Nosey people. or Nosy People ( whatever the spelling lol)
We have all come across them.
They can come in the form of your friends, relatives, siblings, or even strangers.
The thing about nosy people is that they don’t understand the concept of personal space.
They just keep pushing you to reveal more and more intimate information about yourself.
It reminds me of this quote from Lewis Carrol :
The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.
And you just stand there trying to figure out how you can get out of their verbal grasp!
Things can get confusing at times when your own family members or friends become nosy.
Of course, you don’t want to hurt them, but you also might not want to share everything with them.
So, it becomes even more difficult to know how to deal with situations like these.
In this article, I am going to talk about exactly how you can deal with nosey people.
But before we go there, let’s first take a look at why people are nosey in the first place.
Why Are People Nosey or Nosy?
There might be a number of reasons for this.
And it varies from person to person.
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons below:
1) Genuine Concern
This category of people usually includes your loved ones.
Your friends and family might be genuinely concerned about your life or a particular area of your life.
And so, they might ask questions to make sure that you are doing okay.
This could be perceived as being nosy, but you need to keep in mind that their intentions are good.
2) Due To Curiosity
Some people might think that you are an enigma.
As such, they might be intrigued by you.
Usually, this includes people who are not in contact with you regularly.
However, due to social media or common friends, they are vaguely aware of what’s going on in your life.
So, when you meet these people, they might ask you a long list of personal questions out of sheer curiosity.
3) Out of Habit
Some people just like talking.
And by talking, I mean anything and everything under the sun.
They don’t mind sharing even the smallest of details about their own life.
As such, they might think that it’s okay to ask other people about their personal life too!
In fact, they expect everyone to be like them.
And they get surprised when they find out that not all humans are the same!
4) Due To Their Competitive Nature
Some people are really competitive in nature.
They just have to be better than you in every way possible.
So, it’s only obvious that they would want to know everything they can about you.
They want to use that information to outdo you wherever possible.
This category usually includes your relatives, friends (sometimes), coworkers, and neighbors.
5) They Are Plain Rude
Finally, we come to the rude ones.
These people don’t have any sense of how a normal human being should behave.
All they do is think about themselves.
They want to be the “star of the show” wherever they go. They may be jealous.
And so, if they see someone else getting more attention than them, they resort to making things personal.
They cross-question everything you say so that they can find the tiniest bit of error and bring you down!
How To Deal With Nosey People
No matter what type of nosy people you encounter, there are certain strategies you can use to get out of the situation.
I’ll quickly go over some of the best ones below:
1) Respond. Do Not React.
When someone starts asking personal questions one after the other, you might be taken aback.
You might get confused as to why the other person is asking all those questions and what you should do at that moment.
This confusion can then turn into nervousness and discomfort.
When you find yourself in this situation, remind yourself to slow down and avoid any compulsive reaction.
There is no need to feel rushed at all!
Instead, be mindful of the situation and try to respond consciously.
Remember, you don’t owe an answer to the other person.
So, give yourself time to plan your strategy and respond accordingly.
2) Answer Them Reasonably Without Revealing Too Much
One great strategy is to give a satisfactory answer to the other person without giving away too many details.
This way, you will satisfy their curiosity and maintain your personal boundaries at the same time.
You should use this strategy when the other person is a loved one, like your family or friends.
So, for instance, your loved one might ask, “Hey! I heard you had a fight with your husband. What happened?”
In response, you could say, “Oh, it was nothing serious. We are absolutely fine. Happens to everyone, right?”
This will let them know that you are doing fine and you didn’t even need to spill the details!
3) Politely Decline To Answer
Sometimes, you just don’t feel like answering the other person’s questions.
It could be because they have no business knowing the details or because the very question annoys you.
It could also be that they are rude and condescending.
In times like these, it is a good idea to take the high road.
So, if someone asks you a personal question, you could politely decline to answer by saying something like, “I am so sorry but I am not comfortable discussing my private matters like this. I rarely share these things with anybody as it makes me uncomfortable. I hope you understand.”
4) Show A Lack of Enthusiasm
When you are in a conversation, your body language tells a lot about you.
It tells the other person whether you are interested in talking to them, whether you are having a good time, whether you are being offended, and so on.
So, if you want to communicate that you don’t appreciate them being nosy, you can do so with your body language.
That way, you won’t have to be direct, and yet the other person will get the message.
So, how do you do this? It’s easy!
Just show a lack of enthusiasm. Give brief answers, and don’t look them in the eye too much. It will show them that you are not interested in the conversation you’re having.
5) Confront Them
Sometimes, you just have to confront the other person to “shut them up”.
You might have tried giving them hints that you are not comfortable with their questions, and yet, they might be constantly trying to push you.
Not only that, they might be acting rudely.
In times like these, you may have no option but to put them in their place.
So, when someone is being rude and nosy, you could say things like, “I think personal space is a foreign concept to you,” “Do you do this with everybody you meet, or am I special in some way?” “Why are you asking all these personal questions?” “Please have some human decency and respect other people’s privacy. How can you even ask these questions?”
As you can see, these questions are quite harsh, but you might need to use them anyways.
Just make sure to use this strategy as a last resort.
6) Become The Questioner
Sometimes, to beat a questioner, you have to become the questioner.
So, when a nosy person starts asking you all sorts of questions, you should try and turn the questions to them.
For example, if they ask you, “How much do you earn every month?” you could say, “A comfortable sum. Where do you like to invest your money?”
In this strategy, instead of playing defense, you are playing offense.
And if you do it right, you will keep the nosy person busy answering your questions.
Also, you won’t have to give too many details about your personal life.
7) Use Humour As Your Defence
Humour can be a great way to deflate any situation.
It can also be used as a defense against stupid questions by a nosy person.
That way, you don’t have to tell them anything, and they, too, realize that you don’t want to talk about it.
Plus, you don’t even have to confront them! It’s a win-win situation.
So, let’s say your relative asks you, “When are you getting married?” You can smile and answer them by saying, “Don’t worry, I will invite you when I get married.”
Or, when another relative asks, “Are you wealthy?” you can simply smile and say, “You know… for me, health is wealth. And since I’m healthy, I think we can say that I am wealthy too!”
8) Avoid Interacting With Them
This is one of my favorite ones. ( because it is the easiest thing to do haha)
When you know that the other person is nosey, it’s best to avoid them as much as you can.
If you don’t talk to them, you don’t give them an opportunity to be nosy. Plus, it saves you the mental resources that you would have spent dealing with them.
Also, there can be times when you can’t avoid nosy people.
For instance, a coworker at your workplace might be nosy, or you might be at a party where you “have” to interact with a nosey relative.
In situations like these, it’s best to talk as little as possible to these people.
To keep the conversations short, you could use an excuse to get out of there quickly or go talk to someone else.
9) Try To Change The Subject
The ability to steer a conversation in the direction that you want is an important skill to have.
Not only is it useful in other areas of life, but it is also useful while dealing with nosy people.
When they start getting too close for comfort, you can simply change the subject and talk about something else.
For example, if you are at a party and a nosy person says, “How are things with your wife?” you could reply, “Oh, everything’s great! By the way, did you try out the Pineapple Mojito? I swear it’s one of the best ones I have had in a while.”
10) Don’t Be Too Nosy Yourself
Finally, let’s introspect a bit.
If you are constantly attracting nosy people in your life, it could be that they perceive you to be nosy as well.
They might think you are okay with discussing private matters of your life if you keep talking about the private matters of others yourself.
So, if you happen to do this, it might be time to stop.
That way, nosy people won’t see you as someone who likes to gossip.
And they won’t get attracted to you like a moth to a flame!