Nosy people are a little too concerned with what other people are up to, and they tend to invade the privacy of others. A flatmate or neighbor who keeps looking in your window is being nosy. Being nosy is always considered a negative trait.
Have you ever had to kick yourself later after realizing you gave out some personal information to people you ordinarily wouldn’t have?
Do you encounter people who keep asking you annoyingly personal questions, and you can’t figure out exactly how to deal with such nosy people?
Answering questions about your private matters, whether it’s your personal life or profession, can be extremely draining and turn off a really good mood.
Everyone has their own personal boundaries. You want to keep certain things to yourself and don’t want to talk about them openly.
Yet, we keep encountering such nosy questions that seem to violate our personal space, but since most of us don’t have a clear strategy to deal with such scenarios, we end up going against ourselves only to regret it later on.
After such uncomfortable experiences, we keep thinking for the next couple of days about the ways we could’ve handled the situation or said something bold or smart at that moment, or even avoid answering personal questions altogether.
Only if we prepare ourselves beforehand, we could’ve handled those nosy questions in a better way.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. They Are Genuinely Concerned About Your Well-Being
- 2 2. Your Presence Stimulates Their Curiosity
- 3 3. They Are Extroverts- A Habit To Talk Too Much
- 4 4. They Have Eyes On You Because Of Competition & Insecurity
- 5 5. They Tend To Feel Entitled And Rude
- 6 Steps To Deal With Nosy People In 2023
- 6.1 1. Be Relaxed & Conscious
- 6.2 2. Satisfy Their Question Without Giving Much Away
- 6.3 3. Decline To Answer Personal Questions Politely
- 6.4 4. Be Reserved & Brief In Your Answer
- 6.5 5. Confront Them For Their Nosy Questions
- 6.6 6. Make Them Busy Answering
- 6.7 7. Shrug It Off With Humor
- 6.8 8. Curb Interaction With Nosy People
1. They Are Genuinely Concerned About Your Well-Being
People who are close to us, parents, siblings, close friends, etc. might ask annoying questions regarding personal and professional life.
Their intentions might be sincere while they show their concerns. But they might not have expressed it in the best way. Since it is your loved one who genuinely wants your well-being, you might take a moment to think it through before judging them.
We’ll just call them Loved Ones.
As annoying as their questions might seem, we must hold them in high regard.
2. Your Presence Stimulates Their Curiosity
This can be your relatives who are always curious about what you are up to and when will you get married.
Or it can be a complete stranger who is intrigued by your presence in some gathering.
Some people just spend all their curiosity in the wrong places. Trying to know everything about other people so they could entertain themselves or have some material to gossip over.
We’ll call them Curious Ones.
Curiosity is GREAT when it is towards something productive, not about people’s personal lives.
A healthy curiosity can make someone’s life. An uncontrolled, useless curiosity can was
3. They Are Extroverts- A Habit To Talk Too Much
Some people are just highly extroverted and love to talk about a variety of things, including their own personal life and yours as well.
Since they spend lots of energy telling you about their matters with their spouse, how their job sucks, how their neighbor threw trash in front of their house and their children’s performance at school, they expect you to do the same.
Because they have opened up to you about their personal lives, they automatically expect to know about your personal life as well.
In fact, they can find it frustrating that you are not opening up to them and might show some passive aggression or criticism.
4. They Have Eyes On You Because Of Competition & Insecurity
These might be the people who already know you and have eyes on you.
They are quite competitive in nature and tend to feel insecure when they find someone doing better than them in any way.
They want to know everything you’re doing so that they could get some ideas out of you since they want to get ahead.
They kind of want to compete in almost everything that others are doing. They can’t stand someone getting ahead of them.
We’ll call them Competitive Ones.
5. They Tend To Feel Entitled And Rude
This is the worst-case scenario. You might have faced such people at some point. They are either plain rude, entitled, and arrogant, or extremely manipulative and cunning.
They want all the spot-light and attention for themselves. If they find someone else having the potential to outshine them in any way, they’ll want to bring them down. And the way they do this is by cross-questioning the other person.
Sometimes they may initially portray to be good-natured, smile a lot, show themselves as if they care, and when the other person opens up to them, they begin asking cunning and confusing questions.
