4 Ways To Handle Intrusive People | Setting Your Boundaries Today
Who are we talking about here? They are those who ask inappropriate and private questions like “why don’t you have kids” or “when will you get married”. Those who give unsolicited advice and opinions. The ones you’ll catch gossiping every chance they get. Whether it is a nosy relative, an overly curious colleague asking a way to personal question, or a friend crossing boundaries and invading your privacy, dealing with difficult situations and reacting properly to nosy people takes time and practice. Don’t worry though, because if you are looking for tips on dealing with nosy people with intrusive questions, you are in the right place
I had my fair share of those interactions, and I like to think I’ve found a way to deal with those situations. Our reactions and how we handle them also depend on what the relationship with that person means to us, and if we wish to keep it.
Depending on the nature of the relationship, here is how you can respond to invasive behaviour:
1. Understand they are using that behavior to hide their own insecurities
This first step is for you to understand it was probably never that much about you, as it was a tool for them to deflect, focus on others instead of their own insecurities. I am not making excuses for them and that doesn’t make that behaviour okay, it is simply what I use to have a less emotional reaction and to, frankly, care less. It actually works, and that’s the whole point here – how you react and feel when encountered with those situations and people.
2. With kindness make them realize their intrusive actions
This one seems almost controversial, as the social norm isn’t often to be direct. But some people may not even be aware of their intrusive behaviour, and if you gently communicate your discomfort, you can clearly state your boundaries. If this seems too direct for you, you can start by practicing indirect ways of letting them know they are being intrusive (through a joke, or by letting them know that was a strange thing to ask).
3. Practice generic answers to common questions
This one is for those mainstream, but very personal questions some people just feel entitled to ask you, like “why don’t you have kids yet”, etc. If those questions are asked by people you barely know simply practice a generic, non-revealing answer, or even use deflection (and change the subject if you find a way), and avoid the question entirely.
4. Let them know how you feel
I practice this reaction when the questions are too personal, but the person asking it is someone close. For example, when my mom asks some of the above questions, I let her know how that makes me feel. I do this when I wish to maintain the relationship with the person asking it, and I feel comfortable enough to tell her how that makes me feel. They usually get it, and it helps our relationship.
Handling Difficult Situations With Nosy People
There are a lot more ways to deal with these situations, and you probably have some of your own. If you’d like to find out more ways of dealing with these situations, I did some digging and here are my top picks:
- What to Say to Nosy People – Respond to Nosy People With Grace
- Avoid Answering Personal Questions By Thinking Like A Lawyer
- 9 ways to deal with an overbearing friend
- 4 Reasons People Ask Nosy Questions and 6 Ways to Deal with Nosy Questions
Please let me know if you found some of these ways useful, and if you’d add something else to the list. Also, you can check out the 5 steps I took to awaken the badass within, empowerment is always a good thing.
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