Dealing With Nosy People
Did you know that you do not have to answer every question you are asked?
“How much did that cost?” “Are you still single?” “How old are you?” “When do you plan to have children?” “Who did you vote for?” Questions like these make us cringe!
Sometimes people are unaware that their question is awkward. Other times, people are simply nosy and rude. When asked an inappropriate question, give others the benefit of the doubt and resist the urge to fight rudeness with rudeness. Instead, handle cringeworthy questions with grace by following these three tips:
1. Be prepared. Being polite does not meant that you must answer every question that comes your way. Decide in advance what topics are off limits and how you will respond. Choose to maintain your composure and take the high road.
2. Redirect. Change topics and provide information that you want to share, using humor and a genuine smile when possible. For example, “I am married to my job right now. Work is going great!” An abrupt topic change hopefully communicates that you do not plan to answer the unwanted question. You can also turn the tables by asking a question in return. “How is your family?”
3. Be direct. “I am not comfortable answering that question.” Then, you can either let silence hang in the air or push the conversation in another direction.
Whether you choose to redirect or be direct, you get to control the personal information you share with others and how they will remember you.