1. How to Build Positivity in Married Life? : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice

How To Deflect Unwanted Questions From Friends,relatives &acquaintances

Discussion in 'Friends & Neighbours' started by Vedhavalli, Nov 5, 2021.

  1. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Finest Post Winner

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    We come across many inquisitive friends, relatives and acquaintances and spl breed nosy parkers.
    How to avoid and deflect their questions directly from us?
    Over the years learnt to escape from people who keep asking questions, tried to ignore, few can't be ignored and avoided... how to handle them?
    Because few people don't take NO for an answer.
    I have had 1-2 following up with same question till I gave them answers.

    #Please add more ideas wrt to body language and tone.
    My Problem is that I sometimes get rude & raise voice which paints me bad. I can fight or fight

    #What's your technique to deflect questions you don't want to answer?

    These are few phrases to learn to escape from nosy parkers. Add more phrases and ideas.
    1.That's a personal question!"
    2. "That's intrusive"
    3. "I don't want to talk about it."
    4."My child doesn't like to talking about her/his business"
    5.I can't get into that now. I gotta go.
    6. Why do you bother?
    7. It doesn't matter to you
    8. Mind your business
    9. It doesn't concern you.
    10. No thanks.
    11. NO
    12. I don't want to talk about it
    13. It's too early to comment about
    14. It's not my story to tell
    15. I will get back to you on that
    16. This is not the place to talk about
    17. I don't know
    18. Why are you asking?
    19. That's an invasive question.
    20. That's a personal question.
    21. Will get back to you on that.
    22. Asking same question- how about you?
    23. Its for the best
    24. It's not my story to tell..
    25. Have to ask my spouse

    Few taken from IL threads
    Tagging the team of questionturners @guesshoo
    @Rihana @guesshoo @Laks09 @DDream @Viswamitra @anika987
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2021
    Induslady, anika987, iyerviji and 4 others like this.

  2. Needtobestrong

    Needtobestrong Platinum IL'ite

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Interesting question.
    Main question when I was working was “ how much are you earning/ what is your salary package”.. I hated it when friends or relatives would ask with intention of commotion g with their salaries or judging me based on how much I was capable of earning..
    I hated to answer this and would say “ it’s strictly confidential” with a smile, or “ it’s less that what you expect “ or “ I’m not a millionaire that’s I would boast about my package” or “I’m earning peanuts” or “ it’s so below industry standards , what can I tell you” with sad look and deflect it...
    During TTC people would ask me when I wasn’t planning for baby..if sOme elder asks I would say that “ it’s God s grace, what can i say”..no God fearing elder could disagree..haha..
    If someone friend asked me about TTC plan I’d say “ please let me enjoy for some days, if I’ve any good news I’ll surely share with you”..
    I’m a kind of private person and I’ve become quite good at avoiding unnecessary questions.
    anika987 and Laks09 like this.
  3. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    How much are you earning: say with a smile, ‘enough to make me happy’. If they persist, then again smile and say you’d rather not share details. Then quickly deflect: Now, how is the weather/ that’s a lovely suit you’re wearing/ the new TV show/ that new restaurant/ your son’s new class going….
    Do you have some examples of questions that come up repeatedly, Vedhavalli? That can help you prepare some stock answers.
    I have found that smiling and nodding while giving vague answers generally works better than confronting head-on. All but the worst pests will generally tire and move on to another topic.
    For really egregious cases though like the ones that have a habit of harassing TTC women I don’t hesitate to shame them.
    anika987, Mehana and Laks09 like this.
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Generally, I speak my mind politely but my favorite responses to not answer questions:

    1) “You are not seriously expecting me to answer this question for you, Are you?”
    2) “If I were you, I wouldn’t ask that question”.
    3) “It is not so you, daring to ask this question”
    4) “I am not sure I can answer your question.”
    5) “If you were in my shoes, will you answer this?”

    None of these responses are outright rude but 4 and 5 are more polite.
    Metamorphic, anika987 and Laks09 like this.
  5. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Staff Member Finest Post Winner

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    My go to answer is: "I'm sorry but I'm not comfortable answering that. I hope you understand." 8/10 people leave it alone. The truly nosy ones are usually relatives. Turning them down directly can be hazardous for the relationship so either I play dumb or deflect them with a non-answer.
    Induslady, anika987 and Laks09 like this.
  6. DDream

    DDream Platinum IL'ite

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    My replies will be similar to the ones already mentioned above. Not giving any reply is also an answer (as deaf or not acknowledging the question or just giving a blank look is also a method ( I will try this first). If they are still after you, ignore their question, ask another question back(or even the same question), divert your talk to some other topic or on the person who ask the question to you or give some appreciation on other aspects' or 'let us talk about some thing else', 'I am not sure how can I answer this', 'Not sure', 'yeah', 'hmm', 'let us see', 'not feeling comfortable to talk on that' , 'its too personal' or change the venue. Instead of 'I don't', I use 'I am not sure' often. I have not faced these types of questions much.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
    anika987 likes this.
  7. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Growing older has made me a little more patient with such questions. The askers fall into two main categories for me: the nosy, clueless, genuinely interested are one. The second is people who are borderline malicious. They ask questions with the specific aim of disconcerting you and enjoying your discomfort. Very few fall into this second category.
    I learned to use the power of the pause. Instead of jumping straight into a response, I pause. Of late, I incline my head thoughtfully like my favorite KDrama star does. : ) Dev Anand was known for his trademark head tilt too. : ) Maybe a half smile. Or, scratch the corner of my eye with a finger. This gives me time to compose a response, to bite back a sharp reply, and sometimes the asker says something more that makes my reply unnecessary.

    The list of responses that you have listed and that others have added is pretty comprehensive!

    For many of us, the ability to deal with unwanted questions comes years after we sorely need it. : ) I wish I knew how to respond to moms who asked nosy questions about my kid's activities and milestones.

    A preemptive method is to limit the information we share with others. If people know less about us to start with, they will ask less questions. Women tend to share more. That must be one reason why men are less likely to be asked such questions.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
    Induslady, anika987, SCA and 2 others like this.
  8. Thoughtful

    Thoughtful Gold IL'ite

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Good answers from everyone.

    Only additional thing , "its not what we say, it how we say it". Keep this as your mantra.

    How do you know, how to say. The moment you said it, you will know whether you said it correctly. When you do it right, applaud yourself, make a memory of it and try to reproduce it.
    Vedhavalli, anika987 and Laks09 like this.
  9. maalti

    maalti Silver IL'ite

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I usually change the topic. When they put the question, I talk about something else completely different like climate, rain or some news which I have heard and mostly people will forget their query. This tactic works out for me.
    anika987 likes this.
  10. anika987

    anika987 Finest Post Winner

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Enough to make me happy….love it!:clap2:
    MalStrom likes this.

Share This Page