Whether you like it or not, you are bound to attend a Chinese New Year reunion or two. Family gatherings or reunion parties bring everyone together in one place. Its rare nature is the main reason why people held it to a high esteem. Conversations usually start with a political argument and are followed by stories from the olden days.
It is inevitable to experience unpleasant, sensitive, and awkward questions. How do you deal with these questions? With snappy responses, of course!
FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT
Many experts believe that “Fight or Flight” are primitive responses that automatically kick in whenever necessary. Let the latter do its magic by politely excusing yourself from an unpleasant situation. You have every right to decline to questions that trigger discomfort. You do not have to feel guilty as your personal life is private. Close family and friends must respect that.
Politely tell the person that you either have somewhere to be or something to do. This person will more likely take the hint that they made you feel out of place.
DEFLECT AND REJECT
As I have previously mentioned, there are two primitive responses. You may tackle a subject swiftly by providing a short answer and changing the awkward topic. Providing a simple answer is ideal but, it can leave behind an intense silence. Fill that silence by changing the subject with a common ground. Take the following dialogue as an example.
Relative: “Are you having kids anytime soon? Your clock is ticking!”
You: “No! We are not having kids. Although, we are planning a trip to Bali. You have been there right?”
Lead the question back to the interviewer. Immediately ask him or her about work or domestic life.
INJECT A LITTLE HUMOR IN
Most people raise queries for two primary reasons: they genuinely care for your disposition or they genuinely want to squeeze out the gossip. Either way, you will feel the sincerity of a person off the bat. This means that you can easily crack a joke or say something odd when a nosy person asks uncomfortable questions.
Move the conversation forward by discussing your interests while injecting a little humor in. It is inevitable to be surrounded with friends or family members that what to disrupt you without the intention to help.
SHARING IS CARING
On the flip side, some people ask interesting questions out of pure kindness. It is inevitable to stumble upon some relatives that you rarely see. Take the initiative to disclose your life, if this is the case. You can steer the conversation in a direction you desire by taking control over it.
When they unknowingly step on sensitive subjects (e.g., asking about a boyfriend whom you just parted ways with or about a job you recently got fired for), you may humbly share your current situation.
PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN
Why do you think therapists need to create rapport in the first session of therapy? For starters, they need to break the walls created by the patient. People tend to be defensive when they are bombarded with uncomfortable questions. However, your defenses can make matters worse. An impolite query may turn into a full blown fight! You do not want this to happen.
In your most respectful and firm voice, tell the person how uncomfortable he or she is making you feel. You reserve the option to disengage in any form of conversations.
Lifehacker alumn Adam Dachis, once suggested this script: “You may not be aware, but that question is making me uncomfortable. You’re entitled to ask, but maybe we can talk about a topic we can both enjoy.”