Everybody has met an overly-nosy person, like a co-worker, or parents, and most likely, a brother or sister. You don’t want to be rude to them, but you just want them to knock it off. Here are some likely ways that will make them bored or you.
1) Don’t give them every detail of information. If they inquire about where you’re going to lunch, give a general area like, “Down to the mall.” or “I’m meeting with a friend to talk about our weekend plans.”
2) Act uncertain. If they inquire about your weekend, let them know you’re not sure about it and that’s why you’re meeting with your friend to plan things.
3) Be noncommittal. If they ask that they can come too, let them know you still haven’t gotten the details down as to how many people will be allowed to come depending on the space provided.
4) Take charge of the situation. If they don’t get the hint after that, be a little more strong with them, and tell them, “I’m sorry I’m in a rush to get going on a project/going to lunch, and pretend like you didn’t hear them as you run off to where ever. Then make a rhymes visit to your manager/supervisor and ask for more help.
5) Do a little acting. Pretend that somebody is trying to Skype you by putting on headphones and saying, “Hold on a sec……”
6) If you’re both involved in a task and personally probing questions start, either say “Can we focus on the issue at hand, please.” or (spoken in a ‘matter of fact way’) “I’m not really in the mood to talk about this,” and suggest current events as an option”.
7) Include some sarcasm in the conversation. If they ask you cross-examination style questions, jokingly say “When did you become a cop?”, then quickly change direction of the conversation to you, a friend or family member knowing a cop, and start discussing what they think, all the while getting ready for a toilet break.
8) Be succinct to the point and be concise. You do not have to give them all the details, but also be honest.
9) Don’t lie to a nosey person. If you are unsure or don’t want them to know what you are doing, don’t lie to them, tell them to mind their own business, or get defensive, just say “I don’t know”. Sometimes it can be enough to hush them up. If they persist, just carry on saying I don’t know. Eventually, they will stop asking. Lying and getting defensive only makes them think you have something to hide and it can cause the nosey person to bother you more or get angry.
10) Keep things secret. If they ask you questions that lead you to divulging sensitive information, don’t give the information out. Just say you don’t know or you can’t remember and go to your parents, boss, supervisor, friend, or any person you trust when the nosey person is not about.
11) Give out little information about yourself. Tell them as little as possible about you, your friends and your family’s sensitive information and business. This goes for letters, email, instant messaging, as well as face-to-face. Beware, as their questions can be ingredients and recipes for them to gossip and blab!
12) Tell them calmly that you do not wish to talk about that subject. If they persist on asking or they ask why you don’t want to talk about it, just say you are not comfortable talking about it or walk away.
13) Challenge the intruder. If you catch someone going through your personal possessions, (i.e. going through your diary, looking through your drawers, private papers, emails, documents, etc.) challenge him or her by asking what are they doing or say, “Can I help you there?”. If you are brave enough, say in a calm voice, “Please ask my permission before looking through my private possessions.” Be calm. If you get angry or on the defensive, it could be taken as a signal that you have something to hide.