Even if you are clear about something they are asking, their questions will make you seem as if you are confused and don’t know what you are talking about.
They are skilled at manipulation and this is how they satisfy their passive aggression so they could feed their ego and feel good about themselves.
We’ll call them Rude & Cunning Ones.
These are a few major reasons why people act nosy. You might also find a mixture of these characteristics.
Now let’s get into the core. What are the ways to deal with such scenarios?
Steps To Deal With Nosy People In 2023
1. Be Relaxed & Conscious
First of all, whenever you face such a situation, remind yourself to Relax, Breathe, and Be Mindful of the moment.
We get so caught up and nervous when people ask us nosy and personal questions, that we forget that we don’t necessarily have to answer them. We have the right to keep our private lives private.
Whenever someone asks you a nosy and personal question, just relax and take a moment to get grounded and realize your boundaries and self-respect.
Be mindful of what is happening and avoid responding in a reactive manner. Reacting unconsciously will only get you trapped in those questions.
2. Satisfy Their Question Without Giving Much Away
If it’s one of the Loved Ones who are genuinely concerned about your well-being, give them a satisfactory answer without getting too much into detail so that they are satisfied that you are doing okay.
If they try to pry into your personal matters and ask for details, just tell them in a loving manner that:
“I really appreciate your concern but I don’t want to discuss this right now. I love your company and I just want to enjoy this time with you. Let’s talk about something else.
3. Decline To Answer Personal Questions Politely
If it is one of the extroverts, you can politely tell them:
“Hey I love talking to you, and I love how comfortable you are talking about personal matters. I wish I were that comfortable but it’s just not in me. I am more of a private kind of person, and I feel uncomfortable talking about private matters openly. I hope you’ll understand.”
4. Be Reserved & Brief In Your Answer
If it’s the Curious Ones you are talking to, your body language and tone will be enough to give them the message in most cases.
Just show a lack of enthusiasm and a bit of a serious face when they ask such questions. Be reserved in your tone and body language, and answer very briefly.
They’ll ask you a few more questions since the poor beings are unable to help their curiosity, but eventually, they’ll get the message and stop asking if they have some self-respect.
5. Confront Them For Their Nosy Questions
Now the confrontational way of responding can go either way, so use it at your own risk if you have to. If you think you can handle the confrontation and stand your ground.
This method, though a bit extreme, can come in handy while dealing with the Rude & Cunning Ones.
Confronting the questioner head-on can expose them.
If they were showing passive aggression and indirect taunts or criticisms, you’ll expose what they were doing. If they were doing it subtly before and hiding their core intentions, now they too may confront you or call you out directly.
A few examples of confrontation would be:
“I am amazed at how you are able to ask such questions?”
“Do you really want to know what you are asking, or are you just doing this to annoy me?”
“You should stop asking me any more personal questions now.”
“It seems that you have a lot of time on your hands. Don’t you have something important to do?”
“You ask a lot of questions. Save your energy for something better.”
6. Make Them Busy Answering
One simple way is to play offense than defense. Meaning that you become the one to ask them questions and keep them busy.
If they do ask you, answer briefly and turn the question over to them.
If someone asks, “did you just got divorced”
Say, “yeah I did, how is your marital life going?” Or “how are your kids doing?”
7. Shrug It Off With Humor
Some personal questions are not offensive, they are just stupid, and you can answer them with equally stupid of an answer. This way you and the questioner both will be saved from embarrassment, or at least they’ll laugh their embarrassment off for asking nosy question 🙂
A few examples:
Q: “When will you get married?”
A: “Don’t worry I’ll invite you when I do”
Q: “How much money do you make doing this work?”
A: “22 GAZILLION DOLLARS”
Q: “Did you gain a few pounds?”
A: “Are you feeling alright? You seem to be hallucinating.”
8. Curb Interaction With Nosy People
The simple thing to do is to just strictly reduce interaction with such people. When you smell a nosy person coming in your direction with their annoying nosy question, go the other way. It is safer that way. Finally, Forgive yourself if you did not handle a nosy person successfully.
Sometimes we do our best to handle certain things effectively yet it does not work out the way we expect. That is okay. We are not perfect, neither are those we deal with.
Be easy on yourself and consciously forgive yourself if you gave in to pressure. We grow as we learn from our experiences.