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 peoples 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

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?
  • 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
  • 2
    @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

Communicating that I don't appreciate being repeatedly pressed to do something

A close family member, Ann, has been trying to get me to do XYZ for years. She'll text me every now and then asking if I've done it yet. Every time we see each other she'll no doubt bring it up. She's been close to fanatical about XYZ. She'll call me and preach about how I should be doing this.

Recently, she finally began to listen to my reasons of why I don't think XYZ is a good idea for me. And--amid the preaching--she actually made some entirely valid points about why maybe this is a good idea for me. I've been thinking about this for the last few days, and I think I may give XYZ a shot.

I'd like to tell Ann as much, and let her know what she said to convince me and my reasons for doing this (as it'll undoubtedly come up the next time I see her anyways).

However, I'd like to make it absolutely clear that I do not approve of her methods. I do not appreciate being constantly hounded after on this point and having this brought up every time I see her despite my (prior) obvious refusal. My fear though, is that even if I express these feelings, when I say that I am in fact going to try XYZ, that's all she'll hear.

How can I impress upon her how little I appreciate her behavior despite me agreeing with her?

Sandbox Stuff

  • I'm really not a fan of the title, but I can't think of a more concise way to phrase that. If you have any ideas, please let me know! (thanks @Rainbacon and @Ælis!)

  • I don't want to go into details about the nature of what XYZ actually is. Do you think that's a problem? Do I need to give more info on XYZ or is this good as is?

  • Am I missing a good tag for this one? I couldn't really find anything that'd fit well so I went with . Is there something better?

  • I think you are fine to not give details on what XYZ is, and if you went into more detail about it, that could lead to off-topic answers – Rainbacon May 23 at 14:20
  • I also think that for the title you might be able to just focus more on the "I don't appreciate being pestered" part and less on the "I agree with her point" part – Rainbacon May 23 at 14:21
  • For the title, maybe this would do it: "How to let my aunt know that I don't like being pressed into doing something?" – Ælis May 23 at 14:25
  • Ooh that's a good point with the title @Rainbacon, I like that. – scohe001 May 23 at 14:37
  • I think the question looks fine to me now. the nature of XYZ may not matter, the point of the question is not whether you should do XYZ, but the manner in which she approached you. – ElizB May 23 at 14:52
  • I think that the specifics of what XYZ is definitely might matter (that depends on what it is), and we can't assess that without already knowing what it is. But as the general case situation where it doesn't matter what XYZ is definitely exists, I think it's fine to not expand. It could matter if XYZ is a one-off thing, or a major lifestyle commitment, or something like that. It might help to describe (briefly) what things were like before Ann started listening to your reasons-- did she refuse to listen before, did you not bother to engage before, etc. – Upper_Case 2 days ago
  • @Upper_Case I can post XYZ here on the Sandbox if you think it'd help you guys review the question. However, it does have a political background, which I feel might make the question a bit polarizing. I can try to reduce that, but I'm not sure how much it'll help. – scohe001 2 days ago
  • @scohe001 I think it's unlikely to be necessary, or even especially useful. I only mentioned it to describe that it might matter (for example: if XYZ is taking your prescribed seizure medication, that is very different than if it's meeting her feng shui consultant). If you are sure that the specifics don't matter, the stack should honor that and it shouldn't degrade the question. But, as only you know what XYZ is, only you can make that judgment. – Upper_Case 2 days ago

How do I deescalate a situation in which two people are arguing, and other people are calling for them to be banned?

I am a member of a Discord server that was created as a place for a community to move to after the place where the community formed was shut down. (For some context, see here, although not exactly necessary for the question.) There are actually two servers, one with a slightly bigger population (intentionally kept separate from the second). We'll call the bigger one "Nostalgia", and the smaller "Rainbow". The average age of the users in the servers is between 15 and 23.

I am technically a moderator of the Nostalgia server - the only one aside from the creator of the server. I am a regular member of the Rainbow server (and so's the creator of the Nostalgia one).

Recently, there was just a situation in the Nostalgia server where two users were arguing over a topic. One was of the opinion that going to high school graduation was worthless; the other felt it was important. At this point, I wasn't online.

Now, neither of these two users are in the Rainbow server. While they're arguing in Nostalgia, a discussion starts up in Rainbow about how, essentially, they find one of the users arguing to be... annoying. There are calls for the creator of the server, who's hanging around, to ban them. She doesn't know what to do; she doesn't really want to step in and be "the mod", and especially doesn't want to ban anyone, but feels like she has to do something, as the complaints continue in the Rainbow server.

So, so as to do something, she posts a message in the Nostalgia server, with an "@everyone", giving a reminder to be polite, and not be mean, and that she doesn't want to ban anyone.

Now, in reaction to this, one of the users who is arguing posts a defensive "nobody's being mean here" message, and then continues the conversation that started this whole thing.

At this point, I come online.

What can I do to deescalate, from this point forwards?

This would ideally involve stopping the conversation as soon as possible, getting the smaller server to stop calling for one user's removal, and not to make any enemies. I'm friends with all of the users involved, although more so with one of the users arguing than the other.

Note: I have a self-answer with what I did, that I feel worked, but I'd be interested to hear other online deescalation tactics that may help in future, similar situations.

  • 2
    This "smaller server" and "bigger server" things is a little bit hard to follow. Maybe you should call them "Main" for the bigger server and "Side" for the smaller one (or give them any other name, just avoid repeating "server" would be better I think). Or you could also call them bigger and smaller (with the different font) – Ælis May 23 at 20:04
  • @Ælis - I've edited, is that better? – Arwen Undómiel yesterday
  • Yep, definitively easier to understand :) – Ælis yesterday

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