Author Topic: How to respond to nosy relatives?  (Read 17710 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

kisu

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 341
How to respond to nosy relatives?
« on: May 29, 2008, 08:21:50 AM »
Hi!

My sister's graduation party is coming up, and we'll have a lot of relatives and family friends come to celebrate. A lot of these relatives feel it's very much their business to know when my BF and I will be getting engaged, married or having kids, or they want to tell me they think it's high time we did get engaged and married. (Btw - I'm 22, he's 25, we've bee together for 4 years.) These questions make me so uncomfortable! And what about BF's dad - asking about the same things, plus bothering me to change my name to his when married and telling me he's expecting me to give him grandsons...

I usually just try to say something funny and change the subject. But should I get considerably "colder" in my answers, as these people ask me the same things every time we meet, and they don't seem to grasp that my future plans are definitely none of their business! Dear ehellions, how have your relatives plagued you with their questioning, and how have you responded?

happy_baker

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 322
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 10:58:50 AM »
My friend has almost the exact same situation, but going on six years together, not engaged/married or even living together, and they always say "When you know it's forever, what's the rush?" This has become their ONLY answer to ANY query about their "plans for the future", and I think that both sides of the families have gotten the point as far as direct questions go...as long as you don't mind the occasional "sly hint" re: bridal fashions, or that new restaurant that opened up in (hometown) that would be PERFECT for a large gathering, such as a wedding reception... ::)

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30461
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008, 10:05:15 AM »
Quote
I usually just try to say something funny and change the subject. But should I get considerably "colder" in my answers, as these people ask me the same things every time we meet,

No, you just keep saying the very same exact funny words.

Miss Manners suggests this tactic (not the funny, but the repeating exactly). I think the situation someone wrote about was being offered pot at a college party. The person didn't want to get into a debate or judgment about whether pot should be smoked, he just doesn't smoke it. Miss Manners says, "no matter what they say, how they try to twist the topic, just say 'I don't care to.'

Want a toke? "I don't care to." What, are you against pot? "I don't care to" You'll love how it makes you feel. "I don't care to" You think you're better than us? "I don't care to."

My boyfriend (now husband) had figured this out for himself.

He would say: "It is the policy of the United States Navy to neither confirm nor deny the existence of nuclear weapons aboard its vessels." (apparently it's what the navy says when someone asks, "does that sub in our harbor have nukes on it?" --appropriate for him as a military-history buff)

And he'd do what the Navy does. No matter how often they ask, no matter how they try to twist the question, they say the exact same phrasing.

I saw it work--an "aunt" asked him (in front of me!) when he was going to marry me. So he said, "It is the policy..." No, you kidder, really, are you going to get married? "It is the policy..." She turned to me: YOU tell me, then, are you guys going to get married? So, I said, "It is the policy..." You're impossible, she said, and she walked away.

It only took 3 times, ever, to completely shut up about it.

We used the same tactic about kids' names. When we were expecting our first, the family would ask if we had names picked out. I didn't want to have ANY conversations on this topic--I didn't want them suggesting names (what if someone annoying suggested a name I liked? and anyway, we *had* named picked out), and I was NOT going to tell people the name until the kid had a chance to use it (ew, ick, fingermarks all over your brand-new name).

So my quick-thinking husband said yes, when someone asked him did we have named picked out. What are they? of course was the next question. "Gomez if it's a boy, Morticia if it's a girl." No, goofy, really what are the names? "Gomez if..." So then they asked ME, and I said, "Gomez if it's..."

Again, nobody ever went further than 2 questions, and most of them just stopped asking.

Shortcake

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1757
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 10:26:22 AM »
TootsNYC, I like your and your DH's method! You stick together, and you are consistant. That is the best way to stop the questions. The relatives learn they can't wear you down or catch you off guard. They will learn the questioning will get them nowhere.
"Carry out a random act of kindness, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."  Princess Diana

Niona

  • Guest
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2008, 04:54:42 PM »
I get the same sort of thing 'So how long are you going to be single then?' as if I'm going to answer 'You're right! I forgot to get myself a boyfriend! That's so careless of me! Here, hold my drink whilst I run down to Tesco's and pick one up.'

Instead, I always answer with 'as long as I choose to be' - bit politer.

I loved it in Bridget Jones when they asked her at the dinner party why there were so many single girls in their thirties and she said 'it doesn't help that under our clothes we're covered in scales. By the way, is it 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 marriages that end in divorce?' (And then the gorgeous Mark Darcy backs her up . yummy!)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2008, 04:56:34 PM by Niona »

Ant V

  • Guest
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2008, 08:39:44 PM »
When they ask their repeated questions, reassure them that you will surely let them know when you know yourself.   They are not going to shut up, so just keep reassuring them.   It's a question that is not worth getting all worked up over no matter how many times you hear it.   Some people think it's their business to pry the answer out of you.  Laugh it off and reassure them.  We never had the second kid that we were asked about 750 times.  Maybe more times than that. 

Ant V

  • Guest
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2008, 05:12:22 PM »
Don't be uncomfortable with the questions.  They won't stop so you might as well get over being uncomfortable.  "We'll let you know" is good enough

loomadoom

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 168
  • What is it now?
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2008, 03:22:03 PM »
<click> <gabblegabblegabble> [stock answer] [This has been a recorded announcement] <click>


"I'm not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going."

caranfin

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15629
  • I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2008, 03:29:38 PM »
"Seriously? You're asking me that again? My answer hasn't changed since the last time I saw you."
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

LadyofMaine

  • Guest
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2008, 10:10:33 PM »
Keep in mind, that if you do get married, they will ask you when you will have children.  Then a brother for that child.

Eventually they will ask when you are going to retire.

I guess it would be rude to ask when is someone going to die.

But they'll be thinking it.

athersgeo

  • No one told you when to run
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 267
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2008, 10:59:03 AM »
I get the same sort of thing 'So how long are you going to be single then?' as if I'm going to answer 'You're right! I forgot to get myself a boyfriend! That's so careless of me! Here, hold my drink whilst I run down to Tesco's and pick one up.'

Other halves must be one of the few things Tesco *don't* stock...


MineralDiva

  • "Diva"
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2937
  • "I shall plant my feet and let them have it!"
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2008, 04:04:59 PM »
Reminds me of the joke about the single woman who at every family wedding heard, "You're next!" *wink* She started saying the same thing to those nosy relatives at funerals, "You're next!" *wink*

The comments to her stopped pretty quickly thereafter.  lol

hope

  • Guest
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2008, 06:21:45 PM »
LOL!

RedRuby

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1995
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2008, 09:03:10 PM »
Reminds me of the joke about the single woman who at every family wedding heard, "You're next!" *wink* She started saying the same thing to those nosy relatives at funerals, "You're next!" *wink*

The comments to her stopped pretty quickly thereafter.  lol

That's one of the funniest things I've read in a long time!

KenveeB

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8379
Re: How to respond to nosy relatives?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2008, 09:07:50 PM »
"I promise you'll get an invitation to the wedding (or we'll let you know when we get married), so you don't need to keep asking."