#GirlBoss Series: How to Answer Intrusive Questions

There used to be a time that I was more open than ever. I'd gamely talk about my life's juicy details to anyone {mostly, anyone} who asked and listened. After some time, all these details in my life would get tossed up like pieces of meat, devoured by your friendly  chismosas, mangled to various versions and used as ammo against me.

Now, blame the age, and the wisdom maybe, but I tend to keep my private life, well, more private. I don't tell everybody anymore all of my life story, just friends who've earned my trust and vice versa. This practice has allowed me to be more open to those who matter, and restrained to those who I've yet to know. No one has to explain everything, too.

That's not to say we won't get uninvited questions. In this world of oversharing, many assume that one can be just as open about very personal matters. If you find yourself being asked personal questions such as: "Are you getting married soon?" "Will you be trying for babies anytime?" "How much are you earning?" "How much is your rent?," try some of the techniques that has worked for me so far:

1. The Pause. Some years ago, I attended a wedding reception where I was spotted chatting with an ex boyfriend. The next day, a friend bluntly asked me, "Hey, saw you with x last night, did you guys get back together?" Aside from being completely assumptive, it was also very intrusive. I smiled at this friend and said "No," period. Long pause. Thankfully, another friend chimed in and said what I didn't want to say which was "Just because they were chatting, doesn't mean they're getting back together."

2. Bounce the question back. The funny thing about double edged compliments is that they can be well meant and offensive at the same time. There was a time that I was asked what my skin secret was after showing up glowing, sweaty and with new boyfriend in tow. I just thanked her for the "compliment" and did not pursue further. I quickly reverted the question and complimented her on her hair which seemed bouncy at the time.

3. Honor your boundaries. There was once upon a time when I had only been with my boyfriend only for a few days then, and I brought him to an after office event. At that time, we just re-started our relationship and have not thoroughly talked about everything except we wanted to see each other exclusively and give it all our best. Naturally, we were asked "So, what's the status of your relationship?" "Are you planning on getting married soon?" "Will you have babies soon after?" I think it may be our culture, and me being not very used to a relationship just yet, mumbled awkwardly how I have only just met my guy via Tinder that night and brought him to dinner {this was not the truth as we are friends for a long time but I was being silly and awkward} and just wanted people to stop asking me questions. My boyfriend of course answered for both of us that we have officially been together since x days ago and are serious about each other, long pause. His answer prevented others from follow up questions because he established with his direct and straight to the point answer that that's all we were sharing about our relationship. After all, relationships are only for the people involved and not the ones outside of it. I may not have stood up for my own boundaries then but I'm glad he did for me :) And hopefully, I would do, too, in the future.