Why Not . . . Be Discreet?

Aug 17, 2011

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15 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Be Discreet?

  1. Oh, Shannon thanks once again for your enlightening articles! I find it so hard to avoid personal questions and I somehow feel I’m obliged to answer each one of them (and feel like a total sucker afterwards =S). Can’t do that anymore and your suggestions seem very helpful to that!

  2. Thank you, Shannon. You advice always seems so timely and relevant.

    I will be reading this article several times, as it is something I am always working on. I find I get an overwhelming case of the ‘awkward ramblings’ when I get asked an inappropriate question. I give more information away than I would prefer, and then seem to talk around and around it for much too long!

    Definitely something to work on. Thank you again for your fabulous blog. I enjoy it so much.

    xo, Lisa.

  3. Ah, perfect timing. I am going to be hit with an onslaught of questions regarding my marriage in about 3 weeks when my husband moves out. Really not interested in telling the street why he moved and why I am divorcing him even if there is no big exciting reason.

    1. I hope you got over the change without a hitch. I believe it would be harder for me to keep my dignified silence when other people’s tongues were wagging about my divorce because people could be making all sorts of weird/stupid/unreal assumptions that had nothing to do with my case. Then I could be tempted to speak in order to nullify such assumptions to set the record straight.

  4. Eleni – I know exactly how you feel. What I’ve found is that if someone really cares about me, they will respect my decision not to share, and if they don’t understand, it’s more of a selfish inquiry than casual conversation which is a reflection of them, not me. The difficult part is politely, yet effectively making this clear. It truly just takes practice.

    Lisa – Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy reading your experience.

    Debbie – my thoughts are with you during this time of change and transition. Such decisions don’t need to be rationalized to others and those who love you should respect them. I wish you well during this time. 🙂

  5. Oh I struggle with emails and questions that fellow readers/bloggers ask sometimes – I have been asked a few super personal ones and it amazes me as I would never ask similar questions unless I was very close to the person.

  6. Hi Shannon! I absolutely love this post. It’s something that I try to work on being. I read in a book about French women that they have mastered that art and that is one of the reasons why the exude such class. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  7. All good points.
    I usually smile warmly and simply gaze back at them. The thing is, people expect you to react to their inquiries and they truly startle when you just offer them a heartfelt smile.
    To the persistent ones ( the ones you go ” well?!? ” ) I continue with the sugary smile, lean on to them and just as they expect to be tied in top- secret gossip, exclusively, I whisper to them ” being nosy now, are we..? Tsk tsk.”
    And to the rude ones I channel frosty- the snowgirl and slyly ask them ” In which way would this information of my personal life better the quality of your personal life? ” They usually need to take a few moments to process this sentence. Which gives you a mental upper hand.
    But usually a warm smile and complete silence is enough to both send a message and in some cases, bring a sence of appropriateness to nosybodies.

  8. Shannon, thanks for writing and sharing such informative and helpful posts! I have browsed through so many manners and etiquette resources, as well as quite a few lifestyle blogs and no one addresses these issues like you do.

    I am happy to have found your blog and the exquisite content featured in it!

  9. This post was inspirational for me. So often I have been caught in the trap of people asking me inappropriate questions, I give an answer, they don’t agree with me and somehow I find myself justifying my life when, if I had refused to answer in the first place, I wouldn’t need to justify anything to nosy people!

    If I have one regret, it is answering nosy questions!

    Thank you so much for your advice on politely getting out of them. I will practice.



  10. Thank you so much for this article. Coming at just the right time for me. My work friend is constantly asking question i don’t want to answer and this article may just save me!

    Love your blog

    Susan from Ireland

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