Use These Ready-Made Answers to Answer Curious or Irrelevant Questions.
Whether it’s at a family reunion, at the office, or among friends, the answer to a very personal question can be annoying. Of course, the person asking the question may have good intentions, but asking for information you don’t want to share can take you by surprise (not to mention annoyed or upset).
As nice as it is to tell them it’s none of their business, it’s not always the best option. Luckily, the folks at Talking Points for Life have put together a list of ready-made answers to help you deal with such situations. Here’s what you need to know.
How to answer intrusive questions
We first heard about the Talking Points for Life website from the Recomendo newsletter and after researching it a bit thought it would be the perfect time of year to share some of their strategies for answering those curious questions that usually come up when fishing with family members and friends. They include :
Don’t know what to say? Don’t say anything. Just let the question stay there. “Prolonged silence may even give the offender the opportunity to better consider their question and possibly withdraw it,” says Talking Points for Life .
Use bridging messages to steer the conversation and questions in a different direction. In fact, if you’re dealing with someone who likes to talk about themselves (or their kids, work, pets, etc.), ask them a question that you know they’ll be happy to answer. . Yes, that means you’ll get stuck listening to them, but at least you’ll be out of the way (at least temporarily).
Prepare a ready answer
This Talking Points for Life page provides a list of ready-made answers to curious questions, many of which involve a humorous diversion or a witty response. In some situations this can go a long way in defusing tensions; in others, they can make things worse. Use your best judgment.
Here are some of their general ready-made answers , which may be suitable for a lot of curious questions:
- I prefer not to talk about it, if you don’t mind.
- Can we talk about something else?
- I’m really not in the right place/in the mood to talk about this right now.
- If you forgive me for not answering, I will forgive you for asking me about it.
- Why do you think you need to know this?
- I’m discreet and loyal so I can’t reveal it to you, but that means I also show you the same courtesy with what you tell me.
This is just the beginning. Visit Talking Points for Life for more specific questions about marriage, children, gray hair and more.