please write a comment to explain your voting. We don't want to unnecessarily discourage the OP, but we also don't want them to waste their time.

Please avoid answering questions here. I know it's tempting, but answering the question in a comment will clog the comments and make it harder to see good guidance. If you have an answer for the proposed question, simply wait for it to be posted to the main site, and answer it there.

Please make sure you wait at least a day after posting into the Sandbox to give a range of people time to see the question and respond.

The Sandbox works best if you sort posts by "active" (click here to do so).

  • Regarding this sandbox, what do you think of this feature request on Meta Stack Exchange? – gparyani Oct 12 '18 at 4:12
  • @gparyani I've upvoted, as it'd be a cool feature, but it's definitely not super necessary, as I or someone else would've edited your question into the correct format if it wasn't. This is what happened with the other question currently in the sandbox as well. – scohe001 Oct 12 '18 at 13:23
  • Why is this needed? – tuskiomi Mar 11 at 4:50
  • 1
    @tuskiomi sometimes it is difficult to get a question that is in your head good and on topic immediately. If you’d post that to the main site without a thought, it would possibly get downvotes and/or closed before it can be improved into a good question. It is often difficult to get a question that once had a negative appearance back in a good light, even if it turned into a good question. Moreover, the sandbox gives users more time to think about what they want for the question; there is no rush to get it reopened or to stop a downvote stream. It’s not mandatory, though! – Belle Mar 11 at 9:38

Answers containing graduated questions will be deleted. This is designed to be a repository for all those questions that have graduated. It is a community wiki answer, so add in your question here, at the end of the list once it is posted on the main site!

  1. How can I encouragingly critique my budding photography friend?
  2. Encouraging bystanders to step up
  3. How to avoid conflict refusing to honor kid naming traditions
  4. How do I make it known to a group of friends that I need a little more patience to communicate with?
  5. How can I decline to help my teacher with their personal IT problem?
  6. How do I help break the ice between Alice and Bob after past drama?
  7. How to press to receive updates without sounding obnoxious?
  8. Breaking up well
  9. How to help/advise a separated couple find an agreeable solution that does the least harm to their child during their turmoil?
  10. How to tell people that you will not go to their party without them taking it personally?
  11. How do I let someone from a different culture know that they are doing something rude?
  12. What is "holding space" and how do I do it?
  13. How to communicate to my aunt that she made an honest mistake when buying food for a family meal?
  14. How to tell a close friend they've been cheated on when the cheater is my good friend
  15. When should one do "la bise" in France?
  16. How do I tell students at a school I volunteer at to stop flirting with me?
  17. Tactfully declining a family Thanksgiving invitation
  18. Going to live in someone else's house--how to ask for rules?
  19. How can I tell if I'm being a bother when asking for help?
  20. How can I help my friend accept that the relationship is over?
  21. Gently turning down undesired physical contact/setting boundaries in a nightclub environment
  22. How can I defuse a violent argument between two people?
  23. Could expressed attraction be an absolute prevention of someone feeling attraction to me?
  24. How many time should you try to call someone if the other person is not answering?
  25. Untangling the intersections of transphobia, fetishization, and reality
  26. public transport: how to know (non-verbally) if someone needs a seat?
  27. How can I be assertive without being labeled as difficult?
  28. Telling my cousin that she might want to learn more about cultural appropriation
  29. How to avoid semantic noise during a regular conversation?
  30. How to determine which gesture of appreciation will be the most effective?
  31. How can I help someone become more assertive?
  32. What is the etiquette for responding to someone thanking me for doing my job?
  33. Contacting a friend when I haven't heard from them in weeks
  34. When sitting, how to non-verbally communicate that someone is invading your personal space?
  35. Communicating that I don't appreciate being repeatedly pressed to do something
  36. How do I deescalate a situation in which two people are arguing, and other people are calling for them to be banned?
  37. How to interact with a person asking for change without giving them false hope?
  38. Mediating Between a Parent with High Expectations and a Defensive Sibling
  39. On what to compliment someone with anorexia in order to improve their body image?
  40. Discussing my noisy pet with the neighbors
  41. How to ask my manager for a part-time?
  42. Tactfully avoiding sharing food with a friend
  43. How do I determine my boss's position on transgender rights?
  44. Showing a homeless person that you care about their well-being
  45. How to initiate a conversation with a person who recently had transition but you were not in touch with them?
  46. Asking to be made aware of a surprise because of anxiety issues
  47. How do I reconnect with a friend after they tried once and I failed to respond
  48. How can I communicate to my mother that her complaints about me make me feel like I'm not enough?
  49. What is the etiquette around greetings in online communication in India?
  50. How to stay as the well-wisher/friend without escalating her feeling for me?
  51. How to ask my mother to stop giving me unsolicited (health related) advices?
  52. How to tell someone that I'm on the autism spectrum while mitigating the risk of not been believed?
  53. How can I have a conversation with my fiancé about a subject he doesn't want to talk about?
  54. How to deal with mild verbal aggressiveness in debates?
  55. How to respond to challenges about using the women's restroom as a trans woman
  • Can I suggest removing the numbering and reversing the order of the list so that it is from youngest to oldest? I know may be biased as I plan to add a question to this list shortly, but it seems unfair draw attention away from new questions to those which are (potentially years) older, and are thus more likely to be already answered. – Notso Oct 3 '18 at 11:29
  • 5
    @Notso this answer is more an archive of what's been in the Sandbox for those users below the rep requirement to see all of the deleted answers below. I wouldn't be so worried about drawing attention to your post. If you've just posted it and it's getting answers/revisions it will consistently be toward the top of active which far more users check than this meta answer ;) – scohe001 Oct 3 '18 at 15:02
  • @scohe001 Fair enough! – Notso Oct 3 '18 at 17:41

