To want her to stop asking (and I have already asked her!)

(65 Posts)
Souredstones Thu 27-Jun-13 13:01:46

Colleague of mine has, just now, asked me for the umpteenth time when I will be announcing a new arrival. I'm not pregnant and struggling with ttc and its driving me mad.

Her justification is that I am a newly wed and its expected of me now to have another baby (desperately want one)

She's making me really angry now with her constant asking

All strategies welcome (as long as stabbing her with a pen isn't one...I'm considering that one now)

TanglednotTamed Thu 27-Jun-13 13:07:09

Is she overweight at all? Could you turn the tables by saying 'Why? Oh! You're pregnant, aren't you! Everyone's been wondering...Congratulations!'

Pretend to think she's lying when she says no, and keep on mentioning it: 'Oh, I know you're waiting for the scan, but your waist is really thickening, so it's quite hard to ignore', 'You're looking so peaky, is the sickness really bad?' 'Do you want me to get a cover-up stick while I'm at the shops? Pregnancy spots are awful, aren't they?' That sort of thing.

Hopefully she'll just get the message and shut up, but if she gets annoyed with you, tell her you'll stop if she does.

needasilverlining Thu 27-Jun-13 13:08:38

I told my version of this person that I'd love a second child but had just had my second mc in three months and it was a painful subject (this was true).

Never asked again. Worth a try? Is a public service to make people like that think before they open their mouths.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 27-Jun-13 13:12:07

Have you been very blunt?

I am getting very annoyed by you now. I have asked you to stop asking me about my reproductive plans, they are none of your business. If you ask me again, I will make a formal complaint to HR.

Carolra Thu 27-Jun-13 13:14:45

I think I'd go with needsasilverlining and just be honest. We're ttc number 2 at the moment as well, when people ask I just tell them that we've been trying for a while and its not happening, talking about it makes me sad, so I'll tell them once there is something to tell. No one has ever asked again (well, except my mum, who I am pretty sure is keeping a note of my cycle in her diary, but that's another story!)

Good luck with the baby making xx

NatashaBee Thu 27-Jun-13 13:23:18

I like Hecsy's reply. I don't understand why people would want to nose into something so incredibly personal and potentially fraught with issues for some people.

EldritchCleavage Thu 27-Jun-13 14:06:19

What Hecsy said. If you give any details of what is happening with ttc you make it seem legitimate for her to ask you about it. And it's not ok. It is absolutely not her business to ask. And bugger what the 'expectations' of others are. Weird woman.

TalkativeJim Thu 27-Jun-13 14:17:07

'Right, I've asked you to stop asking me this, that hasn't worked, so now I'm going to ask you to sit quietly for five minutes and make a list of all the reasons why asking that question over and over again isn't just ignorant, but utterly inappropriate and quite possibly extremely insensitive and hurtful.'

MorganMummy Thu 27-Jun-13 14:29:33

Agree totally with hecsy. I used to be far too poilte and just vaguely white-lie when people asked me. I fantasise about telling people the gory details to shut them up, but why should you have to share that just to make them go away?

Tell her it's a inappropriate question for the workplace, end of. These rude people get away with so much because we are too polite to them.

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Thu 27-Jun-13 15:36:41

It is none of her business, and you are perfectly within reason to tell her so. But in practical terms, I found that the intrusive questions (similarly, mostly from a colleague) stopped when people knew what was going on. I told them yes, it's next on the list, we don't know how long it will take, and we won't be telling anyone until we've had a scan that confirms everything's ok so far, but after that you'll know as soon as there's anything to know.

lurcherlover Thu 27-Jun-13 15:43:13

"How about you tell me all about the last time you had unprotected sex, and then I'll tell you."

Shut my nosy colleague right up...

When we were getting questioned I went with

"Well, we had sex this morning so.... fingers crossed!"

I wasn't asked again by that person

kitbit Thu 27-Jun-13 17:33:36

'As soon as I can get rid of these piles, they need shoving back in, are you free for a couple of minutes?? Bring a pencil...'

HerrenaHarridan Thu 27-Jun-13 17:38:08

Printout this thread and stick it on her desk

needasilverlining Fri 28-Jun-13 06:36:16

And yes, definitely good luck and hope this is a problem that goes away v soon!

