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How to respond to nosy or inappropriate questions

How to respond to nosy or inappropriate questions

Q: “Are you still married?”
A: “Are you still alive?”

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  • The nosy neighbor, the rude date of a friend, the overreaching in-law: these bastards are everywhere.
  • Use this guide to help you respond to them without giving them the satisfaction of a real answer.
  • Stunned silence is an effective tool to employ when asked an inappropriate question. A protracted silence can even offer the offender the opportunity to think better of their question and possibly revoke it.
  • Another tactic you can take is to brush it off with a funny comment. A ridiculous question warrants a ridiculous answer. Example: If someone asks you when you’re planning on having a baby, you can reply that the storks are on strike.
  • You can also use bridging messaging to redirect the conversation to more comfortable territory.

Talking Points

Responding to Nosy Bastards

General NosinessOh you! You know that I can’t talk about that!General
General NosinessI could tell you but I’d have to kill you.GeneralSmart Ass
General NosinessI’m discreet and loyal, which is why I can’t disclose that to you, but that means I also extend the same courtesy to you with the things you tell me.General
General NosinessI rather not talk about that, if you don’t mind.General
General NosinessCan we talk about something else?General
General NosinessI’m not really in a place/in the mood to talk about that right now.General
General NosinessI’m afraid that is too private to discuss.General
General NosinessI’m not at liberty to say.General
General NosinessI’m afraid I can’t share that information with you.General
General NosinessI can’t believe you would ask me that!General
General NosinessIf you forgive me for not answering, I’ll forgive you for asking me that.
General NosinessWhy do you think you need to know that?
When are you getting married?I must confess that marriage has not been a priority for me so far. If something changes, I’ll be sure to let you know.PersonalMarriageSmart Ass
How many job interviews have you had?Fortunately, I haven’t had any interviews. You know how they interfere with my pursuit of the contemplative life.WorkPersonalSmart Ass
How much money do you make?Enough to get by, but I could use more. Is this your way of offering to buy dinner?PersonalMoneySmart Ass
Are you still single? Are you dating someone? How’s your love life?I’m still waiting for that one perfect serial killer.DatingPersonalSmart Ass
Have you lost weight?Why? Did someone find some?WeightPersonalAppearanceSmart Ass
Is that gray in your hair? Are you thinking of coloring your grays?Oh no, that’s not gray hair. I’ve been painting the ceiling and I just can’t get it out.AppearancePersonalSmart Ass
How old are you?Do you mean how old am I claiming to be today?Smart Ass
How old do you think I am?I don’t know – let me look at your teeth.Smart Ass

Further Reading


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