Author Topic: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip  (Read 18319 times)

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jazzbeat

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Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« on: November 19, 2011, 06:19:31 PM »
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

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 06:26:55 PM »
"A lady never tells."  ;)

I hate pushy people, so I try to just grin and bear it.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

Mental Magpie

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 07:00:29 PM »
"A lady never tells."  ;)

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

POD.

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." 
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

splifficated

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 07:06:19 PM »
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.

VorFemme

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 07:14:49 PM »
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.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

kansha

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 07:40:55 PM »
how about "why do you want to know?" ?

jazzbeat

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 08:08:10 PM »
how about "why do you want to know?" ?

The answer is almost always, "I'm just curious."  If I reply, "I see," you'd think that would end it, but it doesn't, and the person says, "So, you must be sensitive about the issue," or "So........" or something else that seems to put the onus on me.  I'm lousy at offering bean dip.

Iris

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 09:42:39 PM »
Sometimes I adopt the really really vacant aka toddler approach. The trick is to keep an open, pleasant and slightly absent countenance at all times and just keep on turning it back on the person.

"How old are you"
"I'm over 21 if you are going to offer me a glass of wine"
"No, seriously, how old are you?"
"Why would you want to know that"
"I'm curious"
"I see"
"So - how old are you? You must be sensitive about your age"
"Not at all. Why would you think that?"
"Well you won't tell me!"
"Mmm-hmmm. Are you always this interested in people's ages?"

If you do it right it makes people stabby but conflicted because you're being SO pleasant. It's quite fun to watch  >:D Of course I only use this approach for the terminally, annoyingly nosy.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 01:50:24 PM »
"How old are you"
"I'm over 21 if you are going to offer me a glass of wine"
"No, seriously, how old are you?"
"Why would you want to know that"
"I'm curious"
"I see"
"So - how old are you? You must be sensitive about your age."
"How much do you weigh?"
"Well that's rude, why do you want to know that?"
"Well you must be sensitive about your weight?"
"Well, I'm not telling you that."
"Thank you." walk away

jmarvellous

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2011, 02:05:14 PM »
Isn't the answer to "You must be sensitive about your age?" "Yes"? Either "Yes, thanks for understanding" or "Yes, so let's move on."

I mean, it might be a different take on the word sensitive, but that's exactly how I'd describe this attitude toward such an innocuous question, unless I'm missing something (and I might well be) -- either sensitive to having people know your age or sensitive to sharing something you view (but obviously not everyone views) as private.

wendelenn

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2011, 03:58:19 PM »
Isn't the answer to "You must be sensitive about your age?" "Yes"? Either "Yes, thanks for understanding" or "Yes, so let's move on."

I mean, it might be a different take on the word sensitive, but that's exactly how I'd describe this attitude toward such an innocuous question, unless I'm missing something (and I might well be) -- either sensitive to having people know your age or sensitive to sharing something you view (but obviously not everyone views) as private.

"Sensitive"  has a negative connotation that is uncalled for in this context. The question is extremely nosy and far from innocuous--no one has any business asking or knowing someone else's age unless the other person chooses to share it.
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."

camlan

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2011, 04:10:23 PM »
You call these social situations, but then you mention that for professional reasons, you feel compelled to answer. So are these purely social situations, or are they professional situations masquerading as social situations? I can see why, for several different reasons, someone might want to keep their age private in a professional setting.

My standard replies are, depending on the situation and who is asking, "Old enough to know better, young enough to enjoy it anyway." Or "Why do you ask?"

Can you figure out why these people are so fixated on your age? Are they going around asking everyone how old they are, or just you? It just seems odd that relative strangers, as these people appear to be, are so concerned with how old you are.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


jmarvellous

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2011, 04:15:01 PM »
I think "sensitive" can mean a range of things to different people. And I think this question can be innocuous if it's asked between two people who don't care about sharing that sort of thing (for instance, me -- I don't think it's personal at all); the only way to know someone will find it rude is to ask and then be rebuffed or shut down.

I think jumping to the conclusion that it's being asked in order to be rude or because the asker is careless when so many people aren't bothered by it is overly harsh -- and people will take no for an answer, eventually.

Then again, I don't think the OP should feel bad for brushing people off or shutting them down when they ask ANY question she's uncomfortable with answering, either. If bean dip doesn't work, saying, "Please stop asking me that" is perfectly fine, in my book. Even in a professional situation.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2011, 06:37:24 PM »
You need to look at the children's book "Ella Enchanted."  The prince keeps asking her if she's old enough to marry.  She answers him with various things like, "Today I feel far too old.  I was listening to an old woman's long rambling stories and I think I aged at least a dozen years in an afternoon."  "Today I felt young, when I realized that I am dwarfed by the 11-year-old daughter of an acquaintance!"  You could use the same idea.  "I'm 21, if you're offering a drink!"  "I sure feel 13 today, I can't believe I did <silly thing>."  "I think I'm a teenager again, I feel like I have so much energy!  Or maybe it's just the caffeine speaking."  "Ugh, I think I'm about 80 after I spent all day on those TPS reports.  Those are decades--I mean hours--of my life I'll never get back."  Etc.  Make it into a joke?

BeagleMommy

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Re: Dealing with people who have allergies to bean dip
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2011, 01:28:44 PM »
Lately, I've been saying "Older than Justin Bieber, but younger than the Rolling Stones".  Unless I'm purchasing alcohol, filling out medical information or being stopped by the police I don't feel the need to give my ages to strangers.