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Fri 28-Jun-13 06:41:13

Pmsl love then when did you dtd and this is when I did

wharrgarbl Fri 28-Jun-13 06:41:27

The number of people demonstrating they were apparently raised by wolves never ceases to amaze me. Expected of you? What bullshit is this? She's incrideibly rude, it's absolutely none of her business, and I'd make a selection, or even use a few, of the ruder responses on this thread for her. I quite like the piles one. As she's being so rude, there's no real onus on you to remain totally polite in the face of it.

quesadilla Fri 28-Jun-13 06:43:43

I loathe this and I think people who do it are incredibly bad-mannered. There are so many potential reasons why asking someone a fertility-related question could be a minefield, what part of that do people not understand?

I would just take her aside and say firmly that you know she is trying to be nice but you have already asked her not to and the next time she asks you this question you will walk out or publicly stonewall her do please don't do it again.

Then I think if she still doesn't get it go down the HR route.

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 28-Jun-13 08:30:39

'As soon as I can get rid of these piles, they need shoving back in, are you free for a couple of minutes?? Bring a pencil...'

Brilliant grin

weisswusrt Fri 28-Jun-13 08:34:46

Could you say that work mates are pretty low on the list for being told, and as you don't want to lie to her, could she please stop fishing for info and hints.

Purple2012 Fri 28-Jun-13 08:37:11

I get it too. Unfortunately I will never have a child of my own. It drives me mad when people keep asking. I don't want to tell them why we can't so just try and joke about it. Im too old, DH too old etc. Some people just keep on though.

ChasedByBees Fri 28-Jun-13 08:48:48

What hecsy said. There's no need to take her into your confidence or make excuses. She is crossing a line and needs to be told - firmly - to back off.

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 28-Jun-13 09:33:57

I think asking once isn't so terrible. But I think you should say that it upsets you as you are ttc, and then tell her to please stop. She likely doesn't realise and would feel bad if she knew.

If that doesn't work, slap her. Hard. wink

CloudsAndTrees Fri 28-Jun-13 09:38:10

Your colleague sounds horrible.

I agree you need to be blunt with her. It's the only way to deal with someone who is rude.

GrumpyRedhead Fri 28-Jun-13 10:13:39

<Makes mental note to never piss off Tangled!>


How about an eye roll and 'why are you so interested in my sex life-are you lonely?' Honestly, some people are so rude they deserve a bit of a passive aggressive slap.

mrspaddy Fri 28-Jun-13 10:21:34

I wouldn't engage in any type of personal chat with her.. I would if she had manners but she has none. We tried for a long time and apart from one friend at work who is a genuine friend I told nobody. I said... oh we are going to do a bit of travelling etc. Now I had to be very blunt with one nosey woman.. I just snapped one day and said 'Don't ask me again!!!'. I am expecting now and she is even to afraid to ask me anything. The worst thing is the nosey women went to hell and back TTC herself so you would think she would have more sense.

Just do what Imtoohecsy said, if you need too. People are too quick o remark on everyone's business.

carolthesecretary Fri 28-Jun-13 10:38:16

My friend kept asking me. Drove me bloody mad. I told her quite abruptly she would be one of the first to know the happy news. Turns out we probably can't have kids.

She now asks me if I have decided a cut off point for trying (am 42).


throckenholt Fri 28-Jun-13 10:44:57

I think I would want to say : "You do realise some people don't want children, and some people can't have children ? You shouldn't make assumptions. It is not a given that a baby follows a wedding. "

I would probably just avoid her, and whinge at others about her constant questions, and wimp out of saying anything. Or snap something if she caught me when I was in a bad mood.

I hope it happens for you soon.

Pixieonthemoor Fri 28-Jun-13 10:57:14

Are you quite friendly with this colleague otherwise? If yes, I would tell her that you are ttc but it is proving difficult and her insensitive questions are really upsetting you and to please stop. If not, go with what Hecsy said. Or belt her across the chops as another poster suggested....grin

Hope it happens for you soon. flowers

bleedingheart Fri 28-Jun-13 11:04:54

I've never asked somebody this question and I don't understand those who would constantly be on at somebody like this.

