There is nothing better than having family reunions on special occasions. We all love our families but sometimes we are hesitant about attending such gatherings because of the awkward questions that accompany them.
Nearly no one can escape from such embarrassing questions. When I was single, my Aunt would pester me with, ‘Why are you still single? Are you being too choosy?’; Now that I have a boyfriend, the question becomes ‘When are you getting married?’. Next it will be “When are you gonna have kids?”. As it turns out, you’re not alone. These types of questions are a thing that all families (big or small) share.
When Your Answer Can’t Save You From The Embarrassing Moment…
The worst case is when you refuse to answer their questions, and they comment on your behavior or attitude. Saying that it is “none of your business” might be the simplest answer but they may probably think that you are impolite and disrespectful. In the end, none of us want to create barriers within our family relationships.
But giving a brief answer doesn’t always work. ‘I don’t have any plans on this’ is a rather vague answer, and not everyone understands you are actually saying ‘please don’t ask anymore for God’s sake’. Instead, they might keep asking more! You will soon realize how exhausting it is to answer all of their endless questions.
You Can Gain The Upper Hand By Asking This Question!
The more effective way to deal with these questions is to first figure out their intentions. People never ask a question without any intentions. Asking about their intentions can reverse your position, from a passive role as you used to play to a rather active one. With a simple twist, you can become the one in control of the conversation.
Flipping the question around is one of the best ways to figure out their intentions while avoiding misunderstandings:
Why are you still single? Are you being too choosy?
You: Are you worried that I might be lonely?
When are you getting married?
You: Are you concerned that I am waiting too long?
Very quickly, you’ll be able to discern just what your relative really wants to know. Those who ask with a kind intention may simply be expressing their concerns, allowing the conversation to flow into a smoother and more constructive path. Even if they are just being nosy or really intended to embarrass you, this technique will allow you to stay in control of the conversation and deflect the focus of attention.
But be aware of your tone and body language. Sometimes the awkward questions they ask might irritate you. But you need to take a deep breath and be calm when you respond so that you don’t sound defensive or confrontational. Don’t make others feel like you are challenging them or giving them a hard time.
How To Give Further Response After You Know Their Intentions
Crack A Joke If They Are Nosy
Some people are just being nosy. They don’t really care as much as you think, which means you can probably just crack a joke or say something irrelevant when they ask questions that you’d rather not answer. Most of them will stop asking when they can’t get what they are looking for. To move the conversation forward, why not start discussing your interests? Recent research has proven that it’s one of the best ways to escape from an awkward situation.
Take The Initiative To Share If They Try To Connect
Some ask questions out of kindness and genuine caring. There are some family members that you seldom see so sometimes they might want to break the ice with you by asking some questions. They might not know that these questions are embarrassing for you. Why not take the initiative to share something about yourself instead? By taking the reigns, you can steer the conversation in a direction you want, deftly stepping past the sensitive subjects.
Focus Your Time on The Right People
You might not want to admit it, but let’s face it: some of our family or relatives do love to embarrass or irritate us. While we don’t get to choose who our family members are, we do get to choose what to focus our time and attention on. Knowing a relative’s conversational intentions will help you to gain better control of yourself and be calmer, allowing you to avoid falling into the trap of taking what they say too personally. If you can take control of the conversation and not allow things to irritate you, then you can stop things in their tracks before they escalate.
If you find yourself dreading the next family gathering because of those questions your uncle is going to pester you with, don’t fret! Stay calm, ask questions to understand their intentions, and take control of the conversation. With practice, it will come so naturally that you won’t even realize you’re doing it. Besides, what better people to practice on than your own family? With this simple technique, you’ll be able to gracefully dance around any awkward situation, whether it’s during a family gathering or pretty much any social situation.
|Psychology Today: 10 Awkward Moments, and 6 Ways to Escape Them