We've all been asked rude questions in our lives. It could be from strangers, acquaintances, or even by close friends. (Just because your best buddy is asking an uncomfortable question, doesn't mean that you are obligated to answer)
Although everyone slips up now and then, like saying congratulations to someone whom you thought was pregnant, but she's actually just fat... Some people seem to relish being nosy in every aspect of your life.
Although it's tempting to scream "Mind your own business!" in their faces, here's how to respond to rude and nosy people with grace and tact:
1. Give them the benefit of doubt
People are often unaware that they are exhibiting poor manners. But even if they know what they're doing, you should never stoop to responding to bad manners with worse manners.
For example, if someone asks if you've gained weight recently "'cos you look fatter", it's a terribly insensitive remark, but respond with smile and say, “I’m feeling wonderful. How about you?”
The tone should be even and not sarcastic. That should get the point across that you don’t want to honour a rude question with an answer. If possible, just laugh without answering the question and then change the subject.
2. As much as you can, be prepared with responses
For times when you may have no choice but to find yourself in a hot spot of being asked awkward questions, such as being the only single person sitting at a Chinese New Year dinner, you need to arm yourself with some answers. Even if it’s a question that's asked with good intentions as they want you to be happy, hearing it over and over will make you anything but happy.
As soon as you're being interrogated by that rude auntie you've been avoiding the whole time about when you're going to get married, prepare several responses to handle her. You can choose to give them the answer that are looking for such as, "I would like to, but I haven't found someone to spend the rest of my life with yet.", or with a joke such as, "aiyah, I haven't found someone that is as pretty as you yet!"
If you are emotionally prepared to handle the questions from nosy people, it will help greatly in preventing yourself from feeling frustrated or being caught in a spot.
3. Set boundaries
There is such an abundance of rude questions, not to mention people who ask them, that you could spend all day thinking of sarcastic responses. Instead of wasting your valuable time, have a few standard replies that work in a variety of situations, but more importantly, set a boundary for yourself.
As long as the question involve certain topics that you are uncomfortable with answering, decide to not respond with an answer at all. This is usually a last resort method, but by ignoring that person, it lets them know that you consider them rude for asking such a question.
If it's a close friend, you may want to respond seriously and transparently in hopes that he/she will not ask you those questions again. Pause, smile, and say, “Did you really just ask me that? Why would you ask me such a rude question?”
If that person is someone important to you, and sees you as important too, it will help your friendship become stronger by talking it out.