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Nosy Questions From Nosy Friends

Dear Sugar
I've got a friend who always asks me the nosiest questions such as: How much money do you make? What was your bonus last year? What kinds of fights do your parents have? How much do you weigh? Why does your little brother take those red and white pills? Is your boyfriend good in bed?

It drives me crazy that she has no tact. I always try to sidestep my way around them and nicely change the subject, but sometimes she's relentless and I find that I am disclosing personal information that is really none of her business. How can I handle tough questions that I think are nosy and make me feel uncomfortable? Fed Up Felicia

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Fed Up Felicia
Good questions spark conversation, but nosy, personal questions make people uncomfortable. We all know somebody like this and they are really quite frustrating to be around. They are ill mannered, pushy and worst of all...relentless.

They make you feel irritable and their questions are often embarrassing. You must set up boundaries with these types of people in order to have them in your life. But we aren't always prepared for them, are we? Here's what to say when some tenacious Nosy Nelly throws you a fast curve ball of a question:

"I'm sorry but I'm not comfortable answering your question."

Now, here's the challenge; keep repeating this phrase over and over again. Make it your mantra when you are confronted with your pushy pal. This is called The Broken Record Technique.

Believe me it works. Although you feel silly repeating yourself when a series of questions are fired your way, it sends the message that you aren't going to answer them. You are setting up boundaries between what you feel is acceptable to answer and what you feel is too personal and none of their business. They will get the hint very quickly!

Join The Conversation
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
herbiefrog, why don't you go write your stuff on superficial anymore?
la_clique la_clique 10 years
I agree with missmolly, just turn her questions around and distract her if she keeps asking. Practice non-answers, like well, enough or not as much as before hahaha. Politicians do it all the time, lol :)
la_clique la_clique 10 years
Great, Herbie is back. Thanks for the poetry.
herbiefrog herbiefrog 10 years
hello bluejeanie thats how we like to think innocent just... innocent : ) you could try to prove 'em guilty but as they're not...'s a bit pointless :)
Tiinnaaaa Tiinnaaaa 10 years
oooh good advice lilxmissxmolly.. better than sugars :P
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
it's possible that she doesn't think that the questions are nosy, she might just be trying to have a conversation.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 10 years
Another thing you can do is just turn the question around. If she says "How much do you weigh?" then you say "How much do YOU weigh?" and wait for her answer. If she says, "I asked you first," (or any other way of not answering) just say, "Don't worry, I'm not comfortable answering that question either. If she does answer it, say, "Wow! You really aren't uncomfortable answering that question at all! I could never answer a question like that." That way, without seeming rude, you've got your message across.
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