Being put on the spot with intrusive questions is probably one of life’s most embarrassing moments. Imagine being in front of a friend or family member and they start pressing you with person questions. They might pry for knowledge about your relationships, health, finances, or career. What are you supposed to do? There are a few tactics you can take to possibly redirect or avoid their sassy claims.
Defer The Focus
The easiest way to defer an oblivious question is to redirect the focus from yourself. Maybe your grandma asked you about what you plan to do with your life now that you are out of college. This can be a very stressful situation. Perhaps you have no clue and are overwhelmed with this idea even without grandma’s interference. It is best to redirect grandma if you aren’t interested in sharing your shortcomings. Here is an example: “I am not sure yet grandma. I’ve been doing some research and I will figure something out soon. How was your bridge club last week?” You have succeeded in this situation by redirecting the focus off yourself and back to grandma.
Say Nothing With An Intrusive Question
When you are in doubt, just don’t say anything. This is always a surefire way to handle intrusive questions. When someone asks you about the messy break up with your longtime beau, just politely (and briefly) answer. Then don’t say a thing because silence truly is bliss. The pause in conversation will most likely make the accuser feel just as odd as you did and they will either change the subject or walk away. Ta da. You’ve won that one!
Declare A Stopping Point
Sometimes you just have to be willing to tell people they are out of line. This notion should be reserved for the most personal or offensive questions. We can never be sure if people ask offensive questions out of their own ignorance or if they are intending to upset us. It is important to know where you draw the line in either situation. Make it clear if you never want to talk about finances or child rearing. Let those you converse with understand what you are and are not willing to share. Often times people respect this and won’t go there again.
Lighten The Mood
Another way to deflect an intrusive question is to respond with a witty and charming answer. Have the courage to respond with humor because it always proves to be a good reaction. Think about a time when someone asked you a question that was a bit too personal. Consider a time when some asked about your intimacy with a partner. Make your response in the form of a joke. This will bounce the question, lighten the mood, and also let the questioner know you didn’t like it.
No matter which tactic you take when responding to intrusive questions, just be sure to always know who you are and what you want. If you do this then you will never be offended by any accusations someone can make. You will also be able to more effectively concede those awkward moments.