AEE 596: How to Be Direct in English When Someone Is Being Nosy

how to steer English conversation in another direction

What should you do when someone is being nosy?

When that person asks personal questions what can you say in English to steer the conversation in another direction?

Find out today.

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A “busy body” is someone who is nosy.

It’s someone who asks questions about topics that don’t concern them and that are private to other people.

 

Topics that a nosy person might ask about include:

  • salary
  • family
  • personal details about your relationship
  • questions about job


A nosy topic might be different in your culture so pay attention to cultural differences in English conversation.

 

What can you do?

You can change the subject.

However, if that doesn’t work and they come back to the same topic then you need another strategy.

 

Try these strategies:

  1. Be polite
  2. Smile if appropriate
  3. Deflect
  4. Stay neutral

 

Phrases to use:

  • “I’d rather not discuss this right now, can we talk about something else?”
  • Laugh and deflect
  • “Oh, I don’t know” OR “Sure, sure” ..something neutral
  • “I’d rather not say”
  • “Let’s change the subject”
  • “I’m not really comfortable talking about this too much right now.”

 

Click here to get the transcripts for today so that you can read the role plays that we did in the episode.

Go out and try these new phrases the next time you meet someone who is nosy!

Good luck and please leave your questions below.

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