Ever found yourself in a situation where you’re squirming because someone just asked you a question you don’t want to answer? Happens to all of us. Yet, we often feel compelled and even obliged to blurt out every single detail and then regret it only seconds later.
If it’s a deeply personal question (eg: why you’ve not had kids yet, or why you’re working when you’ve got such young kids or what’s your salary – yes people actually ask that, believe it or not), here are 3 ways you could respond:
1) Let them know it’s personal and therefore off limits. You could say ‘That’s a private matter and not something I’d like to discuss’.
2) Express curiosity about their purpose in asking such a question. Eg: ‘That’s not something I’m normally asked. I’m curious to know what triggered that question?’ (If you say this sweetly enough, you’ll avoid sounding aggressive).
3) Bring humour into it: I often tell people ‘well, well, well – that’s for me to know and you to guess.’
Uncomfortable questions are always being asked. Become comfortable with sharing only those bits that you want others to know. Next time you feel pressured to say something that you think you might regret later, slow down and try using one of these strategies 🙂 While it’s pretty awkward at first, it does become easier with practice. I promise 🙂
Nim Gholkar, 2018
Copyright Nim Gholkar 2018 All Rights Reserved