Lack of asking. Let's say, Derek is standing in front of a closet, and someone wants to get a towel out of said closet.
The proper thing to say is:
"Could I get a towel out of the closet, please?"
However, popular culture considers this an equivalent phrase:
"The towels are in the closet."
Is the second phrase a request?
Or, how about:
"Could you answer that for me?"
is somehow the same as:
"The phone is ringing."
Since when did this happen? It makes it a bit more obvious about how society tends to be confrontational these days. Nobody asks, they state. Even "I would like a towel," would be more of a hint than describing the towel's location. Is it pride preventing one from asking for help? Or is it because our society is built on "do it yourself," that asking for help is frowned upon?
My usual answer, when confronted with a request veiled as a factual statement, is simply, "Yes, it is." Then I'M the impolite asshole (although, a humerous asshole) it seems. Just freakin' ask!
People like to do nice things for others. Give them the opportunity, you'll both feel good. If they don't act nice, well, that's their problem for being a dick. It's not your fault.