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How To Deal With Nosy Relatives (11 Smart Ways)

by Sonya Schwartz

Family is great, and we never get to choose our family. They are a part of our lives, and nothing can take their place in our lives; even if you don't want to be around them, you don't usually have a choice.

That said, do you have that one relative who is always on your case? They never want to mind their business; it can be your parents, grandmother, sister, or even your whole family. 

They keep bringing up things you never want to talk about like your ex new girlfriend, your heartbreak story, the lack of love and romance in your life, and how boring your life is because you never go out to have fun. They can get on our nerves so badly and want to be so nosy and know everything that happens in your life. 

Most especially when you get to a certain age and unmarried, your relatives start asking questions about your boyfriend; your mom wants to know what you and your partner are planning. They want to know so many details about your choices and find ways to advise and correct you.

Understanding how to deal with or handle nosy relatives could take a long time, but I will tell you 11 tips to deal with nosy relatives quickly without hurting anyone in the process.

11 Ways To Deal With Nosy Relatives

1. Be truthful

Sometimes, when our family members throw questions at us, we lie about the answer because we are scared they will feel uncomfortable. We may feel they are judging us, but they won't ask if they didn't really care about the situation. Just tell the truth promptly and straightforward. 

Sometimes, a brutally truthful answer can make them realize that they are invasive and unreasonable by asking. 

For example, if they ask you questions like "when are you getting married?" "I don't know; I do not have a boyfriend yet." It is a simple and straightforward answer. Be honest; you do not have to tell them details or experience of your personal life situations. 

2. Be prepared

Be prepared

Before you go to a family outing or travel for holidays where your family members will be present and know a nosy relative will also be there. Prepare yourself for the invasive questions and deal with them because you are not ready; you may be thrown off balance. 

Always remember that when a nosy person is asking probing questions, it's more about the person than it's about you. Reduce the amount of time you spend around that nosy person if possible. If your uncle and aunt are nosy, stay around your cousins more. If you have a nosy cousin, stick with your grandparents more often, just make sure you avoid that nosy relative.

3. Confidence

When you cannot avoid those questions, answer with confidence. You are human and vulnerable. However, everyone has flaws and weaknesses as much as you do. Even if you are not proud, be confident in your reply. 

Do not show any form of weakness, how your past experience affected your life, or keep a sad face or act like you are seriously affected by the questions. Chin up and reply confidently. If the topic isn't something you want to discuss, honestly say, "I don't want to discuss it." Or "it doesn't concern you in any way, so I'm not speaking to you about it."  

4. The white lie rule

Better still, you could just say something vague so that nosy relative can get off your back. You do not owe anybody an answer or an explanation for the things that go on in your life. Your choices are solely your decision.

So, omissions and white lies are appreciated here. You do not need to be too truthful; just make it brief. This is especially important if you know the person is just looking for gossip. But don't do this if it is a delicate situation, because your family remains important and you don't want to remove them from your life totally.

5. Joke around

A good joke wouldn't be bad, after all. Since they can ask nosy questions, the jokes need to be on them, so if a nosy relative asks, "why are you not married yet?" you could say, "I'm married already, just came back from my honeymoon." 

Before they think and realize the sarcasm, you can escape. Use this skill very well, and watch them soon start to mind their business. You answering in this manner can even ease the environment's mood, and they know that you are not angry or taking the questions seriously. 

This is why planning is important. If you are already prepared for their questions, you can easily joke about them. But you have to be careful when joking with your elders; you don't want it to sound like you are rude or mocking them.

6. Switch the topic

Trust me; a fast subject change will send the right message to that nosy relative. When one of those relatives comes to have a conversation with you and the questions get offensive or directly invade your privacy, immediately switch the topic. 

It'll be evident that you do not want to talk about the issue. You can also address the case. You can tell them you are not comfortable with the question, and they should be able to respect boundaries and your choices.

7. Be in charge of the social scene

Be in charge of the social scene

If you start the questioning, they could barely chip in theirs, right? So take charge of the social scene and bring up questions and conversations before they do. And if the conversation starts to shift to what you do not want, ask something else again and redirect the conversation. Just never give them a chance at all. 

It will be emotionally satisfying for everyone if you can get them to share their views and experiences on different topics freely. And this way, nobody gets to pay attention to your personal life and try to be nosy.

8. Turn the table

When a nosy relative hits you with an invasive, offensive question or topic, instead of avoiding the gist, serve them a dose of their own medicine. You can do this by directing a pointed annoying question back at them. We all have that one question we don't want to be asked, so make sure you mishit them.

Or you can cut them off immediately. For example, you can say, "what sort of question is that?" or "why are you asking?". It shows that you see and acknowledge their interest, but you'd instead not get into that discussion. Besides, you owe no one an explanation for the things you do with your life.

9. Create a game time

During a family vacation, a weird and offensive question comes up most times because there is nothing else to do. So since everyone is idle, they start asking random probing questions. 

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Create a game plan or bring up new game ideas. Make sure everyone is busy, bring activities that they could engage in so they have less time to focus on your situation. As you make them busy, they can become less nosy; a bond is also being built between your family through these activities. So, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

10. Runaway

It doesn't mean that you should turn your back and do a marathon, no-no. I know you are a smart girl, so just look for a fast excuse. You could act like your phone is ringing, or suddenly drop your bottle of drink, or cough continuously. 

You can also excuse yourself to the bathroom or focus on the TV and just ignore like you didn't even hear what was said. Ensure you look for a good escape root that doesn't make you look rude or make them know you are running away from their questions.

11. Don't take it personally

It is perfectly normal for our relatives to annoy us. However, a nosy relative will invade anybody's privacy and annoy whoever. Sometimes, it's just the person's character to gather information and spread gossip around. That's why you shouldn't take it so personally and be hard on yourself when they come at you. 

It's their loss that you can't be your real self around them because of their nosy attitude. They have lost the chance to feel your genuine vibe. So overlook things, and don't get mad at them.

FAQs

How do you shut down a nosy person? 

You don't have to be rude when doing this. Tell them politely that you are not comfortable with the way they intrude in your personal space. When they try asking nosy questions, you can deflect from it and talk about something else; you could also try some distraction skills.

What makes a person nosy? 

Insecurity. A nosy person is very insecure when they find a way to get information from someone, just so they can put them down. Someone who feels unsatisfied with everything about their life, so they want to know what you are doing so they don't feel like they are the only useless one.

How do you avoid questions about your personal life? 

Be straightforward to tell the person you are not comfortable with the conversation. Redirect the question and bring up something else to talk about. Ask them about their own experience on related questions, and answer them in a joking way to make them feel ashamed.

What do you say to a rude family member? 

Be kind, cool, calm, and very considerate. Be the mature one when a matter that hurts you arises, create your personal space. Take a break from your home, go out and have fun, forgive them, and when things are calm, have a reasonable conversation with them.

How do you respond to nosy people? 

Play stupid and ignore them, give them short and indirect answers, never give them the benefit of doubt.

In Summary

I hope you found this article helpful. Dealing with a nosy relative isn't easy as many people love to question other people’s choices. But you need to be strong to handle such situations, no matter how difficult, and never excuse your choices. Let me know what you think, and please don't forget to share this article with others. 

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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