There always seems to be someone that is completely oblivious to what is impolite or inappropriate to ask. Occasionally, this may be done with nasty intentions (usually due to jealousy or some other issue about themselves) but, more often than not, it is done completely ignorantly. Although it might be tempting to give them a snotty reply or get tearful, especially amidst the stress of your wedding day, there are various ways that these rude questions can be handled.
In many situations, the question is simply not worth answering. By responding with complete disregard for the question, the person will likely get your drift and resist repeating it. Examples of such questions include:
- Why didn't you invite my boyfriend?
- Are you sure you should be wearing a white wedding dress?
- How much did this wedding cost you?
- I suppose daddy's helping you to afford this reception?
- Do you really think that you were engaged for long enough? (or anything similar, referring to the possibility of your not being ready or prepared for marriage)
- Don't you think the string quartet was overkill?
- How much money does your new husband make?
- What is your mother wearing?!
If ignoring the question does not feel right or does not deter the asker from repeating it or continuing in a similar vein, you may respond by:
- Changing the subject — make it an obvious switch so that the person is not under the impression that you did not hear or understand the question, but are not prepared to answer it.
- Being humorous but clear — answering a rude question with a witty, but cheeky response will let the person know that you are not oblivious to how inappropriate their question was. For example, if someone asks "Did you have liposuction?", you could respond with "I do look great, don't I?"
- Distracting them — people are generally more interested in themselves than you, even if they are dying to know about your liposuction. If you respond by saying that there is something hanging out of their nose, it is unlikely that they will pursue the matter of your possible liposuction.
- Turning it around — the asker is unlikely looking for a confrontation. Usually, their intention is either to get the answer or to bully you or make you feel uncomfortable. Turning it around will reflect the awkwardness back onto them. So, for example, if asked "Did Cheryl really have an affair with her gardener?", you can simply smile and say "Why would you like to know?"
- Sidestepping them — this is another form of distraction, but works well because the person is left thinking that it was simply how the flow of conversation worked. This is achieved by diverting the attention in a more fluid way. For example, if asked whether you had liposuction, you could simply say "that reminds me, have you heard that Samantha's opened her own beauty salon? I've heard she's doing fabulous waxes and am dying to go".
All too often, people asking rude questions are indulged with the answer. This is usually because the person being asked is caught off guard and is so stunned by the blatancy of the question. However, you do not need to answer rude questions, and you certainly do not have to be the one to feel awkward. Be prepared in advance for inappropriate questions and be determined to handle them tactfully but appropriately.
Article courtesy of Celebration.co.za