Polite Ways To Deal With People Who Meddle In Your Business
If you live anything but a dull existence, there will always be a meddler around to get in your business. It’s just how they roll. Some do it because they have your best interest at heart and don’t want to see you get hurt. Some do it because gossip is life, or being bossy is life, and they don’t know any other way. And chances are, if you have a meddler on your hands — especially if they’re an adult meddler — there’s nothing you can do to change them.
But you can change the way you react to these nosy nuisances without having to give them the boot. We can’t always cut all of the messy people out of our life. For some of us, that would mean there would be very few people left in it. Instead, change how you deal with their shenanigans, and with time, it won’t interfere with your day.
Understand Where They Are Coming From Sometimes
Having someone deep inside of your business can be irritating, but seeing well-intentioned meddling as coming from a place of love and concern (even when it’s pushy) can help it stress you out less.
Step Outside Of The Gossip Loop
The next time the gossip train comes chugging around with a new piece of business, simply tune them out, busy yourself, and find an excuse to get off of the phone.
Establish yourself as someone who prefers to stay out of other people’s business and you’ll have an easier time when you ask them to stay out of yours.
Give Them Nothing To Talk About
Unless it’s good news that you want spread around, resist the urge to share drama with meddlers in your life. They’ll lend a sympathetic ear now for now, but either spread the gossip later or try to tell you how to run your life.
Politely Change The Subject
The next time someone asks a prying question, start talking about the weather, last night’s Scandal episode, anything but your business.
Flip The Question
Some people don’t realize that they’re prying until you turn the question around on them. Ask them a similar line of questions and their discomfort might make them realize they are doing too much.
Respond With Happiness
The next time someone meddles in your relationship, career path, or life in general, there’s no need to confront them. Simply talk about how happy you are with the way things are. Remind them that different strokes work for different folks and you’re sure how they’re living their life is working for them, too.
Remind Yourself, And Them, That You’re Grown
When you’re dealing with family members, it’s easy to forget that you’re no longer a child who has to mind what Aunt Sandra has to say. If you’re old enough to pay your own bills, you’re old enough to say “I’d rather not talk about it.”
Let It Go In One Ear And Out The Other
When you can’t get a meddler to see the error of their ways, it’s time to just smile and nod. Don’t take their “advice” with a grain of salt, don’t take it for anything. Just let it pass on by like you never heard it at all.
Cut Them Out Of Your Conversations
If you’re not related to or in love with a meddler, simply cut them out of all conversations where they’ll find an “in” to be nosy. If you find that there’s nothing left to talk about to keep them in your life — so be it.
Give Your Kids An Out
Once you opt out of the gossip chain, some family members start pressing your little ones for deets. Instruct them ahead of time that they should respond to meddling questions by telling everyone to confront you. When they hear “You have to ask my mama” enough times, they’ll eventually move on.
Come Up With A Good Excuse
Not everyone can be told to butt out. Sometimes it’s easier to pass the buck and say “My husband doesn’t like when I talk about that,” or “Let me talk to ___ first before we discuss it so we don’t step on any toes.”
Ask Them To Save Their Advice “For Now”
Politely let them know that you’ve got things handled right now but will ask for their advice later on down the line if you need it. They feel valued, and you get to move on without any interference.
Thank Them For Their Input
In their own way, they’re trying to be helpful and it never hurts to be polite, even if you plan to leave their input right where it is.
Remember That You Don’t Need Anyone’s Approval
Whether you take or leave any “advice,” remember that your opinion is the only one that really matters.