Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What are some diplomatic answers to the stereotypical awkward questions at holiday family gatherings? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
I have a very loud, nosey, often-inappropriate family. Unsolicited advice and criticism is Stamford at our family functions.
The best way I’ve found to deal with it, is to immediately shut it down. I politely tell them exactly how I feel, set my boundaries very clearly and immediately change the subject.
Here’s how I answer, or would answer the following stereotypical family questions:
1. When are you getting married/”making it official”/putting a ring on it?
“Being two adults, we’ve decided to make that decision when it’s the right time for us. We’ll let you know. Please pass the gravy.”
2. You look a little heavy/thin/pale/tired/sad/worried.
“Thanks for pointing that out. I actually feel great the way I am.”
3. Did you hear about insert inappropriate gossip?
“I don’t talk about people behind their backs. I think it’s rude and just really shows how insecure we actually are about ourselves.”
3. What’s your insert ex boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife up to this holiday?
“I don’t think about him/her, especially when I with people who support me. I just hope they’re well.”
4. When are you getting pregnant/starting a family/are you trying to get pregnant?
“We’ll text you the next time we have sex so you’ll feel notified. Haha, it’s really none of your business.”
5. How much money do you/your partner make?
“Enough so we don’t feel like we need to share our finances with other people.”
6. Why would you ever have more kids/get a dog/choose that job/get that house/move/etc?
“Luckily, you don’t need to worry about it since my choices have nothing to do with you.”
Shut them down and change the subject. I’d rather seem a little cold then have to explain my choices or decisions. What other people think of me is really none of my business anyway.