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To ask you how you deal with intrusive questions

(100 Posts)
Beadoren Tue 19-Jun-18 14:09:08

Do you buy or rent?
How do you afford that?
Why did you and your partner split up?
How old where you when you had your children?
Was the third planned?
And who will be looking after the children while you go and do x? Will you manage?

I’m generally a very outgoing person and I often feel sidelined by this sort of question and end up answering out of politeness despite feeling horrendously uncomfortable, and then feel furious with myself afterwards for not saying something sassy back.

Beadoren Tue 19-Jun-18 14:09:50

By the way, all of the above situations do not apply to me, but these are the type of questions I mean.

DayAtTheRaces Tue 19-Jun-18 14:12:07

“I don’t discuss matters of a personal nature”

nomorespaghetti Tue 19-Jun-18 14:14:05

"People often ask me that, and I always tell them to mind their own business"

Time40 Tue 19-Jun-18 14:16:42

"I never talk about that sort of thing." And then immediately follow with a comment about something neutral.

NotTakenUsername Tue 19-Jun-18 14:16:45


Wavescrashingonthebeach Tue 19-Jun-18 14:20:12

You dont need to justify why you dont want to answer something or answer out of politeness.
I dont understand why you wish you could have said something 'sassy' back when the person asking may have been totally oblivious to your discomfort?
People arent mind readers, if you dont want to answer something, just say.
Theres a billion ways you can deflect this:

This topic bores me, can we move on?

I dont like talking about myself, lets talk about you?

waves hand dismissively ohhh, its so boring, really cant be arsed speaking about it..

Or just blink at them and say 'hmm.. ANYWAY did you see love island last night / you going on your hols this year?'

AmazingPostVoices Tue 19-Jun-18 14:20:41

“Goodness why would you need to know that?”

“Does it matter?”

“Someone asked me that just yesterday, I thought it was rather rude”

Silence can be very effective though, just raise an eyebrow and wait until they fill the gap with something else.

WalkingOnAFlashlightBeam Tue 19-Jun-18 14:25:17

“Why do you ask?”

“I’m not sure if you realise, but that’s a very personal question”

60sname Tue 19-Jun-18 14:25:31

The people I meet are generally well-mannered enough not to ask such questions. However, in that situation I would go very non-committal. Usually I think it's just ignorance / a lack of social graces rather than out and out cheekiness that requires a 'sassy' slap-down.

Beadoren Tue 19-Jun-18 14:27:52

I’m not sure, I think most people are socially aware enough to know these aren’t polite questions to ask? But then I think they obviously don’t mind about causing offence in an effort to garner the information they want to know. I think asking about money is hideous, especially when it’s not somebody you know well, it seems like an attempt to sort of place you socioeconomically. And actually it always makes me think the person asking is insecure/concious of the matter because I couldn’t give a hoot about how anybody finances themselves or how much things cost them 🤷🏼‍♀️

SheldonandPenny Tue 19-Jun-18 14:28:12

It's tiresome. I am outgoing but never ask intrusive questions. You never know what people are going through. I have had some of these questions but the way I answer them seems to reduce how many I get. 😁 I find most folks like to talk about themselves. I try not to assume that anything negative is intended but respond with a related question. It might feel a touch assertive...

Do you buy or rent? - Are you planning a move then?

How do you afford that? - Does it seem like a luxury?

Why did you and your partner split up? - Oh my life isn't much of a soap opera. Boring really. How about yours?

How old where you when you had your children? - 32. Why do I seem older?/ Is baby and age on your mind?

Was the third planned? - Three can seem an odd number for children can't it. Perfect for me though.

And who will be looking after the children while you go and do x? Will you manage? - Well I like to plan things - how do/did you manage?

UpstartCrow Tue 19-Jun-18 14:29:55

''I don't know you well enough to talk about anything that personal''.

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Tue 19-Jun-18 14:31:04

Did you mean to be so rude?
(mn favourite!)

ThreeIsACharm Tue 19-Jun-18 14:34:29

I hate these types of questions and get then all the time.
I had my daughter in my teen years and i look very young for my age. I often get asked what age I had her/was she planned.
People must realise how rude it is but just don't care.

LolaLilo Tue 19-Jun-18 14:37:14

I just say Oh goodness why would you want to know that? <tinkly laugh>

Then move on to idle chat, such as it's soooo sunny today isn't it?

Works a treat. I've never had anyone ask twice.

Gracie65 Tue 19-Jun-18 14:42:21

Why not just answer and move on. I don’t think they ‘need to know’, they are just interested. If you do not want to answer just say something jovial and non comittal. Why be rude back?

Stillme1 Tue 19-Jun-18 14:43:08

I have so much intrusive questioning in recent times. I have even had workmen being asked for details. I really don't know why people are so ill mannered to question any person or their workers.
Maybe it is ignorance as to what is decent conversion between family/ friends/neighbours or randoms.
What puzzles me even more is that the questioners are more often male. Makes me really wonder if the male population are turning into gossips.

BeyondThePage Tue 19-Jun-18 14:46:02

I much prefer a "meaty" conversation - so if someone asks I answer and ask the same sorts of questions back. Only so many times I can make small talk without climbing the walls.

To be honest, we talk about this sort of stuff at work ALL the time - 6 women working together - if someone doesn't want to "go there" as it were, because that topic is sensitive for them, they just say so, or listen to others witter on. I am probably the least communicative, but it doesn't matter.

IamtheDevilsAvocado Tue 19-Jun-18 14:46:54

Or just say something outlandish...

After my 47th child, I was struggling to afford more...

How much do you earn?
Either the obvious 'not enough', or I often tell tjem a ridiculous sum.... Actually the NHS is so short of Xyz I'm paid a shade under 11 million a yeargrin

notacooldad Tue 19-Jun-18 14:48:02

To be honest I don't find them questions particularly personal and all of them are typical work, social chat in my expierence.
The subjects I tend to avoid is heavy discussions on politics!
However if it is something I don't want to talk about I say something like ' well,that's kind of private at the moment
You dont need 'sassy comebacks.
Just be true to yourself.

JellyBears Tue 19-Jun-18 14:48:10

I come across a lot of poorly paid, overworked Nannys from the Philippines and they are notorious for asking how much I get paid or how many hours I work and I always say “I am a professional Nanny and I get paid accordingly”...

TurnipCake Tue 19-Jun-18 14:49:02

"How much do you earn?"

Always shuts down the rude and intrusive questions

FinallyHere Tue 19-Jun-18 14:51:10

Love SheldonandPenny 's approach, shall be implementing that forthwith...

notacooldad Tue 19-Jun-18 14:53:51

Did you mean to be so rude?
(mn favourite)
Ah, the MN second favourite thing to tell people.
However it sounds ridiculous in real life and a person who asks the question sounds rude themselves.
I overheard it being saud at a Christmas fair. An old lady ( in her 80s and a young mum something fairly innocuous and that was the reply. I can't remember what is was but I remember thinking thst mum looked like a cow for saying it and others in the group were shocked.

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