For some annoying reason becoming a parent opens you up to public discussion, questions and critiques. This doesn’t always come from well-meaning strangers. This nosiness can also come from loved family members and treasured friends.
Rather than becoming instantly irritated, perhaps we should consider changing our responses to effectively divert nosy questions and comments. Here are 8 responses that might help you answer curly questions or comments that come your way.
Often the person asking questions or commenting on your life may have no ill-will in mind. Yet, often you find yourself feeling invaded.
It’s important to remember they are usually asking just an ordinary question. But sometimes they hit a nerve or are speaking about a subject that you are feeling particularly sensitive about.
So when you find yourself the topic of intrusive, blunt, rude or overly curious comments, try and use these helpful responses to help avoid an emotional explosion.
8 Comebacks To Rude Or Nosy Comments
1. The Kids Aren’t Behaving Well
Keep your response to neutral, a simple “thanks for letting me know” will suffice. You simply do not have to address this comment with any more detail. If you find that your children are in fact misbehaving, then deal with the situation as you deem fit. But try to avoid becoming defensive and move on.
2. You’ve Gained Weight
This is not even worth discussing any further. Give a casual “ouch” to let them know just how rude and inappropriate this comment is. Comments regarding your looks are always going to sting. So letting them know very simply that your feelings are hurt will usually stop this conversation in its tracks. No one wants to look like a bully.
3. Are You Going To Have Another Baby?
This isn’t usually said to cause hurt. However, some people find this question completely obtuse and are hesitant to divulge information regarding their sex lives. So answer flippantly with something such as “who knows, you’ll be the first to find out”. Keep it calm.
4. Are You Going Back To Work?
Often a question that can sting stay-at-home-mothers, and if you find yourself feeling sensitive about this topic, this questions will hit home for you. Remember you do not have to justify this decision to yourself or anyone else. You are allowed to answer this with a “no” and move the conversation along. Often you will find it was merely a conversational question rather than a passive-aggressive remark.
5. You’re Putting Your Kids Into Daycare?
A nosy question that can often come from the older generation who just don’t understand daycare, nor do they agree with it. This could break out in to a full-blown argument depending on how we respond. Divulge little information, keep it very flippant and respond with little defence. This is a decision that is yours (and your husband’s) to make.
6. How Are The Kids Doing In School?
If your children are struggling with school this is not your information to share in a public arena. Keep it short with “they are going well” and move it along. You do not want to be pushed in to divulging too much of your children’s struggles as this can be embarrassing, especially for older or shy children.
7. When Will We See You Next?
“We will plan another trip soon”. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t feel the pressure to commit to a time and date right this second.
8. You Really Should Be…
“Feeding your daughter avocados”, “doing the alphabet”, “washing her differently”. Whatever it is that you should be doing but aren’t doing. I suggest a, “this is what we have found works for us” and move it along. Everyone parents differently and makes different choices. We don’t all have to be the same.
Basically my friends ‘keep it simple, Simon’ is what will work best in deflecting intrusive comments or passive barbs that come flying your way. You do not have to expand on this responses or conversations.
Respond politely but be vague and you will find you can remove yourself from any full-blow conversations that make you feel uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, read here about why it’s important to be nice to our mother-in-laws.