Dealing with difficult people: Tricky work situations
The Nosey Parker
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The Nosey Parker

Nosey parkers don't need much of an introduction. They are, simply, someone who always asks questions that are way too personal.

Of course it depends how close you are to your colleagues, but questions like: “How much do you earn?”, "Have you got a boyfriend?" and "How old are you?" can be way over stepping the line, especially if you hardly know them.

How to deal with a nosey parker

It can be a bit of a shock when someone asks you a question like that, so you have to be prepared for how you are going to react.

First, work out what kind of questions you’re willing to answer and in what situations. You have to set your own boundaries!

Then, when you're asked a question that you don't want to answer, don’t be aggressive. Telling them to mind their own business can go down pretty badly at work.

Asking why they want to know can help. That way you can decide if it's a good enough reason for you to tell them. And if you don't want to, just politely tell them that answering that question would make you feel uncomfortable.

Be honest with them, just say you don't really like answering personal questions at work, or you don't tell people your age. You're not making it personal, it's not about them, it's just a rule you have.

And as tempting as it might be, don't ask personal questions back just to give them a taste of their own medicine. You're better than that!

Sophie Herdman
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