As a young teen a teacher at school told me that she was unable to have children and people constantly asking her & her husband when they 'would get on with it' was like a knife in her heart. I've always had that in mind (and I would also feel weird basically asking someone if they are having sex).

I was asked it a lot as I was married for years before 'trying.' It always annoyed me and I think my answers were inadequate 'one day maybe' and 'not yet!' I think you should go with what Hecsy said. It's so rude to keep asking. I don't know what some people are thinking of!

MidniteScribbler Fri 28-Jun-13 11:13:30

"When are you having another baby?"

"We're not. Can you imagine if they grew up to be as much of an arsehole as you are?"

'I have told you to stop asking me about this. Mind your own business you rude, ignorant cunt or I will put in an official complaint about you.'

eurozammo Fri 28-Jun-13 11:18:24

"it doesn't happen easily for every one you know" <hurt look>

works fairly well at getting people to back off.

But I've ended up telling a lot of people and assume most others in my circle know through the gossip grapevine, which is fine - it stops the questions.

MortifiedAdams Fri 28-Jun-13 11:19:25

A short sharp "Fuck Off" should do.

Seriously; youve tried being nice.

mrspaddy Fri 28-Jun-13 11:21:54

midnitescribbler.. grin

WinnieFosterTether Fri 28-Jun-13 11:31:56

Can you get someone else to tell her to back off? I had to do this with a relative. She kept asking and I told her the reasons why it wasn't happening but she still asked every time we met.
In the end I told another relative to tell her she was being insensitive. For some reason, when it came from someone else, she listened and the questioning stopped.

evelynj Fri 28-Jun-13 11:32:43

What throckenholt said. Loudly & in public. She should be shamed although so many people do it & are ignorant.

Good luck

trackies Fri 28-Jun-13 11:32:51

Really annoys me wen people ask stuff like this. "are you trying for a baby?" My reply "would you like a list of our latest sex positions ? " nosey male colleague never asked again. I told another person who was hounding me that he shouldn't ask questions like that cos not all women conceive easily. I was actually few weeks preg when he asked but I was sitting next to friend who I knew was having probs.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 28-Jun-13 11:38:20

Can't you just say "I don't want to discuss it" and then "I said I don't want to discuss it." if she persists? That should make your private business your own but is an entirely neutral thing to say to a colleague.

Fakebook Fri 28-Jun-13 11:40:54

Start asking her every morning if she had sex the night before.

AThingInYourLife Fri 28-Jun-13 11:43:35

Is there any chance she's struggling with TTC herself and is just dreading hearing a happy announcement from you?

I can't think of any other explanation for being so obsessed by your sex life.

People know that you just don't ask about stuff like that.

Especially not at work.

I imagine HR would not look too kindly on that kind of behaviour.

WoTmania Fri 28-Jun-13 11:48:17

I would do what hecsy said. Saying that you are ttc etc then gives her the opportunity to be faux-sympathetic and ask 'how it's going'

PorkPieandPickle Fri 28-Jun-13 11:56:23

DH and I started IVF treatment less than 2 months after getting married, and I lost count of the number of colleagues who kept asking when we'd be having children, this was when we were preparing for and going through the treatment, and afterwards in early pregnancy before we'd announced.

People who I was closer to, I just said, 'be sensible, if I had an announcement to make, I would make it wouldn't I, I wouldn't wait for someone to ask'. If I wasn't close to them, I would smile and say, 'thats a very personal question, but yes, we have a fantastic sex life, thanks for enquiring'.

Some people just do not respond to hints and need
telling bluntly. Im sorry this is happening to you, I remember how bloody hurtful and upsetting it could be some days. Good luck with TTC, I really hope that you fall lucky soon.

Mintberry Fri 28-Jun-13 12:04:31

It sounds to me like she just doesn't realise the upset she's causing. If she's never TTC or had problems trying to conceive, she probably just associates baby-making with excitement and is completely ignorant of the stress and upset it can cause!

So, I wouldn't get aggressive with her, because I don't think she means any malice. I would just go with a neutral "I don't really want to talk about it" and then change the subject, and she'll soon get the message - you won't have to go into any uncomfortable details, either. Hopefully it will make her think about it, and she won't make this mistake again to any other women in your situation!

