How to Handle Personal Questions At Holiday Gatherings
Ah, holiday gatherings; a time to reconnect and catch up.
“Oh, you got your hair cut.” “Some people are just meant to be single.” “If you’re satisfied with your life, then that’s all that matters.” Well meaning?
The anticipation of the dreaded comments or questions from friends or family members can put anyone in an offensive mindset.
Picture it; you walk up to the doorstep, you take a moment to whisper to yourself, “I can do this…I’ll smile and help out a lot in the kitchen…avoid, avoid…”
If your cousin always points out that by your age she was having her second child, and your brother in-law gives you dating advice, be prepared with a response.
Handling personal questions become less awkward when you are prepared with responses.
Here are a few examples on how to handle personal and awkward questions:
Hmm, still no boyfriend? No, I just can’t decided which one I”ll keep. (A little sassy; drastic times…)
You’re still at that same job, right? Yes. It’s a good company…, Or, Yes, thanks for asking. (Sometimes an acknowledgement is enough; smile and excuse yourself.)
You know, everyone always raves about my stuffing. You should put in a dash of… I wouldn’t want to compete with yours; you should keep your recipe a secret. Or, Would you please do me a favor and see if anyone needs more…(Assigning a chore is a great way to end a conversation.)
Maybe if you (advice, blah, blah, blah…more tips, blah, blah, blah). Thank you, I’ll keep it mind. (Although it can be aggravating to hear the same ol’ advice from cousin Gladys, get it over with. If you don’t, she’ll follow you around all evening or tell everyone in the room about it.)
Keep in mind that in many cases when a person asks personal questions, there is genuine interest and concern. Take that into consideration before you snap back.
Now, if it’s your snoopy sister in-law who loves to point out this or that about you, a slightly more direct response is needed.
A few other comebacks to consider are:
- I’ll let you know when I decide.
- Thank you for your concern.
- I’m having the time of my life.
- It works for me.
- We all take different routes.
It may sound silly, but I recommend that you practice your responses by repeating them out loud; look at yourself in a full length mirror. Watch your facial expression; does your head tilt or hang low? Stand up straight, make eye contact and smile.
Also, practice using the right tone. Keep it polite. You have to own it. If your tone is weak or unsure, that is an opening for more questions. Practice, practice, practice!
And finally, for the sake of peace, try to overlook and take with these
intrusions questions with stride and consider who’s asking.
Helping Businesses and Individuals Find Success Through Better Communication and Social Skills
Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills and Civility Presenter, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”
Presentations are available to support HR policies, sales teams, up and coming managers, millennials & new-hire orientation process, service technicians, professional development events, conferences, college/university students, interns. For more information, please contact me, 650.871.6200.
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