You may find times in your life when other people ask you uncomfortable questions. You may not know how you should answer them but it is necessary to establish limits and above all, not to answer when you do not want to. In times when you meet more people at any event, you are likely to expose yourself more to these types of questions.
Any question that bothers you is not necessary to answer, you should not feel the obligation to do so. Ideally, know how to respond courteously and politely by setting appropriate limits. Questions such as if you are single, if you have a partner , how is work going, when will you have more children, etc. Sometimes people ask out of curiosity or simply out of education, but if you do not have confidence with that person it is better that you do not answer … you do not have to answer if you do not want to.
For all this, it is important that you know some ways to answer the uncomfortable questions that you do not want to answer. By practicing these techniques, you can rest assured that you will be handling situations well.
Change the subject
The easiest and most efficient way to avoid answering awkward questions is to change the subject. You can change the subject in many ways, but the goal is the same: move on to a new topic of conversation. The key to changing the subject is to do it with confidence. Here are the most common strategies for changing the subject:
- make a question
- Enter a new topic
- Give a compliment and change the subject
- Create a distraction
- Abruptly change the conversation
These strategies take practice. But what happens if you try to change the subject and the other person pushes you to respond? That’s when you need to try a different approach …
Ask why they ask you that
One way to handle awkward questions is to flip the question to find out a little more about why the person is asking the question. You may think the question is inappropriate or aggressive, but they may really want to learn more about you or your story.They may be looking for advice, or they may have a problem they want to talk about.
Here are some gentle ways to ask why they are asking you that (keep your tone soft and friendly), thus giving the other person a chance to better explain their point of view:
- That is an interesting question. Why you ask?
- Why are you interested in this?
- Why would you want to know that exactly?
After they answer your question say ‘thank you’ and then if you feel better about their reasons, you can answer if you feel comfortable doing so. But if you still don’t want to talk about it, move on to the next strategy.
Say “no” politely
If the topic is deeply personal, complicated, emotional, or inappropriate for the setting, you can confidently tell the other person that you don’t want to answer the question. You are allowed to say “no” to answer questions that make you feel uncomfortable. You can say a phrase as simple as: “I’d rather not answer that.” You can also choose to answer as follows.
- I prefer not to talk about it
- This is too personal
- Sorry but it’s a private matter
- Now is not a good time to talk about it
- I try to talk about my personal life at work
- It’s a very long story and now is not the time to talk about it.
- This is not something I feel comfortable talking about.
- I’m not talking about that I’m sorry
Be honest about how the question makes you feel
Most people will understand your desire to change the subject after one of the above techniques. However, there will be times when you will need to be extremely clear and honest about how the question makes you feel. This can happen when you’re talking to a relative who may be too curious, an exceptionally chatty coworker, or a stranger sitting next to you on a crowded bus that you can’t get away from. In this case it is better to be direct and not beat around the bush.