We've all been asked rude questions that are no one else's business. Although everyone slips up now and then, some nosy people seem to have a knack for always sticking their foot in their mouth or making some social faux pas. You may answer the question and move on to another topic, but you don't have to.
The most important thing to remember is that responding to rudeness with rudeness rarely accomplishes anything. It reduces you to the level of the person who started it. There are some rude things you should never say, regardless of the situation.
01 of 08
How much money do you make?
This question about money is quite common, even though it is considered rude and nosy to ask. You have several options on how to deal with it. Your answer will be different if the person asking is a coworker than if the question is coming from someone sitting next to you on an airplane.
The simplest answer is to say that you never discuss money with anyone but your spouse. Most people will accept that, but others who are extremely rude might press or insult you to get their answer. Don’t fall for it. Keep changing the subject until the person gets the message.
Another thing you might do is answer with a quippy, “Enough to pay my bills and have a little fun,” or “Not nearly enough to do everything I’d like to do. How about you?"
02 of 08
How old are you?
While some people don't mind telling their age, others are often offended. Don't ask someone's age, unless you are in the medical field and need to know for health reasons, you're selling a product that requires the buyer to be over a certain age, or you're a cashier offering a senior discount.
03 of 08
How much did you pay for that house?
Here is another money question that doesn’t deserve an answer. However, being the polite person you are, you might answer with something like, “I paid the going market value for houses in the neighborhood. It’s a very comfortable house that felt like home the minute I walked in the door.” Quickly change the subject to let the person know you are finished discussing house prices. If he or she still wants to know, the sale of a house is public record, and it can be found on the Internet by anyone who knows how to do a web search.
04 of 08
Are you still single?
Many single men and women in their late twenties and early thirties have heard this one. It’s a question asked by a well-meaning relative or close friend who wants you to be happy. However, hearing it over and over will make you anything but happy.
If you are still single, tell the person that you haven’t found someone you want to spend your life with, but if you ever do, you’ll get the word out to everyone who needs to know. As with any other nosy question, change the subject.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Have you gained (or lost) weight?
If the person comes out and asks about your weight change, it is probably obvious, and chances are you have put on (or lost) a few pounds or more. When someone comes right out and makes this terribly insensitive remark, smile and say, “I’m feeling wonderful. How about you?” That should get the point across that you don’t want to honor the rude question with an answer.
06 of 08
When is your baby due?
If you are pregnant, chances are you have announced it to everyone you want to know. There are times when women gain weight or wear certain outfits that make them appear pregnant when they haven’t gained an ounce.
You have several ways to respond to this rude question. You can say you’re not pregnant and let the person cower in awkwardness and embarrassment (if the person is the type to get embarrassed), or you may give a date a few years away. When the rude person appears confused, say, “Bill and I thought we’d wait a couple of years before starting a family.” And then don’t wear that outfit again or add a belt if you don't want to get asked that same question again.
07 of 08
When do you plan to start a family?
Many newlyweds get asked this question. If a close friend or relative asks, you might want to give an honest answer. However, if the questioner is just a nosy busybody, say that the minute you said your wedding vows, you considered yourselves a family. Smile and change the subject.
08 of 08
More rude questions
There is such an abundance of rude questions – and people who ask them – that you could spend all day thinking of answers and quips. Instead of wasting your valuable time, have a few standard replies that work in a variety of situations.
Here are some examples of how to respond:
- ”Why would you ask such a rude question?”
- ”I have a policy not to discuss that topic with anyone it doesn’t concern.”
- Pause, smile, and say, “Did you really just ask me that?”
- ”I’m not even touching that topic. Let’s talk about something else."
- ”Do you realize how rude that question is?”
- Take a step back to gain some personal space and say, ”I’m not going to answer that question.”