How to handle Embarrassing & Awkward Questions in a conversation? Smart & Clever Communication Tips
Embarrassing and Awkward situations in public speaking are quite common. Moreover, answering Embarrassing and awkward questions is a big challenge to your communication skills. In this self improvement video with Skillopedia you will learn some useful communication tips to handle such difficult questions in a public setting, without offending anyone. These conversation tips would be extremely useful to avoid answering some personal questions, you want to stay away from.
Complete Video Transcript :-
When I was single, my aunt would pester me with, “Why are you still single?” “Are you still being too choosy?” And now that I have a boyfriend, the question becomes, “When are you next getting married?” Come on, and I believe her next question would be, “When are you gonna have kids?” It’s true no one absolutely no one can escape from embarrassing questions and the worst cases when they ask you publicly and you refuse to answer their questions. The simplest thing to say would be, “It’s none of your business” but that will make them think that you are impolite and disrespectful. So in the end none of us want to spoil our relationships, right? Now giving a vague answer like, “I don’t have any plans on this” also doesn’t work. As not everyone will understand that by giving a vague answer you’re actually telling them please stops asking me any more of these awkward questions. They won’t really understand that. And instead they might keep asking more and more of those questions. And then you will soon realize how exhausting it is to answer all of these endless questions which make no sense and make you feel awkward publicly. So this session is a real break for you, as I’m gonna tell you some clever ways to answer these awkward questions. My name is Michelle and you’re watching me on Skillopedia, the place to learn skills for the real world. So here we go… The first step when dealing with such questions should be to figure out the intentions of the person asking, because people never ask a question without any intention. So with the simple twist you actually become the one, in control of the question. So when someone asks you, let’s see an example… “Why are you still single?” “Are you being too choosy?” Like my aunt asked me, I chose to say, “Are you worried that I might be lonely?” Or when someone asks, “When are you getting married?” You could be like, “Are you concerned, that I am waiting too long? Well, so very quickly you’ll be able to understand just what the other person is intending. Do they really want to know the answer to the question? Or whether a person is really concerned or if they are just trying to be nosy and embarrass you publicly. This technique will help you to be in control of the conversation and take it forward from there. So the next question is, how to give further response after you know their intentions. Well, if someone is just being nosy or trying to embarrass you which is quite often the case. I’d say, just crack a joke. Some people are just being nosy. They don’t really care much. Which means you can probably just crack a joke or say it in a light way or say something irrelevant when they ask an embarrassing or awkward questions publicly. And then most of them will stop asking when they realize that you are not interested in answering them. And they will not get what they are looking for, which is to embarrass you. So by cracking a joke or saying something irrelevant you don’t leave any space for them to pull your leg any further. Another classic technique of escaping awkward questions is, to change the subject. This is easier said than done. But don’t worry after having said it I will also tell you how it’s done. So changing the subject as in transitions can be tough. But let me give you an example of a bad and a good transition and then you will know how to change the subject perfectly. Let’s say someone asks you, “You’re not having kids?” You go like, “No, we’re not having kids.” “Hey how about that Turkey?” Well now this is an example of a bad transition and it can draw more attention than you’re trying to avoid. So your awkward moment can become even more awkward. So what you need to do is when you’re transiting from one subject to another you need to find a bridge. So something like, “No, we’re not having kids we are planning to go to Niagara Falls though.” “You’ve been there right?” In this case Niagara Falls is the bridge and you’ve quickly changed the subject or shifted to a new topic. So this is how you change the subject to avoid awkward questions. The next strategy is to ask the person for advice. I know this is a risky move and I won’t be surprised if you have to sit with somebody for an hour after you ask them for an advice. You know, free advice… But anyways, in general people love to talk about what they know. So when you ask them for advice, they start talking about themselves instead of you and if you keep your answers short and sweet this works pretty well. For example let’s say when your family friend asks you about having kids, here’s what you could say to change the course of the conversation. You could say something like, “Oh, I don’t know what the… I don’t know what’s the hardest part about having a baby? So now the focus is on your friend and not on you and they would tell about their experience and this would turn their question into a much more pleasant and interesting conversation about this person’s experience with being a parent. So this give her something to talk which is what she wanted. But more importantly the focus is not now on you and you’re no more talking about your personal decisions. So that’s a clever way to distract someone’s focus from yourself. The next strategy is provide a fluffy answer. That is not a very thoughtful answer and jump to asking them a question in return. This works best for a question like, “So how’s your business going? Which in my opinion is the world’s most useless question. It’s the business equivalent of, “How are you?” So they’re not really seeking an answer. They’re not asking you how your business is. They’re just being polite. Which means you don’t have to give a real or thoughtful answer. You can just provide a fluffy answer and immediately jump to a different question. For example, “It’s been great.” “How’s your daughter?” Or you could say, “Oh man, I’ve been busy, which is great.” “What’s going on with you?” Or else you could say, “I’m traveling a ton.” “I’m so exhausted.” “How are things with your house renovation?” So the goal here is to shift the focus back to the other person and most people like to talk about themselves. So why not? Let them. Ask any question that diverts their attention from you. The final strategy is, don’t focus on the accuracy of your answer, but on the sufficiency. As in you shouldn’t leave them feeling unanswered. Just give a sufficient answer which you don’t need to give the details of it. If you’re confused look at this, when people ask, “So what do you do?” We feel like we need to explain all the aspects of our business. Which isn’t true. Just because someone asked you a question doesn’t mean you know that you owe them an answer. It’s up to you how much you want to share. For example, if you’re trying to be known for back end development and you don’t need to tell people that you also do web designing. So you only tell them that you are a back-end developer. So you need to focus on sufficiency and not the accuracy. So that they feel that you have sufficiently answered that question which you need not tell every detail. No matter how confident you are when it comes to family or workplace gathering it’s easy to get caught off guard by a well-meaning cousin or a colleague just trying to find out how your business is doing. So usually the people are just trying to be polite and they’re trying to start a small conversation a small talk with you and that’s why I’ve put together these six strategies to help you handle the most awkward questions that you might face. So I hope the strategies work for you. Let me know if they do. Thank you for staying with me. The goal here is, for you to be in control of the conversation. See you soon with another useful session on Skillopedia, the place to learn skills for the real world.