EldritchCleavage Fri 28-Jun-13 12:08:53

My reply to a colleague who asked this was 'Why on earth would I tell you?' to which he had no answer.

Elquota Fri 28-Jun-13 12:13:47

Another vote for throckenholt's idea. If more people did this, it might reduce the number of people who persist with these thoughtless and nosy comments.

ivykaty44 Fri 28-Jun-13 12:18:37

Take out your camera phone and ask her to pose for the birdie - say thanks now I can print out the photo at home and show my children...she will wonder why and then she will ask why

Then you reply

well.... I shall tell my children that the reason they don't have a new brother or sister is due to you stressing me out so much and the gp thinks this stress is the root of the problems why I am not conceiving.

Oh and if you have any spare darts at home could you lend me some?

Owllady Fri 28-Jun-13 12:20:15

I'm with Mortified
I would say Piss off, it's none of your business and not interact with her further <harsh>

Tell her you only take it up the bum.

Pilgit Fri 28-Jun-13 15:13:34

if you can do it effectively -burst into tears, create a scene whilst explaining loudly through the sobs that the stress of peoples expectations is a factor in stopping you being able to conceive. Alsolike threatening her with HR.

RalphtheTimid Fri 28-Jun-13 15:36:43

I wonder what Freud would have made of your interest in my reproductive system.
Mmm yes definitely food for thought don't you think.

Or: 'I don't answer rude, nosy questions from stupid people.' Said with a bright smile.

wildfig Fri 28-Jun-13 17:28:22

I always wish I had that 1930s-ish dazzling polite/crushing way of saying, 'Gracious, what an odd question!' for situations like this.

Although coward that I am I sort of agree with those suggesting she may have no idea why it's an upsetting question, in which case you should probably say, 'I don't want to talk about/didn't you know pressure from other people is proven to impede conception?'. And THEN you can resort to freezing Mitfordism.

I like Tangled's response.

ZillionChocolate Fri 28-Jun-13 17:57:21

Midnight Scribbler's made me laugh.

If it were the first time she'd asked, I'd have gone for "don't you think that's an intrusive question and wholly inappropriate for a colleague?". Given that she keeps on at you, be blunt.

Souredstones Fri 28-Jun-13 19:45:30

I am loving these responses and will have to put them into use...saying that...guess what we got yesterday...

Here's hoping it sticks and runs the course!

I'm still going to give her a mouthful if she asks again though!!

ChasedByBees Fri 28-Jun-13 20:19:22

Oooh!! Doesn't want to assume.... But ooh!

Just to be absolutely clear - what are you hoping sticks?

Shitsinger Fri 28-Jun-13 20:24:24

"Its none of your business, repeat, repeat ,repeat ...

Roshbegosh Fri 28-Jun-13 20:27:50

You have to work together though, I think a less confrontational way than Hecsy's would be better. You can be blunt and clear without threatening her.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 28-Jun-13 20:29:11

"Stop fucking asking me, trust me, when i get pregnant, you will be the last to know"

greenfolder Fri 28-Jun-13 20:51:59

oohhh fingers crossed!

however, if you share a line manager- tell them to tell her to stfup

i am indeed a line manager and i have twice had to tell busy bodies who should know better to butt out of these kind of converstations.

that is one thing you never ask or refer to in any way shape or form.

Souredstones Sat 29-Jun-13 08:33:36

I think I will have a word with my line manager if she doesn't stop it. But I will feel a bit of a mug when I start to show! grin

Yeah I'm still on a high from my bfp.

ChasedByBees Sat 29-Jun-13 09:32:06

Yay for BFP!! I didn't want to ask outright after this thread. grin

Good idea to have a word with your line manager.

Dontlookbehindyou Sat 29-Jun-13 09:41:10

Congratulations on your bfp!
I'm always being asked when ill be having a little brother or sister for ds (2) I just tell then the truth and they shut up pretty quick and never ask again.
If love another one but can't have any more or it'll put me in a wheelchair, it wouldn't be fair on ds or the hypothetical new baby.

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