Live and Learn: 5 Tricks to Respond to Tactless Questions


Apart from general, special, alternative, disjunctive and wh-questions, there are tactless, wrong and unwanted ones. No matter whether you like it or not, as a part of society, you have to communicate, cooperate with people and answer their questions. It doesn’t mean that you should always lay your cards on the table and tell the truth about your life. You have your private life that should be kept under seven seals.

But how can you maintain good reputation and relationships with partners, relatives, colleagues and friends, if you can’t stand tactless questions? Rude response isn’t the best idea, because this ill-mannered gesture can only alienate people in a twinkling of an eye.

It’s necessary to develop a unique and crucially important skill of dodging the questions you don’t like in a polite way. It means that you should know how to answer difficult and tactless questions without actually answering. This skill is an important part of your success and emotional well-being.

Everyday dozens of evil-wishers ask provocative questions to penetrate your private life. You should be ready to respond to these people’s tricks and become as cunning as a fox for the sake of your happiness. I hope this little article will teach you how to deal with extremely curious personalities and take only advantage of communication with them.

1. Change the subject

Nowadays almost all people are fond of talking about life issues. But in most cases, they keep their own news, achievements and troubles under their hats and prefer to discuss other people’s lives. These personalities often ask awkward questions to wheedle various taboo facts from people around them.

Unfortunately, in most cases, they do it just to spread gossips and condemn others behind their backs. If you feel that someone is trying to invade your privacy, you shouldn’t become confused, but try to take control of the conversation and change the subject.

How can you do it? Just turn the interlocutor’s attention to something or someone else. This way you’ll politely end an uncomfortable conversation and give an extremely curious person to understand that you’re allergic to tactless, especially personal questions.

More: Avoid Awkward Silences with These Foolproof Tricks

2. Use jokes and humor techniques

I can state with assurance that a good joke is the thing that can unite people, take the heat out of the situation and heal human hearts. Optimistic people, who’ve a perfect sense of humor, are always impregnable, because this unique quality helps them deal with tactless people and surmount barriers with a smile on the face.

If someone asks you an awkward question and you haven’t the remotest idea how to answer it, try to say something funny, because a joke and a touch of sarcasm in your tone are the best forms of response. But you should be careful with these forms and try not to go too far. Too much sarcasm and humor are often annoying. Plus they can turn you into a clown with a negative mindset.

3. Show indifference

It often happens that nosy people often pay no regard to the answer, “Sorry, that’ a personal question,” and continue their annoying interrogation until they get a desirable result. Well-bred and confident people, who prioritize their private life, believe that indifference is an effective tool to avoid an undesirable answer. They usually use this approach as an extreme measure, in case other pieces of advice don’t help.

Some people may say that such an apathetic psychological attitude is a rude gesture, but it’s actually a neutral reaction that shows an impudent interlocutor that you have no desire to bring up a certain issue and share your personal information with them.

If you want to be highly successful, you should always stick to your guns, do the things you want, try not to betray your principles, hold your tongue and never indulge in confidences with people you don’t trust. When you hear a provocative question, you have the right to act as if you haven’t heard it at all and remain silent.

4. Give an honest answer

Almost one year ago, I decided to commit myself to a one-month “truth” experiment. I promised myself to always tell the truth, take off all masks, and behave naturally regardless of everything. According to that experiment I had no moral right to play the hypocrite, deceive and use various mind techniques to hide my feelings, emotional states, victories and weaknesses from the others. Frankly speaking, nothing bad had happened to me. When someone asked me wrong questions, I just answered them quite sincerely and honestly without any ulterior thoughts. Now, it seems that my experiment wasn’t a goddamn waste of time and energy. It significantly boosted my willpower, cleared my mind of fears and made me more confident.

But telling the truth isn’t as easy as it may seem. If your life is full of confidential mysteries and important secrets that should never be disclosed, then you should always gather your thoughts before answering different questions, because every word is like a bird.

You should remember that you’re not obliged to answer tactless questions in detail. Just give a short answer to either confirm or deny the fact under consideration. If you don’t know the answer, then you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel, but say the old phrase, “Sorry, I don’t know.”

More: 7 Rules to Follow to Become a Better Conversationalist

5. Answer with a counter-question

I’ve always believed that the best protection is a counter attack. It’s not one of the most polite techniques to deal with tactless people, but it really works. The degree of politeness always depends on your tone, expression, manners and body language. The main thing is to behave naturally, suppress negative emotions and try not to show that the question you’ve been asked is very painful and unpleasant.

Ask the interlocutor a counter-question, but do it in a friendly tone. This technique can help you turn the conversation back to those curious people who started a tactless conversation. For example. If someone asks, “How often do you and your husband go on date nights?” You may answer with a counter-question, “Do you believe that late night dates are an essential part of a happy marriage? How often do you think it’s necessary to go on date nights to keep the spark alive?”

The older you get, the more tactless questions you hear, because this world is full of ill-mannered and cunning personalities. If you don’t want to develop a negative attitude towards the society, you should get rid of an obsessive thought that all the people who ask you tactless questions are evil-wishers who want to humble, slander and destabilize your personality. Hopefully, these tips will help you respond to tactlessness with ease. Do you often hear tactless questions from your colleagues, friends or relatives? What other effective techniques do you know? Share your experiences with us.