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dealing with rude questions with style and elegance

This weekend was wonderful, we’ve just been to a family wedding. There was just the right mixture of laughter and tears, flowers and confetti, champagne and cake, grannies and babies. The perfect start for a long and happy partnership between two people, clearly besotted with each other.

Then the questions begin.

“Oooww you’ll be next – when’s the date?”

“Will you be starting a family soon?”

“Are you engaged yet?”

“Why haven’t you married her yet?” (In his defence, he’s asked and would willingly do so. It’s me that’s not interested.)

Hmm awkward, right? I don’t want to offend, nor justify myself. This is my approach to dealing with rude questions – I start small and scale up if the questions keep coming. Next time you get your version of this nosey, but probably well meant question, try them out.

1. Simply smile back

By keeping silent and acting coy, you omit responding whilst maintaining a level of politeness.

2. Be non committal

A generic “No plans/thoughts right now.” reduces the interest level in the question topic and hopefully dissuades them.

3. Switch tack

Now don’t be mean! Try to change the conversation’s direction by asking them/another a question or invite someone new to join the conversation.

If they continue, you’re left with three choices:

1. Leave the conversation with good humour

Have a sneezing or coughing fit, dash to the loo or offer to refresh everyone’s glasses. No storming off like a teenager 🙂

2. Firmly decline to answer

Recognise their good intentions and then try “That’s not something I wish to talk about” or “I’m afraid that’s personal”. Close the conversation. Full stop.

3.  Answer honestly and conclusively

Be authentic and answer the difficult question. If they’ve pushed and pushed, they may not be satisfied until you do – whether they like what they hear or not. If you value the person, be generous in your wording and say that you recognise others may feel differently, but this is your personal opinion.

So that’s how I kindly manoeuvred through a potential minefield of tricky questions this weekend.

I’d love to hear in the comments what kind of questions you get asked and how do you respond?

  • kate

    As if written for me – you’d sometimes think being a single woman at 35 was akin to being a social pariah (yes I’m happy, yes I’m having lots of fun, no I’ve just not met mr right yet) – great advice Sarae thank you! xx

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