“Why are you still single?”
“When are you going to have children?”
“Do you plan on getting married anytime soon?”
“Why don’t you have a girlfriend?”
Now that I have reached the age of 40, my romantic aspirations are no longer a topic of conversation at family gatherings. (However, there is that one person who often makes snide and snarky remarks with the sole purpose of pushing my buttons and disturbing my sense of peace. Oh well. There has to be offensive people and difficult circumstances in our lives to prompt us to grow and to mature as the Lord wants us to.)
Otherwise, in the context of polite conversation, there is a succession of well-meaning folks who can’t help but to ask the same nosy questions every Valentine’s Day.
Does this ever happened to you? How do you handle discourteous people when they overstep boundaries? How do you respond to inappropriate questions?
Most of us are caught off guard. Especially when the remark or question is way over-the-top or out-of-bounds. When the unmistakable intention of the person is to embarrass, to wound or to insult. You can just see the smugness on her face and hear the contempt in his voice. For a split moment (or two), I want to hurl an offensive (but witty) comeback to cut him or her down to size real quick. And to punch him out.
But getting back to more benign social interactions . . . It’s an awkward moment that gives you pause as you try to figure out how to respond without giving away information you would rather keep private. Of course factors such as your relationship to the person, your age, social expectations and the particular setting should be considered. But don’t feel obligated to divulge anything you are not comfortable with. If you don’t wish to share, stand your ground.
Granted, rude questions are usually asked by those who are simply curious. But then there are those who are looking to pass judgment, wanting to give advice or fishing to spread gossip.
Equip yourself so you are not caught off guard. Nosy questions are to be expected. I have found these types of responses helpful . . .
- “I have a policy not to discuss that topic with anyone it doesn’t concern.”
- “I’m sorry, but I find that question to be too personal and I’d rather not respond.”
- “That’s not a question I feel comfortable answering. Let’s talk about something else.”
- “Why do you want to know?”
- “I don’t discuss that aspect of my life.”
- “That is a personal matter I’d rather not discuss.”
The last thing you want to do is use a sarcastic or smart aleck tone with the person and leave them thinking you’re just too sensitive or obnoxious. Remain calm and controlled in your response. You may even use some humor. Don’t give rude behavior unnecessary attention. Just move on and tactfully help the nosy person do the same.
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” – Colossians 4:5, 6 (English Standard Version)
Regardless if you’re attracted to men or women, how do you respond to prying and inappropriate questions about your relationship status and/or your sexuality?
As always, your comments are welcomed below.
© Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com, 2015.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
How to answer rude questions. How to answer nosy questions.