Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nosy People

I guess this is my Friday contemplation post but I felt like publishing it today. The thing that gets on my nerves more than anything is nosy people. The people who don't mind their own business and want to know everything about you without having any type of right in knowing. Those nosy questions get on my nerves so much because I am a very private person and if I don't say something in the first place that means I don't want you to know... simple.

Some people are just over the top nosy and it is really annoying and rude to me. In Italy especially in the south this nosiness is quite customary. Don't get me wrong everyone is very kind and generous but sometimes they just want to know about all the little details of your life and I find it strange because I couldn't care less about the details of their life so I don't understand what the big deal is with my life... you know? I mean it's not that I don't care, I just respect their privacy.

Everyone has a story and everyone makes the choices they make for their own personal reasons. Unless I'm paying you for therapy I really don't care for your opinion on my life choices thank you very much... I'm 33 years old I think I'm capable of living my own life.

So I don't want this post to be just about me venting about rude people who don't mind their own business but to all those people who feel the same as me, here are some helpful tips to avoid nosy questions.

  • Let the person know that you feel uncomfortable answering certain questions. Some people may not realize that an innocent question is too personal so just graciously let them know that you feel invaded. Most people will appreciate your honesty and respect your privacy.

  • Shift the focus. If you find people starting a conversation that you see going in the direction that you don't want it to go, start talking about something else and change the subject. They'll get the hint...

  • Don't feel like you have to cave in just to be polite. They're not being very polite by asking you personal questions so don't feel "bullied" into answering them. Simply say you're in a rush and leave it at that.

  • Give vague responses. Beat around the bush or give "politician responses". Answer the question indirectly, for example when someone asks how much money you make. Answer something like, "money is not very important to me" or talk about the economy or job market or be funny and answer "enough to pay my taxes!".

  • If someone asks you about your relationship status and you don't feel like talking about it ... "it's complicated" and leave it at that.

  • Another tip is not to lie to the person asking questions just simply answer in a way that makes them understand that you don't feel like talking about certain things, or respond saying "I'll let you know" or "I'm not sure", etc.
People love to gossip. Magazines and paparazzi make loads of money off the lives of other people and if you think about it, it is rather pathetic and depressing. I even enjoy reading a gossip magazine from time to time when I'm waiting to get my hair done at the hairdresser but I'm never one to pry in the lives of people that I meet or work colleagues because a) it really doesn't interest me and b) I don't think it's polite.

I think that if someone wants to share personal information with me, they will tell me directly without me prying into their lives. If I trust someone I will open up to them eventually but the more I see someone wanting to know about my business, the more I turn the other way.

I found this article very interesting from the MannersMentor website:

"The word because is powerful. It can act as its own complete explanation. No one is quite sure why, but social experiments have proven it true. It probably goes back to the days of our childhood when mom or dad’s answer to our question “Why?” was simply “Because.”

There was a study that involved having a young lady ask the person waiting in line to use the copier at a large public library if she could please go ahead of him or her in line. When she asked if she could cut in front and gave no explanation, only 60% of the people let her go before them.

When she added a reason to her request (“My class starts in ten minutes and I have to have these papers to complete my assignment”), more than 90% said, “Sure, go ahead.”

Here’s where it gets interesting. When she asked to go ahead of others and gave this reason: “May I please step in front of you because I need to make some copies?”, more than 90% of the people also said, “Yes.” Her only reason was “because,” which really isn’t a reason at all. This tidbit is useful to remember anytime we’re pressed by someone for additional information. Take for instance a coworker asking, “No really, why are you taking next Thursday off?” You could answer, “I’m taking a personal day, because I need the day off.” Or, when asked why you’re not going to a party, you could say, “Because I’m not able to attend.” Again, just keep in mind your tone of voice. It’s also OK to simply say, “I’d rather not say” or, “That’s private,” especially if you believe the person is trying to intimidate you with his or her question. "

What do you guys think about this topic?


  1. I love this post!

    I live in a small town (totally not in Italy) where everyone knows your name and your business. :)

    I love using the because analogy. It made me think and now I have a new answer to all those nosy questions!

    Happy day friend!

    1. Oh wow! Karianne thank you so much for commenting! I am a huge fan of your blog :-) It really does get annoying when people get all up in your business! I'm glad you enjoyed reading my post! Best to you, Silvana

  2. Everything you wrote is so true. Sometime I think people are used to starting conversations with questions but other times they just don't end!!! Great responses!

    Jane x

    1. Yes, I hate the never ending questions!

  3. I am not interested in rude people either. Just don't have the time to waste on people like that. No thanks.

    1. You're right... It is just a waste of time!