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How to Answer Rude Questions
By Debby Mayne. Etiquette Expert
Debby grew up in an Air Force family, with etiquette and good manners being essential at all times. Her mother sent her to a 6-week department store charm school for children where she learned posture (the old book on the head routine), poise, and how to drink tea without spilling it. After she graduated from high school, she went to the University of Southern Mississippi and joined a sorority where she learned even more layers of etiquette. Her southern parents and grandparents considered using the correct fork and knowing how to write thank you notes as fundamental as breathing and eating. She is bursting with the desire to share her knowledge with the world. Read more
We ve all been asked rude questions that are no one else s business. Although everyone slips up every now and then, some people seem to have a knack for always sticking their foot in their mouth or making some sort of social faux pas.
These people are often unaware that they re exhibiting bad etiquette, but even if they know what they re doing, you should never stoop to getting back at them with bad manners. Your comeback should be said with a smile and an even tone. If possible, use humor to soften your response, and then change the subject.
For times that you find yourself in the awkward position of being interrogated by a rude person, you need to arm yourself with some answers that will let him or her know that you consider the questions rude. There are several ways to handle these people: with the answer they are looking for, with a quippy comeback, or with a way of letting them know that you consider them boorish for asking such a question.
Certain rude questions tend to come up more frequently than others. Before you walk out the door, make the decision to maintain good manners and not be that nosy person. If you are on the receiving end, be prepared with answers that let the other person know what you think of his or her nosiness with as much poise as you can manage.
If you have children. start early and teach them questions not to ask. Most kids are naturally inquisitive, so direct them to more appropriate conversation.
1. How much money do you make?
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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 .
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.”