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

Polite bean-dip for polite inquiries?

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JeseC:

--- Quote from: Luci45 on May 19, 2013, 09:25:21 PM ---Most of our family members truly understand "I would rather not discuss that right now".

I guess our families are weird in the non-pushy way.

We just recently had a  situation that was not ready to be discussed, and the slight brush-off, casual comment took care of the questions. The problem has become common knowledge now, so they know that in the long run all the questions have been answered.

We feel that way, too. We are now the older generation, very close, and are just preparing for the new 4th generation.

--- End quote ---

I get that!  The hard part can be when not saying something (or at least, saying you don't want to talk about it) is effectively saying something.  I may not always want it public knowledge that various issues are going on, especially when I'm dealing with an acquaintance making small talk rather than a good friend.  This can be anything from family issues to relationship issues - I've had another case where someone quite innocently starts gushing on at me about aren't I excited to be in a field with all these men and it must be nice to have such a wide field to choose from?  Truth is, I'm gay and not completely open about it!

Mental Magpie:

--- Quote from: JeseC on May 22, 2013, 02:05:39 PM ---
--- Quote from: Luci45 on May 19, 2013, 09:25:21 PM ---Most of our family members truly understand "I would rather not discuss that right now".

I guess our families are weird in the non-pushy way.

We just recently had a  situation that was not ready to be discussed, and the slight brush-off, casual comment took care of the questions. The problem has become common knowledge now, so they know that in the long run all the questions have been answered.

We feel that way, too. We are now the older generation, very close, and are just preparing for the new 4th generation.

--- End quote ---

I get that!  The hard part can be when not saying something (or at least, saying you don't want to talk about it) is effectively saying something.  I may not always want it public knowledge that various issues are going on, especially when I'm dealing with an acquaintance making small talk rather than a good friend.  This can be anything from family issues to relationship issues - I've had another case where someone quite innocently starts gushing on at me about aren't I excited to be in a field with all these men and it must be nice to have such a wide field to choose from?  Truth is, I'm gay and not completely open about it!

--- End quote ---

It's the same as someone wanting a compliment on their new hair cut even if you don't like it: you point out something without saying anything negative or positive.  For the haircut, "You got your hair cut!"  All it says is that you noticed a change while the person will usually take it as a compliment.  For your case about the men, "Yes, there are a lot of men."

veronaz:
Sometimes saying “I would rather not discuss it” leads to speculation that there’s a problem, or even further inquiries.

"veronaz, how’s your brother?

-I would rather not discuss it.
-Last I heard, he was fine.
-I have no idea."

(Oooooh, must be a problem there.  Wonder what’s going on?)

A better response would be:

"Everyone’s fine.  How’s the new car?"

Luci:
Yes. In our case, everyone knew there was a problem, so the worked.

I didn't understand that no one knew there could be drama coming up, so, no, "I'd reather not discuss it," would not work well.

Then, I suppose JesseC has no  choice but to keep serving the bean dip comments until the questioners finally give up.

Best wishes. Stay strong.

RooRoo:
I have a standard, neutral answer for several different inquiries I'd rather not discuss: "...getting along."

It works for everything from "How are you?" to "What's up with them?" "Oh, they're getting along." It's neutral, and doesn't reveal anything.  They're getting along well... or they're getting along towards the divorce, the court case, the lawsuit, the PhD, renewed health, that promotion...

One can make it less neutral with tone of voice, of course.  ;D

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