Etiquette School is in session! > "Have you tried the bean dip?"

Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip

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I'm enjoying reading these posts and am digesting a lot.  What a terrific group!

What flusters me endlessly is when people respond indignantly with an attitude that I really owe an answer.  I'm over 35 and for some reason, a lot of people ask my age in social situations.  Sometimes I smile and say, "I'm over 21 if you were going to offer me a glass of wine" (I'm a married female and only say this to other females), which produces a chuckle and then a response like, "No, really, I'm serious."  One time I just said, "It doesn't matter," only to be told that I must be very sensitive about my age or must be going through "the change."  At that point, I can never say anything that won't get me in a lot of trouble.

Social bullies is really what those people are, and my problem is that, due to professional reasons, I really can't afford to offend them.

What do I say to someone who ignores all communication that I simply don't want to answer the question?  I'm often made to feel like I'm hiding something if I don't reply with a direct answer.  I become so embarrassed and frustrated that I fail to produce any intelligent response.

Black Delphinium:
"A lady never tells."  ;)

I hate pushy people, so I try to just grin and bear it.

Mental Magpie:

--- Quote from: Black Delphinium on November 19, 2011, 05:26:55 PM ---"A lady never tells."  ;)

I hate pushy people, so I try to just grin and bear it.

--- End quote ---


I would have been tempted to respond to "you must be sensitive about your age" with "The reason why I don't want to tell doesn't matter either." 

I've had this happen just this week. Someone at work asked my birthdate, and I told him "I don't give out my birthdate", with a smile and a regretful expression. 

If asked my age, I say "I don't like to give my age".  Also with a smile.

There's also, "that's a personal question" if I feel they're crossing a boundary.

I just repeat these in a friendly tone and keep introducing a subject change. Sometime repetition is the only thing that works.  Or leaving. Or I stop responding verbally and just smile and shake my head.

My mother will tell her real age and birthdate to anyone who asks............on her birthday............which is April 1 (April Fools' Day, for those NOT from the USA or other countries with the same tradition).

For some reason, no one believes her on April Fools' Day............or remembers it a few weeks or months later.


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