September 22nd, 2017

The Best Way to Answer Nosy or Stupid Questions People Ask You

How do you currently handle yourself when someone asks you questions that are either too forward, invasive or personal – or else just plain outright stupid, because the answers are so obvious?

Do you just unwillingly oblige the person asking and give them the answer they want, even though it might make you feel uncomfortable, annoyed, or even stupid?

Do you feel like you have to answer their questions because you don’t want them to think you’re being rude and impolite, or perhaps because you want to avoid making an issue out of it where a disagreement or even an argument might follow?

These are common reasons why we just cater to people who ask us nosy or stupid questions. We feel trapped in these situations, and even though we don’t want to answer the questions, we often end up doing it anyway just to give ourselves relief from the situation.

We often take the easy way out, even though we may despise ourselves for it.

But this doesn’t serve us. In fact, it’s one way we sacrifice our power and give it away to other people. If we directly answer nosy or stupid questions, we’re placing our choices in the hands of the person asking the questions.

So what’s an alternative approach?

How can we avoid answering their questions without causing any friction in the interaction?

Because if we simply outright refuse to answer someone’s nosy or stupid question, they’ll probably feel insulted, or like we’ve just rejected them. And that can open up a door filled with drama, as most people don’t take rejection very well.

There’s a simple way to handle situations like these, and the best part is that you’ll often actually have the other person laughing by refusing to answer their questions.

Let me tell you what it is...

The solution to avoid answering questions that are too personal or the answers are so obvious it’s an insult to your intelligence is to give an off-the-wall response. It’s to answer the question in an outrageous way that is clearly false and unexpected.

The reason this works so well (and can often have them laughing) is because whenever we ask someone a question, we expect a direct, honest response. It’s how we’ve been socially programmed. And when we get something that we not only didn’t expect but an answer that is also far-fetched, it breaks that social expectancy and shocks us.

Laughter is often the inevitable result.

The person’s laughter breaks the subtle tension of the situation and puts you in control of the interaction. Now instead of them controlling it, you are the one with the power.

Not only that, but their laughter serves as a diversion to take their attention off of getting the answer they wanted. Also, subconsciously it communicates to them that their question was inappropriate. But by adding humor to your response, you won’t offend them by not complying with their wishes. Instead you’re likely to give them some enjoyment.

But for good measure it might be a good idea to follow-up their laughter with a question of your own, or an immediate change in subject.

So how exactly do you do this?

Let me give you a few examples...

If someone asks you how old you are and you don’t want to give them that information, you could say, “One thousand, two hundred and thirty-seven.”

If they ask you where you live and you don’t want them to know, you could say, “The north pole. In fact, I work for Santa Claus.”

If someone asks you if you have a girlfriend/boyfriend and you don’t want them to know your status, you could say, “Oh, about a dozen.”

If you’re a guy and someone asks you what you do for a living, you could say, “I’m a gigolo. I service lonely attractive women with rich husbands who are never around.”

I’m sure you get the idea.

But if you find that you have trouble coming up with sarcastic responses on the spot, a simple default answer to any nosy or stupid question is:

“Maybe I’ll tell you another time.”

So the next time someone asks you a question that is too personal or a question with an obvious answer, give them a clearly far-fetched answer to their question. Sometimes this is just matter of exaggeration, while other times it may take a little imagination. But it will solve your problem, and maybe even put a smile on their face.


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