How do I share my problems to a friend in a way that helps her?


I have a friend that is going through a lot. She is in a critical condition at this point.

So far I have been supporting her the best way I could. Being there for her, cheering her up, etc. However it seems that what I am doing doesn't really help, or at the very least she needs more help.

I know that in the situation she is right now, many people feels misunderstood, also I know she knows other people in similar situations, however those people aren't doing well either, and in any case they are not close to her.

I want to share with her that I understand her more than she thinks. To show her there is light at the end of the tunnel, or basically there are other ways to deal with things and things can and will get better. And also that the advice I generally give her come from a knowing place, and not an outsider.

I have experienced and experience in general things similar to her, although my experience has been less extreme.

I want to share with this minimizing any negative impact on her and maximizing any positive impact. Like feelings of being understood.

I don't want her to worry about me, and I don't her to feel like she is a failure because seemingly I have similar experiences and I am doing better. Also I don't want her to feel like I am minimizing her problems or patronzing her.

How do I share my problems and knowledge of the situation in a way that helps and doesn't hurt her? She is at a time she needs all the help she can get and no more hurt.

Sandbox related stuff:

  • It is the first time I am using the sandbox, so please forgive me if I am doing it wrong. I am following @Ælis post as a template. (thanks @AGirlHasNoName for showing me this sandbox!)
  • I want to ask this question without giving specific information because I believe it applies to many different cases. For example a person going trhough a very rough patch at work, or having health or mental issues, etc. However I don't know how to phrase it properly so it makes sense. Does it make sense?
  • Is this question a good fit for IPS? How should I update it so it is a good fit?
  • 2
    1. Your Sandbox etiquette is perfect--thanks for contributing! 2. I think you're right to worry about the general wording--it's definitely going to make this difficult to answer/borderline too broad. I know you want to keep things general, but if you give specifics, it will make the question a lot more answerable (and likely make it a better question too!). 3. Again I think giving more specific information here will help. I feel as it stands this may be too broad/hypothetical. – scohe001 Nov 6 '19 at 16:19

Partner keeps convincing me to do new adult activities, how can I delay future suggestions?

