Deflect, Explore, Or Confront Your Relatives' Nosey Questions

Deflect, Explore, or Confront Your Relatives' Nosey Questions

Christmas is for family and sometimes that means trying to survive awkward or intrusive questions like "When are you two going to get married?" or "Still single, huh?" Here are some scripts you can use to handle these tired old questions.

Photo by fuzzysaurus.

Over at The Huffington Post, psychologists provide three responses for five common questions like these. Which one you choose will depend on whether you want to deflect the question (handle it with humour), explore it (actually have a conversation), or confront it (give a matter-of-fact response).

For example, for the question "when are you two going to start having babies", psychologist Gail Gross offers these potential responses:

Deflect: "Nope, we're still using condoms. How's your sex life going?"

Confront: Gross advises people to gently reply, "That's an interesting question. Sadly, I don't have an answer for you" and then leave the conversation to rest there. She also added that when someone is asking "busybody questions" like this, what they're really doing is throwing you off balance. By responding in this way, Gross concludes, you are reasserting your boundary and re-establishing an equal playing field.

Explore: If you feel safe with this person, perhaps consider letting them in on your plans or struggles. Some who have experienced miscarriages may feel relief in sharing about it. Or if you are trying and it's taking a while, share your frustration.

What's Christmas without a little family drama, though?

Flip the Script on Your Relatives' Awkward Holiday Questions [The Huffington Post]


    I recall a story (which was probably not true) where at every wedding an annoying aunt would smugly say to this person "you're next!".
    Then this person begun to say the same thing to the aunt at funerals and the needling stopped.

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