My partner had a birthday last week and they persuaded me to let them make a video of us being intimate. That week also had the whole Valentines thing going on, so they wanted something romantic for it. They wouldn't put it online or show anyone, but it makes me a little uncomfortable.

They've done so much for me over the years that I feel like I'm taking advantage if they ask me to do something and I don't do it. They're not intentionally guilt tripping me, so I don't want to ask in a way that makes it seem like I'm blaming them.

I do enjoy new things, but it's been really busy and it becomes a little overwhelming when they're trying to do new things this frequently. How can I communicate to them that I want to keep doing new things, but that it's stressful when there's such a small break in between them and that it's difficult to reject them if they're so forceful about it?

Sandbox related stuff:

  • I'm not sure how to add tags here. I was thinking maybe the "saying no" tag, not sure what others just yet.
  • I pretty much copied the previous question format, I hope that's ok.
  • Let me know if there's any information that's needed, or if there are changes to make it on topic or whatever.
  • 3
    Hi temp, welcome. I think your question could do with some focus. I get the impression that you believe just saying "No, I don't want that" won't work. If you could incorporate why that won't work into your answer, I think your question would be better. Did you already try anything? What happened? – Belle Feb 17 at 16:26
  • Hey! I'd like to know if you've already seen this question about declining a specific sex act, and this one about setting boundaries for fetishes/BDSM... It would probably help if you could point out how your question isn't just another 'talk about sex'/'set a sex boundary' question, to avoid it ending up as a duplicate from one of those. What makes your situation unique? – Tinkeringbell Feb 17 at 20:49
  • @Belle They always do so much for me and they end up spending so much time and money on me that I'd feel terrible if I just said "No, I don't want that." I was so busy with the new semester that I didn't have an opportunity to finds gifts for them, so when they suggested the video as a present it seemed like a good idea at the time. – temp Feb 17 at 23:15
  • @Tinkeringbell I'm not sure if the first one applies very well since I sorta want to try new things, just not at the frequency they're being suggested to me. The second one might have some parts that apply, but I'm out of time right now. Can I take a look and get back to you tomorrow? – temp Feb 17 at 23:19
  • Sure, Sandbox posts are in no hurry :) – Tinkeringbell Feb 18 at 7:36
  • @Tinkeringbell I updated the question a little. – temp Feb 18 at 23:06
  • Your update seems to focus on reducing your feeling of guilt, which is unfortunately not on topic here. You may want to communicate your feelings of guilt though. Maybe you can go for a question about telling your partner their behavior makes you feel guilty and you’d like to set boundaries about “guilt tripping”? – Belle Feb 19 at 7:24
  • @Belle Oh dear... I'll try and make it more on topic this evening. I don't think they're intentionally guilt tripping me, so I don't want to make it seem like I'm blaming them for anything. – temp Feb 19 at 12:17
  • @temp That seems like a good thing to add to your question. You could ask how you can communicate to them that their actions make it difficult for you to say no in (I guess) the moment, but you do want activities, just slower? – Belle Feb 19 at 12:22
  • @Belle Good idea. I updated the question. I think the title should change, but I'm not sure what it should be right now. Also I'm not sure about length limits on it. – temp Feb 20 at 0:10
  • @temp sorry to leave you hanging, life got in the way. I see Belle gave excellent advice in the meantime though ;) Don't worry about length limits, you're nowhere near that one yet ;) – Tinkeringbell Feb 20 at 19:22
  • @Tinkeringbell No worries! I'm at school for the first part of the day and my partner is around in the evening, so I don't have many opportunities to check this anyways. – temp Feb 20 at 21:46
  • @Tinkeringbell I figured out how to add tags. Let me know if there are any that would be appropriate. – temp Feb 28 at 0:04

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